February is coming to a close and and you might just now be realizing that you haven't done any of your homework for Gaslamp Ball's Happiness Project. It's time to start cramming.
This month's motto is "Ground yourself in the past". In order to be happy it's necessary that you look back before looking forward. Remember to inspect the roots of the tree before climbing out on a limb.
It's easy to just blow off Padres history as being nonexistent or something that should be forgotten rather than remembered. And while San Diego may not have a century of championships and catastrophic failures, it's not such a bad thing. There's an article in Wired about Jerusalem Syndrome where people are so overcome by the city's 3000 years of history that they lose their mind. That's not what we're going for.
"Jerusalem is an insane place in some ways. It overwhelms people, and it has for centuries," Bilu says. "The city is seductive, and people who are highly suggestible can succumb to this seduction. I’m always envious of people who live in San Diego, where history barely exists."
It's interesting that San Diego is used as an example of a place with no history even in the Middle East. San Diego's history is definitely not on par with Jerusalem, but at least we're safe from psychosis. The same can't be said for Boston, Chicago or New York where fans are obsessed and/or delusional with respect to their teams.
I was wondering how much Padres players know or care about our team's history. Are they indifferent? It might be a benefit to them if they learned to appreciate it. It wouldn't be a bad idea if newly acquired players were given classes at the beginning of Spring. It's something that is done to indoctrinate new recruits in the military and might be beneficial in the Padres organization as well.
When players come to San Diego they talk about the weather and easy going atmosphere, but when they are signed by the Yankees, Cubs or Red Sox they feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. While I hate those teams, that's something the Padres are lacking and can improve upon.
I was pleasantly surprised when Bob Scanlan noted Padres CEO Jeff Moorad took a step to remedy the situation:
Jeff Moorad made an appearance on the first day of camp and addressed the club. One of the points he stressed was for the players not to forget nor under appreciate the over 80 years of professional baseball tradition and history that exists in San Diego. The organization does not take that history lightly
It's a good message and his statements can just as easily be addressed to fans. So let's look back at one of the finer moments in team history.
Take 1998. It was a magical year for the Padres and if you didn't live through it or if you need a reminder you should watch this 48 minute season highlight reel. Just don't watch it too many times at the risk of becoming a psychopath or a douche lord.