Jonny Dub and I went to the Padres Caravan event at UTC Mall on Saturday afternoon. It was just what I needed to get me prepped for some Padres baseball. I've been annoyed with the Padres lately but this event brought back some good innocent fun. I got to UTC just before Jon and he texted me asking me for the second time if Trevor Hoffman was there. I told him for the second time that I didn't know. However, when I broke the news that Pad Squad Andre was in attendance with his kids, Jon replied "Even better!"
I pulled up a seat alongside Andre and Jon arrived shortly after. Andre's kids played musical chairs while the DJ spun tunes. I thought for sure one of the kids was going to end up crying but everybody took their loss gracefully, like real Padres fans.
Jesse Agler took the stage first and introduced the Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg. I sh_t you not, the first words out of Enberg's mouth were:
Instead of Jesse interviewing him they had a kid (maybe 5th grade) ask him questions about his career. It was basically the same answers you've heard from Enberg before. His greatest moment calling a game was some no-hitter in Detroit and other stuff. I wasn't paying that close of attention. When asked about his retirement, Enberg was quick to point out that he wasn't retiring, he just wasn't going to broadcast games. He assured us that the Padres would find stuff for him to do and joked that as a teen he was a janitor so he could help out the cleaning crew.
Next up Enberg introduced his on-air replacement fby asking if anyone was from the Boston area, one fan didn't take kindly to the question.
Enberg asks if anyone in the crowd is from the Boston area. A lone "Booo!" is heard. That was me. #PadresCaravan— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 13, 2016
Former Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo took the stage. He loves San Diego weather and now lives in Coronado. Jesse asked him if he plans on taking the ferry from Coronado to the ballpark for games. I don't remember his answer, I must have been tweeting at the time.
Out to the stage next was new manager Andy Green. He's on the smaller side and youngish even with the beard.
Enberg was interviewed by a kid. Thought same was going to happen for Orsillo, but it was manager Andy Green. pic.twitter.com/bLMgSvWuct— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 13, 2016
They brought a kid up on stage and he and Andy traded off answering questions. Andy got really tough questions about the GDP of Argentina which he spun into a joke about GIDP. Later he was asked how many players had ever played in the Major Leagues, he guessed 18,000 and was remarkably close the 17,000+. The kid ended up winning with the easy questions.
Brandon Maurer was next and if he wasn't wearing a Padres jersey I'd never have recognized him. I don't think I've ever seen him before. I really need to start paying closer attention. He and Pad Squad Andre's kid played the Pie Face Game until they both ended up with whip cream on their faces.
Maurer sucked the cream write off his nose and into his mouth. Agler said he was lucky because at the last caravan stop they were using shaving cream.
Agler then introduced Tyson Ross. That dude is way bigger and more muscular than I ever imagined. Mmmm, gurl! Ross says he's looking forward to Spring Training.
Following Ross was James Shields who did the Chicken Dance with some kids, he said he'd be cool with Spring Training being a couple weeks shorter.
The event itself was just the right amount of time. Not too long, not too short and just the right amount of guests for those of us with a short attention span.
When it was all over we chatted with Padres Social Hour producer "Bluepper", Jesse Agler and Mike Grace. All good dudes. Every once in a while I can make Jesse laugh and I find it to be really rewarding to break his ever present cool demeanor. Fun times, you should go next year.