Padres fans, East Village business owners angry over delay of MLB season opener
The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd — these are sights and sounds that Padres fans, like fans of every Major League Baseball team, had been longing for, sights and sounds that were supposed to begin at Petco Park on March 31. Not now.
Chairman and owner Peter Seidler wrote on the Padres' Facebook page that the organization is "working to build a consistently winning team that you deserve, and I cannot wait to be together with you again at Petco Park."
He went on to say that the team needs fans’ support. But scrolling down below Seidler's announcement shows that support is tenuous.
A few samples from the hundreds of comments show that fans are upset with owners and players. “Instead of addressing the fans, maybe you should address the other owners and make sure all of you realize fans don’t need baseball, baseball needs fans," one person wrote.
“I’m mad at these guys, both sides! At this time, I don’t care if there’s a season or not,” another said.
One added: “Way to go - society hasn’t had enough going on with Covid and Putin. But I hope you guys work out how many Ferraris and yachts you can each have…”
And: “Sadly, the fans are the real losers here. Overpriced players and greedy ownership have made it impossible for a lot of fans and families to attend a game.”
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At Petco Park maintenance was continuing as usual on Wednesday. Crews had just resodded the lawns on the north side of the park and were power-washing concrete walkways.
Business owners such as Brant Crenshaw at Social Tap, right next to Petco, said they were looking down the barrel of a disaster.
“It’s pretty crushing. We’re all pretty deflated around here right now," Crenshaw said.
Like the fans on Facebook, Crenshaw said there was plenty of blame to go around.
"We’ve got millionaires fighting billionaires over money," he said.
As it stands now, the first two series of the season, or 91 total games across the MLB, are canceled. Crenshaw said that took the steam out of opening day.
“People aren’t gonna be fired up to come to a new opening day that’s a month or a week or two months later than what the normal buzz is on April 1st, opening day, or March 31st this year. It’s not gonna be the same," he said.
Now, business owners such as Crenshaw and fans wonder if baseball will ever be the same, and whether it can survive a season delay that, so far, has no end in sight.
Ukrainians in San Diego watched with the rest of the nation as President Joe Biden delivered a rousing State of the Union addressing the Russian invasion. Then, for the first time in 27 years, Major League Baseball is canceling games due to a labor dispute.
During Tuesday's State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden announced a new "test to treat" plan for COVID-19 using Pfizer antiviral pills.