I was reading Friarhood's "A Taste of Optimism" this morning. I thought it'd be a nice respite from the usual bitterness of every other Padres opinion. It's become too much for my delicate taste buds. Steve points us to yesterday's SI prediction honey hole:
Joe Sheehan has the Padres as his surprise pick saying:
Your NL West champs, the San Diego Padres. Even accounting for the Chase Headley injury, they have a young offensive core and year-in, year-out, manager Bud Black assembles great bullpens from air.
How sweet it would be, but if it turns out that Sheehan correctly picks the Pads as Division Champions then the dude's a witch. We'll be so happy but left with no choice but to burn him at the stake. That's just how it works.
SI's Albert Chen jumped on the Padres bandwagon too. He has Gyorko for NL Rookie of the Year. A much more plausible outcome, but an SI jinx all the same. If he's right, he'll face the dunk tank to see if he floats.
Jedd Gyorko, Padres. Arizona's Adam Eaton was my pick until his injury, so I'll take Gyorko. He raked as a third baseman in the minors -- he hit 30 home runs and slugged .547 at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last year -- and after making the transition to second this spring, should get plenty of at bats in the Padres order. Even in Petco Park, 25 home runs is a possibility.