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What do you do when baseball isn't bringing you any joy?

If the Padres are making you unhappy, it's okay to step back and catch your breath.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

I have a confession to make. I haven't watched a lot of Padres baseball lately. The last game I saw from the first pitch to the last was June 16th against the A's, and that's because I was there. Tyson Ross's complete game never even made my radar. In fact, I caught more of Max Scherzer's no-hitter then last weekend's entire series against the Diamondbacks. In some ways, it's a defense mechanism. Watching my team lose is depressing. And this year it feels worse, because this year I had hope.

It's not that I expected the world this season, or that I haven't been irrationally optimistic in seasons past. But A.J. Preller's ridiculous offseason lit a fire under me. I had visions of back-to-back blasts from Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. In March, I dreamed of beating the Dodgers and making Giants fans cry. I was nearly rabid with excitement for Opening Day, like a little kid on Christmas morning just dying to see what he'd gotten.

And what I got has fallen far short of expectations. The things I thought were safe bets are falling apart. Ian Kennedy and Andrew Cashner aren't just having bad years. They're having the worst years of their careers. Matt Kemp is lost at the plate. Wil Myers is back on the disabled list. Jedd Gyorko got a one-way ticket to El Paso. And Bud Black has taken the blame for it, which, I guess someone has to, but it just seems like one more thing about this season that doesn't make sense.

And it's not enough that the team is bad. You jump on Twitter and there's more anger and disgust from Friar fans than there was when the team trotted out fifteen different starting pitchers in 2012. Despair and pessimism can be contagious, and holding true to our old mantra of "Keep the Faith" can be a Sisyphean challenge in times like these.

I'm still checking in, and I'm still pulling for this team to put together a big winning streak and turn the season around. But it's a long, long season, and sometimes you've got to sit on the bench for a couple of games to avoid burning out. And, in the middle of the long, dark night of your baseball-loving soul, remember the wise words of Crash Davis.