Tuesday, September 7, 2010
By now most Padres fans know that the club will be hosting a soccer match between Chivas USA and Chivas Guadalajara at PETCO Park in exactly one week. Somewhat understandably a few of the players (Heath Bell in particular) are concerned with what turning a baseball diamond into a soccer pitch will do to the playing surface when it's time to get back to baseball.
In fact Bell called the plan "asinine" and went on tell the San Diego Union Tribune, “They’re not worried about the field looking good. They’re just trying to make a profit. Very interesting."
The Padres brass contend that their grounds crew, considered by some to be the best in the game, will have ample time (10 days) and every resource that they need to turn the field back into a pristine playing surface for the Padres playoff push.
The truth might lay somewhere in between. I don't know, I'm not a groundskeeper...I just play one on TV.
What I do know is that soccer is good for San Diego, and while I can't say I agree with the timing, I do like the concept. Sure I'm a soccer fan so of course I like the idea of watching some high quality soccer being played right in my own backyard, but I also think it is a good opportunity to draw some fans from south of the border to PETCO Park. Ultimately that could mean more dollars for the Padres and more flexibility for the team on the field in the future.
That said, if a bad hop costs the Padres the pennant in late September, none of that future flexibility with matter.