Garrett Harris 4 p.m., Jan. 16
The middle girl is always the problem child. I love mine very much, but holy hell. She found out I'm writing about the Padres this evening. "Dad, they suck!"
They don't suck, darling. They're under-appreciated. Underachieving. Underrated. 71 1/2 is the over/under. 81 is break-even. I'm not telling you how to bet. But I wouldn't bet the under.
The Padres dropped their 3rd straight yesterday, losing to the Royals 7-4. The Stauf gave up a run, Erlin gave up a few, and the boys had some errors. It doesn't matter. You want them to get this all out of their system now, not in April.
Want some good upside? The Padres outhit the Royals, 15-10. This squad can swing it. Blanks brought some good wood, so did Darnell and Cabrera. Gyorko looked great out there. The future looks much more bright than does the record.
You know what you read into spring training? Nothing. The records don't mean a thing. I can't say how the Royals will do this season, but they're perfect so far. They would trade that in a second to be perfect this time next month.
So, my middle daughter and her husband sleep in my living room as I type. The Padres are sleepers, too. We'll see how we stand in May. I can't predict these Padres as pennant winners. But they're not going to suck. I'd wager that right now.
Pitching took a couple of hits. Harang is gone, so is Bell and Adams. But hey, at some point you're going to get Erlin and Wieland. And no way is Volquez a negative here. The Stauf will be fine, Richard looks to be on track, and Moseley will be along in time. Pitching will be there.
Hitting is way improved over last season. You have some bats you can righteously plug into a lineup now. Maybin leading off, Quentin hitting clean-up, and a lot of hitters you can slot however you want. Hundley batting 5th? Headley 2nd? No idea what Buddy plans on doing, but wow does he have some options he didn't have last year.
Point is, it doesn't matter how many games that any team loses in March. The Yankees went 13-15 last spring. Cardinals won the World Series, 14-16 in practice. It doesn't matter. It's practice.
I'll let you sleep, baby. I'll wake you up in May.
Forsythe is out for a while, the Padres have yet to time his return. Should be longer than some anticipate. Foot injuries are difficult. Headley, Denorfia, Bartlett, and Baker are going to be day-to day. Baker did work on Tuesday. He's more probable than the rest.
Today, there will be perhaps 150 foreign reporters covering Darvish. Yu is a media sensation before the 1st pitch. The Rangers will unveil him at noon today. I'm glad I'm not there. I hate big parties.