I never know what to write for Season Previews. Like, strictly speaking, a preview means that I'm going to give you an advanced impression of what is to come. However, I am not a psychic. I am not one of those gypsies in seaport cities that targets your wife or girlfriend and says things in sultry drawls like, "Palm reading, sweetie? You should try it, hun. Tell you your fortune, love."
And yet... I will now do my best impersonation of a gypsy woman.
WHAT YOU WILL SEE ON THE FIELD...
You will see an overhauled infield that may not be as scrappy as the infield you saw last season, but it will be a sh_t ton less annoying from the perspective of nobody complaining like, "OH LOOK AT ME. I'M SCRAPPY" or "OH LOOK AT ME. I'M UNDERPAID AND MOPEY" or "OH LOOK AT ME. F_CKING PRETEND SPOTLIGHT GOING ON OVER HERE". Instead we get a lot of guys who are hungry with something to prove (i.e. have had recent suck spells and now better demonstrate that they are actually major league caliber players).
1B: You will no longer see Adrian Gonzalez here. Brad Hawpe will be there doing his best to keep the tradition alive of pretending to miss the ball and fake out the baserunner on throws to first.
IF WE ARE LUCKY... We will see some combination of Kyle Blanks or Anthony Rizzo prove themselves to the point of corner infield threat for the FUTURE...
2B: You will see our new face of the franchise here, holding the fort the f_ck down. O-Dawg is your new favorite player. You will not miss David Eckstein nearly as much as you will miss his wife. In fact, you will go back to finding him annoying in that "OK, we get it. You are scrappy" sort of way.
SS: Jason Bartlett will very quietly hit +.300 and then, just as quietly, not be with the team in 2012. You will forget he ever played shortstop for the Padres, much in the way that nobody ever remembers that there even exists such a position on the Padres. You will wonder how long it's been since Khalil Greene's been on the team, and you will not be able to recall for certain how many shortstops there have been between his time and now.
3B: You will take comfort in seeing a single familiar face day in and day out at the hot corner.
LF: You will forget from day to day, who is supposed to be playing left field until you eventually realize that Ryan Ludwick supposed to be the starter. You will long for Chris Denorfia to continue his Cinderella story, but he will only show occasional spurts.
CF: Cam Maybin will make you ever forget that you truly believed that Tony Gwynn Jr. was the only person who could chase down long fly balls that made their way into the gaps.
RF: WILL VENABLE WILL HIT FOR THE CYCLE. YOU WILL HAVE A HUGE CRUSH ON WILL VENABLE. WHEN HE TOUCHES YOU, YOU WILL NOT BATHE FOR AT LEAST 3 DAYS.
Starting Pitching: Mat Latos will be Jake Peavy reincarnate. Tim Stauffer will be Andy Ashby reincarnate. Aaron Harang will be Jon Garland reincarnate. Clayton Richard will be Sterling Hitchcock reincarnate.
Relief Pitching: Will own batters.