Were these Bruce Bochy’s pants?

I want to preface this by saying that you should look for Vocal Minority posts on Mondays at Padres Public. Happy Monday, here we are!

Baseball season is just around the corner, friends. You can tell this is the case, thanks to posts that begin in such a hackneyed fashion. I’m not here to wax poetic about the fresh-cut grass, the smell of hot dogs, the sound of gentlemen quarreling over the might of the baseball club from their city vs. the baseball club from another city, and I’m certainly not here to steal Jane Mitchell’s spring training catchphrase “hope springs eternal”.

This week, you’ll probably notice a bit of a theme around here at Padres Public: Padres FanFest. It’s coming up on Saturday, we’re excited about it, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to all of us.

First, let’s get this out of the way right now: as any well-meaning curmudgeon will tell you, things were definitely better back in the day. That’s why the “San Diego County Fair” is still the “Del Mar Fair”, “Qualcomm Stadium” is still “Jack Murphy Stadium” (willing to hear arguments on the whole “San Diego Stadium” deal), and damn it if “Padres FanFest” isn’t still “Friar Fest” to me.

Friar Fest generally has a lot to offer, but being an aficionado of nonsense, I enjoy the Padres Foundation garage sale more than anything. Used baseball pants? Check. Jason Szuminski uniform (OR locker!) nameplate? Check.  Autographed Eric Cyr jerseys that will make you* rattle off an array of inappropriate jokes? Check. That. Where else can you hear a fan gasp as she realizes she’s holding Russell Branyan’s bat? At the garage sale, you realize EVERY Padre has a fan out there.

You also see assholes like me digging for Matt Bush jerseys.

It’s easy to boil down the event as one where you can buy a discount jersey with a shattered dream attached to it (and, as I’ve already said, it’s my favorite part), but I’ve always found the event to be a good way to prime yourself for the baseball season. I’m not one for autographs or  Q&A sessions with players, though many of you are and I understand they’re very cool events. I always love the sense of fellowship, pride, and anticipation that comes with Friar Fest. Fellow fans and friends gathering, hanging on a bit of hope, and wondering why Red Ruff won’t leave us alone. It’s the place to break out your #5 “KOOOOOOOOZ” jersey before he’s even played a game for the Padres.

However, what I’m anticipating the most this year is whether or not we’ll be able to see the Padres’ biggest offseason move at the event. That’s right, I’m talking about the fences. Will they be done? Can we run and jump into them like in years past? By “we” I’m talking about children, of course. We’re adults and would never do such a thing.

A word of advice: If you see a jersey you think you need, jump on it. There’s no guarantee it will be around later, and you might regret it. One Friar Fest, I neglected to purchase a Bush jersey because…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I regretted it for the next year, and more so when none were available at the following year’s sale. As luck would have it, we found one the next year. Now, of course, Matt’s in a lot of trouble and is generally a tragic human being. Owning this feels a bit like dancing on his grave (so to speak). Consider that, as well.



Most of the Padres Public crew will be there on Saturday, and there will be a specific meet-up at a time TBA. Come meet us, yell at us, subtweet us live! We’ll be glad to meet you.


* – by “you” I mean “my wife”

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  • I recall there being a pair of Geoff Blum’s pants at one of the garage sales. So that would be where I would rattle off inappropriate jokes about Jane Mitchell finally having the opportunity to get into Geoff Blum’s pants. 😛

  • I’m a sucker for the Portland Beavers stuff myself. One giveaway in Portland, a t-shirt with this: “Beaver Fever. Snatch It.” True story.

    • VM David

      Yes, excellent point. The Beavers gear was a nice touch last year.

      • SDPads1

        I was kind of angry that all the Beavers gear I bought going to actual Beavers games in Portland, was now available for any Joe Schmo to buy here in San Diego. Now I really don’t want to wear my stuff anymore because everyone else has it. How Portland of me.

      • VM David

        Get some Timbers gear, then. Join us. >:(

      • What’s a beaver?

    • Them having Beavers gear last year meant that we were able to snag a game-worn Portland Dirk “Garfoose” Hayhurst jersey.

    • I got a Joe Thatcher Beavers jersey last year. Joe Thatcher and Chase Headley, longest tenured Padres.

  • A few years back I picked up a custom-made Jake Peavy Mobile Baybears jersey. I’m sure it’s unrelated that I haven’t bought a jersey since.

  • WarningSLO

    FYI, this didn’t show up in my Google Reader feed. Luckily the twitterverse came through.

    • Melvin

      Thanks for the heads up. It did show up in my feed, weird. I’ll see what I can do.

      • WarningSLO

        Just showed up. Maybe just slow to update today. Thanks.

      • Melvin

        Yeah, Reader checks for updates based on how often the site usually publishes. Since this feed is brand new it makes sense it’s a little slow on the draw.

  • Nuke Laloosh

    You know — you could always just pretend that is a Homer Bush jersey . . .

  • One question. Will you have sculpin on tap?

  • David, great 1st article!

  • Axion

    It’s the San Diego County Fair because Del Mar is a bunch of snobby jerks. I’m glad they lost the name.