The Petco-era Padres have been largely characterized by teams void of shape or form. Sure, they had some early successes, including playoff appearances in ’05 and ’06, but the style of baseball played in San Diego over the last 15 years has been decidedly ho-hum: pitching-oriented teams that underperformed offensively and, largely, succeeded on the strength of solid-not-great veterans and stalwart bullpens. For lack of a better word, the Padres were boring for a long, long time.
But I’m not here to talk boring baseball. I’m here to point out how absolutely butt-numbingly bland our players have been in recent years. While other teams have called up incendiary top prospects full of passion and flair (think: Harper, Bryce or Correa, Carlos), we’ve mostly had a bunch of stiffs running around the East Village.
Think back—is there one player who has ever really blown your hair back, aside from the bubblegum-stuffed antics of Jake Peavy? Let’s review: Chase Headley had the personality of an unemployed coal miner; Adrian Gonzalez mostly just talked about defense and Jesus; and, though he arrived with Hollywood sizzle, I’m firmly convinced Matt Kemp ate at Lolita’s before every home game, and was basically just stifling farts out in left field.
Worse than bad, worse than boring, our guys were so often just lame.
But times have changed. With a look in the dugout during every Padres game, our eyes our met with bright personalities and flashy talents—dudes with color, dudes with panache, dudes with hutzpah.
And for proof of that, you need only check the lettuce, the moss, the cabbage on these boys-of-summer to be—do you see too many Princeton cuts or regulation fades in there? Nah, fam. What you’ll find on our 2019 team is a crew hanging absolutely big-league shingle.
Here are some of the best:
Big, brash, and swinger of a big stick, Reyes is everything that I wish I was—now that I’ve written that, I realize it sounds like I’m compensating. Um. I digress?
Point being: the man they call “La Mole” (pictured above) also has perhaps the most under-appreciated head of hair on the squad. Well-maintained, sleek, and fashionable, Reyes’ baby dreads would look right at home on any red carpet—they are so fashionable, in fact, that you may not have noticed that the above photo is actually of Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar.
But then look at these bad boys! Serious missed potential with these offseason locks taken from Reyes’ Instagram. Can you imagine how absolutely obliterated a pitcher’s mental would be after giving up a 500-foot homer to a 6’5 man with George Clinton rainbow dreads? I’m sorry, there would be no coming back from that.
Suited, booted and ready to debut... pic.twitter.com/WYT9DfQWKP— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 31, 2019
There really are no words. Like, is this guy real? Did we dream him? Do we even deserve him?
Probably not. “The Sheriff” is indeed noted for his sartorial sense—cowboy hat, suit, and shades in a Richard Petty mold—but his mullet would stand out anywhere. Like Billy Ray Cyrus with a sweet changeup, our newfound ace makes hitters look silly while himself looking like a guy named Rick who is in his seventh year of high school, drives a Camaro he restored himself, and smokes grass out in the parking lot behind the gym (Rick definitely calls it ‘grass’).
Real dark horse contender here.
Hit tool: 40
Game Power: 50
Raw Power: 60
(The above “Tools Ratings” were taken from FanGraphs, which makes them inexorably true and above all argument.)
Though he apparently makes a better baseball player than gymnast (too soon?), “El Nino” is nearly without equal in terms of raw talent. His legs turn singles into doubles, his bat turns fastballs into BBQ chicken, and his scalp turns hair into a higher art form. Often seen pairing his bleach-blonde dreads with flashy, polarized shades, FTJ makes tends to look good while playing, erm, good. Grammar aside, you get the point.
Wil’s decision to go pseudo boy-band with his 2019 look is a bit befuddling. Did someone tell him this is good? Is it so-bad-it’s-good? Did Wil buy a timeshare in Pacific Beach this offseason? I’m really not sure.
One thing is for sure: Mark Grant loves this. I half-hope for Myers home runs just so I can hear Grant and Orsillo titter about his bangs, which are toned blond in an interesting kind of salon balayage technique (perhaps this was his wife’s idea?). It’s a bit too close to the 90210 reject look that cringeworthy ex-Padre Brian Giles used to sport, but it’s good to see Myers is, in his own special way, fitting in with the guys.
So, who wears it best? It’s time to vote!
Which Padres player crops the sweetest lettuce?
This poll is closed
Fernando Tatis Jr.