On opening day a year ago, the Padres must have thought they were playing for a new Charlie Finley when Kroc snatched the public-address microphone and, before 38,000 fans, berated his team for "some of the stupidest ballplaying I've ever seen in my life." Understandably, there was employer-employee tension after that fulmination. But that too has passed.
During one of the Padres' next home stands San Diego sportswriters will present Kroc with a gold megaphone. The better to call the players stupid? No, it is unlikely that he will feel called upon to use it this brave new season.