Today, the Padres game did not even come come to being the most notable event in Padres history that happened. As we all probably know by now that was Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn's passing. Still, the game is bigger than even him and must go on. With heavy hearts many still tuned in. You got a chance to see and hear tributes to Tony from those that knew him well. Whether it was Ted Leitner, who broadcast Tony's entire career as a Padre and is going through the pain of losing not only him, but his longtime partner Jerry Coleman and has ties to San Diego State sports where Gwynn played and coached. Or whether it was Dick Enberg and Mark Grant who broadcast games with Gwynn over the last few years and Mark Grant played with him a couple decades ago. Either way you got to "hang out" with men that felt a similar pain and were looking to baseball to soldier on without the great man. And, of course, many GLBers took to the comforts of the game thread to chat amongst their fellow grieving fans.
In contrast to that the game itself paled in comparison. It followed an all to familiar pattern of allowing far too many runs to call it a close game and the offense not even presenting a challenge to their opponent. Tyson Ross did not have his best stuff today. A couple of home runs staked the Mariners to a lead they would not relinquish. Ross would battle long enough to go 5 2/3 innings despite walking seven (7!) of the Padres' natural rivals. Meanwhile former Padre Chris Young, in his first outing against his former team, used his stealth fastball to fool many a Friar and cruised through 6 innings of shut out ball. The Padres would eventually avoid a shut out with a 9th inning solo home run by Carlos Quentin.
Were this another day we would be reveling in the
forced natural rivalry of these two clubs kicking off and bemoaning how the Padres had succumbed to the Hated Mariners in the opener. However, the game and that showcase took a backseat today to a more somber occasion. Tomorrow is another day and we shall keep root, root, rooting for our home team. The one that Tony Gwynn played with for his entire career.
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