SAN DIEGO—Padres' relief pitcher Mike Adams believes in this team enough that he put it in writing -- on t-shirts.
"It's just basically been my motto the past eight or nine years," Adams said. "It was something that even when I was in college, under my hat, I would write 'Believe. Believe you are the best. Believe, believe, believe.'"
"When you see another guy wearing the believe shirt, the thought starts sticking in your head to believe and it kind of caught on a little bit," Adams said. "We are in the position we are in now because we believe in ourselves."
The Padres are currently in first place in the National League West, with the best record in the NL, and outsiders have started to believe as well. The Fox network has picked up every Padres' Saturday home game for the rest of the season, along with changing three of the game times in the process.
"Fox likes us. We like Fox," said Heath Bell, Padres pitcher. "We had fun in San Francisco (August 14) when we were in that Fox game. Guys make sure their uniform is a little cleaner. Maybe get some haircuts. Shave, like I need to."
Some players said it's about time they receive some national attention.
"Having the opportunity to play on a National Stage is fun," Adams said. "Finally, we're getting the respect that we all wanted. Hopefully we can continue into early November."
"I know a lot of the guys wanted to have that respect," second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. said. "But I'm one of those under-the-radar guys. As long as we keep winning games, that's all I care about."
Bell will try to make Padres fans believers, too. He said he printed up about 600 blue t-shirts with the word "Believe" printed on the front. Some t-shirts have a design with "The Penitentiary", the nickname for the Padres' bullpen. He has also organized people to sell the t-shirts for $15 before Thursday's game, with the proceeds going towards the Stand Up 2 Cancer program.