Did you know that Casey Kelly is what's immediately left of the Adrian Gonzalez trade? It's true. Rizzo is gone. Andrew Cashner is stashed. The others are secondary. Casey Kelly is the big deal.
But you know what's weird? Padres Fan everywhere is barely thinking of Casey Kelly, because he/she is still seething a little bit that Adrian Gonzalez is a Dodger now (and by "Padres Fan everywhere" I mean, "me at GLB HQ").
I think this really speaks to the heart of my soul (...of my being...) as a Padres Fan. I totally embrace the unappreciated and I love potential and I want to win, but a big part of what defines my fandom is carrying the chip on the shoulder.
Chips like, "The Dodgers can afford to buy Adrian Gonzalez and expect fans of other teams to root for him".
Every time I meet a Dodger or a Giants fan, you know what I see? Smugness. It varies of course, and it's not always done maliciously, but if they're a real fan, in their heart of hearts, they think they're better than me because they root for the Giants/Dodgers and I root for the Padres. They believe that the old stories about World Series victories and their roots in Brooklyn and New York make their team somehow better and in turn, the Padres are worse. Not even just record wise, but worse overall.
Of course, obviously, in my heart of hearts, I think I'm better than them because I'm not giving in to rooting for the front runner and I've stayed loyal to the team of the city I live in and where I was born and raised (which is obviously a little silly in own right, but regardless...).
But I think when it gets down to it, I truly believe that the San Diego Padres are truly part of the American spirit, like the Statue of Liberty. Read The New Colossus and tell you that it doesn't remind you of the Padres. "Ancient lands" and the "storied pomp". That's Los Angeles and San Francisco, always hanging onto their little bit of New York and how old they are and how they're better than what's new.
The American spirit?
Built on setting out and trying new things, not unlike fielding a team of rookies and minor leaguers.
Built on taking in those who have been rejected, not unlike acquiring veterans waaaay past their primes.
Built on everything that the team we root for is built on!
The San Diego Padres are the true California Team. Those other teams? They came from ancient lands with storied pomp just like The New Colossus says (Let's all just ignore the Angels for the purposes of this exercise). They lean on "conquering limbs", engulfing everything they see except for what they leave behind. We'll take what you leave behind and we will make it better and eventually we'll rise above and then it'll be sweeeeeeeet.
So go. Outspend the Padres. Go after these golden idols and look down on us. I want Adrian Gonzalez to see some success, because it will make Padres victories that much sweeter.
As a Padres Fan, I'm just as excited about Adrian Gonzalez as I am about Casey Kelly. Because while Casey Kelly, and the rest of this Padres team, define the potential to topple the great villain, Adrian Gonzalez and Magic Johnson and the Dodgers have to be there to play the part.
Go Padres! Go America!