July 9, 2011
SABR Day Two Flashback: Dodgers Stadium
Some belated thoughts on Dodgers Stadium (my phone was out of juice the second I got in the park last night): the place really looks like they're broke.
I mean, it's hard to look at the park for the first time without letting your perceptions being colored by recent events. But if the Dodgers weren't broke, they would just seem cheap. Let's talk about the seats for a second. I am a modestly heavy adult American male, in other words your typical baseball fan. I was afraid my seat would not support my weight. And it wasn't just me - you could look around and see seats bending all over the place. The seats were molded plastic that are air-filled; many of the seats had seams that were breaking open, and they would sag considerably in the middle.
Or looking around the park, at the retired number displays above the bleachers in the outfield - as you go from left to right, you can see how faded the paint is the smaller the retired number. How much would it cost to touch those up with a little new paint? The answer - more money than McCourt has.
Now, far be it from me to try and suggest ways Frank McCourt could get more money, but let me suggest a way Frank McCourt could get more money - the Dodgers could keep the concession stands open past the seventh inning. I don't suggest that I should be able to get a beer in the eighth inning, but I should be able to get a Dodger Dog. They shut all the concessions down on the lower concourse by our seating area as of the eighth inning. I was utterly floored by this.
[On the note of Dodger Dogs: I got a Super Dodger Dog (the all-beef version), and lemme tell you, it's a hot dog. There's nothing wrong with that, I'm quite fond of hot dogs, but there's nothing special about it, either. Why Dodger Dogs are "world famous" is beyond me.]
The game was sparsely attended, which you think would leave the die-hard fans who just care about seeing the game. You would be wrong. Dodgers fans seemed to chiefely have two concerns:
1) Hitting a bunch of beach balls around, and
2) Doing "the wave."
All the SABR attendees were in the same section, and so the wave essentially died out momentarily every time it swept around to us. I'm so proud.
I also had the joy of meeting what I can only presume is the future Mrs. Ronnie Woo-Woo. It was a young lady sitting a few rows behind us, constantly screaing things like "Woo Dodgers Woo!" While her voice might've cracked and strained, she was unfatiguable - the only thing that interupted her was getting hit in the head by one of the aforementioned beach ball.
It's okay, though. I covered for her with a shout of "woo beach ball woo!"