I went down to Otay Ranch Mall in Chula Vista to see the Padres Caravan for myself on Sunday. I'm just telling you now because I wanted you to know all about it but way after it happened.
Let me get this out of the way first. Otay Ranch Mall is the best mall in San Diego. No crowds, so much parking, so clean and fresh. I could see making a home for myself in this mall. It's that good.
When I arrived a crowd had already gathered. A DJ was blasting music so loud that it felt like you were sitting in the right field upper deck. I'm very sensitive to loud noises. The Pad Squad came out soon after with a grip of old promo items and filled the air with them. I stayed a safe distance away.
#Padres fans mobbing the stage in hopes of catching last year's promo items. #PadresCaravan pic.twitter.com/GV8hYFTGE6— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
Pad Squad threw a Cashner jersey in a tree. Adult climbed tree, saw tons of butt crack. #Score #PadresCaravan— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
Finally the music stopped and Jesse Agler sauntered from the wings to host the event. Padres Legend Trevor Hoffman took the stage with his battery mate from the 1998 season, Carlos Hernandez. I tried to position myself for the perfect picture but instead got this.
Trevor Hoffman and Carlos Hernandez talking 1998 and 2015 at #PadresCaravan #CreeperShot pic.twitter.com/Fl3RWM7Pop— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
My poor positioning did not go unnoticed.
@GhostofRAK if you can see me then you definitely have a better view. #PadresCaravan— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
Trevor Hoffman seemed really excited about the upcoming season. Hernandez rallied the Spanish speaking crowd. It's nice having these two back in the fold.
Carlos Hernandez speaking to fans in Spanish gets big cheer. No telling what he said. #PadresCaravan— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
Derek Norris came out next. I'd never gotten a good look at him so I watched him closely trying to find a way to differentiate him from every other bearded player. Jesse Agler like a batting practice pitcher lobbed him softball questions and he knocked them out of the park.
Trevor Hoffman and Derek Norris playing games with children. #PadresCaravan pic.twitter.com/l9LIllpmCG— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2015
Ian Kennedy followed and by that time I had retreated to the shade. I listened from afar. He talked about how he felt a little insulted that Cashner thinks of himself as the best hitter on the staff. Kennedy for his part feels he's a power hitter.
After the event concluded fans lined up for autographs. I shot the sh_t with Padres Social Hour hosts Jesse Agler and Mike Grace. Blogger Ghost of RAK joined us along with super fan Crazy Charisma. I'd say it was a nice way to spend an afternoon.