Like the Pirates? Good, raise the jolly roger because your team is 6 1/2 games back.
Big Phillies honk? Here’s a Pat’s cheese steak to complement your 8 1/2-game deficit.
Indians? That bunch was one sexy playoff pick when the season was fresh. Good thing the Cavaliers have seized your thoughts from being eight games in the rears.
Rockies? Enough said.
A’s? Enough sad to go around being eight wins from first place.
Then there’s the Brew Crew and that’s a code phrase for everyone to reach for some suds. Maybe beer made Milwaukee famous but the Brewers are flat, flat, flat.
Which brings us to the Padres and you sure life isn’t grand?
We know the water-cooler chatter regarding the home nine which is 18-17: fire manager Bud Black, trade for broken-down shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, tell the imposter posing as pitching guru Darren Balsley to come clean, ship Jedd Gyorko to the minors and ask the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger later this month how he stays off the disabled list, despite five decades of decadence in leading the world’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll band.
Start me up? You just did.
Tear up the Padres? You must be kidding.
As the Padres kick off a seven-game homestead on Thursday against the Washington Nationals, it seems everyone is kicking San Diego while its down. Like being over .500 is a sin for an organization which hasn’t had a winning season in four straight years.
We get it — the Padres were to go 162-0 as Petco Park’s other resident rock star, general manager A.J. Preller, traded his way to a world championship.
But are you really surprised the Dodgers, with a payroll bigger than most third-world countries, are atop the NL West?
You didn’t really think the Giants, with three world titles in five years, were going to fade away like San Francisco’s favorite band, the Grateful Dead?
Now if the Padres were trailing the Diamondbacks and Rockies, you may approach the bench.
But you’re out of order if out of sorts because the Padres aren’t out of sight, in a far-out, groovy way.
This was to be the Padres’ Summer of Love and it still can be. First, the calendar has to flip again.
When May becomes June and June morphs into months of sun and statistics, it says here the Padres will be right there. In a good way.
We get that May Gray has become part of the Padres’ color scheme and please hold the cries for back-to-brown. Feeling blue for any reason this time of the year — unless you follow the disappointing teams listed above — erases what makes baseball so beautiful.
Although it’s tempting to go haywire on a daily basis. It is a long season, but each game brings with it an opportunity to over react.
If a batter strikes out, bench him.
If a pitchers gets hit, yank him.
If the bullpen falters, good luck because Angels skipper Mike Scioscia said it best. “As a manager, your IQ is tied to your bullpen,” he said.
So with the Padres’ middle-inning men struggling, Black has predictably become a raving idiot. Tough to argue with that logic, but we will: Don’t fret in May as the bulk of the season clogs the horizon.
If in August, this bunch is still allowing the major-league’s most home runs, is still hit-or-whiff with its run production and is seeking a bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel, then your hair can mimic President Obama’s and go white.
But if panicking now, what will be left later when the rubber really hits the late-season road?
Before blowing a gasket, let this year marinate prior to throwing out the dish.
If wanting to worry, cross your fingers for Wil Myers’ wrist, Yonder Alonso’s shoulder and Josh Johnson’s triceps. While the Padres have a splashy starting crew, their depth could be an issue if the injury bug arrives.
But Black isn’t going anywhere and shouldn’t.
The Padres are going places, but are their fans like that sugar-crashing, whinny kid in the back seat howling, “Are we there yet?”
Forming a winning team takes time and that’s something Padres have over the next four-and-half months. Maybe their run starts this week or the week after.
What’s weak is predicting it won’t happen, despite a roster resurrection which is still taking hold.
Please don’t promise you’ll hold your breath until the Padres win five straight. Like this recently uncorked season, you need to breathe.
Inhale, exhale and keep the faith.
Just remember it trumps rooting for the Pirates, Phillies, Rockies, A’s or Brewers.