Full list of Padres' missed 2023 opportunities is crazy schadenfreude for Dodgers fans

Dodgers surging as Padres stumble, but it could've been closer...

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

When choosing the "Most Disappointing Team" winner (loser?) for the 2023 season, many analysts have veered toward the big-budget Mets, who racked up the most absurd payroll MLB has ever seen, only to faceplant and sell off their highest-priced parts at the trade deadline.

I would argue, though, that the real winner (loser?) of this particular honor isn't the Mets, and it isn't particularly close. The Mets' season, for all intents and purposes, ended in June. They reached their peak level of disappointment early, then pulled the plug and reworked their strategy before it was too late. They are a below-.500 team. They have played like a below-.500 team. The experiment didn't work.

The San Diego Padres? Instead of closing up shop before the summer solstice, they've managed to tantalize their fans all the way up until the present day. They sit several games under .500 and several more games out of a playoff spot. They have not, however, "played like a below-.500 team"; quite the opposite, actually. San Diego still sports a +57 run differential and expected 65-53 record, through play on Aug. 13. They have been remarkably "unlucky" -- but when such a streak lasts this long, is it really about "luck" anymore, or are they somehow fundamentally broken?

Don't believe run differential? Just take a look at the sheer number of "almosts" this Padres team has managed to bungle this season en route to flipping their record around, culminating with Sunday's "worst loss of the season." Look at this list, and thank God you're a surging Dodgers fan.

Padres' remarkable number of missed opportunities have left them looking up at Dodgers

The Dodgers are sitting pretty in the NL West, somehow surging past 70 wins with a collection of also-rans in the rotation and bullpen (pretty good, and clutch, offense, huh?). The Pads? With a veritable All-Star Game on the diamond daily and nightly, they've managed to come up small and squander momentum seemingly at every possible opportunity.

The root cause? Maybe Juan Soto was onto something when he speculated about his team's propensity for giving up when the going got tough (or, seemingly, when the going also got "pretty normal"). Maybe there's a fault in their stars -- specifically their stars' leadership, which should be coming from Manny Machado, but maybe isn't?

Whatever has led to San Diego's downfall, it seems the Padres' fate could've easily been flipped if not for a couple of ... ok, a lot of ... ok, 19, 20, 21 ... 21 crucial missed opportunities left on the table. So far. 21 so far.