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The San Diego Padres have attempted to increase their standing in Major League Baseball through seemingly limitless spending.
Team ownership has made it a stated goal to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the perennial NL West favorites.
The Dodgers have won nine of the last 10 division titles, missing out by one game during a 106-win 2019 season. They won the 2020 World Series, sweeping the Padres in the NLDS in the process.
They’ve dominated the series between the teams, often filling half of San Diego’s Petco Park with Dodgers fans.
San Diego, with no division titles since 2006, has been keen to avoid being seen as an also-ran in Southern California baseball.
And so, with new ownership, the team has embarked on a massive spending spree, eschewing farm system development in favor of gigantic free agent signings.
But no amount of money can buy class.
After a 5-2 win over the Dodgers on Friday night, the Padres went right back to being the embarrassing little brother, hoping to get a seat at the big kids table.
The Padres scoreboard operator decided to put up an image of Clayton Kershaw making a sad face, with added tears.
Yeah, that’s about as embarrassing as it gets from an ostensibly major league franchise.
Padres Bush League Celebration
Quite obviously, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your team’s success. But this would never happen during say, a Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees series.
Or after a game with the Dodgers actual rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
Heck, the Dodgers themselves would never do this with a crying Manny Machado, despite Machado’s infamous bet that the Padres would win a World Series before the Dodgers.
Unsurprisingly, Machado never paid up after losing his bet in spectacular fashion.
There’s no other way to say it, it’s a bush league thing to do.
The Padres organization and even sometimes their players, treat every game against the Dodgers as equivalent to the World Series.
Fernando Tatis Jr., just a few weeks after returning from a cheating suspension, spent an absurd amount of time celebrating his home run to put the Padres up by two runs early in a relatively meaningless game in May.
Celebrations are fun, and it’s great to see players enjoying the sport. But the level of celebration seen from Tatis is normally reserved for meaningful postseason home runs.
Apparently when your franchise has advanced past the NLDS once in 25 seasons, perspective is a bit lacking.
Regardless, it’s one thing for players to engage in theatrics and another for the scoreboard to taunt opposing players.
Especially when that individual player has more postseason victories in his career than the Padres organization has in their entire 50+ year existence.
The Padres and their fans have long engaged in a one-sided rivalry, where every game takes on extreme importance to San Diego.
It’s become common to have a sea of San Diego-based Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Chargers fans chanting “Beat LA” at Petco Park. Without a hint of irony.
But it’s one thing to attempt to force a rivalry where one doesn’t exist, and another to embarrass yourselves over a single win.
Actual rivalries are based on mutual dislike, and just as importantly, mutual respect.
If the Padres want the Dodgers and their fans to view them as rivals, they’re going to have to start acting like a major league franchise first.
Maybe they can start with putting games in May into perspective instead of disrespecting a future first ballot Hall of Famer. Particularly when the win came in part due to a home run hit by someone whose PED usage will ensure his only visit to Cooperstown is in a tour bus.
Oh and Clayton Kershaw in his career against the Padres? 23-10 with a 2.12 ERA and 317 strikeouts in 296 innings. Sounds about right.
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
Totally weak take. I don’t think it’s a big deal at all but rather a harmless fun taunt. Do keep in mind that this is the Dodger franchise that chose to celebrate clinching a division title by jumping into the pool at the Diamondback’s home field. Now that is the definition of classless.
Oh, Ian….are you butthurt?
“Its not a real rivalry bro!” Holy cope. Stay salty. You say that yet at the same time your fans clamor to pile in the stadium and have been writing article after article about their retribution for getting eliminated last season(Without Tatis mind you). And lets not forget any team that is hosting the Dodgers on the West coast always needing to beef up their security because Dodgers fans have one of the most “”classy”” fanbases in the MLB, but I am sure you see the irony of a Dodgers fan being upset at taunting. Dodgers are like that annoying kid we all know that is overly cocky when he’s winning, but as soon as he loses “it doesn’t really count.”
I don’t see a problem with this. But, then, I’m not a butt-hurt Dodger fan.