Little bit of everything in Mexico City ... even an anthem standoff

May 1st, 2023

MEXICO CITY -- Just about everything in the Mexico City Series this weekend has been taken up a notch: the atmosphere, the music, the run-scoring environment. Heck, even national anthem standoffs reach a different level here.

Following a rousing rendition of the himno nacional Mexicano, by María León, on Sunday afternoon, and remained on the field for over six full minutes, stationary up the first- and third-base lines, respectively.

“I saw him staying there,” Martinez said. “I knew exactly what he was trying to do. So then I wasn’t backing down.”

Things escalated quickly between Martinez and Manaea, who shared adjacent lockers in San Diego last season. Martinez was adorned with the Padres' home run sombrero -- a new prop in their arsenal, debuted (and put to good use) on Saturday night. Manaea, meanwhile, was presented with a Lucha Libre mask, which he pulled partially over his head.

Midway through the test of wills, Padres third baseman emerged from the dugout to supply Martinez with water and a towel. As first pitch neared, Padres starting pitcher playfully bumped into Martinez on his way to the mound.

“I will stay out there as long as I need, I don’t care,” Martinez said. “I’ve got no shame. … That’s the strategy.”

Eventually, with Darvish about to get loose, two umpires approached each player and asked them to disperse. Manaea faked a move toward the dugout. Martinez didn't flinch. Finally, Manaea broke, turning his back and walking to the visitors' dugout.

Martinez lifted his sombrero, let out a roar and saluted the crowd.

Perhaps it set the tone for the afternoon. The Padres rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Giants and a sweep of the Mexico City Series.