Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused

I have been fortunate to bear witness to most of the Padres success in their 50 years of existence as a Major League franchise.

I have been a Padres fan since I was in the 3rd grade. One my first memories as a Padres fan was my family camping on a trip to Magic Mountain when Steve Garvey hit The Home Run in Game 4 of the 1984 NLCS and we rushed home to watch Game 5. I had season tickets in 1998 and got to see my first World Series game in person that same year. I went to the first playoff game in Petco Park history, in which David Wells started.

But, having said all of that, I find myself in a strange place this spring. For, while I’ve seen the Padres succeed, I don’t remember experiencing the sheer optimism that signing Manny Machado has brought to the Padres fan base. And I’m not sure how to process it properly.

While I have seen the highs firsthand, the lows are too plentiful to escape my mindset, and I find it hard to get truly excited. It’s been more than a week since Machado’s press conference. And as I type this he’s about to make his Cactus League debut. What if he doesn’t live up to the hype? What if he gets injured? What if all the bad things said about his attitude turn out to be accurate? What if the Padres do what the Padres always do? These questions keep popping up in my mind.

I know I should just be glad the Padres are finally showing the commitment to fielding a winning team that has been promised to us so many times and for so long. Maybe that’s the issue. I’ve been hoping and waiting for this feeling for so long that my brain can’t fully process it. Maybe it will fully process after Machado’s first Cactus League at-bat. Maybe it will take after his first Opening Day at-bat. Maybe it will take until his first home run.

I just hope it will eventually come out the other side as a fully-formed feeling of optimism and not just linger like some sort of deep-rooted virus in my cortex, waiting for the first bad thing to happen to come flooding out.

Until that time maybe I should just enjoy it.

Alright, alright, alright.

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Scott Dunsmore has been a Padres fan since the 3rd grade. The Ghost of Ray Kroc possessed his body in 2011 and was finally exorcised by Elon Musk in 2022.

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