Halloween Edition

Halloween is the ideal holiday because, at least in this country, it isn’t about anything in particular. You have no obligation to be with family or church. No set rituals that have to be observed, although there are rituals available if you want that. If you like ghosts and goblins and witches — most people do…most people like a good scare — you can find an apparition on every block. All Hallows’ Eve is set aside to celebrate whatever you want to celebrate; no one has clear title to the day.

It’s a short walk from ghosts and goblins to costume parties. We like them, they can be fun…or at least weird. According to the National Retail Federation, “65 percent of U.S. adults between 18 and 34 attend Halloween costume parties or other celebrations.” Even allowing for the extremely malleable “other celebrations” loophole that’s a huge number of costume-wearing adults.

No doubt that stat would include 65 percent of all the athletes and executives on any NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team. The next question is, what should they wear?

Jed Hoyer is new in town, named Padres general manager on Monday. He’s 35, joined the Boston Red Sox in 2002 as a bottom-feeding intern, worked his way up to co-general manager for 44 days, then settled in as assistant general manager.

Manchild Hoyer is a graduate of Holderness School, a private high school/boarding school with 275 students and a $40,700-per-year tuition. It’s located near Plymouth, New Hampshire. By the way, I see the Holderness football team will be playing those brutes from Hebron Academy on Halloween. The lads are 3-2 on the season and need this victory. Go, Blue Bulls!

Therefore, Hoyer must wear school colors to his Halloween costume party. The proud blue and silver should color the stripes that adorn the back of his cape. Of course, the Holderness red crest will be stitched in the center of said cape. What else? Perhaps a football helmet would work. I’d go with the official Holderness white helmet and the big blue H painted on one side. Perhaps, paint a dollar sign on the other side. Pants can be come-as-you-are, as long as they don’t clash, and finish off with mid-calf mukluks to celebrate how insanely cold and brutally dark it gets in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

One man finds a job, another gets fired from the same job…in this instance, the newly ex–Padres general manager Kevin Towers. That stud lasted 14 years on a 3-year job. This factoid is made more incredible since he usually had no money to spend on players (2009 Yankees payroll $201 million vs. $43 million for San Diego). As any GM will tell you, the true purpose of a baseball player is to make the general manager look smart, which is hard to do if you shop at dirtcheapballplayers.com.

Towers has worked a lot of baseball in his 47 years. He pitched for BYU in college, made All-WAC. He was the Padres’ 1982 first-round draft pick, spent seven years pitching on San Diego’s farm teams, then moved over to coach pitching for the Spokane Indians, then a Padres affiliate and a short-season single-A ball club. This is starting at the bottom of the bottom.

He came to the Padres as a scout, left, came back as scouting director, and then a passing deity reached down and made him general manager. The year was 1995, 14 years back. That’s the lifetime of one American toad, or three gerbil lifetimes, or from birth into the teenage years of one Congo eel.

We don’t need to think about this — Towers will go to his party dressed as the Padres Friar, wearing a brown frock, open sandals, carrying a baseball bat, and maintaining the goofy facial expression of someone who has just won two tickets to see Ben Hur.

San Diego–born and longtime Chargers linebacker Junior Seau has retired from the NFL three times, which puts him one up on Brett Favre. He will go as a Super Bowl ring.

San Diego–born, current Rancho Santa Fe resident, and renowned PGA golfer Phil Mickelson will go to his party dressed as Number Two.

Former San Diego State defensive assistant football coach John Madden will go as a Greyhound bus.

Ladainian Tomlinson, Chargers running back, will dress as a roustabout, dock-laborer subdivision, and carry a placard that reads, “I coulda been a contender.”

San Diego–born and bred Bill Walton, named one of the top 20 business athlete representatives by TSE Sports and Entertainment Group, pitchman for Tostitos, Reebok, Anacin, and Best Western Hotels, will go to his costume party dressed as an endorsement contract.

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