Hey gang, the San Diego Padres will host a memorial for legendary broadcaster Jerry Coleman at PETCO Park Saturday. That is about as much detail as fans have been given so far about the event. Also, if memory serves, it is the first major event the team is hosting since Mike Dee replaced Tom Garfinkel as team president.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the event. That got me thinking, selfishly, about some place in the park that could honor Jerry Coleman in the right way. Something that lasts for more than a day. Some place that I could visit the first time I make it to PETCO Park this season. Something that Jerry would be proud of. Sure, there’s a statue of him already, sort of pushed off to the side, but I’m thinking bigger than that.
— John Gennaro (@john_gennaro) January 17, 2014
“Park at the Park.” It’s a dumb name. It’s always bothered me. It’s silly to write, or to say, and it damn sure doesn’t mean anything to the history of the team or the franchise. It’s maybe the second most identifying factor of PETCO Park, behind the Western Metal Supply building in left field, and it’s referred to only as what it is (a “park” at the ballpark). The name has less tradition and significantly less charm than “Western Metal Supply building,” which is a real shame when you consider that the Park at the Park is supposed to be a place for families and children to enjoy a baseball game the way they want.
I don’t know Jerry Coleman, but I am willing to bet that he’d be honored to have this park named after him, especially because the park is the only place that ties together the team’s history (Tony Gwynn statue), future (a small baseball field for young Padres fans to play on) and media coverage (FOX Sports San Diego’s pre-game and post-game desk). I also think Tony Gwynn, who always felt weird being called “Mr. Padre” because he felt that name should’ve been reserved for Coleman, would be happy to have his statue reside in Jerry Coleman Park.
Woe, doctor. You can hang a star on this idea, because Jerry deserves a part of the team’s home dedicated to him.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
The Long, Crazy Journey Finally Ends for the Chargers
• In the most important game of the season, the Chargers played their worst game. You can’t do that against the best team in the league and expect to walk away with a win, which is why the Denver Broncos are the ones heading to the AFC Championship.
• There was a bit of controversy, as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator spent the end of his week interviewing for head coaching vacancies around the league instead of game-planning. It would’ve been a non-story had the offense played fine, but they looked completely out of whack and a few questionable coaching decisions (such as starting Johnnie Troutman at a position he had never played before) left many shaking their head. Twenty-four hours later, when Ken Whisenhunt accepted the job as head coach of the Titans, many fans showed their anger instead of appreciation for his work during the entire season.
• Even with Whisenhunt’s departure, the Chargers coaching staff will remain quite similar. Frank Reich, who was the team’s QB coach and part of a three-man offensive braintrust that included Whisenhunt and head coach Mike McCoy, was promoted to offensive coordinator and started out by saying all of the right things at his press conference. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator John Pagano got a year added onto the back of his contract and will hold his position through 2014 at the very least.
Padres Ruffle Some Feathers with Open Tryouts
• On Tuesday morning, the Padres announced that they will hold open tryouts to find a new PETCO Park PA announcer. The first question many fans had was about the future of Frank Anthony, who has been the team’s PA announcer since they opened PETCO Park a decade ago.
• By the next day, Anthony had been relieved of his duties and took every opportunity to explain how hurt he was by the team’s “open tryouts” that make it seem as though his job doesn’t take any real training.
• Mike Dee continues to bring in his own guys. The team will reportedly bring in Jess Agler from the Dolphins to host an online pre-game show on the Padres website.
• MLB will have expanded instant-replay rules this season, allowing managers to challenge certain plays and allowing umpires to take a second look on plays made in the game’s final innings.
Stories You May Have Missed
• PETCO Park continues its transition in left-field in preparation for the 2014 Davis Cup.
• One of my favorite sports stories of the week came from an eighth grade basketball player named Easton Gamoke, who hit an amazing full-court shot to win his team the game. Then he did it again on his very next try.
• I don’t often link to ads, but this Duracell commercial chronicling the only deaf player in the NFL is about as powerful as anything I’ve seen in a long time.
• The Jan. 25 NHL game between the Ducks and Kings at Dodgers Stadium will be predictably garish.
• GIF of the Week: Playing goalie getting too easy? Just go behind the net.
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