In two days Padres pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. Coming off a 99 loss season expectations are not terribly high for the Friars, so they could sneak up on some people.
"I expect to win every year," said General Manager Kevin Towers on Thursday.
On paper the Padres roster is not intimidating. But in the milquetoast National League West, mediocrity might be enough to win. Even if they do sign Manny Ramirez the Dodgers won't be as good as they were last season. The Giants are still rebuilding, the Rockies traded away their best offensive player (Matt Hilliday) without a true replacement, and the Diamondbacks suffered a few free agent defections.
Dare I say, the Padres actually have a chance to win in 2009? No. I'm not that crazy. But, last year they were not nearly as good as thought they'd be. This year, they won't be as bad as we fear they'll be. I hope.