For years, the San Diego Padres have been one of baseball's more boring teams.
No, paranoid San Diegans, I don't have East Coast Bias. I watch tons of West Coast baseball. Think about it, if I'm going between every game on a nightly basis -- which is what I do every night -- it's easier to toggle between four games than eight, nine or 10 (which is tough during the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. ET hour). So I think eventually I see more of the West Coast teams.
Just think about the boring thing logically. The Padres have been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball the past few years. When I walked around Petco Park (which is beautiful, not unlike the rest of the city) last year, there were signs of Andrew Cashner, Will Venable and Cameron Maybin. That trio doesn't exactly bring masses rushing to the gate.
Enter new GM A.J. Preller and his offseason of fantasy baseball-like maneuvering. Former MVP candidates Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. Former rookie of the year Wil Myers. Former ace of a World Series team James Shields. Best closer in baseball Craig Kimbrel.
Has anyone gone from 30 to 1 in ranking how fun the teams are to watch in one offseason? These Padres are relentless on offense. Even Will Middlebrooks and Yangervis Solarte are coming up huge. Derek Norris is crushing the ball. Yonder Alonso is better than he had previously been. They come back late and slug throughout. The pitching staff is very talented and the back-end of the bullpen is great.
They're not only fun, they're a damn good team may see in the postseason for the first time since 2006.
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As for the rankings, there's an amoeba of teams within a game or two of each other in the middle and this changes on a daily basis, as it does every April. Keep in mind how much shuffling we'll have for a bit.