The Coast News Group
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The Padres are one of the league leaders in home attendance this season. Courtesy photo
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Around town: Padres fans rock, Jimmy O’s sold and Dr. J dines out

Around town in North County:

• The Padres are averaging over 36,000 fans per game at Petco Park. San Diego loves its Padres. The locals are battling the Dodgers without their star Fernando Tatis Jr.

• The Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves, Yankees, Angels and Cubs have pushed the turnstiles to over a million fans at their home ballparks so far this season. Add the Padres to that list.

• The San Diego Fair is off and running through July 4. A mutual agreement between two ride operators (in a lawsuit) has allowed the fair to have the amusement section operating during its entirety.

• The Del Mar racing season begins a week later than usual, on Friday, July 22, and runs until a week later after Labor Day.

• Seen at Alce 101 restaurant in Solana Beach: Iona College head coach Rick Pitino, former coach of marquee franchises (Knicks, Celtics) and programs (Kentucky, Louisville).

• “The Red Baron,” former NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year winner Rick Sutcliffe, seen talking baseball to a group of friends and fans in Solana Beach. Add Roberto Clemente Award winner to his list of accomplishments.

• Julius “Dr. J” Erving was seen taking in some North County ocean-view restaurants last week. Word is that he poses for every picture asked. No surprise to me. Julius was so kind to me when I worked for the San Diego Clippers and he played for the 76ers back in the day.

• Jimmy O’s Sports Bar in Del Mar has been sold. Look for major changes and a welcome back to patrons who left and will return with energized support.

• Panera Bread at The Forum in Carlsbad has the freshest bagels and desserts around. Best customer service too! Not to mention two NFL quarterbacks make it their daily stop.

• Chief’s Burgers & Brew in Solana Beach now has a full-service bar with liquors to complement its tremendous line of beers. Plus, two of the best bartenders in the biz — Ryan O and the Cincinnati Kid, “Marky Mark.”

• Manny Machado has been the ultimate player this season for the Padres. Manny is batting well above .300 and has been the team leader.

• Joe Musgrove, a local kid, is just downright nasty — 7-0 of this writing with an ERA that is a quite scary 1.50.  “Moose,” an El Cajon native who attended Grossmont High School, has been a beast. In 2021, he pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history.

• You have to go a long way to find better high school baseball than in North County. No fewer than 10 former high schoolers are on major league rosters. Torrey Pines, La Costa Canyon, Poway, Rancho Bernardo and Canyon Crest are all represented.

• Former Padre Phil Nevin, the first selection in the MLB draft out of Cal State Fullerton years ago, has taken over the skipper duties from the fired Joe Maddon with the Angels.

• Bob Melvin is the perfect hire for the San Diego Padres. He can flat-out manage. Let’s get him back on the field and see him work his managerial magic.

• Former San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher threw out the first pitch during a Padres game that highlighted and benefited the fight against ALS, the disease long associated with Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Coach Fisher’s son Mark, an assistant with the Aztecs, suffers from this disease. Coach Fisher is a gem.

• Look for the Cleveland Browns to waive QB Baker Mayfield if they cannot find a trade partner. The Browns have fully invested in the troubled DeShaun Watson for $230 million, fully guaranteed, even though he may face a lengthy NFL suspension.

• The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their fourth NBA title in eight seasons, with Game 6 on Thursday night in Boston. Game 7, if necessary, would be Sunday night in San Francisco.

• The Triple Crown has ended with three different winners. Rich Strike (at 80-1) won the Kentucky Derby, Early Voting won the Preakness and Mo Donegal won the Belmont Stakes.

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