Padres misery continues

Just when the San Diego Padres have turned a corner, they are dealt a blow by the Easterners in the American League. The talk in San Diego revolves around contending, but in a league where the New York Yankees reside beyond the fence, the point seems to be moot, or does it?

Many in San Diego equate the Evil Empire with the Oakland Raiders, but in baseball that team is the New York Yankees. At will, they spend to get whatever player they want. TV deals in the number one market in the country allow them to do that.

Greedy is a word often associated with the club. But if they have the resources, can we be upset. Since we are fans of the Padres, and this goes for virtually every other team in the league, we are. Within grasp of a chance at "the Series", the balance of justice seems to be skewed.

The Friars will get a chance to show their wares versus the evil ones in Yankee Stadium June 11th through the 13th. To compete, the Padres will not only need to have their "A" game, but they must play the series as if the team was on the brink of elimination. Only then will they know how they stack up.

Sure the team has a chance for great things this year in a new park, but how does one compete with a lineup full of future Hall of Famers.

Simple, you act like the Florida Marlins.

Despite all the firepower that is the Yankees, they still have questions. They are inevitably one step closer to reestablishing the dynasty, but there is hope.

Their pitching staff, minus Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Padre David Wells, is the Achilles heel of the team. They will win their share of shootouts, but what happens come playoff time.

Their big three of Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina and Javier Vasquez is nothing to sneeze at, and in a short series they will shorten the staff up, but Brown and Mussina are over 35 and Brown may be in for a rude awakening in the American League. Then there is the rest of the staff that is in doubt. Who is the number five starter?

Score runs early and any team has a shot. Getting to the eighth inning and down by two is a recipe for disaster. Paul Quantrill and Mariano Rivera ensure of that.

They say pitching and defense wins Championships and it is all that any other team in the league can hold onto. The Padres don't match up well to this star-studded lineup in New York, but that is why they play the game.

While the enthusiasm for the upcoming season may have been tempered a bit with the news of A-Rod in New York, the Padres are still a team on the rise. They will get their wins and compete in a watered down NL West and when the dust settles, the team will truly know their fate.

Until then we speculate and put on lemon faces at the news. Alas there is little that can be done to come up with a counter move in this situation. The Padres offseason is over and they must report to spring training with the same dreams of a week ago. Win the NL and then worry about the Yankees.

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