In today’s Cup O’ Coffee, we’ll take a piping hot sip of ESPN ranking the Padres 2nd overall in their “Misery Index”.
Just released in the wee hours of the morning (and far before my actual cup o’ coffee) was ESPN’s update to their reactionary/inflammatory Misery Index. The system is meant to quantify exactly how sad or downtrodden a fanbase may be by using a 5 point system to rank misery (championships, playoff berths and wins, heartbreaks, and rival comparison).
In something of a surprise the Padres did not rank 1st overall, as most east-coast biased publications are won’t to do. The Sacramento Kings took the top overall spot (remaining there since the last update) due to lack of playoff appearances and their California rivals Golden State and Los Angeles seizing a majority of the attention and hardware in the basketball world.
The Padres remain 2nd and are considered the most miserable MLB fanbase overall. The snippet within the ranking lays out the usual comments. One World Series game win in 2 WS appearances. No playoff series wins since ’98. LA and SF winning (despite LA pulling a #3-misery ranked Buffalo in the Series). Mentioned at the end is Manny Machado and top prospects ready to emerge.
I don’t feel miserable. Do you?
These Padres are fun to watch. The team is currently in 2nd place behind LA in the early goings and have been playing some pretty competitive ball as of late. A 5-0 deficit last night disappeared into the misty ether behind a Franmil Reyes dong smoked deep into left field. The Padres are playing with a renewed sense of vigor, the same energy that runs through Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado when it comes time for a celebratory handshake.
Granted the team has played a sorry/aging Giants crew and a middling Cards cast, dropping two to another “building” D-Backs squad whose broadcast team is drawing the intense ire of Padres Twitter…but these are clubs good teams are supposed to beat. A season or two ago you’d consider .500 ball after 11 games an optimistic start. These Padres are 7-4.
Yes, there are questions abound. The team hasn’t faced a true test yet and probably won’t until the Mariners come to town for the renewal of the Vedder Cup rivalry unless you count taking revenge on Arizona.
The starting pitching boasts a collective 3.02 ERA, good for 2nd overall in the NL and 7th in all of MLB. Despite the good numbers this starting crew is not going deep into games at all; Padres relievers have thrown 44.1 innings so far, 2nd most in the NL behind LA and 4th most in the MLB. Wear and tear on bullpen arms may begin to show later on in the season when leads built by the offense need to be held. There’s going to be adjustment periods for the younger of the arms. Chris Paddack had his first 4 BB game in his professional career. Nick Margevicius has played way up to the task and has pitched with efficiency. The young lefty may find a game where he gets shelled. Fans have renewed calls for Dallas Keuchel.
Despite that, I don’t feel miserable. Do you? I feel hopeful for this franchise. The plan is beginning to bear fruit, and other teams will begin to take notice. The misery will come to an end sooner rather than later.