“What If—In October?”
I tried to imagine what it would be like to experience all this.
You are a Yankees fan in New York, where the team broke all of its home run records this year. You name it, Judge-Stanton-Gregorious-Sanchez-Voit-Gardner-Andujar. There’s always someone to take you yard any at-bat, anytime in the game.
At Minute Maid Park in Houston, the Astros fans get to see as good a 3-man rotation as baseball has, in Verlander-Cole-Greinke. And when it’s not the arms, it’s the bats, Altuve-Correa-Springer-Bregman and so many more.
In Tampa Bay, what few fans there are, with the 2nd best worst attendance in baseball, but with a tremendous young team of talent, the Rays play great ball at Tropicana Field.
Minnesota, in that shiny new stadium, constructed a team of big-dangerous bats, and gave the Twin Cities fans a 100-win team…flashing back to times of Rod Carew-Tony Oliva-Harmon Killebrew and more.
We all know the hated Dodgers, with a batting order that wears you out, and a rotation almost equal to anyone in baseball. A franchise that draws nearly 4M per year. This has been going on, this winning, dating all the way back to Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn.
St Louis is one of the best baseball cities in history, with its amazing tradition that goes back to the Gas House Gang days thru the Bob Gibson-Stan Musial era, to today.
Braves baseball has had such great stretches of time, from Hammerin Hank Aaron thru the Smoltz-Glavine-Maddux-Bobby Cox games. And now they have rebuilt the team for the umpteenth time.
Washington treats its Nationals Park fans to a tremendous starting rotation and put a different type team together after Bryce Harper left. Imagine running out the likes of Strasberg-Scherzer-Corbin in a 3-game series.
The Athletics got edged out in the wildcard game for the second year in a row, but built another 90-win team that hit homers and played A’s ball and won a lot.
Heck, the Red Sox and the Cubs, playing in the shrines that are Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, give their paying public superb baseball each summer, even if this was not a playoff season.
I mention all that, because if you are a baseball junkie, and if you ware watching these playoff games, you are drawn to the electricity in these parks. The fanaticism of the fans, wearing their colors, bringing their signs, screaming the chants.
Winning and drawing fans go hand in hand. Once you get inside the park, the atmosphere is so exciting it makes you want to come back.
I think back to early in the season at Petco Park, when the Padres had that (11-5) start to the campaign. Home games were like being at an NFL playoff game. The noise, the bedlam, the singing, the cheering, the hoping.
Had to believe this turned into another typical San Diego summer, hot, humid, and last place baseball. So many promises, so many expectations, and another year of let downs.
You get a taste of it, you want it all the time. That was my experience watching the Padres-Yankees World Series, in that short span of time with Gwynn-Hoffman-Caminetti-Kevin Brown and that bunch. You never forget the excitement and the awe of that short era.
That is why it is so important for Padres ownership to get this next managerial hire right. To get someone with leadership skills, who commands respect, and has a history of structure and success.
The Padres are a lot closer to success than they are to more failure. Think of what it is like right now to be an Orloles-Tigers-Royals-Pirates fan these days.
Time to get something done and await the results.
Just think of what you see at Yankees Stadium, in St Louis, in Washington, or at Dodgers Stadium, as distasteful as that might be.
Think of the Gaslamp Quarter, a daylong party. Think of the noise level at Petco Park. Think of the electricity created that yard, and what that type of baseball energy would mean to the community.
The Padres are about to bring back the brown. It would be nice if they brought us winning baseball in 2020.
San Diego fans are awaiting the chance to go crazy at the yard. Be like these other cities.
What If? What would it be like to be there?
You know, play in October.