Will Deno incite a physical rivalry against his former club? Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
#4 Seattle Mariners
Those hated Seattle Mariners, right? In researching this article I found several articles explaining the origin of this fabricated “rivalry”, one from Friars On Base from 2012 here and one from GasLamp Ball extolling the Vedder Cup name. Based of course on the fact that iconic Pearl Jam lead signer Eddie Vedder went to high school in San Diego before moving and becoming famous in Seattle. He does have a restaurant in San Diego as well and famously would pop in to play surprise shows at The Casbah. This is one of those rivalries that gets created due to scheduling restrictions. Thanks Bud Selig.
You want Inter-League play so you need an AL rival for the Padres to play. Let’s see, the Angels makes sense to play the Dodgers. Cross that out. The A’s should play the Giants to replay the 1989 Earthquake Series every year, cross that one out. Oh, the Mariners! That works out perfectly! Two historically mediocre teams with a few famous players in Ken Griffey Jr and Tony Gwynn and they are both in the same time zone. Let’s get THAT done.
Interestingly enough, since 1995, the Mariners lead the head-to-head series 49-45, so it is actually pretty close. Neither team has ever won a World Series so there is that historical intrigue as well. Whether Seth Smith and Chris Denorfia plan on hitting 30 homers this year to incite the Padres ownership to regret their trades is yet to be seen. Both cities also have departed former basketball franchises, but that leads to more empathy than hatred so just disregard you heard that fact.
In conclusion, if we need an AL rival – Seattle is it!