Eric Show, mainly because he's the type who's used to hype, will be the Padres' opening day pitcher against the Dodgers April 7 in Los Angeles.
Padre Manager Steve Boros made the announcement Wednesday, saying: "He's used to the hoopla and tension that goes with starting on opening day. And he's been one of the most consistent pitchers."
Last year Show, a right-hander won just 12 games and lost 11, yet he was second on the team in quality starts with 23. "Quality starts" is a new statistic, given to starting pitchers who go six or more innings and yield three runs or less. In the last three years, Show has 61 quality starts (sixth best in the National League).
Not all of Show's problems can be pinned on others. In 1984, he won 15 games but got bombed in the postseason (0-2, 11.81 earned-run average). In 1985, he broke a bone in his toe when he kicked a bat bag. Later in the year, he gave up Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd base hit and then perturbed some of his teammates by sitting on the pitcher's mound while Rose accepted kisses and a brand new car.
Show wouldn't be starting on opening day if Padre pitcher LaMarr Hoyt, last year's All-Star MVP, had not been admitted into a rehabilitation center. Hoyt entered a Minnesota drug facility Feb. 27 for possible alcohol and drug abuse and isn't due back until late this month.
Show declined comment on his opening day assignment. This spring, he is 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA and has yielded three home runs.