This is the first time in 17 years that Padres fans have a legitimate reason to be optimistic. I, too, believe the opening day roster has the signs of a real contender. However, they HAVE to play 162 games, and win at least one more than the next guy. The “next guy’s” are the Dodgers and Giants. I don’t believe the Diamondbacks and Rockies are “in the hunt.” The Padres ownership finally dug the franchise out of the mess created years ago by John Moores and Larry Lucchino. No reason to waste any more time looking back at what “was.” The future is bright if the money and logical thinking continues to flow from the management offices at Petco Park. The Padres overhaul is centered around 3 outfielders, led by former Dodger Matt Kemp, Tampa’s Will Myers and Atlanta’s Justin Upton. The biggest “catch” in this “financial fishing derby” might have been pitcher James Shields. The righthander helped Kansas City get to the World Series last year with a 14-8 record and a 3.21 ERA. Shields adds strength to an already “loaded” staff of veteran starters and relievers. With all this “new blood” the Padres still are picked. by Baseball experts and Vegas oddsmakers to finish behind the Dodgers. But, if the Padres can stay healthy, and perform as advertised, they should turn the Division into a legitimate “run for the roses.” If they are going to win this horse race they have to get out of the gate clean and quick! With our drought and the Chargers stadium fiasco tarnishing our lives this summer a Padres World Series “run” would certainly be the right remedy! Putting it all in the proper perspective would be in the expression left us by the late Jerry Coleman: “OH, DOCTOR!!!” Fasten your seat belts this could be a wild ride!!!