Posts Tagged ‘Padres’

It was the eighth night of my trip called #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) and everything was superb.

I made an impulse decision to stop at the Walmart in Murphy Canyon and things disintegrated quickly.

I was in the men’s department checking out sports’ hats when a cute young lady was suddenly standing next to me. Before I looked at her, she spoke and asked “Who is your team?”

I looked at her and said “probably Padres” and she nodded. I returned serve and she offered a horrible answer.

“CHARGERS,” she said proudly.

She certainly saw my face turn to a look of disgust and I’m sure my tone of voice wasn’t so friendly as I interrogated her.

She blabbered something about how Chargers are like family and you have to stick with family.

The woman knew it was time to depart and said “Have a good night.”

Really? How am I possibly going to have a good night when I just encountered someone in San Diego being perfectly fine with the team no longer being in SAN DIEGO?

Vacation ruined.

For most of my 11 days in my hometown, there were very few signs the Chargers even exist. Nobody was talking about them and it was like out of sight, out of mind.

Which is exactly what the Chargers deserve.

So now that you know the lowlight of my vacation, check out all the highlights. The best thing for you is you don’t even have to talk to me to learn how awesome my latest vacation went.

Welcome to the latest version of Vacation by Tweets:



I don’t have a name for my vacation and I will be at the airport in less than 11 hours. … this is officially a problem.



At Boise Airport… #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is official name of vacation

#BoiseState gear already on clearance — before the first loss that empties the bandwagon. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link –

Outside the awesome San Diego airport … vacation is real … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link —

Really? The Today Show didn’t know if it was Idaho or Iowa? No problem – I didn’t even know the show still exists. #NonFactorThisCentury … The Great American Eclipse is coming: How to catch the best views

Walking through the old neighborhood … and this appears … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link —



Hey, the recently unveiled Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway. … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link —

Great collection of Tony Gwynn memorabilia at AleSmith Brewing … would show you but no photos/video allowed … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Sources say this legend has a gig at the #BellyUp on Wed while I am in #SanDiego … talk about good fortune … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) …



That highlight point of any vacation home has arrived … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —



Sure looks like I am sitting front row for free for Mets vs Padres … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Some 30-year-old guy named Dusty Coleman with ZERO MLB hits is playing shortstop for #Padres#MiserableFailures #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Cleaned my dad’s brick as people trampled to the exits at Petco Park … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Watching news & the weather person goes by Dagmar Midcap – @DagmarNBCSD – & she is all kinds of amazing & fabulous #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … copy of Dagmar’s reply: Thanks but turtles make the best forecasters



Hey, Mona Lisa pizza. The absolute best in San Diego … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Traditional visit to my dad’s gravesite … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Thanks iPhone & Twitter for conspiring to post this picture upside down … no doctoring photos scandal here … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Odds are high that I’m getting exercise at Lake Murray. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —



What great fortune that legendary John Waite plays the BellyUp tonight. You know where to find me later tonight. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

The great John Waite signing the former No. 1 hit When I See You Smile at the Belly Up. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —



Qualcomm stadium looking lonely and rundown. Will be lonely all football season. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Apparently, CA beginning push to secede from Union. Hmm, would I need passport for future travel? Swear I didn’t vote for Trump? Or just LOL

High atop famous Cowles Mountain. If it weren’t overcast, we would see downtown San Diego. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Concluding my seventh night in San Diego & haven’t seen one “Chargers” cap or shirt. Good riddance Spanos clowns. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)



Who allowed this inside the Mission Valley Target? Rest of the row (14 more) San Diego State. #VacationWithNoCharge … picture link —

Sources say a tire shop & Albertsons among first commits for prime corner at Eagle & Fairview. What a waste. Should build ballpark for Hawks

More In-N-Out!! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Cute girl at store asks me “Who is your team?” When I return serve, she says CHARGERS. Terrible. Vacation ruined. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … OH SORRY, didn’t take a picture of said cute girl

Guess some people didn’t get the message the first time: Quit writing about Lonzo’s dad. Don’t answer his calls. Don’t think about him.



Barely hanging on Qualcomm through trolley window. #VacationWithNoChargers … picture link —

Beyond RCF at Petco Park. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Starling Marte, PED user, up at the plate. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Padres win. Putting heat on the Dodgers. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Ugh. Just saw old dude wearing a CHARGERS hat. In downtown San Diego. Must have CTE. This on Night Nine of #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Dang, someone just came on trolley wearing a Ryan Mathews Chargers jersey. Ouch. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)



A second Mona Lisa pizza on one vacation! Being me rules! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link —

Remember, #Dodgers haven’t been to #WorldSeries since 1988 despite tons of big trades & billions spent. #Padres were in WS in 1998. #Facts

Gone from 70-degree paradise to 100-degree sauna. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is over.


So I took a vacation to Drought Land and amazing amounts of rain fell from the sky.

Well, I did joke about taking a wheelbarrow full of water past security at the Boise airport so I’m guessing that the Weather Gods somehow learned of my zany request.

Regardless, I wasn’t expecting that a vacation home to San Diego would become memorable for crazy rainy weather. On one July day, it poured so hard that it set the record for most rain in the MONTH of July in San Diego history.

Then the record was broken the following day as it rained even harder and longer. And I recognized all the thunder and lightning as I seemingly brought it with me from seeing it for five straight nights in Boise.

Oh yeah, that thunder and lightning somehow followed me back to Boise too. I like being magical but this is a bit ridiculous.

Anyway, you surely recall the drill from past years. Vacation by tweets is back for another run and you can catch all the action of #VacationInDroughtLand below.




–Vacation to #DroughtLand begins tomorrow … my biggest concern is whether there is enough water left for me to take a shower.


#VacationToDroughtLand about to commence. Hope TSA doesn’t mind me checking in a wheelbarrow full of water.

#ThatProudMoment when other passengers gawk at Coronado Bridge & I’m staring down at cemetery where father is buried #VacationInDroughtLand

–No sound on for All-Star HR Derby … That means no Berman Buffoonery … Life is good. #VacationInDroughtLand


–Always fun to visit the cemetery and see my father’s tombstone. #VacationInDroughtLand

–OK, guess the tombstone is just coming in upsides down on Twitter. It is fine in my laptop & came in fine on Facebook. #UpsideDownUpsideDown

–Was feeling pretty young on my vacation. That ended when I saw Joe Morgan with a cane. #VacationInDroughtLand

–Pretty sure several All-Stars born in the 1990s just made fun of a lot of us. #RotaryPhone #CassetteTape #GoToBankToGetMoney #VCR

–Nothing like the cool breeze of a SoCal summer night. #SanDiego is known as paradise for a reason.


–Freeway traffic, ugh. Feel like I competed in NASCAR race & none of the other drivers had Dale Earnhardt Jr’s brain. #VacationInDroughtLand


–Great time at my sister’s house last two days. Eight-year-old niece didn’t want me to leave. Smart kid. Ha! #VacationInDroughtLand


–At CreamOfTheCrop elite hoops tourney in #GardenGrove. Cousin’s son is a prospect. #VacationInDroughtLand

–Look! Pay phones! Spotted in Orange County. The MLB All-Stars born in the 1990s don’t understand them either.

–Spoke to diehard #Cardinals fan today in Orange County. She was EXTREMELY BITTER about Albert Pujols. Told her he was just a few miles away.


–The #Padres have seats that cost $94. Outside of the very rare playoff game, who would pay $94 to see #Padres play?

–Rain in #SanDiego, where people have forgotten what it looks like. Must be that wheelbarrow full I brought on plane. #VacationInDroughtLand

–What good is having free #Padres tickets if it is raining yaks & mooses? Maybe go downtown & just watch it pour? #VacationInDroughtLand

–My buddy just asked me if I “packed rain gear.” Of course not, I traveled to #DroughtLand. #SanDiegoTorrentialDownpour

–There was a better chance of me packing reindeer than “rain gear.” #VacationInDroughtLand

–Lunch at Mona Lisa, the best pizza place in #SanDiego. Always a high point.

–We will be having baseball tonight based on the view from my free seats at #PetcoPark.

— Cleaned up my dad’s brick like any good son would. #VacationInDroughtLand

— Congrats to the Colorado #Rockies for getting two runners to third base. But having them get there at the same time isn’t good.

— What I learned tonight: Relatives of Colorado #Rockies players don’t pay attention to the game. Except when relative bats. #Weak #NoManners

— Said relative — Brandon Barnes — Ks to end game. #Rockies #Padres … His daughter stepped on my foot at least a dozen times. #NoControl

— Replica of PetcoPark was Saturday giveaway. #VacationInDroughtLand


–Nephew & niece want me to join them in pool — & now it is pouring mules & donkeys for second straight day. #VacationInDroughtLand

–Pretty sure the drought is over in #SoCal. Just spent more than an hour battling monsoon-like rain. More water on freeway than at Sea World.

— Being on vacation & not seeing any TV, I don’t know what all these Donald Trump comments are about. But isn’t he a dorky doofus every week?

— Thought I went on vacation to #SanDiego … apparently I’m in #Seattle … more rain in one day than entire month of July in history of SD.


Yep, two more In-N-Out burgers. Each bite feels like heaven. Last ones until next CA vacation. #VacationInDroughtLand

–Highest-priced ticket for #Padres game tonight is $122. As a kid, you could have gone to all 81 games for a buck & had $41 left over. #Sad

–The TV woman telling us about the weather is named Dagmar Midcap … got to be a real name cuz you wouldn’t make that up as a stage name.

–Taking trolley to #PetcoPark & worst nightmare occurs: Dude twice as big as seat sits next to me. How come 90-pound women don’t go to games?

–The famous Western Metal Supply Co. Building beyond LF at #PetcoPark. #VacationInDroughtLand

–So the #Padres can’t show a replay when the opposing team homers? Is that because they themselves hit so few? #VacationInDroughtLand

–Matt Kemp homers for the #Padres … Multiple replay angles … Maybe they can show it another 42 times.

–Gerald Dempsey Posey III just got an RBI single for the #Giants. … Sounds a lot less imposing than “Buster.”

–Speaking of athletes nicknamed “Buster,” how about that time #Chargers selected brittle bust Craig “Buster” Davis in the first round?

–Remember when there was no LOUD MUSIC every minute at #Padres game? Only Danny Topaz playing the Lowrey Organ. Can we go back to organ days?

#Padres unbeaten (2-0) with me in the ballpark in 2015. Some rich person ought to bankroll me an August vacation.


–Why are the lights on at Qualcomm Stadium? Did the field flood again?

–My mom has a phone book in her house. MLB All-Stars born in 1990s: Why doesn’t she just Google to find the number?

–Look what I brought from #SanDiego — lots of rain. Sorry #Boise, blame me. Pours wherever I am last 2 1/2 weeks. #VacationInDroughtLand

My biggest accomplishment during my just-concluded vacation in Southern California and Las Vegas is that I became an expert at using mobile Twitter and tweeting what was going on during my 12-day excursion.

So when somebody asks how my vacation was, I now don’t have to give them a complete blow-by-blow. Just e-mail them the link or direct them to my Web site and there’s the recap.

Perhaps the only thing of note not found below was learning that two of my cousin Mike’s children are now in their 30s. Yeah, Ammon is now 30 too. That was not a good feeling.

But if that’s the most stressful occurrence of a vacation, I can live with that.

Here is the tweet-by-tweet look at my 2011 vacation:

–Shaquille O’Neal retiring doesn’t make me feel good. Kind of like when Nolan Ryan retired, it is the type of news that makes you feel old.
–On positive note, looking forward to TWO WHOLE WEEKS without work. San Diego, Las Vegas & Southern California in general on my June radar.
–Time to board flight to lovely San Diego. That tells me it is now #vacation time.
–Mona Lisa has best pizza in San Diego. Been way too long since I had that scrumptious pizza. Get to see my sisters’ kids Friday! #vacation
–Sharp rally by #Mavericks in huge victory over #Heat. I’m the guy saying series pressure is on Dallas, not Miami.
–@JenelynRusso Thanks! … and thanks for setting up the good weather … 🙂
–Great weather in San Diego on Friday. Had a blast with my sister’s awesome kids. #Padres game on Saturday night agenda.
–At #Padres vs #Astros game at Petco Park. Great seats — first base in Field Level. Aaron Harang pitching.
–Speaking of #Padres Harang, same Little League that has Award named after my dad has one named after a relative of Harang. I presented the sportsmanship award named after my dad.
#Astros Carlos Lee (335) has more career HRs than anyone from Panama. #Padres scoreboard butchered last name of second-place Ben Oglivie (235). Spelled it “Oglive” #PadresNeedAFactChecker
–Sun finally dips below Western Metal Supply building at #Padres game #HeardManyFansSayDislike5:30Start
–Everybody in section laughing that #Padres just announced attendance of 28,000. Low 20s more accurate.
–Saw #Padres win a second straight home game for first time all year. Then great wings at downtown Hooters.
–Just saw redesigned San Diego Union-Tribune. Awful. I thought it was a free weekly at first. I’ve seen better-looking junior college papers.
–Amazing all the info on Twitter about #Padres. Haven’t seen TV or read a newspaper Web site in 3 days. Fans delivering all the info.
–Grossmont Center looks much different. Burger at place that USED TO BE Trophy’s was great. Thanks Barnes & Nobles for free wifi.
–San Diego Union-Tribune story on #Padres first-round picks says Karsten Whitson was No. 8 overall, chart says No. 9 #DoTheyEvenProofPages?
–Had my first In-N-Out Burger today in 2 years & felt like I had gone to heaven. Company ignored my pleas to put one in #Boise #BigJuddsRules
–Having trouble accepting that I’m about to go to sleep for 5th night of my vacation already. Miss Southern CA a bunch. In Vegas tomorrow.
–Had lunch with a top-flight SoCal sports journalist & then had peaceful drive across desert. Now in Las Vegas #VacationsGetRollingThere
–Just looked out window of 22nd floor hotel room at New York New York in Las Vegas & see I’m equal to highest point of the roller coaster.
–I’ll never understand how people live in Las Vegas. It is nearly 1 am & it is hotter than lava outside. #AndItIsntEvenLateJulyOrAugust
–Lunch buffet at Mandalay Bay is $20. Burger at “cheap” place across from it is $14 #LasVegasFoodPricesGoneWild
–Baja Fresh at Excalibur won out. Awesome chicken burrito, chips & drink for $10 #AlsoHealthier
–Heard cheering – turns out a hockey game is on casino big screen. Guess Versus does exist somewhere. #NHL
–Stray woman from Canada approached me & wanted to know why she can’t watch game. Told her cuz it is on Versus.
–Gal spent 20 minutes checking every channel in her room multiple times. She’s not happy about US TV not embracing #NHL
–Oh my! They have a Rubio’s in Monte Carlo food court. Lunch there Thursday #FoundedBySanDiegoStateGrad
–Getting harder to enjoy strolls on Las Vegas strip. These guys & gals are 20 deep on every corner trying to hand out escort girl cards & pamphlets. Um, if I wanted one, wouldn’t I already have a handful from the 20 of you at the previous block? #TakeControlOfYourTownLasVegas
–Oh, one more thing on the annoying folks snapping escort cards at every Las Vegas strip corner: These dang things are LITTERED EVERYWHERE.
BreezyInBoiseBri Eggers to @MrSportsBlog take them!  They’re free vegas trading cards! They can’t legally talk to you, but they would say, “collect them all!”
–To @BreezyInBoise Oh my!! That was hilarious! I busted out laughing! So if I get duplicates of buxom blonde, I can trade for petite Asian! #LOL
BreezyInBoiseBri Eggers to @MrSportsBlog exactly, but keep in mind Ashley with the big stars is worth TWO twin cards.  She’s bustier.
–Terrelle Pryor isn’t interested in the CFL? Too bad, I’ve always had him penned as a third-down WR in that league. #GoingWayOfEricCrouchSoon
–The Rubios in the Monte Carlo hotel is calling my name. On goes the sunscreen & out the door I go.
–Those Rubios tacos were delicious! #Boise needs one of those, along with In-N-Out & sports bars that don’t close before games end.
–About to use that second free New York New York roller coaster pass, then time to figure out where to watch #Heat vs #Mavericks
–Survived New York New York roller coaster again today. Girl behind me must have vomited cuz she needed towel when ride ended & was woozy.
–Now going to go offstrip to watch #Mavericks & #Heat. Casino smoke was gagging me badly Tuesday night. I’m from CA where it’s not allowed.
–No sound here per #Mavericks & #Heat… just music … I see Wade has returned to the court but still don’t why he left.
–Hmmmm – the tradeoff of not having to listen to Van Gundy means I will be wondering what Wade hurt for next 2 hours.
–A woman just asked me if Wade returned to game. I said yes. She tells me Wade injured his hip. #MysterySolved
–Commercial NBA playoffs – look at #Padres game & see some lefty hit a triple. Must be the new guy — Rizzo.
–Don’t tell Tony Gwynn about Taco Bell’s 12 tacos for $10.  He’s been known to devour a family’s worth of Taco Bell food.
–King With No Rings doing what he does best — coming up empty with game on line.
–If I lived in Las Vegas, I would have to make weekly visits to New York New York just to eat pizza at place across from Times Square Bar.
–Packing suitcase. Actually must leave Las Vegas. Heading back to Southern CA. First stop, sister’s house. Later tonight — Hangover 2.
–In-N-Out Burger in desert town of Barstow is insanely busy. I’m order 80 … they just called 33 & 37. #PatienceNeededForMyStomach
–Smog in SoCal brutal today. Can’t believe I used to breathe in this junk. Only clean, fresh air in #Boise
–Some rough traffic through Riverside area & San Diego. Those 3 hours were 2 hours, 57 minutes more traffic than #Boise has in six months.
–Thanks for MP3 shuffle for lively songs at key times: “Little Suzi” (Tesla), “You Wrecked Me” (Tom Petty) & “Little Goodbyes (SheDaisy).
–MP3 shuffle final song before reaching San Diego destination — “Good Girls Don’t” (The Knack). #ItHurts
–Just got done seeing Hangover II. Good movie but not as good as first one. Guess there will be divorce & 3rd movie in 2013.
–Enjoyed sleeping in. Will visit Dad’s gravesite later today, quickie lunch with #Padres radio engineer & see Padres vs #Nationals tonight.
–At Petco Park. Going to be chilly on the bay. Thanks to #Padres radio engineer Dave Marcus for lunch. Dave hangs the star. Good guy.
–#Nationals Jim Riggleman has officially gone nuts. Jayson Werth leading off, pitcher hitting 8th, Bixler batting 9th. #Padres
–Of course #Padres keep batting Chase Headley 3rd & wonder why they can’t score runs. #HeadleyWouldBatSixthInRealMLBLineup
–Amazed that so many fans didn’t take off hats for national anthem for #Padres vs #Nationals. San Diegans or transplants?
–Jacket on before first pitch for 5:35 start for #Padres & #Nationals. SD for South Dakota tonight?
–I just witnessed Anthony Rizzo’s first career homer. Kid has a nice stroke. #Padres #Nationals
–Petco Park still has 19″ TVs from its opening so nobody in seating area could tell if Ludwick HR was fair or foul. #PadresBuyBiggerTVs
–Picked great time to check out LF bleachers view: back-to-back diving catches by #Padres Chris Denorfia & Ryan Ludwick.
–Haven’t seen a fan yet with name of current #Padres player on back: Seen Winfield & Fingers from 70s, AGone & even Kouzmanoff.
–Calling on Will Venable & Kyle Phillips to pinch hit with two outs left in a one-run game means #Padres have a pathetic bench. #Nationals
–Poor Bud Black. #Padres manager had to explain to a sportswriter that you can’t argue HR replay review. As if replay lied. #DoYourHomework
–Only one more full day left per my #vacation. Looking forward to seeing sister’s kids Sunday.Will always love San Diego. Paradise on earth.
–LeBron James not a big-time player when pressure is involved. #Heat close to losing to #Dirk Nowitzki & #Mavericks
–That was me saying LeBron James isn’t a pressure player. He’s off to good start in Game 6 #Heat #Mavericks
–#Mavericks lead at halftime with Dirk being 1-for-12. Yeah, that makes sense. King James slowed down after hot start for #Heat. #NBAFinals
–Masterful substitution job by #Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle with Dirk. Dallas up nine on #Heat entering final quarter. Nowitzki well rested
–King With No Rings LeBron James 9 points first four-plus minutes; 5 points since. Now comes 4th qtr and his 2.2 average.
–Must be 4th quarter. Short bank shot by LeBron James landed closer to Key West than going into basket. #Mavericks up a dozen over #Heat.
–#Mavericks up 10 with 2:27 left. Guessing LeBron James either has already left the building or has someone starting up his car.
–King With No Rings LeBron James comes up empty just like with #Cavaliers. #Mavericks the better team. #Heat not cohesive.Dirk gets last word.
–Where did my #vacation go? Hard to believe Monday is last day in Southern CA. Flight in afternoon. Back to the mostly work grind Wednesday.
–About to head to airport. #Vacation sprinted by faster than Usain Bolt running with the wind. Why does leisure time go so fast?
–Flight delayed so I haven’t gotten rid of my airline travel jinx yet (2007 NFL season was the worst of several bad runs). Free wifi helps.
–I have to say I became good at posting through mobile twitter during #vacation. Not so good at reading & searching was huge waste of time.
–My flight was delayed because a jetway in Albuquerque. That’s Southwest Airlines for you! My flight has stop in Oakland.
–The word “broke” was missing in tweet about jetway in Albuquerque. Pilot claims he can make up some time in air.
–Interesting — pilot change … the delay is now due to “weather back east” & not Albuquerque jetway. Which is it Southwest Airlines??
–Plane left San Diego 35 minutes late. Pilot said he would make up some of that time. Instead, I got into Boise 70 minutes late. #TookLonger

Who ever thought the city of Chula Vista would become a town known around the nation?

The Park View Little League team from Chula Vista assured that the city would have a national profile by winning the Little League World Series title on Sunday with a 6-3 comeback victory over a team from Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei if you fear repercussions from the Chinese government).

The team nicknamed “The Blue Bombers” won the game without hitting a home run after booming 19 dingers over the previous five games. Chula Vista’s first three runs scored on an error, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch.

Bulla Graft’s RBI-single in the fourth inning gave Chula Vista a 4-3 lead and the squad tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth.

The biggest play of the game came with Taiwan batting in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and one out. Chula Vista shortstop Andy Rios fielded a grounder hit by Chin Ou and tagged the runner heading towards third base and then threw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Kiko Garcia finished off a fine relief appearance (he didn’t allow a hit after entering in the third inning with Taiwan up 3-0) by striking out Yu Chieh Kao to set off a spirited celebration as Chula Vista Park View became just the second team from San Diego County (El Cajon-La Mesa Northern Little League in 1961 is the other) to win a Little League World Series title.

In fact, Chula Vista manager Oscar Castro had a postgame comment that certainly describes San Diego’s poor history at winning championships.

“It seems San Diego comes so close all the time. The Padres come close and don’t win. The Chargers come close and don’t win,” Castro said. “It was nice to do it for the city.”

These youngsters will certainly be honored by Chula Vista residents and remembered for years to come. For the majority of the players, the title will turn out to be their biggest sports accomplishment.

Perhaps face of the team Luke Ramirez — what does his family feed him to make him stand 6-foot-2, 212 pounds at such a young age? — or a few of the other players will develop into high school players and we will hear about them again someday.

But no matter what happens in their lives, these kids will be revered in Chula Vista for the rest of their lives.

To put it simply, Chula Vista is no longer just a place you pass by on your way to Mexico or a town the San Diego Chargers have flirted with in their desperate search for a new football stadium.

The town of Chula Vista is now officially on the map — because of these victorious kids.

You got to like the decision by Padres ace Jake Peavy to decline the proposed deal to the Chicago White Sox. The presence of the former Cy Young Award winner is one of the few good reasons to venture down to Petco Park (first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is another) and his refusal to move to the south side of Chicago (where is Bad, Bad Leroy Brown on a Friday?) keeps the Padres from making a very ill-advised trade.

Dealing a stud ace like Peavy for four unproven commodities reminds me of some of the bad Padres’ deals of the past (sending George Hendrick to St. Louis for Eric Rasmussen; trading Mike Hargrove to Cleveland for Paul Dade and giving away Fred McGriff to Atlanta for Melvin Nieves and two other stiffs) and the Peavy deal with the White Sox might have someday been viewed the same way.

I used to cover the Padres’ quest for a new ballpark before Petco Park was approved and I can remember looking club owner John Moores in the eyes in his Del Mar office as he told me the team needed the new downtown ballpark and its revenue streams so it would be able to keep its good players, whereas they wouldn’t be able to do that if the team stayed in Qualcomm Stadium.

Hmmmm, here is one of the best pitchers in franchise history in the prime of his career and he’s signed below the going rate for pitchers of his caliber and the team is trying to unload him. Of course, I learned a long time ago that team owners/executives aren’t very good at telling the truth so it’s not a total surprise that we sit here in 2009 seeing a much different course of action than originally promised.

 Moores mandated a $40 million payroll for this season because of his messy divorce situation and it appears putting a quality team on the field is the least of his concerns. Hopefully, new owner Jeff Moorad will show he has some juice (or use a different term if you prefer) to tell Moores he’s not interested in seeing one of the team’s few quality players booted out of town.

Peavy wants to be in San Diego and is one of the few products of a very, very underachieving farm system. In addition to being an All-Star pitcher, he’s very much a class guy.

Good job Jake in enacting your right to decline the trade. Too bad the organization you play for doesn’t want to win as much as you do.

Trevor Time has been replaced by Saved by the Bell when the Padres have a ninth-inning lead and the early returns are all favorable. Heath Bell finished the month of April with eight saves in eight chances (leading the major leagues in saves) and didn’t allow a single run. Club icon Trevor Hoffman, the all-time career saves leader, moved on in the offseason and is now with the Milwaukee Brewers and Bell has silenced any concerns about handling the final-inning duties with his strong start. Thus far, he’s racking up saves faster than a La Jolla Shores lifeguard on a busy summer day …

Chatted with David Eckstein the other day and have to say it was a nice rarity. No, not because he likely joins only Darren Sproles of the Chargers as pro players I’ve interviewed that I’m taller than. It was a joy because he was a total class act to deal with. Eckstein might be the most modest World Series MVP and two-time All-Star in baseball history. We discussed his early-season impact on the Padres, the way he plays the game and his propensity for fouling off pitches (yes, sometimes he does so intentionally). Manager Bud Black and general manager Kevin Towers both had glowing things to say about the player off to an Eck-ceptional start …

My preseason prediction was that the Padres would win 72 games this season but I didn’t anticipate they would already be one-eighth of the way to that total after just 13 games. The 9-4 start makes the Padres the biggest surprise in baseball after two weeks of the 2009 season. It’s way too early to talk about a division title or ordering playoff tickets or anything like that but perhaps the Padres will stay in the NL West race much longer than anyone anticipated. This was a team that desperately needed to have a strong start, and when play began Monday, only three other big-league teams had more victories …

Nobody was predicting that the Padres would be residing in first place in the National League West after the first week of the 2009 season.  The team predicted to be among the worst in all of baseball played fantastic the first week, using timely hitting, solid pitching and terrific defense to go 5-2 on the opening homestand. Jake Peavy says the team’s confidence is growing and Adrian Gonzalez is highly encouraged by the overall team effort …

The Padres opened the season with a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the sixth inning, Adrian Gonzalez narrowly missed hitting a three-run homer that would have given the Padres the lead but the long blast was foul by a few feet. The Padres are the type of team that needs nearly every break to go their way if they are to be a surprise contender in the NL West. But on Opening Day, their break drifted foul …