Winners of 11 of their last 12, the San Diego Padres are the hottest team in Major League Baseball and are currently in possession of second place in the NL West.
Not bad for a team that attempted to dump any big name player they could this past offseason.
A week after almost trading Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox, the San Diego Padres fans must be thanking their lucky stars for the opportunity to attend baseball games that still matter. While Peavy's no-trade clause had a lot to do with that, perhaps there is something more than just divine intervention which can explain this phenomenon.
Before the Peavy deal that would have certainly ended their season, the San Diego Padres were losers of six in a row and 19 out of 23. Who could blame the front office for scratching the season, cutting their losses, and attempting to rebuild for the future?
I guess the players.
Once in a while in team sports, an opportunity comes along which unites a team and makes the impossible, all of a sudden, seem a lot more possible. While the Padres were dwindling in the bottom of the rankings and about to get rid of their best player, all of a sudden something strange happened. Something strange that we never see in sports.
The best player said no.
While his decision for rejecting the trade can be explained in a variety of ways with regards to the reasons, consequences, and the situation, the truth is that this never happens in sports, especially when you are talking about the best player on one of the worst teams in the league.
Usually, great players are demanding to be traded away when their team is not being competitive.
However, it seems that when Jake Peavy refused to be traded, his teammates decided that they were not ready for their season to be over, that they were not ready to build for the future, that they wanted to win now.
Known around the league as the most competitive player in the game, Jake Peavy is apparently rubbing off on his teammates who, for the first time this season, have been playing up to their potential.
Now, standing behind their staff ace, the Padres are a team possessed, which is the most dangerous type of team in all of sports.
While the season is still early and the fate of Peavy and Padres is yet to be determined, the inspirational message is clear. The best players to watch in any sport are those that are playing for more than their paycheck, more than their jobs, and more than themselves. They are the ones who are playing for each other.
Maybe it is divine intervention after all.