Padres will feel at home even though NL is visiting team
SAN DIEGO (AP) Wil Myers and Drew Pomeranz of the San Diego Padres will be in their comfort zone for the All-Star Game before their home fans at Petco Park on Tuesday night.
Well, for the most part.
Because the National League is hosting in four straight years, the American League gets to wear white uniforms and bat last. And that means San Diego's players had to vacate their own clubhouse and move to the visitors' locker room on the third-base side.
They're totally OK with having to turn left instead of right when they come through the players' entrance.
It's been a crazy several weeks for Myers. He was named an All-Star ambassador, and then played his way into All-Star consideration by hitting 11 home runs in June. He was named to the NL team, and then named to the Home Run Derby.
On Monday morning, he found out via Twitter that he'll be the NL's designated hitter, batting fourth for manager Terry Collins' club.
''It's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity me, just being in the Home Run Derby and starting in the All-Star Game,'' he said. ''So I'm just going to soak up every minute of it. I'm not going to take any of it for granted. I'm going to enjoy every second of it and just enjoy it.''
Myers has 19 homers overall. His brother, Beau, was set to pitch to him in the Home Run Derby.
The first baseman has a full household for a few days. Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets was Myers' Airbnb guest on Sunday night. Beau gets the couch, and Myers' parents get the other bedroom.
Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year while with Tampa Bay, is having a big season for the otherwise struggling Padres. One of the big factors is that he's comfortable at spacious Petco Park, which has bedeviled other Padres sluggers since it opened in 2004.
''I see the ball well here. I've always seen the ball well here, even last year,'' said Myers, who was limited to just 60 games in 2015, his first season with San Diego. ''Everybody talks about it being a pitcher's park. I think it's a very fair ballpark. I've never hit a ball that I thought was getting out, that did not get out. If you hit it right it's going to fly.''
Like Myers, Pomeranz played himself into the All-Star picture by going 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA and 115 strikeouts.
''It's pretty awesome,'' said Pomeranz, known for his curveball. ''I think it's best-case scenario for both of us being here at our home park. We kind of know the lay of the land. It's probably less overwhelming for us because being both of our first times, we know where to go, we know a lot of people, we know the clubhouse. Even though it's on the other side, I think we've both been in the visiting clubhouse. It's really cool to be able to do it here.''
Myers and Pomeranz will be joined on the NL squad by reliever Fernando Rodney, who was traded from San Diego to Miami on June 30.
Rodney pretends to shoot an arrow after securing each save, and Myers would be his sidekick, acting like he was tracking down where the arrow landed.
''He asked me, `Rodney, where's the arrow landing, where it's going?' Rodney said. ''It goes a different way. I shoot it a different side of the ballpark. We've got good communication.''
Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson