Monday, May 19, 2008

It Seems So Natural...

By Josh Elwell

The season-less Seattle sees cold and rain all year long, while the equally season-less San Diego faces the treachery that is beach weather 12 months a year.

And the way Seattle's Best dukes it out with Starbucks in the Pacific Northwestern city, resemble how Starbucks competes with hipster coffee houses in Hillcrest.

Let’s not ignore it - San Diego & Seattle’s baseball teams (and cultures) are obviously the west coast equivalent to the Red Sox & Yankees. I've already laid out the contradictions that pit us against the former home of A-Rod, and the history is rich with bitterness.

I make it a point, when I visit Seattle, to rub it in everyone's faces how beautiful our weather is and how much ass we kicked in winning the NL West two years in a row. You see the same thing when a Boston local travels into the Big Apple hyping up their clam chowder and two World Series rings. Maybe that’s why so many San Diego baseball people root for the Red Sox – we identify with the rivalry.

So, yeah, this was a big weekend for me.

May 16th – Game 1

With 7 hits between Tadahito Iguchi and Brian Giles (including two 2B’s and one HR), our veterans actually showed up with their B+ game and gave us a win.

Not to mention, it couldn’t have been done without Cla Meredith and Heath Bell holding it down. Those guys are the models of consistency, right?

We really stuck it to Seattle in this one. If only I had the opportunity to go into one of their sports bars soaking wet, then go into the bathroom and dry off, and then come back out and rub it in all of their Safeco Park loving faces.

May 17th – Game 2

When Ichiro strolled up to the plate with his cocky little post-swing shuffle step, I was ready for Josh Bard to jump up and take him out, reminiscent of Jason Varitek’s fight with Alex Rodriguez. I mean, with both rivalries being totally, freaky crazy, it’s gotta come sooner or later, right? Maybe if Ard, just like Tek, had taken out I-Suzu, and in Tek’s case – A-Rod, the double that led to our loss would have never happened.

But that kind of unpredictability is what makes such blood-boiling competition come alive. Ooo, Ichiro – you really know how to get under my skin!

Whatever, we’ll untie the series tomorrow…

May 18th – Game 3

Shit, we didn’t untie the series.

And in both games, Meredith and Bell took turns giving away wins like Jose Canseco gives out used needles to high-school athletes. Looks like the consistency we were excited about after Friday’s game was an empty promise. Not that it matters, ‘cause Seattle just got lucky. We had a couple of off days, that’s all. I know we’re better than that. We just need to start Tony Clark more, and get Michael Barrett back – then we’ll be set.

In conclusion, this was interleague play at its best, where regional rivalries flame from the tempers of the players on the ground. Hey, Seattle, you dirty Evil Empire you, I can’t wait to see Adrian Beltre back at Petco in June…it’s on! And as for you, J.J. Putz, there’s a special place in hell reserved for you. Right alongside Ty Cobb and O.J. Simpson. It’s the “Mariner, Racist & Wife Killer” section.

Thank you, Commissioner Bud Selig, for giving us the magic that is interleague baseball. And, most importantly, for reminding us San Diegans of the rivalry we have with Seattle each year.

What would we do without it?

Oh, we’d play meaningful games against National League opponents, that’s right.

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