Jonny Dub and I got to Petco Park right as the festivities were starting. I was in a good mood and had my ticket printed on a piece of paper. I got to the front of the line and in all the excitement I hadn't folded my ticket to be scanned in the machine. The ticket lady swiped it out of my hand. She had a look of disgust on her face. Then she talked down to me as she pointed out the dotted line where I was supposed to fold it. I asked her to do it for me because I can't seem to follow her complex instructions. She did it extra slow like I'm a pre-schooler and I watched like it's the first time I've ever seen paper folded. Petco Park employees still have that lovable attitude that I can't get enough of. It's going to be a long season.
We make our way to our seats high above the Padres dugout. We were just a few rows from the very top of the park. It's still a nice view and a good way to see everything that is going on with the Opening Day festivities. The teams are being announced and Jon notices how freakishly tall Chris Young is. He probably could have reached out and touched us in the upper deck. Jon chowed down on some peanuts and I looked longingly at the plate of bologna and Cheetos that the toddler in front of me was eating.
I really wish they would only introduce the uniformed players during the Opening Day ceremony. I don't care about trainers, strength coaches, locker room attendants or the guy who buys the steroids. Stay off the field if you don't have a uniform on. I'm sure the players appreciate your hard work, but as a fan I don't need to see you. Also could we pick one guy to throw out the ceremonial first pitch? Did we really need to put eight old business tycoons out there on the hill?
I was already a little bit fired up by my run in with the ticket attendant so I complained to Jon how I think sporting events rely too much on fireworks. I love fireworks, hell my favorite holiday is the 4th of July. But when you shoot them off every time a players name is mentioned it kinda loses the thrill. Jon reminded me that it's much worse at Charger games and I agreed. See what you did to me ticket attendant!
Now correct me if I'm wrong but on Friday's spring training game in Petco they saluted all the wild fire first responders. Apparently that wasn't enough because they pretty much went through the entire ceremony again bringing out all the fire fighters, showing fire footage on the jumbo-tron, etc. I appreciate fire fighters and first responders as much as the next guy but the fires happened like 5 or 6 months ago. I guess they are saving all the military for Military opening day because I only saw a few on the field.
Luckily Pad Squad Andre showed up with water for all of us. Jon looked at the water and was like "It's 60 degrees and windy up here! Does it look like I need a cold water?" Andre responded "I just thought Mr. Dub that..."
"No Andre! That's the problem you didn't think!" Then he poured the water on Andre's head. I'd never seen Jon like that before, but I turned my attention back to the game.
Gaslamp Baller Christina and Alex came over to visit us and we awarded Alex his MLB 08 video game. Alex is like 6 foot tall now and grabbed each of us by the shirt and threatened us in Swedish, that we later translated. He told us "you old guys better have a gift for me every time I see you or it will mean your butts!" We ran off.
You know what is a little sad? Johnny "Midnight" Weisbarth doesn't do the mid-game MC'ing anymore. You know what the good news is? Pad Squad "Lucky Girl" Kenna took over the duties and actually did a really nice job, with the Jack in the Box promotion, guess the attendance and a few other things. She seemed right at home in front of the cameras and with a mic in her hand.
Jon then noticed that the field level viewing area next to the the left field line and the Padres store has been cut in half by a huge sign. That was always a nice feature of Petco Park but I guess they don't have enough advertisements in the ballpark, so they decided to put one in a place that would block the view of fans.
Dancing guy came out did his dance moves. I really wish they'd let him touch the dirt with his rake it'd be so much more authentic. At very least let him fake rake with the tines facing toward the dirt instead of up towards the air. I guess he must not be certified grounds crew. Maybe there are union rules.
The bitter cold of Opening Day started to wear us down so we got a cup of hot chocolate that was cold and had to return it. There was only going to be one way to get warm, we took a walk down to field level.
On field level we ran into Pad Squad Vanessa, she was doing an excellent job acting as an ambassador to the club. When I saw her she was leading a "Go Padres" cheer for a bunch of Orphans who hadn't yet experienced joy in their lives. We complimented her on her hard work and said hello. She said she couldn't talk long but that we should say hello to her friend Pad Squad Megan who was on the other side of the ballpark. We walked over and met her at the park in the park. Apparently a kitten was stuck in a tree and she was rescuing it. Well done Pad Squad, well done.
Meanwhile the game was going well and Jake seemed like he had everything under control so we thought it'd be a good time to scan our Compadre cards. I took out my wallet where my Compadres Card has had a home since 1997. What do I find when I get there? Compadres is no more! The guy standing near the machines told us not to worry there was a new Frequent Friar program and it was pretty much the same thing. I said "Okay well step out of my way, good sir, and let me swipe my card that I've used since 1997". "Sorry sir, but you'll have to get a new card".
I asked "is it free?" "Well, no it cost $10". I became irate! "Someone is going to hear about my displeasure!"
He said "I guess you could talk to the Marketing Mangem--".
"No I'll be telling the INTERNETS!" Then I scurried off.
So Opening Day was fun and we complained a lot. Padres won, which was nice.