Dodgers: 3 most hated Padres ahead of weekend showdown
How’s your hatred for the San Diego Padres coming along, Dodgers fans?
We know it’s a little weird. After two decades (three decades? four?) of not caring about this team at all, Don Draper-style, they’re now supposed to be our fiercest rival overnight.
Though the first four battles have certainly delivered in terms of both quality of baseball and intensity (the series is split 2-2 for now), it’s still been a bit strange to have a new enemy — and one that, due to MLB’s rules, we can’t face in a seven-game series.
Need an anger primer? We’ve got you covered.
Maybe an easier place to start … are there any Padres you actively like? Yu Darvish, depending on whether or not you blame him or the Astros for the 2017 World Series. That’s … probably it, though. Short list, easy enough.
What about Padres you tolerate? There’s a middle ground here. Their entire bullpen is packed with anonymous names and Mark Melancon. Pretty hard to drum up any true anger about any of those faceless entities.
Joe Musgrove, aka the hometown kid, will continue rocketing up the list if he remains Cy Young in the Gaslamp District and Chad Kuhl everywhere else. Jake Cronenworth, due to his contributions in the season series so far, also earns a spot in the honorable mentions.
For now, though, this trio stands above and beyond as the easiest point of entry in this rivalry. Want to get angry? Just think about the histrionics and history of these guys.
These are Dodgers fans’ 3 most hated Padres.
3. Fernando Tatis Jr.
You love Fernando Tatis Jr. if he’s on your team. You love him if you’re an objective Major League Baseball fan who wants to see the best team in baseball go down. You hate him if you root for the Dodgers.
Tatis Jr.’s showboating is certainly excessive, which you can overlook if you’re pro-fun and anti-Hollywood, but which is certainly more annoying if he’s the only thing standing in the way between you and a victory.
The Dodgers were definitely a bit triggered by the young Tatis’ bat flips in the 2020 postseason to the point that they replaced Kenley Jansen with Joe Kelly with Game 2 on the line. Technically, it worked; after walks to Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer rolled over a pitch and ended the game.
In their first playoff battle ever, though, the Dodgers didn’t want their long-time closer having anything to do with the fearsome flipper. That type of respect means this one-on-one rivalry runs deep.
Yes, Tatis Jr. is good for the game. Yes, he’s got a target on his back now that he’s acquired one of the richest contracts in baseball history well before his own free agency. Yes, it’s fine to hate him if you’re a Dodgers fan.