Home > Uncategorized > Who’s In First? You Won’t Believe What I Just Saw

Who’s In First? You Won’t Believe What I Just Saw

This is not a forum for feel good scenarios where hope springs eternal. But a glimpse at our toy department in life’s struggles is a valid escape to soothe the sores of the Andrew Bretibarts and the money we spend on a war we cannot win.

The San Diego Padres on the next to last day in July are in first place in the Western Division 3 1/2 games above its closest rival and the best record in the National League.

That’s the same as saying Paris Hilton was nominated best actress by the Academy of Awards, the Detroit Lions are undefeated with two games remaining and as credible as Barack Obama born in Kenya.

Historically, the Padres are a losing franchise in a small market without the panache of the adorable New York Mets in their early days.

They have one player on their current roster who is a legitimate All-Star but few people have heard of outside San Diego and no one who is not a baseball fan.

The team is so bad that last year the betting line was the Little League world champion team from nearby Chula Vista could beat the Padres.

There is absolutely nothing sexy about the 2010 Padres. No catchy nicknames such as the old Miami Dolphins’ “No Name Defense,” the Washington Redskins’ “Over The Hill Gang,” the St. Louis football Cardinals’ “Cardiac Kids” or the Philadelphia Phillies’ “Whiz Kids.”

They just win, baby. They are doing it with outstanding pitching, mediocre defense and a pop gun offense.

The pitching is so good and the hitting so sporadic it reminds me of the famous line by Don Drysdale when Dodger teammate Sandy Koufax pitched a no-hitter.

“Did we win?” Drysdale asked.

As the sun set over the Pacific Ocean Thursday, some guy named Oscar Salazar whose fame is limited to family and friends, stroked a ground ball up the middle and teammate Tony Gwynn, the .200 hitting son of the .343-hitting Hall of Famer, scored the winning run in what in baseball is called a walk-off. The 3-2 victory over the rival Dodgers was the 15th time this season the Padres won on their last at bat.

Such heroics fall on deaf ears in the sporting world of ESPN and, most sadly, in San Diego where only die-hard baseball fans embrace the players they never heard of.

Even in the mild climes of San Diego, baseball seasons are often decided during the dog days of August followed by the stretch run to the finish in September.

It remains to be seen how this club of rejects, players “to be named later” and youngsters too young and dumb to know better will play out the string.

But they sure are having fun even though watching them is about as fun as undergoing a root canal.

So when October arrives, and the Padres make the playoffs, think about the time you read it here first. You can re-live the old Abbot and Costello routine of “Who’s on First?”

It’s Adrian Gonzales, of course, who made the All-Star team three times, never by fan acclamation, but by the managers filling out the rosters of second and third bananas.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hi Jerry,
    I am a regular TMV reader and I just read your article praising the San Diego Padres. While I appreciate you giving credit to my team and my hometown (I am a proud San Diego resident), I was very frustrated with your “surprised” tone throughout, as though the Padres only started playing well recently. They have won with pitching, defense, and manufactured runs for 4 MONTHS! Where have you been all this time? Oh I know- doubting us like the rest of the media.

    The most insulting part of your article came when you said, ” When the Padres are in the playoffs, remember that you heard it here first.” How dare you take credit for ‘discovering’ the Padres! You did no such thing. We in San Diego have known it all along. Perhaps you were distracted by all the amazing sports teams in Temecula- oh wait, they don’t have any!

    Botttom line: Drop the condescension in your article and give your neighbors to the south some respect. We’ve earned it for the last 4 months, even if you just discovered it yesterday.

    Sam Brier

  2. July 31, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Spoken like a good Padre fan. Thing is, Sam, I was there from the beginning, helped promote the election that funded San Diego Stadium. Suffered through the expansion years. Blew a gasket when we made it to the World Series in 1984. Cursed our luck when the Padres returned in 1996 against the best Yankees team since 1927. But as a franchise it has been on the losing side more often than not for lack of good ownership and fan support for a city its size. My perspective in the column was written as a former resident, sometime fan. Nationally, you must admit the Padres this season are not winning the respect and admiration they deserve for fielding a team that if nothing else wins beyond all market odds. The column was written from the perspective that TMV and my readers are casual sports fans, at best. — Jer

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