Archives for posts with tag: Baseball
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Dave Roberts looks very happy to be back in Dodger blue.

Out with the old and in with the older. The brain trust of Friedman & Zaidi have eliminated our manager, brought back a long-ago Dodger to take his place, and let slip away one of only two reasons to go to the stadium last year: the ace with no filter, Mr. Zack Greinke. (I have to admit I had really warmed to his odd, uncensored honesty.)

I always liked Dave Roberts, the new manager, when he played center field for us. I’m very willing to give him a chance to prove himself as the leader of a ragtag group of mediocre arms (save Clayton Kershaw, of course), a patchwork infield, and an outfield plagued with a case of the Puig.

When April rolls around, I’ll be in my Top Deck aerie taking score and whistling like a mad woman whether the team goes all the way or fizzles like a wet firecracker, the latter scenario seeming more likely this year. (Once again, it looks like DirecTV won’t be hosting the games, so most of L.A. will be blissfully unaware anyway.)

As a Geico ad might say, “If you’re Pamela Wilson, you cheer for the Dodgers. It’s what you do.”

la-sp-clayton-kershaw-shutout-20150708The plush toy of a certain “little girl” (don’t call her a cat) may have been smaller than people expected, but pitcher Clayton Kershaw made up for it with his best performance of the year last night, one that looked like the Kershaw of old, before baby and big contract took a little of the polish off.

Before the game, when the on-field hipster hosts were pushing for votes to get Kersh into the All-Star Game, my friend Liz said she wouldn’t vote for him because she wanted our ace to think about his season so far — 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA, not a bad number for a mortal, but way too high for Kershaw. (The losing record was only partly his fault, as he got virtually no run support in any of his starts.)

Liz thought Kershaw needed a timeout over the midseason break. She said, “If Kershaw pitches a no-hitter, I’ll vote for him.” (Both she and I — season ticket holders — missed his no-no last year, which we regret every day.)

But I offered this suggestion: “What if he pitches a complete-game shutout? Will you vote for him then?”

Liz thought about it, and said, “OK.” And that’s exactly what he did, beating the Phillies, 5-0, and increasing the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants and D’Backs to 5 games.

It was a beautiful thing. Even though he struck out 13 batters, Kershaw got in jams several times — two men on with no outs … guys on the corners with one out — but he and his favorite catcher, A.J. Ellis, got out of every one of them unscathed.

And speaking of A.J. Ellis, he broke out of a hitting slump big time, going 3-for-4 with a 2-run homer in the 2nd.

Get voting, Liz!

I Thought It Would Never End
The gem by Kershaw was my kind of game, unlike the slogging trudgefest two nights earlier, when I was sure we were going to see the longest regulation 9-inning game in history.

Monday’s 10-7 victory over Philadelphia fell 14 minutes shy of the longest National League game ever, thanks to the lack of a Dodgers starter for the evening. Why is the “best team money can buy” putting the ball in the hands of relievers who can’t even be trusted to win when they’re handed a lead?

There wasn’t a single 1-2-3 inning. Nearly every batter ran the count full. San Francisco started their game after us, and were finished losing before we had an out in the top of the 6th. The 7th-innning stretch came at 10:27.

Then, in the top of the 9th, with a 10-7 lead, Kenley Jansen walked the first batter and gave up a single to the second, putting the tying run at the plate. I figured he still wanted to try for the record, but he was just teasing the 50 or so fans still in the stadium, and the final out came 4 hours and 13 minutes after first pitch.

Clayton Kershaw at Spring Training in Arizona.

Clayton Kershaw at Spring Training in Arizona.

The only good thing going for Dodgers fans is that Clayton Kershaw is ours and ours alone. Every other aspect of being a fan is depressing and hard to even believe.

These owners don’t send us season ticket holders the beautiful printed tickets we used to get (even though season tickets cost twice what they did three years ago), they make us go through online rigamarole just to get a Dodgers Pride Rewards card for our spouse, they treat us like terrorists at the gates of the stadium, they won’t let us watch away games on TV, and now, the ultimate extortion plot, they take away our street parking! Who’s the terrorist now?

The L.A. Times reported today in a Page 1 story, “The number of people watching the games on TV has fallen, from 228,000 a game in 2013 to an average of 56,289 last year — barely more than Dodger Stadium holds. At the same time, stadium attendance has soared. The team sold 3.8 million tickets last year, the most in Major League Baseball, and 3 million tickets were scooped up even before this season began.”

As anyone who came to last year’s games on a regular basis knows, this is flat-out bad reporting, although the Dodgers’ management wishes it were true.

Ticket sales may have soared, because those bastards talked such a good line when they paid way too much for the team that people snapped up season tickets at a record number before the season started, in fact before anyone knew there was going to be a season-long TV problem.

But I’m telling you right now, no way was real attendance anywhere near what it was the year before. In 2013, bobblehead nights turned Dodger Stadium into a zoo! In 2014, on Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night, they didn’t even open all the concession stands, because there was nowhere near a capacity crowd.

Now, attendance will go down once again as people are forced to either pay $20 (TWENTY *%#@ING DOLLARS) for parking or not go to the game at all.

If those greedy pigs (that means you, $tan Ka$ten, Mark Walter$ and Magic John$on) are making so much money NOT showing us games on TV, why can’t they make it a little less unpleasant to see the games in person?

I’m not saying I miss Frank McCourt, but it was better being a frustrated fan then than a disrespected fan now.