Juan Soto has been a member of the San Diego Padres for less than a year, but it's clear that the deep rivalry between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers has already become a part of his DNA.
San Diego Padres rivalry with Los Angeles Dodgers turns up a notch with Juan Soto quote
After the Padres knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason last year with a 3-1 decision in the National League Division Series, there's little doubt that Los Angeles needs much motivation when the two teams meet for the first time in the 2023 season on May 5 as part of a three-game series at Petco Park. The series shifts to Chavez Ravine one week later as the Padres visit Los Angeles for another three-game series.
However, while Padres and Dodgers fans need little motivation to get fired up for this year's series, Soto provided it in an interview with TBS on Tuesday night before the Padres took on the New York Mets at Citi Field.
In the interview, Soto not only referenced last year's postseason win over the Dodgers, but also the fact that the Padres have added more weapons to their lineup in 2023. One of those new faces is shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who clubbed his fourth home run of the season in Tuesday night's victory in New York.
This isn't the first time that Soto has gotten attention for some of his trash talk. He was highlighted along with Atlanta's Ronald Acuña Jr. for his proficiency at some verbal jabs in this MLB.com article.
Following a pair of two-hit performances in Atlanta, Soto is looking for his first hit of the series against the Mets, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts so far in New York. He will hope to find his rhythm at the plate before facing the Dodgers, a team he has struggled with during his career. In 126 career plate appearances against Los Angeles pitching, Soto has posted a .202/.365/.313 slash line with three homers and 17 strikeouts.