By T.J. Simers
There was a time when I routinely referred to the Dodgers as the Choking Dogs, and to their faces.
Those were the days of Jeff Kent and I couldn’t even get him to bite in dispute. I miss Manny and I’m not talking Machado.
It wasn’t like the Dogs could argue, every season something going wrong down the stretch and the Choking Dogs would be eliminated. On a much smaller scale, tiny scale really, the same can now be said about the bow-wow Padres after this past weekend.
I lived and worked down there for several years and understand the city’s small-town mentality and it’s adoring small-town media. Lincoln, Nebraska comes to mind.
It’s too bad the Angels don’t hail from San Diego; they’d fit right in. Arte Moreno is the perfect small-town loser.
Times’ columnist Dylan Hernandez referred to the Padres Monday as the “visitors from Port Loser.” T-shirts to go on sale soon.
Don’t you feel sorry for those poor people, NBA, NFL and NHL fans having nothing but someone else’s favorite sons to cheer on. I covered the Chargers for seven seasons, the highlight Jim McMahon blowing his nose and Dan Henning going 7-27 in games decided by seven or fewer points.
I moved to L.A. to write about the pros, the Trojans not disappointing.
As excited as beleaguered Padres’ fans were about the acquisition of better mercenaries, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said he could sense “as much optimism as they’ve had in their organization’s history.”
Roberts lives in San Diego during the offseason, presumably to get away from professional sports, so he understood how this past weekend was such a big deal for sports fans down there who really have nothing but the weather to crow about.
Now they can make plans to see a Gulls’ game. Oh boy.
The Spanos Goofs had left those folks down south beaten and ripped off, leaving only the Padres to bring them some relief and hope. Maybe next season, but I doubt it.
The Choking Dogs, meanwhile, appear dominant and off the leash. They will be facing some formidable foe in the playoffs, but were the Padres considered formidable?
I’d like to say all it took was a hedge fund to own the team for the turnaround, but a hedge fund has been the absolute curse of newspapers around the country, so let’s just say the Dodgers are no longer owned by Frank McCourt.
Dodgers’ ownership has spent the buck to be the very best, and what more could a fan want? Who needs Trevor Bauer? I guess that’s my way of giving the Dodgers credit for being perennial contenders, although I remain slow in embracing the stockpile of talent. Are they really this good?
I wouldn’t ask the Padres right now.