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Positive Thoughts. Positive Thoughts. Positive Thoughts.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

What bums me out most about this Padres season is that there were expectations. Maybe, in the end, like some used car salesman, the Padres front office will blame me for the expectations that I had, and point to various quotes and things that show that they never once suggested that this team should make it to the Playoffs this season, or, indeed, that they would even have a winning record this season, but it sure feels like these expectations didn't just magically spring up from nowhere.

I really thought that the last second James Shields acquisition felt a lot like getting Kevin Brown in 1998. Maybe it's an overabundance of white matter in the brain making these connections and a lack of whatever it is in the brain that gives one "the smarts", but I see an ace pitcher from a team that made it to the World Series the previous year and I'm like, "OMGWTF that's the same see you at the World Series." And sure, James Shields has been really good, and maybe that's not my point, but still.

This is a lot to process, people.

I really do like to think that I was patient enough to wait another year or two under Byrnes to start seeing some of the young talent show up at the big league level. I think that I was able to see that, even though we'd seen a bunch of our top pitching prospects go down with bum arms, that it was just a string of exceptionally bad luck and that the overall strategy was sound. Just wait another year.

However, I also know how frustrating it is to wait and when A.J. Preller came back selling his pizzazz and shine and curly hair with his talk of, "But wait, we can win now," I bought in. I told myself to think that he means it and that it's not another Jed Hoyer con game. I like to think that A.J. Preller isn't the next GM of the Atlanta Braves for example. But another part of me is pretty sure he is.

In any case, if this were a movie, then this might be the part where the hero falls into the hero funk and loses the hero powers and later, when the hero comes back and defeats the villain, it'll be that much sweeter. I'm just hoping to get to the good stuff sooner.