Time To Grind

It’s August. We are in the fifth full month of baseball. We are coming up on the dog days of summer. August is the serious month of summer time fun. You are pounding pilsners. You’re crushing a kolsch. You are definitely not sipping on stouts in the summer daylight. And August has plenty of daylight. Some of you are swilling seltzer’s and I ain’t mad at you. Same goes for cider. Where my winos? Woo! Not you, mead lovers. You weirdos.

So whether you imbibe or are a teetotaler, I think it’s best to just go into this month focused and start grinding toward the playoffs. It’s a race now. Time to drive. No need to dwell on all the negativity that comes up when you reflect on July. Lessons learned. Time to win some ball games. Run with what brung ya here. I still hate Hos. But he’s our Hos and we hope he helps. In a fairly limited role from the bench but still.

The trade deadline was last month, so we are moving on from that as well. We got a good second baseman, because they are the new market inefficiency apparently, and we got a real backup center fielder and more bullpen help. That’s it. Nothing else to discuss. AJ Preller basically said in a press conference that it doesn’t matter if they add another starter as long as the other starters don’t get it in gear. So I am just echoing my GM here. Time to get it in gear. Go win a playoff spot.

It will be a bit more difficult of a task with the Padres losing their MVP for a stretch. He’s probably the NL MVP if he can play enough to stay around eligible. Fernando Tatis Junior being on the IL for ten days of August is tough luck. And I understand if it turns out he doesn’t recover well and they need to shut him down. Get him well so he’s out of pain and can go full throttle. He’s an MVP at full throttle. He’s also at great risk to crash and burn that beautiful body at full throttle. It’s going to be quite a ride with him for fourteen seasons. Strap in.

It’s not like the Padres lack depth if the potential MVP needs a couple of weeks to recuperate. Jake Cronenworth and Ha-seong Kim both look terrific at short. And Frazier looks solid at second. It’s pretty remarkable to say Manny Machado is probably the fourth best shortstop on the team. And that’s not a knock on Manny. Preller, who celebrates his seventh anniversary of being with the Padres this week, loves collecting shortstops.

But what an August it has been! Undefeated this month. We still have a hot blonde shortstop and he is hitting dingers and playing stellar defense. Our first baseman is on pace to hit 50 doubles this month alone. We call up a prospect starter and he gives us three solid innings and only surrenders one run. There is a lot to like here. Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are going to wake up any second now. Any second!

I am sure the starting rotation got the message loud and clear. “Thank you AJ may I have another?” Just you watch Blake Snell and Yu Darvish turn it on this month. I’m pretty sure Blake said “dominate” in his last response to the press when asked his second half expectation. Yu said he is a little off with his feel. Well, how’d he feel with AJ’s boot kickin’ his ass?* I’m positive he didn’t like it. Doesn’t want it again. I expect great things from Yu and Blake. Great, great things.

This bullpen is probably the best ever assembled in Padres history. Easily the deepest. There might not be the flashiest “closer” at the tail end, but this assembly can be compared favorably with any Trevor Hoffman or Heath Bell led group. These guys are ready to nail down 20 wins this month. Easy. I’m telling you, Preller has assembled a pitching staff better than even Kevin Towers could. And all he needed to do it was a meager 200 million dollar payroll.

So sit back and sip on whatever you like. Try to stay cool because it’s bound to be hot. Watch them march toward the playoffs, the race is on. Catch as many games as you can, it’s the fun part of the season. Time to grind. Time to win a playoff spot. Last year was a good start. This year they need to push farther. I know high expectations can lead to bigger disappointments, but I’m all in. I want a big winner. I want it all.

*The thought of AJ Preller wearing boots and thinking he’s gonna put one in someone’s ass just cracks me up. He’s from Long Island fer christsakes. I know he was with the Rangers in Dallas for eleven years, but I bet you he only had boots to play dress up at the rodeo. Because everyone plays dress up at the rodeo. It’s what Texans do. And even if he still has the boots, his little 165 pound butt is not kicking any six foot five dudes.

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