I think it’s fair to say this was the most anticipated Padres Home Opener in years, if not ever. I know that I personally created my own advent calendar so I could count down to opening day. Everyday I’d look at the advent calendar and be disappointed that there were still 18 days until April 9, but then I’d eat the Hershey Kiss behind that day’s door and forget about it until the next day when the cruel but delicious cycle repeated itself. Well, the day finally came.
I showed up to downtown, feeling the electricity. After meeting good pal, and #1 downtown Realtor Alan Hamrick, the 92101 Condo Guru, we strolled through the Gaslamp trying to brainstorm where to eat before we drank our faces off. This was quite the struggle. Walking through the tailgate party outside of Petco, the masses of bros and home improvement stands intimidated me, and we hurried to escape to less crowded locations. We ended up at Stella Public House in the East Village which was delightful. Great bartenders, great beer list, and all drafts were $5 with the season ticketholder card. And Booming Rollers on tap!
After watching the TV showing MLB Network for a while, we saw Jed Lowrie ruin the Indians no-hitter attempt and headed out. I’d heard there would be lines for the new metal detectors, but I think I underestimated how awful it would be. As most people know, this isn’t a Padres initiative, it is MLB mandated. It’s like Bud Selig wanted to give fans one last FU before collecting his sweet, sweet pension. Even if Bud Selig Plaza is quietly scrapped, it’s good to know we can celebrate ol’ Bud everytime we have to get in line for the ridiculously ineffective security theater he mandated. I got in line at the Tenth Street Park at the Park gate next to Tilted Kilt and got to enjoy a nice 25 minute line. As an aside, this problem could be improved by the Padres with a little investment. As most that went to the game saw, the metal detectors were the bottleneck, not the turnstiles. This means that if the team invested in more metal detectors and personnel to man said metal detectors, the turnstiles had plenty of capacity to take those additional people. As it is, you have a sea of people funneling into not enough metal detectors, creating the lines. Friday and Saturday games are not going to be fun to deal with.
Rather than taking my usual constitutional through the concourses, I headed straight up to the 300 level where I finally met the legendary Bobby Cressey. After introducing myself and pronouncing his last name wrong, I watched the master at work, tickling the ivories. I’m hoping he takes my suggestion to play Billy Gunn’s old entrance song, Ass Man, to heart. I also ran into the one of a kind Sportsbrain, who luckily has decided to again imbibe in adult beverages. As always, he was super nice, so I have trouble figuring out why #everybodyhateskris. I made my way to my seat and watched a few innings of baseball resembling the 2014 Padres. While it sucks that Ian Kennedy got hurt, I was overjoyed to see my current fave Padre, Odrisamer Despaigne, take the mound and pummel the Giants with his tenacious junk stuff.
When the 4th inning came by, I headed over to The Spot by the Western Metal Supply Building for the Twitter Meetup. Turn out was incredible, and I like that the meet up has taken over the old FSSD location so we can actually see the game. At one point, in a single field of vision, I had the full Gaslamp Ball braintrust in front of me, to include Jbox, Jonny Dubs, Darklighter and Wonko. It was like I paid to be at a blogger fantasy camp. After my heart rate returned to it’s normal resting pulse, I watched some more scoreless baseball from the standing room only seats on the field level concourse. On my way back to my seats, I spotted Jbox and Jonny Dubs, pillars of the Padres blogging community, hanging by Bobby Cressey’s organ. I walked over and awkwardly stood by the dynamic duo. I got to overhear how the blog sausage gets made between these two superstars, and was giddy throughout the experience. I even got to tag along with them like a sad, sad third wheel to Lolita’s to get a burrito.
The new stuff at the stadium was cool I guess. I’m not super into Pizza Port, but I did like seeing a Pizza Port location up on the 300 level, and there is a new, large food booth in the Park at the Park. I like seeing new stuff showing up in the less expensive seats for a change.