When we write our baseball previews, we obviously don't take them very seriously. We write about robots, and do them in the form of letters home to mother. I mean, the Mets to win the NL East? Guffaw!
But when I did the NL West, little did I know that I would accurately - and by that, I mean PERFECTLY - predict both the record and place finish of my Padres. Did I really think they'd win 75 games? No. They were supposed to be terrible. And they were, offensively. I would've been happy had they avoided 100 losses like 2008.
Yet they had decent starting pitching, a good bullpen, a fantastic year from Heath Bell, and some timely hits here and there. They were one of the best teams for the last 3 or so months of the year. Kyle Blanks and Will Venable emerged as possible slugging stars to bookend Adrian Gonzalez, the most unheralded star in the game. Everth Cabrera and Tony Gwynn Jr. proved that speed up the middle is a good thing, especially in a park slightly smaller than Yellowstone.
So thank you, Padres, for a completely-not-terrible year. Yes, I was proud of 75 wins. Damn proud.
(But not too proud of picking the Rockies to finish dead last. You've made a powerful enemy today, Jim Tracy!)