“¡Qué horror!” Wil Myers prefers East Coast Mexican Food to West Coast Mexican Food

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SAN DIEGO — Today, during the NL All-Star media press availability, San Diego Padres first baseman Wil Myers said that East Coast Mexican food is better than West Coast Mexican food. Repeat: a man who lives at least half the year in San Diego, Frickin’ California, said that he did not prefer the Mexican food from San Diego Frickin’ California.

As I have written recently, it is important to like what you like and not care about what the mob thinks. Some people have preferences that are not in keeping with the majority. This — and not being cowed into some sort of mob orthodoxy — is generally a good thing. Also, it’s worth noting that Mexican food is not some strange and exotic thing in the United States in 2016. You can go to literally any city in the country and find some really good Mexican food. Heck, even most small towns have a good Mexican place or two. It’s pretty ubiquitous.

But dudes: Mexican food in San Diego is REALLY, REALLY good. And, even if Myers is going to march to the beat of his own culinary drummer, which he certainly should, he has to realize that the people in his professional home town have, you know, some pretty strong feelings about that, right?

As luck would have it, I was pretty hungry as I left the press session early this afternoon. As luck would also have it, Pokez, a Mexican restaurant that came highly recommended to me, is right across the street from my hotel. Watching the Wil Myers stuff bubble up on Twitter sealed it: I had to go in. I ordered a number 2 combo, which was a chicken taco, a bean tostada and a cheese enchilada:


It was fantastic. Really, and this is no hyperbole, it was one of the best Mexican meals I’ve ever had. Maybe that’s not a super high bar for a dude from the Midwest, but I’ve been in California and Texas enough to where I think it’d still rate even for people who know better than me. I’d hope that Myers, who has been with the Padres since December 2014, would be able to appreciate it.

For what it’s worth, I relayed Myers’ views to a couple of the people in Pokez at the time. One was Gus, who works there and who owns some pretty amazingly fashionable glasses if I must say so myself:


That’s Gus’ “not impressed” face. When I told him that Myers preferred east coast Mexican, he said “He knows we’re right next to the border, right?” Then he shook his head.

Mark Pearson, a native San Diegan, was less diplomatic:


“I believe he’s lost his NOODLE,” Pearson said. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Myers thinks Mexican food is supposed to have noodles in it or something. Maybe he thought the reporter said “Italian” or something. That would certainly explain it a bit better.

I don’t know. The Padres have a pretty good P.R. team. They’ve no doubt trained their players to be good citizens and ambassadors for the community. And then Wil Myers comes right out and says that the Mexican food in North Carolina or wherever is better than what he can get at Pokez, five blocks from Petco Park. It’s enough to make a P.R. person quit their job and go back to law school.

In other news, this is the combo menu from Pokez. I asked the waiter what number 13 was, and he said “whatever the chef feels like giving you”:


Tip to Wil Myers: don’t order the number 13 if you go to Pokez. Really, just don’t do it.

Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

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TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ opening day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday evening.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”