1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “DODGERS-PADRES–SEASON OPENS”

Posted by on March 19th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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It’s a different opening day for the Padres and Dodgers.

It won’t be at 1pm in the sunshine at Chavez Ravine or in the Gaslamp Quarter, but rather  the Dome in Seoul, South Korea.

It won’t be about luring new fans to the  Stadium, selling Dodgers Dogs, or selling the flashy Padres city current uniforms to fans.

No the Blue and the Friars will play Wednesday-Thursday abroad.  It’s about selling the game further to Pacific Rim fans.

But the 2-game series features some historical matchups, big time pitching, tremendous star-studded batting orders and personalities.  Oh yes, a long time bitter rivalry too.

At 3am-Pacific on Wednesday, Shohei Ohtani makes his debut in Dodger Blue, signing the all time record 700M-free agent contract with LA.  He will be facing fellow Japanese countryman Yu Darvish.  The game features modern day Korean star Ha-Seong Kim .

The Pacific Rim media has gone crazy.  Ohtani is a rock star, every move chronicled on the field.  Darvish is legendary of the many great pitchers who have come from there to here.

MLB has saluted the two of them, for acting as Ambassadors for the game in the two countries..  They have spoken Korean to reporters in that country.  They have taken part in charitable functions.

History between the two baseball fanatical countries, has not always been friendly. Japan dominated the World Baseball Classic early on.  Bitter things were said about the the KBO and the NPB, the two leagues.  A Korean player planted his flag on the mound after a win over Japan in the WBC, leading to an eruption of dislike.

Now the festivities are complete the night before the season opener.  We get back to baseball come Wednesday morning and the newspapers and TV reporters will be filing stories about anything and everything pertaining to the players the games.

Here at home this rivalry won’t swirl aboutJapan vs South Korea but rather age-old arguments.  Compare the players, the positions, and you can decide who you like.

Pitching:  I’ll take the Padres Big 3-starters right now over whom the Dodgers will run out there.  LA will debut newly acquired Tyler Glasnow on the mound.  He’s opposed by Yu Darvish on opening  night.  Japanese rookie Yosh Yamamoto faces off against Joe Musgrove.  The Dodgers will run rookies Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone out there and will have aging veteran James Paxton to fill out the rotation.  The Friars have 3-aces in the rotation right now with the deal that put White Sox ace Dylan Cease in Brown and Gold.  For the front end of the season, I take San Diego starting over LA’s though that likely changes when the Dodgers get Walker Beuhler, Dustin May and maybe Clayton Kershaw back in June-July-August.  EDGE-Padres

Bullpen:  The off season acquisitions mean the Padres have at least 9-experienced arms available, who have all pitched to some degree of success out of that pen.  The Dodgers have experience, but what about the many back end bulpen guys coming off surgical procedures.   How long does Blake Trienen, Joe Kelly hold up?  When is Brusdar Graterol back?  The Padres can run a ton of different guys out there the next 48-hours and the first month of the season.  EDGE-Padres

LINEUP: Easy question. Who you going to pitch around in the Dodgers batting order?  Loaded, a modern days version of the old Yankees’ Murderers row.  In San Diego, there is no Juan Soto scaring people, but the likes of Machado-Tatis-Bogaerts bring credentials.  The big issue will be if the Friars batting order, all of whom had substandard seasons last year, can hit back their lifetime career averages?  When it’s Ohtani-Betts-Freeman-Muncy-Smith-Lux-Outman you have to pitch to, the Friars face a challenge. EDGE: Dodgers

DEFENSE:  A very different makeup right now.  Mookie Betts has never played shortstop in the pros.  Gavin Lux has throwing problems at 2nd base.  Max Muncy is not a good glove guy.   Changing pieces in the outfield too in LA.  Of course not all the same for San Diego.  The rookie comes off a great spring training in centerfield and now we see if Jackson Merrill can hit.  A utilityman in left.  Xander goes to 2nd.  Kim anchors short.  Machado will not play the field to start the season so rookies might wind up at the hot corner early.  EDGE: Equal.

THE RECORD:  Lots of games to be played, but on paper leads me to believe the Dodgers can go (101-61).  The Padres, if they come together and hit back to what they are capable of doing, go (90-72).

Fans have been waiting all winter for this.   Time to watch baseball at 3am on Wednesday.  Play ball.



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