Because of this potential displacement, I did get to see
the Beavers play. This is my first time to see the Triple-A club and the first
live game in a long time for me. It was great to be in PGE Park and if you’ve
never been, it’s an experience. The problem is that it’s another ballpark in
the heart of Portland. Now, being downtown is great for atmosphere but let me
tell you (maybe you know this in San Diego already) that as a visitor it’s
difficult to get to the park and to find parking. Once there you can’t get into
the park until 6pm for a 7:05pm game. I always like to get there early and
watch batting practice, but instead you can do as I did and watch batting
practice outside the park, from left field. You can wait for the big hitters
and then grab yourself a few balls as they sail over the wall, through the fence
and into the street. A lucky youngster was the recipient one ball that I chased
Now to the game. It was great. The Beavers dominated the
game which saw a nice pitching performance by Brian Sweeney and some great
hitting by Ben Johnson (a towering homerun and when the ball finally stopped I
think it was out in the street beyond the left field fence) and Josh Barfield.
There was also some timely hitting and double plays which helped the Beavers win
6-1 against the Tucson Sidewinders. Within the small confines of PGE Park,
every seat seemed great. There’s a family feeling to the park and it was great
to see some Padres in Triple-A that we’ve seen at the Major level before and
some that are moving up including Adam Hyzdu, Kerry Robinson and others. If you
ever get to Portland, it’s worth the trip and the prices seemed fairly
Back to the Padres. June so far has been 50/50 but overall
you have to love where the Pads are sitting. They have been successful despite
some key injuries and players on the DL. Playing .500 in June seems like a
failure compared to May but they’ve put the pressure on other teams now and
that’s a bonus. Being in 1st is better than being anywhere else and
the Pads look good from my perspective. Sure, I’d like to see them doing
slightly better than .500 for the month because that won’t keep them in 1st.
They need to beat up teams like the Indians that are below .500 because they may
need those extra Wins at the end of the season if they are going to prove my
prediction of finishing in 2nd place. The good news is that the
Dodgers and the Diamondbacks haven’t picked up much ground.
One other thing I’m looking at is the All Star balloting… I
guess it’s another year of stuffing the ballots. Garciaparra, who’s been on the
disabled list for a month and was batting .157 is leading for short stops?
Pujois over Lee? Piazza over Hernandez? No Klesko or Giles in the outfield and
Bonds is on the list? Actually, the whole voting is a shame. Let’s look at
facts. The Padres are in 1st place last time I looked and yet there
aren’t any Padre’s on the All Star team as of June 2nd. Why? Look
where a majority of the players who are on it and what cities they come from:
New York and St. Louis. This isn’t an All Star Game in my book; it’s a “Stuff
The Ballot Big City Love-fest”. Yes, I know that it’s the fans voting for whom
they THINK are the best players but really this is just another fan depreciation
event. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t new news. It happens every year but this
year it upsets me more because of what the Padre’s are doing on the field.
Something should be done to equalize the voting.
What now? Like the Pads I’m at home for a while and while
the location of my home may change, I’m still displaced and hoping some day to
make it to see some of the players from the Beavers at Petco, back where they
and I, both belong.
Kevin can be reached at: