Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yankees @ Dodgers

Let's just get this part over with right off the top: The Dodgers lost last night. And it sucked. They were lifeless, despite a sold-out crowd making enough noise to make you feel like it was October instead of June. It started off promising enough, with a run off Sabathia in the first, but then the boys did basically nothing for the next eight innings. Punctuated by James Loney taking a ball, then staring at three Rivera strikes for the final out of the game. Thanks for taking the bat off your shoulder, Loney. That was fun.

Have I ever told you guys that I hate the Yankees? Because I really, really do. And until last night I had never seen them play. Now that I have, I can say that the hatred is stronger than ever. But it was one game. And the second game of the series is fewer than two hours away. So let's talk about how awesome it was for me to be back at Dodger Stadium for the first time since the greatest ninth inning I've ever seen live.

I would pepper this post with pictures (alliteration!), but I just decided to upload the photos to Flickr instead. So read the post, then look at the pictures. Or reverse that. I don't care. But it's probably not a bad idea to get the visuals that go along with the text. I'll embed the slideshow at the end of the post.

Walking up to the stadium from our free parking space on the street (we are geniuses who will thwart your efforts to take our $15, McCourt), we passed far too many Yankee fans. It was two hours before game time, but things were already starting to feel rowdy. I could tell that I had the potential to get angry, thanks to my (possibly) irrational hatred of all things related to the Yankees. Christine was ready for the anger, and already pumped up for the crowd energy. That led to this memorable quote: "It's going to be crazy tonight. There are going to be so many fights. I'd love to see some Yankee fans get knifed."

You don't know her, but I'll tell you right now she's as docile as a brainwashed Mormon sister-wife. So her longing for violence was surprising. For the record, we did not see anyone get knifed. (Christine's response when I read this part out loud to her: "Sadly.")

As we walked through the gates, a UPS truck passed us, heading out of the stadium. I made Christine groan when I said, "I hope that UPS guy just delivered us a win." He obviously didn't, so I'm sticking with FedEx from now on.

We got up to the stadium and decided to head to the centerfield area, where fans can catch BP balls. I wasn't all that interested in hanging out there, but it was nice to get that particular view of the field again. And Christine got the opportunity to display her dislike for one particular Yankee (see the Flickr slideshow for details).

Walking around the outside of the stadium meant that I got to hear the pre-recorded Vin Scully welcome that they play. When I heard his voice, I literally gasped out loud. Vin Scully is love defined. I worship that man. And every single person who listens to him call a baseball game should feel exactly the same way. If you don't, then I don't want anything to do with you. This season the Dodgers are showing a nice little video package before the game. I managed to get my camera out to record the second half of it for you. You're welcome.

We got our tickets on ebay, and we had to pick them up from the seller in the parking lot. Christine went by herself, and came back saying the dude was decked out in full Yankees gear, drinking beers in the parking lot. I told her she should have taken her tickets, then found security and ratted the guy out. But then you all know how I feel about Dodger security.

Do you even know how much I missed Dodger Stadium? How could you? I didn't even know until I got there last night, after being away for 260 days. But it is really the only non-human thing in Los Angeles that keeps me from entirely hating this god forsaken place. And I love it. Someone recently told me about a BBC documentary called Married to the Eiffel Tower (ooh, and here's a clip!), about women who have strong fetishes for inanimate objects. Of course my first response to this idea was revulsion. But then I got to Chavez Ravine, and I immediately understood those crazy ladies. I expressed to Christine that I didn't really understand how the women have a physical relationship with these objects, and Christine suggested that I hump the foul pole. I didn't. But I thought about it.

Incidentally, the woman in the beginning of that documentary clip made me instantly need to find this Liz Lemon moment. I should make that my ringtone.

But I digress. I've written a million words and I haven't even gotten to the actual game yet. And I'm still not there. Other than the Scully video, there are a lot of other mini documentaries that play on Dodger Vision before the game. Some of them, like the ones about the Yankees/Dodgers rivalry, are probably only up there for this series. But there are a couple about the Giants/Dodgers rivalry, too. I have no idea if those are played before every game this season, but they certainly do help to get the blood boiling and make one feel a little protective of the Dodgers. I believe the intent of the front office is to get the exact reaction they got from me, which was essentially: Fuck the Giants. Fuck the Yankees. Bleed blue. Go Dodgers.

Or something like that.

It's going to get choppy from here on out, so just think of this like reading my notes from the game. I'm not bothering with trying to make it flow. What am I, a real writer?

Flea and another guy--not named Anthony Kiedis--from Red Hot Chili Peppers played the national anthem. And it was rousing. I am by no means an especially patriotic person, particularly (more alliteration!) in recent years, but play me the national anthem at a baseball game and I just might consider killing for my country.

Pau Gasol threw out the first pitch. I didn't watch. Maybe I haven't mentioned this enough here before, but I hate the Lakers. Almost as much as I hate the Yankees.

We're finally almost to game time, but first we have to deal with the last little video that happens before things really get started. It's a good one, and it gets the crowd hyped, but it is also set to Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." Sorry, but that song is meant to be played only after a Dodger win, both on the field, and then in my car over and over again on the way home from the game. Hearing it before the game is weird. Over at Sons of Steve Garvey, they told me this has been going on all season. I think it just confuses our boys and makes them think they've already won before the contest has even begun.

My first Dodger game was in 2006. Every season since then, I have seen the same old man selling pizza, walking (hobbling) up and down the aisles and giving a plaintive wail of "pizza!" I don't even know how to write it the way he says it, but it's heartbreaking. Every season, I am convinced I won't see him again because he will have passed away. But sure enough, he was there last night. He looked a little worse for the wear, but still alive. And now selling peanuts. I took a picture of him, which Christine proclaimed good because he had a "glow" behind him. I said, "Like he's going to be an angel soon?" Poor old guy.

Padilla pitched well, and his 52-mph curveballs were really a sight to behold. They got a moan from the crowd every time. I love to hear people reacting to a specific pitch like that.

When A-Rod hit his homer and a fan threw it back for Manny to pick up off the field, the woman sitting behind me summed up the situation perfectly: "Manny was ready for that shit. Don't fucking keep it." Yeah, that's right. Unless it's going to net you a bunch of money because it's some special ball, you throw back an opposing team's home run. You just do. Deal with it.

Other notes from the game: Mark Teixiera looks like a doofus, Jorge Posada has no chin, giving out rally towels at a non-playoff game is stupid, and playing baseball-themed America's Funniest Home Videos style bloopers in between innings is ridiculous. Only idiots like AFHV. Don't disrespect me like that, Dodgers.

Remember this guy? He's still doing his thing. Maybe I'm supposed to be annoyed, but I'm not. He's funny. And good for him for having some staying power. The people still love him. But he does wear a t-shirt that appears to be anti-himself. It's a picture of him with a red line through it, and it reads "Stop Don't Stop Believin'," which is very odd.

Oh, and I do think the Yankees suck. But I really hate to chant about it. It sounds petty and childish, particularly when we're losing. Because if the team that's beating ours sucks, what does that say about us? Let's try to get creative, people. Please.

I don't know when my next game will be this season, so I sure wish the Dodgers had managed to show a little spark and get the win last night. But I'll live with it, because I still got to eat a Dodger Dog and some nachos, and boo Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera, and scream my ass off for the Dodgers, and watch some baseball. Not a bad way to spend an evening.


El Lay Dave said...

Nice meeting you (briefly - in the elevator!) at blogger night. Hope you both had a good time in the suite. I'll keep a eye on your blog for Dodger/baseball content.

Dave Young TBLA

berkowit28 said...

Yankees @ Dodgers? When was that? 1981? Get well soon.