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KPBS Evening Edition

Padres Fans, Staff Excited For News Of 2020 Season

Ramon Chavez Torres watches San Diego Padres players taking batting practice at Petco Park on June 24, 2020.
Matt Hoffman
Ramon Chavez Torres watches San Diego Padres players taking batting practice at Petco Park on June 24, 2020.

The San Diego Padres will soon be back playing ball and fans, staff and business owners are excited, despite COVID-19 measures in place.

Major League Baseball announced plans Tuesday to proceed with a 60 game season, instead of 162, during the pandemic.

The season will begin on July 23 or 24, and spring training "2.0" is being held at Petco Park starting July 1. But for now, fans will not be allowed inside the ballpark.

"I wish we could be in there cause we’re season ticket holders," said Ramon Chavez Torres, who was wearing Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.'s jersey. He cannot wait to watch games on TV.

"It’s been miserable with all this COVID going on, it’s just been stressful," he said.

Padres Fans, Staff Excited For News Of 2020 Season

Business owners near Petco Park are also welcoming news of the shortened season.

"Downtown’s just been pretty slow," said Brant Crenshaw, co-owner of Social Tap.

Crenshaw's restaurant has a patio inside Petco Park. While he's not expecting his place to be packed like on a normal game day, he is hoping it will bring people downtown.

"We got a great spot here. This is as close as you can get to the ballgame," Crenshaw said. "So if people are going to come down and want to be kind of a part of that energy and buzz, we’re a prime spot for that."

Speaking of vibe, the Padres public address announcer is also eager to get back to work.

"I’m very excited," said Alex Miniak, who has been dubbed the voice of Petco Park. "I know things are going to be different than any other season I’ve ever done before, still a little wait and see there."

Even though no fans are expected inside the stadium, Miniak still wants to get back behind the microphone. He says it is important for the players.

"We should try to keep everything as close to normal as we can for those that are playing," he said.

Also with the shortened season, Miniak thinks anyone has a shot at winning it all.

"It is going to be a full sprint for everybody and everybody’s got the same chance. It’s usually spring hopes eternal, it's now summer," Miniak said, laughing. "It’s foot to the flood and it's like the postseason starts on day one, so it’s going to be a very fun and very interesting baseball season to watch."