SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres are setting the tone for an interesting NL West race.
Just before spring training, ace Mat Latos signed three balls intended for charity, adding the words "I hate SF" in a dig at the defending division and World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Last Saturday, the Padres and Dodgers perked up their rivalry when the benches emptied after a batter from each team was hit by a pitch.
The Padres will try to win the division after coming painfully close last year. Although they won 90 games, they faltered down the stretch and were eliminated from playoff contention on the season's last day.
They move on without All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox.