A big weekend for one team in town, a bigger week next week for the other team in town.
It sure seems like the Padres and Chargers are going in opposite directions.
The Friars renew the heated-hated rivalry with the Dodgers beginning tonite. All the things we anticipated with the the Padres have come thru in the first three weeks of the season.
They are in a dogfight for top spot in the Western Division, off to their best start since 1998. They are hitting the ball, with a team Batting Average at (.282) a far sight better than last year’s despondent (.212) mark.
They can stroke it, with 16-homers already in 17-games, and have compiled 56-extra base hits already. San Diego has 8-guys hitting (.288) or better, including 6- with a plus .300-batting average.
The starting pitching has been what we imagined, really dominant. The Bullpen has been a bit of a disappointment, with a (3.42) ERA after hovering in the 1.50-range much of last year. That group has also given up 6-home runs in their first 50-innings of work, and six times this year they have faltered, blowing leads, of failing to keep the game close.
The fears of the leaky defense are there for people to see, 13-errors in 16-games, but covered up by bats and arms doing well out of the gate.
There is work to be done for sure, but this is a small sample size to date.
Cross-town, it’s not a small sample size, but rather an ominous trend, the demise of the Chargers franchise.
The NFL draft is just around the corner, and we find a quarterback unhappy with the potential move of the team, the star safety feeling disrespected, and a team with lots of needs on defense, as the clock ticks away on the career of quarterback Philip Rivers.
One playoff win in six years has led to a real erosion of confidence in the organization. The continue dismissal, or mistreatment of veteran players, has turned fans against the leadership.
That coupled with the on-going saga, love-me-love me not, the potential of the move to Los Angeles, and you can understand the raw emotions of the community.
The Chargers have work to do, without much cap space, and all the quality players taken in free agency. It will be fascinating to see if there is some magic in the draft, for the Bolts could-should get two really good players, a running back, an offensive lineman, maybe a developmental quarterback in next week’s draft.
AJ Preller has been bold, nearly brazen, in all his baseball transactions. Tom Telesco remains timid at taking the huge jump to get get the final pieces to put around his quarterback. Preller has positioned the baseball team for a quick turnaround. Telesco seems ready to take on a major rebuilding effort.
But the town’s teams sure seem headed in different directions.
The Padres rocketing to the top of the standings with a friendly ownership-leadership group. The Chargers plunging, seemingly turning off the town with their siege-fortress mentality, the dismantling of the roster, and the constant threats of a rich man owner taking the ball (and his team) and going home (to Los Angeles).