Baseball Prospectus 2012 arrived in the mail, always a key sign that baseball is coming. I am pleasantly surprised by their take on the Padres (I am guessing written by, or at least mostly written by, Geoff Young). Yes, it does mention that "Fans are sick of 'rebuilding,' but this is going to be another year of it," but it also says:
Bottom line: The Padres are poised for a return to respectability. They had it from 2004 to 2007, slipped, caught a glimpse in 2010, and now are looking to make their next move.
Shoot for .500 in 2012, integrate more young talent into the everyday lineup, and keep your fingers crossed.
If you have bothered reading this far, you may be shaking your head at viewing those conclusions in a positive light. One benefit of being a longtime Padres fan is that your expectations remain low, and so just the idea that we might climb up toward respectability--perhaps not losing more games then we win--has a pleasant ring to it.