MLB Franchise Notes: Padres Fans Fill Petco Park On Opening Weekend
In San Diego, Kevin Acee notes the Padres averaged 39,692 fans at Petco Park for their season-opening four-game series against the Giants, and while it "wasn’t a record for the first four games of a season," the "overwhelming majority of those inside Petco Park were Padres fans." That is "no small thing considering the popular Giants were in town" for Manny Machado's debut. Padres C Austin Hedges said, "The fans showed up. That was big. When we needed, they got loud. There have been plenty of times I’ve played here with more Giants fans than Padres fans" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/1).
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: The Reds' Opening Day payroll was their "highest ever" at $129.1M, and the team has $57.8M "committed to contracts" for '20. All of those players "should be signing contributors" for '20. Last year at this time, that number was $68.5M. What the "lower number of money committed coupled with the higher overall payroll means is the Reds will go into the offseason with great flexibility" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/31).
FRONT & CENTER: The Giants on Sept. 15 are "scheduled to host their annual Strike Out Violence event," which is "one of the team’s long-standing community outreach efforts ... held to raise awareness and funds for victims of domestic violence." Giants President & CEO Larry Baer's suspension for an incident with his wife will end in July, so it is possible Baer at the September event "could take the microphone at a pregame ceremony honoring victims, as he has in the past." Such a scene "could be particularly awkward" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/31).