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Padres/Giants series preview

Thad Weber is an excellent Padre name.
Thad Weber is an excellent Padre name.

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. The rest of your life is filled with Padres games. You've made some bad choices in your life.

The Padres have always seemed like the younger sibling with a chip on their shoulder. Everyone else gets more attention, and it bugs them. They want the Dodgers to hate them as much as they hate the Dodgers, but that rivalry is taken. They want the Giants to hate them as much as they hate the Giants, but that rivalry is taken. So the Padres drift off, alone in the cosmos, looking for someone to hate them back. Like the A's, but without the whole territorial-rights thing.

Except now they're getting weird. They're the kid in the back of the class who doesn't say a word, and maybe they'll snap when they're 45 with three kids, or maybe they'll bring a butterfly knife to school tomorrow. And they will snap. The evidence suggests its happening already.

The first crack in the facade came with the crack in Zack Greinke's collarbone. Large human Carlos Quentin took issue with a hit-by-pitch, and played bumper cars with Greinke, breaking the expensive right-hander and making Dodger fans mad. Mad? Seething. Irate. And the Padres' fan base got super-defensive and counter-angry. That's probably a natural response when angry people are pointing fingers at the players on your team. But it was still impressive.

Then Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel tried to smooth things over by saying, quote:

Greinke was like Rain Man, and that, you know, the guy has social anxiety disorder, which is basically like autism or whatever, so, pffft, it wasn't Quentin's fault.

/makes hands-up, shruggy, whatdoyouwantmetodo gesture

Which was really strange for a front-office type. Remember how Sabean made those unfortunate comments toward Scott Cousins? This was much, much stranger.

Not saying we should be worried about them just yet. But they're getting weird. Just keep an eye on them. If the Swinging Friar starts walking around with a fake severed head ... make sure it's a fake severed head.

As for the baseball stuff, I have no idea how to read the Padres. If all their pitchers were healthy, they would be a sleeper pick in the division. As is, I can't go that far. They have Jason Marquis in the rotation, which is very Padres. They also have Edinson Volquez, who was a lot more amusing before you realize that's who Tim Lincecum turned into. And they also have Clayton Richard and Eric Stults, who are the same person, and that guy is probably going to get tired after throwing 360 innings this year. They also have Jesus Guzman hitting cleanup, which would be hilarious if Guzman didn't regularly kill the Giants.

An aside: Guzman would be a pretty good fit on the Giants' roster, right? A lefty-masher who could spot in left and at first? I know there are some problems with that.

Right, right. He's not a perfect player. Just saying. When it comes to the free players the Giants have given away over the past couple years-- Matt Downs, Kevin Frandsen, et cetera -- Guzman fits the Giants' needs pretty well right now.

Or course, it doesn't matter how well the Padres are supposed to play. What matters is that they're always annoying. They just swept the Dodgers, you know. That's because they're as annoying to the Dodgers as they are to us.

And maybe that's the thing they should take solace in. They might not have that same kind of reciprocal hatred the Giants and Dodgers have, but they get to annoy the holy crap out of two teams. Dodgers fans and Giants fans all go, "Aw, jeez, not the Padres again" because Padres games mean low scoring, annoying games. Games that the Padres often win by error, sac fly, or subpoena.

That has to be worth something to the Padres and their fans. Cheer up, Padres. Being eternally annoyed with a team is almost like hatred. It's almost like hatred. Maybe it will grow into something more.

Hitter to watch
Signs that Chase Headley is going to go off this series:

1. He is on my fantasy team

2. I did not put him in my weekly fantasy lineup because I didn't know he was going to be activated

Signs that Chase Headley is going to be terrible this year:

1. He is on my fantasy team

So this is like losing the battle but winning the war. If the goal is to make Headley bad, I've done my part for the year. But anything he does for the next three days is my fault. I have Daniel Descalso starting in his place. This is going to be ugly.

I know this violates my don't-talk-about-your-fantasy-team edict, but it's interesting when I do it.

Pitcher to watch
Edinson Volquez is 0-3 with a 11.68 ERA. He has allowed 28 runners in 12 innings. You are a cynic at heart, even after watching everything go right in two of the past three years. You know what those struggles mean when it comes to facing the Giants at AT&T Park. My guess: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 1 ER, 7 K.

At least one of the series previews you read today will include the name "Archi Cianfrocco."