The San Diego Padres hosted the San Francisco Giants for four games. I started a conversation with my good friend Sean O’Donnell over the series. We emailed back and forth after every game. Sean grew up in the Bay Area and San Diego. He is a Giants fan and a Chargers fan. We have issues.
NICHOLAS MCCANN: Thursday April 9th 11:54am PST
I just posted my recap of the Dodgers series. You might have already read it. You seem like a person who likes to learn things. Look, I don’t have anything good to say to you in the trash talk department. My first impulse is, “Hey, it’s not an even year so you guys aren’t gonna win the World Series.” That’s my move and it sucks. Congrats, you have everything. What Madison Bumgarner did was great. I hope it breaks Clayton Kershaw.
Let’s have a fun weekend together. I’ll try not to say anything mean spirited about Timmy or the fact that you stole Bruce Bochy from me. I’m glad Tim Flannery left the Giants. I couldn’t stomach you guys having both of them.
It’s our home opener. Go easy.
SEAN O’DONNELL: Thursday April 9th 1:38pm PST
Oh hey Nicholas,
Of course I read your recap. I’m a big fan of your work! Plus I have a lot of downtime. As a stay at home dad, I spend the majority of my time trying to keep my son from hurting himself, and dwelling on the greatness of Giants baseball. And not necessarily in that order.
I’m excited for this weekend’s series. You guys are the hot ticket. Here’s a tip: Enjoy it! National focus on the NL West dies quicker than you can possibly imagine. People just forget. The Giants win the World Series every other year, with a lineup that looks bad on paper, and every year they get picked to come in 3rd in the division, because, “the lineup looks bad on paper.” We can’t win, except for the fact that we won, like a lot.
Your lineup on the other hand, looks like a fantasy baseball team. But it also looks like a massive headache. How could your squad possibly live up to the expectations? After the Kimbrel trade, the first thing I thought was that if the Pads don’t make the NLCS, Bud Black is done. Think about the incredible heartbreaker you’re in for if you guys don’t even make the playoffs. What about the very real possibility the team doesn’t gel, you guys are in last place at the All-Star break, and Preller has to return it all? So….yeah. Have fun taking all that baggage into the weekend! Go Giants!
NICHOLAS MCCANN: Friday April 10th 7:56am PST
Let’s have a conversation about fedoras. I haven’t made the leap yet, but I’m headed there. To me, one starts wearing that style of hat because they want to project a certain level of danger and unpredictability. So far, the 2015 Padres have been all hype and not much of a threat to anybody.
The Derek Norris/Angel Pagan issue will be interesting going into tonight’s game. They are both saying the right things, but this series could devolve into a bean ball fest. We will see. For me, the highlight of the 1-0 victory by your Giants was after Pagan hit a triple. Angel jumped up and exploded with passion like he was Antonio Banderas in a Robert Rodriquez gun fight. The Pads got out of the jam successfully and it felt great. That’s all I’m hanging onto. San Diego’s offense was not dangerous and sadly predictable.
What’s tonight’s giveaway going to be – Opening Weekend Vape Pen Night? #SDVapeNight
SEAN O’DONNELL: Friday April 10th 5:41pm PST
Dear St. Nick,
How fun was that? Those fedoras were a nice and classy touch, too. Nice and classy, like when Derek Norris called Angel Pagan a “d*ckhead” for flicking gum at him. Thanks to Derek Norris, Angel Pagan is going to get beaned tonight, for doing something I got a referral for in 8th grade. Even though he didn’t actually do it, and we all know that(but I did do it).
But other than #gumgate, that was business as usual for SF. Great pitching, no offense, fun/agonizing to watch, and they win in the most unlikely manner(Justin Maxwell!). I’m just as excited for tonights game. Big Time Timmy Jim is taking the mound, provided he can get back in time from his DJ set at Coachella. Look man, no matter what happens, let’s admit it’s kind of fun that the Pads and the Giants are fired up. Not that any of it matters anyways, The Rockies are gonna win the division.
P.S. Spangenberg is in the lineup tonight. IT’S SPANG NIGHT. You feelin’ it?
NICHOLAS MCCANN: Saturday April 11th 11:32am PST
Exhale. If the Pads got shut out again I would have ended this email chain. I mean, I might have called you and apologized and made excuses for why we haven’t changed at all on the offensive end, but I probably couldn’t go one talking about it.
Tim Lincecum looked really good, which is scary. If he can be a mid 3s ERA guy it’s going to a huge problem for the entire division. All weed jokes aside, as a baseball he is still a cool person to watch do his thing.
Also, I’m glad Angel Pagan and Derek Norris played nice. I don’t need to think about Gumgate, see #GumGate, or more importantly see #GumGate T-shirts paired with TEAM NORRY Fedoras around downtown. Baseball is fun right now and the division is exciting. Let’s keep it between the lines and sportsman like. I enjoyed when Kemp accidently tapped your back up catcher in the back of the head with his bat and it wasn’t a thing. The Giants and Padres don’t hate each other. We hate LA.
That said, we are winning the division and the rest of the series. Kiss my GRITZ!
SEAN O’DONNELL: Saturday April 11th 5:23pm PST
Good game. Was it? I don’t know, I fell asleep in the 6th inning. Not cause it was boring, but because it was midnight. Being an NL West fan on the east coast SUCKS. But Timmy looked good, real good. I was bracing myself for a 1st inning HR that never happened. I feel like any time I sat down to watch Timmy last year, he always gave up a 1st inning HR. To Paul Goldschmidt. Every time to Paul Goldschmidt. Didn’t even matter what team the Giants were facing. Paul Goldschmidt would magically appear and hit a HR. I hate that Paul Goldschmidt. At least Preller knew his limits and didn’t trade for that son-of-a-gun.
Tonight’s matchup has a certain familiarity to it. Bumgarner vs. Shields. Where have I heard that before? Just kidding, I remember where. They pitched against each other in last years World Series, when Bumgarner deflated the hopes and dreams of Kansas City like a balloon. Did you know that the BBQ in KC was inexplicably awful the week after the series was over? It was ruining tourism until they found out the problem: Billy Butler was crying in all of it.
But sure, let’s tee it up. What’s the worst thing that could happen? I’ll end with a joke that my great great grandfather used to tell:
“Q: What does a burrito taste like smothered in Matt Kemp’s tears?
A: Ask Rihanna.”
NICHOLAS MCCANN: Sunday April 12th 11:21am PST
I want what you have. There is no way around it. My team is “fun” now and it’s cool. Honestly, I don’t care if this idea that is the 2015 Padres works. That’s not important to me. It feels like they are trying and that means more to me than this little series in April. If the Pads win on this Sunday, it will be exciting. It would be easy for me to say, “We run this shit now,” or “Get out of our way, old guard!” I’m trying to pump the brakes. I’m trying to be reasonable.
I understand your perspective. We smacked you last night and it’s not that big of a deal. It’s all about the post season. Thanks for holding my hand through this.
SEAN O’DONNELL: Sunday April 12th 11:48am PST
Dear guy who roots for the winning team,
Congrats on last night! It’s like my great great grandmother always said, “Make a Matt Kemp/Rihanna joke, and Bumgarner will get shelled”. But kudos to your team, they played to the level of expectations, and maybe for the first time this season. When Padre fans nestled in their beds this offseason, they dreamed of 10-2 slaughterings of the World Champs, with their ace on the mound.
Although, it felt a little like overkill last night, didn’t it? Like when someone sees an ex, and they’ve lost some weight, and they’re trying to flaunt it. Like “ooooh, Bochy, look how many runs we are scoring, oooooh”. If I were Bud Black, I would be pissed. C’mon Padres, you dance with the girl that brung ya.
Anyhow. Jake taking the mound today should get some applause from his old fan base. He built that stadium. Now let’s watch him tear it down!
NICHOLAS MCCANN: April 12th 4:40pm PST
A real text conversation with my Mom:
Mom: How is the new place?
Me: It’s great. #UptonFunkYouUp.
That’s how I text now. I love our lineup and I love beating the Giants. More importantly, I love beating Jake Peavy on a Sunday. Him and Bochy represent a past I would like to forget. I love those guys, but the inherent newness of these Padres is intoxicating to a degree that I’m struggling to wrap my head around.
This NL West is wide open. It’s a lot like Game of Thrones. I still feel like a White Walker trying to make everyone aware that my kind exists. We’re coming. Hold your dragons tight.
SEAN O’DONNELL: April 13th 9:33am PST
What can I say? You took the series, and your 3rd baseman isn’t a hurt Casey McGehee. It definitely wasn’t the weekend performance I was looking for, but I take comfort in all of the early April adages. “It’s a long season.” “We’ve got to take one game at a time.” And my personal favorite, “Remember when we won all of those World Series?”
You should be proud today. Stick your chest out. Like I said in my first email, ENJOY IT. But remember, it’s like Cersei said: “When you play the game of thrones, you either win, or Bud Black gets fired.”
See you in May.
Follow on Twitter: @Nicholas_McCann and @SeanTODonnell
Check out Sean’s new album Spirit Junkie!