If not, he’s probably just participating in the gentle hazing of the Padres relief squad, which makes the newer members wear Star Wars backpacks to and from the bullpen for everyone’s amusement. There’s also a Yoda model and an R2D2, which other teams around the league use in similar rituals. But where’s the Threepio backpack? Hurry up, golden rod!
Now, a stormtrooper wouldn’t have been my top choice for a Star Wars-related backpack, but I like it. Stormtroopers, while mostly disposable, are much preferred to the useless droids George Lucas used in the prequel movies.
The next step in this gag would be to make it part of the permanent uniform, so Padres pitchers would go to the mound wearing a Yoda, an R2, a Death Star, on their backs. The cross-marketing of baseball can get ridiculous — and such an idea is beyond ridiculous — but I would like it. And if there’s a team that would be willing to try it, it’s the Star Wars-crazy Padres. As long as Heath Bell is around, anyway.