Padres Special: Here Comes Santa Claus

Credit: Mighty 1090

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Santa, I pray for the health of all people, even the nasty ones. Works out in the karma department. I particularly pray for the health of Wil Myers. Every time he swings the bat and then fidgets with his hands and rolls his wrists and inspects his fingers, I have a mini-stroke. Those wrists are more precious than all the beaches in San Diego put together. (I admit it, I don’t get to the beach as much as I used to.) I think it’s too early to give an extension to Wil. One more year of a proven HEALTHY track record is needed, in my opinion. If it costs more next year, so be it. That’s what local television contracts are for, to shell out the big bucks to the face of the franchise at the right moment. Just keep him healthy, Santa, and if he can be a little more consistent he might not only go 30-30, but 35-35. I know you’d enjoy that too during your “summer break”.

What a young outfield you’ve bequeathed on us, Santa. We have hot prospects, top prospects, prospects that can hit, prospects that can run, prospects that can hit and run, that can hit for power, that can defend, that look like Hercules, that look like they grew up surfing in Ocean Beach. We have everything. But Santa, it’s so fragile. It could all go wrong. Please don’t let it go wrong, Santa. Jankowski might be traded for pitching. The golden boy with the golden feet and the Gold Glove defense could be gone just like that. Poof. Dickerson may prove too clumsy for the outfield. We may have to trade him as well to an American League team in need of a designated hitter for half his true value. If Renfroe can control the strike zone he could turn out to be the next Tim Salmon, or better. That’s a big “if”. The eggheads at Fangraphs predict he will turn out to be the next Jose Arcia. (Exactly. Who?) Only Manuel Margot seems like a sure thing and he doesn’t hit for power, and it is unclear what kind of average he’ll bring with him from the video game baseball of the Pacific Coast League. Our young outfielders are the basis of our transition from joke to seriousness, from tragedy to triumph. Please let it go right. Padre fans deserve things to go right for them too. Sure, some of us have been naughty. But the majority of us have been nice.

Santa, I know my wish list is running a bit long, but remember, I’m speaking for the entire Taco Train, which carries many long-suffering passengers, many of whom have suffered since they were children. Many of them are children. I’m not even asking to stay in the playoff race into August!! Sure, if I could talk to Ms. Claus I know she might grant me this wish, but I don’t want to burden her this time around. One day I will be begging the both of you for the ultimate prize and I know one day you shall grant me this. But not now. Now I’m focused on some of the details.

Credit: Milb.com
Credit: Milb.com

Like bring back Carter Capps 100% healthy from his Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he’s one of the best relievers in all of baseball. We could use him. Maybe we can re-sign Tyson Ross and he will fully mend. Or close to fully mend. Even a 90% Tyson Ross would be better than most of the starting pitchers we have at our disposal. We’d take it, Santa! We’re the Taco Train! There’s plenty of scraps we could use which our management and staff could turn into gold. It’s what we do!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. What we really need, in addition to three starting pitchers and all the rest, is a shortstop. He doesn’t have to be the second coming of Derek Jeter. Or Ozzie Smith. Or Corey Seager. It just can’t be another Jason Bartlett. Or Alexi Amarista. Or Alexi Ramirez. Someone with decent range who can make all the routine plays while at times making a few outstanding ones. He doesn’t have to hit for power, he just needs to handle the bat enough not to be overmatched every time a defining at bat comes up in a game. He just needs to be okay.

What I’m saying, Santa, is we need a major league shortstop.

I know this is like a young boy asking for a new sister the day before Christmas. You must be like, how am I going to do that? And how am I going to get this new shortstop down the chimney without stripping the team of some of its key prospects? I leave that in your hands. You’re the expert. All I know is in addition to all the other things for which the Taco Train is desperate, we’re ultra-desperate for a shortstop. Shortstop, full stop.

Thank you in advance, Santa. The nation is troubled. The people are troubled. Our spirits are troubled. It’s been a bruising year but life is grand, life is good, and life goes on even as it feeds upon itself. The Taco Train shall not be derailed. I’d tweet you all this but the Taco Train needs more than 140 characters of help or whining, it needs 140 characters to man and woman the locomotive, the caboose, and every car in between. It needs 140 characters to roll down the tracks to our ultimate destiny. It needs 140 characters to dig in their heels and scale the heights, to spin the wheels and hale the lights. It needs 140 characters to reveal this holiday season’s character, to characterize the joy and goodwill of the Taco Train. We can’t do it without you, Santa. We need you in this season of yuletide giving. Of uncertain misgivings. Of political window dressings. Of ancient, ancient blessings. We need you in this season of loving and compassion, Santa, we need you in this season of seasons. Thank you for listening to my call, Santa. Next time I may ask for it all.

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Scott Olesen
I was at the Kirby/Gomez "no hitter" Curse game. I was at the Holy Roller game. Though I love the man and what he did for the Padres, I cried when they retired Steve Garvey's number. By my estimation I witnessed in person, watched on tv or listened on the radio to over 3,000 of Tony's 3,141 hits. Jerry Coleman's initials aren't J.C. for no reason.

4 thoughts on “Padres Special: Here Comes Santa Claus

  1. You make a good point. Schimpf had a phenomenal rookie season with an .OPS in the upper .800s. Can’t argue with that. The point I poorly tried to make was it seemed like the league figured him out as the season went on. In September he struck out 16% more than either of the previous two months, his .OBP was down to .286 and his OPS was a poor .670. Small sample size and not necessarily indicative of anything, but Ryan will have to make adjustments and put his bat on the ball a little more consistently than he did in that last month if he’s going to prove himself the real deal. Like I say, one month doesn’t mean anything one way or the other, but the league has a book on him now and he’s going to have to read it himself and make the adjustments.

  2. Finding fault with Schimpfs strikeout rate? Isn’t that a little like when your kid comes home with his report card, all A’s but one B, and you get mad about the B. Sheeeesh!

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