Archives for the month of: April, 2013

I’m always happy when I’m in L.A. You know, the weather’s always good. It’s just a good place to be.”
— Matt Kemp

Center fielder Matt Kemp

Center fielder Matt Kemp

Unless, of course, you’re in your car trying to go the three miles to your Echo Park home from downtown at 5:30 on Fireworks Night.

The new Dodger owners have made a lot of things better about the stadium, at least, so I’m told. But one of the things they have failed to ameliorate is the traffic.

In fact, for those of us not going to the stadium but forced to drive the roads around the ravine anyway, the traffic is worse than ever.

This good idea goes terribly wrong as game time nears.

This good idea goes terribly wrong as game time nears.

I didn’t think it was even possible for Sunset Boulevard to get worse, but the addition of the coned-off bus lanes for the “Dodger Express” has achieved the unthinkable. Regular rush hour is bad enough, but then they take away one whole lane? It may encourage a few more folks to take public transit, but for people who have to drive for whatever reason — and for all the neighbors — this bus lane is a freaking nightmare! And because it’s usually rush hour anyway, there are no viable detours. Oh well, the walk will do me good.

Now about the game …
The back-and-forth, the timely hitting, the “Will Brandon League blow it again?” drama in the ninth. Other than Mark Ellis leaving with a hamstring pull, it was the perfect win.

Juan Uribe usually swings at every pitch as if his family's lives depend on it.

Juan Uribe usually swings at every pitch as if his family’s lives depend on it.

Here are five words I never thought I would say: How about that Juan Uribe?

He’s never been my favorite player, mainly because his practice in the past with the Dodgers has been to swing wildly at every pitch he sees and make contact only occasionally. But in the Thursday closer of the team’s series in New York, the crazy third baseman we got from the Giants made spectacular plays, walked not once, not twice, but three times, and knocked in a run in the top of the ninth that turned out to be the game winner. Wow!

Today’s a busy day for me and my over-achieving family. We have Steve’s art opening, the first night of the United Film Festival (though “Young Turks” doesn’t play until Monday) and Zach’s Honors Convocation (grad student of the year in film and television production) all happening at once. So I can’t write more than this about the Dodgers: Nice turnaround in New York! Can’t wait to catch the fireworks tonight! Go Dodgers!

Matt Kemp's disputed  home run was the high point for the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp’s disputed home run was the high point for the Dodgers.

One New York usher feels pretty stupid right about now. Not only didn’t he catch Matt Kemp’s first homer of the year, which literally landed in his lap, he accidentally deflected it back onto the field, so the umpires had to use instant replay to realize it was a home run. It looked like the hapless guy got reamed pretty good by security. And Matt just waited on third, smiling like he had just won the game. The two-run blast did, after all, give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead over the Mets in the sixth inning.

Unfortunately, Ted Lilly could only go five innings in his first game of the season. He did great, but the Dodgers needed to use five of their iffy relievers, and Brandon League is no one you want to count on in a one-run game. He let David Wright tie it up in the bottom of the ninth, then Josh Wall (Do you know the way to Albuquerque?) loaded the bases and served up a walk-off grand slam to pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin.

So, basically, it was a good news-terrible news kind of thing. Mattie got his first homer of the season (About time!), but so did Valdespin, and his was much much grander!