The intimidation is gone.
No more fear.
Not even the slightest apprehension.
The San Diego Padres, after being bullied since the day they were born, are convinced they are bigger, badder and better than their neighbors up north on the I-5.
Yep, we’re talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Padres stunned the Dodgers in the National League Division Series last October, 3 games to 1, finally overcoming their bitter rivals, and now believing there’s a new sheriff in the National League West.
“We were the little brother to the Dodgers for so many years,’’ says Padre veteran pitcher Drew Pomeranz. “They always had their way with us. But you could see the shift coming, and then it finally came when we beat those guys in the playoffs. That was so huge for our organization.’’
Says veteran reliever Craig Stammen, the Padres’ longest-tenured player: “There were years we thought we were going to chase them down, and they kicked our butt. Well, we finally beat them on the big stage. It creates a different belief.’’