It's a crazy time in baseball world, with the trade deadline now just a few hours away. Over the past few days (and weeks), Padres fans and media have been watching the team very closely, trying to figure out which, if any, moves AJ Preller and co. will be making before the deadline.
And the Padres are well aware of how closely they're being scrutinized and analyzed. So, the past couple of days they've decided to have some fun with us all.
First, during his postgame interview on Wednesday, San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy practically admitted to trolling the media with some well-timed in-game management. He pulled both Matt Kemp and Justin Upton from the game in the 8th inning, and social media was buzzing, #HUGWATCH in full effect. Any other time of the year we probably would've seen the move for what it was - a manager giving two players a little rest with the team up by five runs late in the game. But of course our minds went to a trade instead. And Murphy knew it would happen.
#Padres int manager Pat Murphy said he pulled Upton and Kemp late to get them off their feet "and give you guys something to think about."— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) July 30, 2015
VERY FUNNY, PAT.
But it's not just the manager who's messing with us. It's the players too. Namely Justin Upton, who has been arguably the most talked-about player on the team lately. I've lost count of how many J-Up #HUGWATCH alerts we've had over the past couple of weeks, only to learn that he was pulled from a game for an injury or for precautionary reasons.
So when he pulled this little stunt in New York during the Padres' finale against the Mets, on a day that had earlier been anticipated as "AJ Preller Day," fans and media were almost fooled.
.@JUST_JUP knows about #HugWatch and is messing with all of us: http://t.co/K0qoLl2ZHI pic.twitter.com/bwKBVBUBMT— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 31, 2015
Don't worry, though. The trade deadline is less than four hours away, and by the time the Padres get on the field for their next game the deadline will have passed. It doesn't mean the trading stops, but it does mean the Padres will probably stop giving us all these mini heart attacks.