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The Padres Home Closer

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

I’ve been really enjoying the Home Closer game for the past several years. It’s rarely a a popular game to attend, with the Padres well out of contention and the game commonly a late afternoon affair. The tickets are easy to come by and there’s none of the overzealous fans that come with the Home Opener. The Closer is for the weary fan, like me.

I wasn’t prepared for the crowds at last night’s Closer versus the Dodgers. Was it the Dodger Fans or the Dick Enberg fans that filled the seats? I rolled in late after deciding whether or not I should even attend. I missed the Dick Enberg retirement ceremony by only about an hour because I thought it was a 7:05 start, since that’s when baseball games are supposed to begin. I decided I was fashionably late as I plopped down a $20 for an upper deck seat along the third baseline.

If you missed the pre-game ceremony like I did, you can check it out here:

For me, Enberg retired last year with my cable subscription. I’ve been really happy with that decision. The radio broadcast renewed my love of the Padres and it made it possible for me to stay engaged through a season that was quite frankly unwatchable. The radio broadcast allowed me to relax and didn’t irritate me with the corny pre-game hosts, repeated commercials, guests in the booth or any of the distractions that the TV broadcast brings you daily. I must say I did miss Mark Grant and from everything I hear Don Orsillo and Julie Alexander have provided a breath of fresh air for TV broadcast that seemed stale in the past several years.

After all the fanfare for Enberg, I’m confused as to why he wouldn’t just retire after his last home game. Why go through all the ceremonies and then do three more games? It’s very anticlimactic and just unnecessarily draws out the whole thing. Take your curtain call and then go back to work? It was a strange decision.

Between every inning tributes to Enberg appeared on the ballpark’s towering video board.

My mind was elsewhere:

After the Dodgers opened up a sizeable lead on the Padres, I went down to Seaside Market to buy Crazy Charisma a fresh squeezed Orange Juice that I’ve owed her since April.

After we parted ways, I went to Phil’s BBQ to get dinner before the stand closed. In line I saw RJ’s Fro again and Bring Back the Brown. I was embarrassed that they saw me in my giveaway pinstriped blue and orange Caminiti jersey, while they were clad in brown and gold from head to toe.

The lines were long and by the time I finished we were down by six runs. I dreaded dealing with annoying Dodger fans and longed for the quiet and finality of last year’s last game, when the season ended at home. There was too much energy in the ballpark. Where were my depressed brethren?

I was worn out and decided to just head home. I doubted that any of the players would notice or care since they’d rush into the clubhouse when the final out is recorded. I looked around briefly and mumbled my goodbyes to the 2016 season.