And so we hit the field against the Padres for the final time this season. Both teams are slogging towards very "meh" campaigns which will not see them in the Playoffs. As Jim mentioned in the series preview, there isn't a lot of animosity between the two teams, despite being division rivals. I, for once, think that's a shame, and in lieu of an actual preview, I am going to present some ways that the Diamondbacks-Padres rivalry, and a rivalry between Phoenix and San Diego in general, can be spiced up.
I mentioned in the GDT last night that as Baseball franchises go, the Padres are Jimmy Buffet. They're not very great as a whole, though sometimes can break through with something ("Margaritaville" and the Padres' 1998 season are the parables here.), but on the whole not terrible or inoffensive. Plus the people who like them have a tendency to wear tacky Hawaiian shirts. We need to morph them into Creed.
It was either this or an in-depth look at Matt Davidson's OPS+ as he changes hair styles.
1. Hype the fact that the teams have each other's old GMs.
Forget Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, this is some real twisted Wife swap stuff. The Padres and Diamondbacks made a back-room deal sometime in late 2011 to swap Josh Byrnes and Kevin Towers. The Diamondbacks even threw A.J. Hinch in the deal just to make things kinky. I feel like not enough is made of this. Part of this are the markets involved. If Ben Cherington and Brian Cashman were to switch jobs this offseason, there would be nonstop coverage on ESPN, as Bill Simmons would make a guest appearance on "First Take" to debate this with Skip Bayless, Paul Finebaum, Ghostface Killah, Kevin James, and Pope Benedict IX.
Also I just remembered while typing the previous paragraph that the Padres were also once partly owned by Jeff Moorad. So really they're taking our scraps. We should make fun of them for this. Ha ha. I am making fun of you, San Diego.
2. Get angry about the nice things San Diego as a city has.
Sure, San Diego has nice weather, while Phoenix is basically a weather control machine run by Satan. And sure, San Diego has beaches to go to, while Phoenix has dirt. And sure, San Diego produced Stone Temple Pilots and Blink-182, but Phoenix totally had... The Gin Blossoms. Despite all that... WE HAVE HOCKEY AND BASKETBALL TEAMS AND YOU DON'T SO HA HA.
3. They tried to get in our market with a AAA team.
Sure, it was a temporary arrangement before a new stadium in a new place could be constructed, and the Diamondbacks had already puled out of Tucson in both Spring Training and Minor League venues, BUT THEY TRIED TO JUMP IN THE POOL OF A PLACE THAT REGULARLY GETS DIAMONDBACKS GAMES ON TV. WE WON"T STAND FOR THAT.
4. People driving to San Diego from the east or the south can use a I-8 bypass to get by Phoenix through Gila Bend.
What? You think people are too good for us?
5. Phillip Rivers
Sure, most of the people reading this are Cardinals fans and thus don't probably give a second thought to the Chargers, but look at him, isn't he punchable? He also takes a satisfying sack, let me tell you.
I'm sure you can come up with more reasons that San Diego and the Padres must be hated with a fiery passion usually reserved for blood feuds. You should put them in the comments.
Also, first pitch of this game is at 3:40 local. Adjust your plans accordingly.