San Diego Padres rookie Chris Paddack has only pitched in one game so far — and for all I know he chews with his mouth open, says “irregardless” and tells annoying stories to strangers, unprompted — but there is at least some evidence to suggest I’m gonna like this guy.
I’m not talking about the pitching so much. Sure, he allowed just one run on two hits while striking out seven while working through five yesterday, but that was against the Giants and a lot of pitchers will put up lines like that against them this season. No, I’m talking about the rookie’s swagger:
Damn straight. Down with baseball’s obligatory phony humble schtick. Most guys choose to tell the press that they’re just out there trying to execute pitches and take good swings. Most guys act as if anything they do well is pure luck and that talking about it requires them to first say “not to take anything away from those guys over there, they’re real major leaguers.” Especially the rookies who are expected to be seen and not heard for a year or so before adopting baseball’s brand of acceptable humility.
But these dudes want to kill the opposition. They rarely say it, but they want to and they imagine it. I don’t expect Paddack will talk like this all the time — smart money has him taking them one game at a time just trying to make pitches for most of the rest of the year — but I’m always happy when someone says this kind of thing in their out loud voice.
UPDATE: When I say I like his style, I mean his rhetorical style. Not his actual style:
I mean, I guess you could go out in public looking like that. If you wanna.