SAN DIEGO — The Padres were supposed to have their final workout at Petco Park Wednesday afternoon, but Mother Nature had other plans. Rain washed away their practice, but definitely didn’t dampen their spirits for Opening Day.
“Definitely excited,” said Blake Snell, who will be the Padres starting pitcher tomorrow. “Definitely an honor. Can't wait for tomorrow.”
Snell knows Petco Park is going to be packed with excited fans. His message to them this season?
“Keep trusting us. Keep sticking with us. This is definitely going to be a special year and we're going to do everything we can to make it that way. Keep up the positivity and the love because we feel it and we appreciate it.”
The Padres almost made it to the World Series last season, but fell short to the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship series. Rather than resting on their laurels, the team brought in more big names this off-season, including Xander Bogaerts, Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz and Michael Wacha.
Now fans are thinking World Series - something the team hasn't been a part of in more than 20 years.
“Probably the most highly anticipated Opening Day I think in maybe the history of the franchise,” said television announcer Mark Grant. He’s seen some pretty miserable seasons over the years, but he believes this is a team that has a chance to win every time they step on the field. And the players agree.
“It's awesome,” said pitcher Ryan Weathers. “When you look in here, you've got all-stars everywhere - so it's a lot of fun just getting to bounce ideas off all the guys. So it's fun.”
Third Baseman Manny Machado echoes those thoughts. He also appreciates Padres management for spending money on great players who are also great teammates. He says the clubhouse has an amazing energy.
“Everyone just sees the dollars spent, but I see the people they're bringing in here - they're special and unique players and they love to play the game,” Machado said.
The Padres open the season Thursday against the Colorado Rockies. On Wednesday evening, the Padres announced the start time for the first pitch would be delayed until 6:40 p.m. due to forecasted rain.
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