The Optimism of Opening Day

Apr 23, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of Petco Park exterior. The venue is home of the San Diego Padres and will play host to the 2016 MLB All-Star game. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Credit: Jake Rot/ USA Today Sports

Near and far, fans will make their way to Petco Park in the beautiful Gaslamp Quarter.

Fans will head out to Park in the Park to watch the future Padres take some hacks. They’ll walk over to the outfield seats in hopes of snagging a flyball during batting practice. They will stroll to their nearest concession stand to grab a hot dog, soda, and Cracker Jack. And finally, they’ll make their way to their seats. As they sit down, the fans will bask in the glory of how perfectly groomed the baseball diamond is. The feeling of the ocean breeze on their face as the smell of freshly mowed grass passes by is intoxicating. Fans will stand for the National Anthem and recognize the privilege that comes with witnessing such a beautiful moment.

Opening Day is finally upon us, once again, here in San Diego.

As they gather themselves after experiencing the spectacle that is Opening Day, Clayton Richard will be firing the first pitch of 2018.

The best part about Opening Day is the level playing field. Every team in the league has zero wins and zero losses. Most winning franchises probably don’t even think about this. They expect to be at the top of the division every single year. Padre fans have to seek out optimism every chance they get.

However, as the dawn of a new season begins, Padre fans can’t help but feel the difference from, say, three years ago. For those hard of memory, the Padres sold off their farm system in hopes that a group of veterans with virtually no chemistry could put a winning product on the field. Needless to say, it blew up in our face.

A.J. Preller has flipped the script completely and has gathered an abundance of youth, a majority of which have won together down in El Paso. Friar fans received a taste of what these youngsters are capable of in spring training, and now we yearn to see their potential on display in games that matter.

2017 was not a superb year for San Diego sports fans. We lost our beloved professional football team to greed and corruption. Some watched, most didn’t, and the rest of the NFL laughed. Something completely out of our control made San Diego the laughing-stock of sports. As negative as this sounds, its true.

The Padres, however, have the opportunity to change the tides. They can, and will, win the hearts of San Diegans over the next few years.

So as you make your way to the ballpark in 2018, interact with these young players. Go down to the baselines and get their autographs. Take selfies with them. Heck, share your nachos with them. These are the future stars of San Diego and we need to cherish them as they begin their journey to bring a World Series to our beautiful city.

With that being said, happy Opening Day to all of the wonderful Padres fans out there, and here’s to the future!

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