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May 22, 2015

West Coast By Us

Day 1: In The Land Where Everybody Is Immediately Put On TV

by Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman

Prologue

Planes are amazing things. Modern technology has enabled human beings to move at speeds faster than our ancestors ever thought possible. The jet engine has given rise to today’s sophisticated global economy, expedited world travel, and modernized military technology. But yesterday morning on our flight from Baltimore to San Diego, it allowed for something even more important: it allowed our seat neighbor Cindy to get absolutely hammered at 500 mph.

Our seatmate was part of a caravan on its way to a bachelorette party in San Diego. And while our friend might not remember very much in the morning thanks to the three Bloody Marys and five glasses of wine she threw down, she made it a flight that we’ll never be able to forget. From prop bets over whether the baby in the front or the back of the plane would cry more, to the time she started screaming “I WANT FRENCH TOAST. I WANT SOUP NOW” after we landed, Cindy was a treasure of magical proportions.

There were many things we counted on happening during the first day of our journey. Landing safely in San Diego; check. Meeting up with Chris Crawford and taking his car hostage; check. Arriving at Petco Park with our wits about us; check. Making our television debut; check?!?! Fox Sports San Diego invited us onto their pregame show, Padres Social Hour, to talk about our trip, ON DA TV.

Like any other first time experience, our appearance left a lot of room for improvement. We learned that Jake needs to stop looking like he’s in an hallucinogenic trance, we learned that Jordan should probably wear pants next time, and we learned that if you pause the video enough times you can get a really derpy picture of yourself. While there were certainly some rough parts, for the most part, our first time on TV went shockingly well. To be honest this was actually my second time on TV. Here’s me at a Nats game in 2012 looking like a total doofus. We had a great time doing the interview and big thanks to Jesse Agler for inviting us on. Watch out Chris Russo, we’re coming for you. —Jake Mintz

  • It has been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Never has this statement been more true than with Kris Bryant. We’ve now seen the blue-eyed beauty play two games in person and he has gone yard in both. Last year in Huntsville we saw him obliterate a ball over the left field wall while playing for Double-A Tennessee. This time around he crushed an awful breaking ball from Odrisamer Despaigne to dead center.

  • Despaigne got the start for the Friars and pitched a tremendously mediocre six innings, excluding the bomb he allowed to Bryant. Despaigne’s career home/road splits are expectedly extreme: .581 OPS allowed at home, .793 OPS allowed on the road before last night’s game. It’s safe to assume his relative comfort at home can be attributed not only to Petco’s pitcher-friendly dimensions, but also the fact that his name miraculously includes all the letters in “San Diego Padres”. Despaigne also holds the esteemed title of Best Non-Yoenis Cuban eyebrows.

  • Anthony Rizzo executed the vaunted Swing At A Pitch That Hits You And Act Like It Was A Dropped Third Strike to perfection, as he managed to stay on first base for a solid two minutes before Bud Black came out and reminded the umpires how baseball works.

  • This past offseason, the Padres became the latest team to install an absurdly gigantic high-definition video board in their stadium. This new video board is quintuple the size of their old one, measuring in at a ridiculous 61 feet tall by 123 feet wide, the largest in the NL and the third largest in the major leagues. And yet, the gargantuan screen is still not quite big enough to fit some of the Padres starters’ full names: Cory Spangen at 2nd, Will Middlebr at 3rd, and Despaign on the bump. You’ve got over 7,500 square feet of screen and you can’t fit just one more measly “E” for Despaigne? Come on, man.

  • The new Inning Break Clock goes largely unnoticed on TV broadcasts for obvious reasons, but they certainly stood out to us during this game. Pitchers are given two-and-a-half minutes from the last out of the previous half inning to the first pitch of the next half inning. While not seemingly that strictly enforced, we couldn’t help but view this countdown clock as a shot clock of sorts. I kept hoping for the crowd to erupt as Kyle Hendricks fired in a first pitch strike to Alexi Amarista with the clock winding down. Would love to see a buzzer as well. Baseball buzzer-beaters!

  • Kyle Hendricks benefited from two things on his way to his first career complete game shutout: a) aggressive Padres hitters swinging early in the count; and b) not being Kyle Kendrick. Hendricks had a 5.15 ERA heading into last night’s game, having not pitched into the 7th inning once yet this year in his first seven starts. Hendricks struck out seven and walked none, becoming the first Cubs pitcher to throw a complete game shutout with no walks since Jason Marquis in 2007 (via the baseball-reference Play Index (use the coupon code BP for a discounted price of $30 on a one-year subscription)).

—Jordan Shusterman

Counters

-Meals at In-N-Out: 0

-Dr. Peppers consumed: Jake - 3/Jordan - 2

-Times we listened to "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton: 1

What’s Next:

After the game we drove 45 minutes north to Encinitas and stayed with Jake’s friend Cam. Today, the three of us will drive around the area eating tacos at every lunch truck we can find. If you own a taco truck and live in San Diego, let us know and we’ll come eat at your taco truck. After we finish stuffing ourselves with some Mexican tortilla-ed goodness, we’ll drive north to watch the Lake Elsinore Storm host the Stockton Ports.


Day 1 was an incredible start to the trip. A flight to remember, a Kris Bryant donger, and our first real TV appearance all provided us with the perfect kickstart to what we hope will be an irreverent, free-wheeling, and soul searching journey up the California coast.

Related Content:  San Diego Padres

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Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (05/22)
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West Coast By Us: Cali... (05/21)
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West Coast By Us: Day ... (05/23)
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Premium Article Rubbing Mud: The Quart... (05/22)

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