I get it. This won’t be much, but at least it’s something, right?
I have a very close friend who lives 600 miles away in Northern California and we don’t get to hang out nearly as much as we’d like. The opportunity for him to come down to San Diego arose a week ago and I’m thankful he joined me for a week of uneventful but enjoyable times. We fished (trolled Lake Morena for nothing), played golf (took way too many strokes at Admiral Baker), biked the boardwalk and did a fair amount of eating which of course calls for an equal amount of drinking.
We managed a trip to visit friends at a mountain ranch where I helped some ground squirrels make their “transition,” and he observed my skills as the first base coach of the San Diego High School Lady Cavers Junior Varsity softball team in a thrilling victory over the rival Lady Hornets of Lincoln High. In short, we had a great time and while I wish we lived closer, we’d both be pushing 300 pounds if we did.
We even spent some time in front of the television watching Padres baseball, which is bittersweet for me. I grew up with the Pacific Coast League Padres, attending home games at Lane Field downtown, Westgate Park toward the west end of Mission Valley, then San Diego Stadium toward the east end of Mission Valley. In 1969, my Pacific Coast League Padres were replaced by the National League Padres who for most of that time had about the same level of talent as their minor league predecessors.
For personal reasons, I divorced myself from the Padres. I switched my allegiance to the San Francisco Giants after they hired my friend Bruce Bochy who had labored with mostly weak rosters as the Padres Manager while serving under an assortment of team owners who had a tough time finding their checkbooks. As the Padres Manager, Bruce was continually trying to squeeze wins out of substandard rosters and even managed to lead the team to the playoffs a few times. As the Giants Manager, where he finally had some talent to work with, he’s guided that club to three World Series Championships in the last five years.
Fortunately for Padres fans, a new ownership group has taken charge, opened their wallets and handed the reins of the organization to a first time General Manager (A.J. Preller) who has reworked the roster with some remarkable trades. If I’d been in Las Vegas and had $100 before the season started, I’d have put it down on this team.
Two last things, the trout are hitting at Lake Cuyamaca and the four varieties of Epicuro red wines imported from Italy by Trader Joe’s are pretty damned good at $4.99 a bottle.