Pregame ceremonies began almost 45 minutes before the first pitch Friday. Willie McCovey was honored as the first Padre to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the Padres gave him a rock video of himself to commemorate the event. The crowd also was shown video highlights of an earlier scene: The unveiling of the late Ray Kroc’s bronze bust. Later, there were fireworks, and later still, the 1986 Padres were introduced to the fans. LaMarr Hoyt, recently out of an alcohol rehabilitation center, received a thunderous ovation, as did Steve Garvey and Goose Gossage, among others. But little Bip Roberts heard nice applause, too, and Bip tipped his hat.
The season’s first four games have been rough on Roberts. He’s hitless in his first eight at-bats and was out in his only steal attempt. And when Garvey’s father, Joe, asked him how he was doing Friday, Roberts said: “Jittery. I’ve got to stop giving pitchers so much respect.” Manager Steve Boros has already had a chat with Roberts, too. Against the Dodgers on Thursday, Roberts was supposed to lay down a suicide squeeze bunt, but tried dragging a bunt instead. Boros said Roberts is trying too hard, trying to hit line drives when line drives aren’t his style. “He’s pressing,” Boros said. “He needs a base hit. I think he wants to hit a line drive up the middle, but I think a drag bunt or a push bunt would do just fine for that first major league base hit. I’ve got to convince him he can still bunt. But a lot of young players go through that. Cal Ripken was what? Zero for 34? Mickey Mantle came up and had to go back down (to the minors).