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Chargers Mini-Camp And Del Mar Races Underway This Week

Chargers Mini-Camp And Del Mar Races Underway This Week
Mini-camp for the San Diego Chargers gets underway this week. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

DWANE BROWN (Host): Mini-camp for the San Diego Chargers kicks off this week. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Hey Jay there is still a couple of hold outs, before we talk about them tell us how intense these Charger mini camps are.

JAY PARIS (North County Times Sports Columnist): You know actually, these will be the real deal. This time next week the rookies and selected veterans will be in training camp. And then the old timers, or the veteran guys report later in the week. So the season is here and the first exhibition games are only weeks away. And now we see if the off-season is going to pay off with a championship season this year.

BROWN: And we still have a couple of hold-outs right? Vincent Jackson right and who else?

PARIS: Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill, who protects Philip Rivers’ blind side, which is also critical on a team that passes as often as the Chargers do. So these aren’t just a couple of fringe players that are trying wring a few extra bucks out of the Chargers. These are key components to a team that has high aspirations. It’s going to be very interesting to see how they proceed if they do stay out for an extended length of time.

BROWN: So we’ll have a better idea probably by this time next week?

PARIS: I think so, but I don’t see this coming to a head quickly. Both guys have kind of dug in their heels and it’s going to be very interesting to see who caves in first.

BROWN: Well, the San Diego Padres are looking good after the all-star break last week. They ended up sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend here at Petco Park. They’re what 17 games over 500 for the first time in about three years. Do you think they’ll make some changes before the trading deadline?

PARIS: You know it always comes up this time of year – July 31st one of the key trading deadlines. And the Padres are usually sellers. They’re not usually in the buying mode this time of year of late. And an argument could be made that maybe they need another bat, maybe they need another pitcher, which could come in handy if some guys remain hurt. But there’s something working down there and Bud Black and those guys have a heck of a chemistry going and you’d hate to plop in somebody that may upset that. So maybe a minor tweak here and there. But they’ve got the best record in the National League and only four or five games behind the bad Yankees for the best overall mark. So I wouldn’t tinker too much with what they’ve got going down there.

BROWN: Speaking of injuries – you mentioned that briefly there. Rookie Mat Latos, on the 15-day disabled list. You’ve got to tell us about this weird injury he got.

PARIS: Well, somebody I guess put some pepper under his nose, or something, because he had one heck of a sneeze and ended up hurting his side or his rib cage I guess and he’s down for a couple weeks on disabled list. You know it’s not something that’s going to be critical, not something going to be a big set back. I think more the how he did it, then what he did is what’s comical here. And really the Padres aren’t really too upset about shutting him down for a little bit. This is a prized young arm, 22-years-old, and they don’t want to overwork him. They’d love to have him for the stretch, which is going to be more important then the games this coming week.

BROWN: Yeah, he just has to tell his friends I’m on disabled because of a sneeze.

PARIS: Yeah, maybe he gets a Kleenex endorsement out of it.

BROWN: Well, and away they go. Hey, the racing season at Del Mar kicks-off on Wednesday. Besides the hats and the fanfare, what’s the big deal here?

PARIS: Uh, the hats and the fanfare. Horse racing is kind of dying out as other outlets for gambling come onboard almost every day. But there’s always something special about Del Mar. There’s always something special about hearing the bugle, about hearing Bing Crosby and the hats are great. Opening day is really the unofficial holiday of San Diego and if you ever been to one, you always come back. And if you’ve never been to one – I would suggest going, because I heard you were even working on your hat this morning – the guys were saying around the studio.

BROWN: You know you’ve got me before I could get you. I was going ask you are you going to dust off that old fedora?

PARIS: Yeah, the one with the old press pass sticking out of the side. I’d look sharp.

BROWN: Oh we’d know who you are. North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris – thanks.