It’s exhausting to be a Padres fan. We spend so much time being upset about the past, hoping the future is something else, and being skeptical of everything the organization does. The one thing we can control is how we relate with the other fan bases in the National League West Division. In a lot of ways, they’re like family. They will always be there no matter who controls the teams.
The first tour through the NL West for the Padres felt so disconnected, which is natural when you basically don’t have a shot from day one. The Pads came out so bad so early that any semblance of a competitive game that meant something was out the window. The Dodgers have their own problems and Arizona will probably win it in the end. The Rockies? Well, as it always seems, they’re just sort of there. They have their problems and bright spots and we have ours. It’s almost like we’re friends getting through it together.
In 2013 I worked on a failed Fox Sports San Diego pilot called Off Base. It was going to be a talk/variety show hosted by our own Dallas McLaughlin. Below is a sketch I submitted. The idea was to make a fake Real World style reality show with each team in the division represented by a super fan.
The NL West House
By Nick McCann
Dallas: A lifelong Padres fan, he’s been at the same job at a brewery in San Diego since the year Petco opened. If he buys beer at the park, he complains about the quality to his fellow season ticket holders. When they ask him when he’s going to start his own brewery, he replies, “I’m working on it.”
Maureen: Grew up in Marin County. Has a boyfriend back home that doesn’t want her to be on the show. Went to Giants games at Candlestick with her father, but didn’t care. Started following the team seriously in 2010 when her father died. Defends Barry Bonds without question. She hasn’t spoken to Dallas since the big Bochy fight on the first night in the house.
Robert: From Calabasas, Robert is a Dodgers fan who got into USC Film School, but didn’t go. He dreads being expected to carry on the family business (being a slum lord). He wants to direct.
Cassie: She spent high school summers lifeguarding at the jacuzzi in Chase Field’s outfield. Now she’s in a sorority at ASU. In two years, she will find out that Dan Majerle is her real father. Doesn’t realize baseball was played before 1998. Hot.
Derrick: He moved to Denver in 1993 when his brother was drafted by the Denver Broncos. He’s been a Colorado Rockies fan since day one. Everybody likes him. He mentions altitude in every conversation.
(Quick cut of the five house members saying their names to the camera: Cassie from Phoenix, Robert from LA, Maureen from Marin, Derrick from Denver, and Dallas from San Diego.)
Voice Over: This season on The NL WEST HOUSE!
(Shot opens with Dallas and Derrick sitting on a couch. Maureen is sitting in a chair next to them eating soup.)
Dallas: I can’t believe we lost 2 out of 3!
Derrick: Better get that Bruce Bochy app.
Maureen: No comment.
(Robert runs out of his room with a handful of Dodger Dogs in his hand.)
Robert: Who put these in my bed? I only brought 20 packs.
Derrick: Not me.
(Dallas motions to Robert that Maureen did it. Robert looks over to Maureen who is getting nervous and starting to smile.)
Robert: Was it you, NorCal?
(Maureen gets up and runs for her life. Robert chases after, playfully tackles her to the ground, and she starts to bust up with laughter.)
Maureen: SoCal, don’t. I was just messing around. I hate you.
Derrick Talking Head: They’re gonna hook up.
Dallas Talking Head: Get a room!
Cassie Talking Head: Robert and Maureen? Oh, it’s happening.
(Cut to Maureen in the house confessional room talking to the camera, toweling off her face.)
Maureen: I hate you, SoCal! You’re so full of yourself. (She smiles because she has feelings for him)
Robert Talking Head: Maureen? You mean NorCal? She knows who runs the division.
(Cut to Dallas in a bath robe getting food from the fridge. Cassie is sitting at the table doing her nails. Derrick is at the counter eating eggs. Off camera you can hear two people arguing.)
Derrick: Hey, can the Giants fan and the Dodgers fan call a truce for one morning? They need to stop hiding their feelings.
Dallas: I agree (Dallas pulls out a jar of salsa). Who bought Southwest Salsa? There’s corn in it.
Cassie: Back home we call it salsa.
Dallas: Why would you do that? This really makes me-
Derrick:(to Dallas) Calm down, Sea Level. She ain’t worth it.
Derrick Talking Head: Where I’m from, if you live by the ocean and you’re getting crazy…we call you “Sea level.”
Dallas Talking Head: Derrick calls me Sea Level. We are definitely boys in the house.
(Cut to Cassie running outside to find Dallas and Derrick playing catch.)
Cassie: Come here, you guys!
(Cut to Dallas, Cassie and Derrick putting their ears up to the cracked door of the confessional room.)
Maureen: You’re one of the good ones, SoCal.
Robert: I know.
(Dallas, Derrick, and Cassie bust up laughing. Cut to Maureen and Robert kissing in front of the confessional.)
Cassie: Rival hook up. Gross!
Dallas: I’m SoCal too.
Derrick: It’s kinda hot when she defends Barry though!
Dallas: We’re gonna be boys, Derrick.
Derrick: Hey, I can’t talk to people from Arizona.
(Dallas and Derrick do a handshake they’ve already established)
Can you believe FSSD went with Social Hour and Padres POV? Well, hopefully someday we can produce an episode of this.
Things have changed since 2013, but the lack of rivalry with the Rockies is still palpable. Like Dallas and Derrick, we’re essentially boys in the house. The Dodgers and Giants hate each other more than any other established beef and Arizona is just this bizarre hot place we don’t understand. This year the Padres have already played the Rockies 11 times, including last night where the Padres lost at home to basically an empty house and introduced probably the largest human ever to where the uniform. The Padres even fought the Rockies this year and now that even feels like a distant dream. It was more of an exercise in the sanctity of the game’s unspoken rules than an actual problem. Sure, Bud Black would say, “That’s baseball.” But making that joke we all know even feels tired.
Follow on Twitter @Nicholas_McCann