A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Opening Day Blues

Alright, so Opening Day was a while ago - heck, Opening WEEK was a while ago, but I recently picked up this year's edition of the Padres Opening Day blue foil parallels.

I'm usually not a big "parallel" guy, especially when talking about team sets, but there's just something about the blue parallels that I really like.  Opening Day has been doing the blue foil since 2013, and while I didn't love it as much in '14 and '15, I really like the look this year.

Aside from showing off a team set, I guess I can go into brief detail about how horrible the Padres (4-9) have been this season.  After being shut out in their opening series vs. the Dodgers 25-0 over three games (they didn't score until their 30th inning of the season, which is an MLB record of futility to start a season), they've lost series to the Phillies and Diamondbacks, hardly a promising start to the season.  Tyson Ross, the Opening Day starter, is on the DL, Derek Norris is off to a freezing cold start (.150/.209/.200), and Wil Myers leads the team in strikeouts with 19 (though with a much more respectable .288/.321/.481 line).  Those are two guys the Padres need offense from, though I'm more of an Austin Hedges fan, the Padres catcher of the future, who's a defensive stud and hitting .400 at AAA.

James Shields has already given up four homers in 20 innings pitched, picking up right where he left off from last year.  I want to really like the guy, but as the biggest free agent signing in Padres history (well, money-wise), he's been a pretty big disappointment.

If there are bright spots on the team (besides the surprising resurgence of Melvin Upton), it's probably Colin Rea and Matt Kemp.  After a rocky start in Colorado, Rea settled down and had a solid performance in Philadelphia, going 7 innings and allowing a run on 5 hits with 5 K's.  The Padres have basically zero starting pitching depth, so Rea's performance this year will be magnified.  Matt Kemp destroyed Rockie pitching for a few games and currently leads the club in homers, RBI, and slugging percentage.  His defense in right is still atrocious, and there's talk of the Padres shopping him around, but I really don't see who would take on the aging slugger at the price point he's at right now.  I only have two Padres shirt-jerseys ("shirseys"), and one of them is a Matt Kemp one, so it's safe to say that I don't hate the idea of keeping Matt on the team.  It's easier to think that when he's hitting well.

There's always a card or two that surprises me when I see it on the checklist.  Adding Odrisamer Despaigne to this Opening Day checklist is one of them.  He was traded to the Orioles in the offseason, and really is far less noteworthy than basically any other player on the Padres roster, which is really saying something.  Still not as bad as Ian Kennedy or Justin Upton Padre cards (in the Gypsy Queen and flagship sets, respectively), who were free agents at the end of last year that the Padres obviously weren't going to sign, but still a weird choice.

Alright, didn't mean to drone on and on about the Padres horrible season, but I feel like it's been cathartic in a way.  At the very least, Opening Day gives me some great looking cards to add to my collection, even if the rest of the "Opening Day" experience was far from positive from a Padres fan perspective.

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