Overall, this was just a fantastic Home Opener for the Padres. Hometown Harang picked up the Win, Hundley’s bat is still on fire, Cam Maybin still looks Mike Cameron, Jr. out in centerfield, Cedric Hunter got his first MLB hit, and Heath Bell got the Save. With his final pitch, the Padres beat the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, whom I hate, 3-1… a final score that was almost as sweet as the pre-game festivities…almost.
Best of the Day: What was so sweet about the pre-game? When former Padres were being announced and they lined up on the field, waving to fans…there was an awkward silence from Dick Enberg… and that’s when you heard it. BONG! BONNNG! BONNNG! That familiar sound of “Hells Bells” as the centerfield wall opened up and Trevor Hoffman jogged in, wearing his #51 jersey over his shirt and tie. Not only did Petco Park go absolutely apeshit, but the bullpen jumped up and cheered on Trevor too. Bud Black had no idea this was going down. Here is a cool recap and video of the pregame ceremonies. Cheesy as it sounds, I got goosebumps all over…the chills in the 80 degree sun, and my eyes welled up. I’m telling you, it was powerful to see Trevor make that jog in. I was there when he broke Lee Smith’s all time saves record, and I was there when he hit 500 saves, but I’m telling you.. this was cooler. Bud Black’s word for it? “Legit.” Agreed.
Worst of the Day: Parking was horrendous. The street block party that was going on seemed promising with tons of food trucks and music, and packed with people. Then we tried to hit to the beer garden only to find a line 50 people deep with a Three-toed Sloth manning the ID station. Eff that. Showman was at Bub’s, but by the time I got there… Bub’s was packed, Tivoli was packed, Fleetwood was packed… all with long, long lines. So, I headed over to Proper Gastropub which was crowded, but always a cool place to enjoy a pint while overlooking the Park at the Park. Once we got inside, Padres fans were excited and full of energy…too much energy it turns out. I had to break up two fights that I watched unfold as Padre fans, unprovoked, tried to fight Giants fans who did nothing but wear their colors with pride. Broken record here, I know… but if there’s anything I hate more than the Giants and their fans… it’s stupid fans that can’t separate being a fan from being a person. I have many friends that are Giants fans, I dislike them as fans, and love them as people. This time, these guys were not at fault. Padres fans were. If you can’t handle your booze, and you want to fight people for supporting their team, and being a fan just like you… YOU’RE AN IDIOT. Seriously, I felt like I was at a Chargers/Raiders game. It was ugly. I hated that part of it. I seriously walked around feeling like I had to protect Giants fans. So, LobShots reader, if you’re that Padre fan…stay home next time, I don’t like you at all. Or, if all the Giants fans could just stay in San Francisco…that’d be nice too.
The Padres sit all alone in first place atop the NL West with the World Series Champs sitting in the cellar… unlikely that’s how they’ll both finish the season, but I’d like to savor this moment while it lasts.