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The Challenge of Being a Padres Fan or A Primer to Being a Better Baseball Fan

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I recently finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which I would recommend to most. If you're not familiar with it, Gretchen decides that she's not as happy as she should or could be and undertakes a series of resolutions throughout a year in an attempt to do things to make herself happy, or maybe more accurately, help her appreciate life more. Everything's based on philosophers and writers and popular opinions on happiness.

I generally think of myself as a happy person, but when I think about the blog, I can't help but think that we, as a Gaslamp Ball, aren't necessarily "happy" all the time.

Not that there's typically a lot of stuff to be happy about if you're a Padres fan, so any happiness we derive from last place seasons is bonus. Personally, I know we're going to be outspent on the field by larger markets. There's no shaking the idea that we typically will have players leading up to the best years of their career or potentially finishing out the tail end of a great career, as opposed to that sweet spot in the middle. Some of our local media seems to relish in the unattainable "fact" that our millionaire owner and his ownership group should field the most expensive team possible for no reason other than out of the goodness of their hearts. There's a weird perception that there are billionaires that are out there that are lining up to buy the Padres, or would want to buy the Padres if only they heard our stories about why we deserve a team and pretty things. Like Mark Cuban is Daddy Warbucks and we're a bunch of ginger orphans.

On the other hand, let's say you're a fan of the Yankees. You have a rich tradition to draw from. Even non-baseball fans can probably name 5 to 10 Yankees past and present without batting an eye. So your team is part of popular culture. You can rest easy in the knowledge that you will be competing for a post season spot and even in an off-year, you're fairly confident that you're watching a team that's made up mostly of All-Stars, former All-Stars, future All-Stars with a touch of Hall of Famers scattered in. Money for players is spent like a spectacle.

The Padres are a quiet independent film while the Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers/Giants are spectacle summer blockbusters. When they're big time, they're amazingly big time and enjoyed by lots of people. When they flop, they flop in amazingly spectacular fashion and people laugh. Quiet independent films win little awards here and there (best farm system, best front office, best grounds crew). When they win the big awards, it becomes a big deal, but most people go back to watching the blockbusters next year.

So what's this all leading to? I've decided to undergo a Gaslamp Ball version of a Happiness Project this season!

Every month, there will be a series of resolutions and activities that I'm going to focus on (and that you can focus on as well). All of this is geared towards making us more appreciative Padres fans, but also better baseball fans in general. Sorting out the schedule, but on the calendar for this year:

  • Be more statistically inclined
  • Root passionately for no logical reason
  • Empathize with other fans
  • Look forward to the future
  • Appreciate the present
  • Reflect on the past
  • Do things in the name of fanhood that make no sense

We'll square away the details as we go, but February is coming up and is just as good a time as any to start. Let's get pumped, people! It's almost February! Pitchers and Catchers reporting any second now!