Monday, July 26, 2010
San Diego Chargers training camp gets underway later this morning. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.
SAN DIEGO DWANE BROWN (Host): San Diego Chargers training camp gets underway later this morning. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Rookies and some veteran players are expected at Chargers park in a few hours. Are there any holdouts?
JAY PARIS (North County Times Sports Columnist): You know Ryan Matthews is the number one pick and really the focal point of the new look Chargers. He's still not signed, but that shouldn’t be a lengthy delay. I think they’re waiting for other first-round picks to sign before they slot him. On the rookie front, there shouldn’t be anything drastic.
BROWN: So the season gets underway in about six weeks, what should fans expect or is it too early to say?
PARIS: Well, it’s a little bit too early to say. But this Charger team is going to have a different look. And if you count Shawne Merriman, he’ll probably show up eventually, 18 pro-bowl selections from various players are missing from this year’s team dating to LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams, Kassim Osgood, Antonio Cromartie. So some key players that the fans are really familiar with, aren’t going to be there this year, which kind of shows some new blood coming in – let’s see how they produce, that’s the big thing.
BROWN: Yeah the coach said he missed players last year, did fine and will just move ahead either way right?
PARIS: That’s what they fall back on - we can only coach the ones that are here - and that’s what they’ll start doing this morning.
BROWN: Well, speaking of coaches, Padres have reached a contract extension with manager Bud Black, good move?
PARIS: Great move. He’s the perfect guy, perfect mentor, the perfect leader for this team. He has oodles of patience. And when you have a young team like the Padres you don’t need someone with a short fuse. His manner is such, his communication, obviously his grasp of baseball being a former player and coach, is really unparalleled from what the Padres have seen of late. Great move by the Padres. I’m glad they stepped up and took care of Bud.
BROWN: That’s the sound of the broom sweeping as the Padres swept Pittsburg for the first time since 1998 in their series over the weekend. Do you think it will be a different story when the Dodgers come to town tomorrow night?
PARIS: That’s funny you brought up sweep because the last time our friends from big blue came south here they swept the Padres. The only time they’ve been swept all year. In fact they own a 4-1 edge over the Padres this year, the Dodgers do. This is going to be interesting. The next seven of the next 11 games are against the Dodgers and the Dodgers are falling farther and farther back from the Padres. They were only two out at the all-star break, and now they’re back to six or so, and they’re kind of fading. Look for a spirited effort from the Dodgers. And as always their fans show up in droves.
BROWN: Well, the baseball trading deadline is this Saturday. Do you expect any changes?
PARIS: You know I don’t think anything blockbuster, or arching eyebrows over as far as the Padres. You have to kind of be careful. While they could use another arm and they certainly could use another bat, something’s working down there. And that chemistry is that intangible that all the championship teams have. And right now the Padres are clicking on just about every cylinder. You dump some new faces, some new personalities, some new egos in there - maybe you upset that apple cart, who knows? But maybe a tweak or two, but I can’t see them doing anything of the blockbuster variety.
BROWN: Well, Jay, we’ve talked about football, baseball, and the first weekend of the racing season at Del Mar, record crowd, how is the track holding up?
PARIS: You know there was a little hiccup the second day I believe. There was some separation of the composite that goes into PolyTurf. There were some concerns. They seemed to iron that out. They’re hoping that it holds and that everybody, and the horses in particular, can stay healthy. But a rousing opening day. An all-time attendance record at the Del Mar track, which is saying something considering how long it’s been around. Chargers, Padres, Del Mar racing man, summer in San Diego.
BROWN: Gotta love it. Thanks Jay. North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris.