||Opening Day! Glorious and sunny, if a bit windy.
Dodgers suffer two-hit shutout by Curt Schilling, who's pitching in the
midst of contract renegotiation. That explains it! Saw Wilton Guerrero's
first major league hit. Brett Butler got another nice ovation from the
fans. And Tommy Lasorda himself threw out the fist pitch. First Dodger
Dog of the season tasted oh so great. Sat in Aisle 36, down the right field
||Much better! Right behind the plate, in
Aisle 1, Reserved level. Ismael Valdes was rocky, but effective. Mike Piazza
went deep for his first homer of the season. Yay! Todd Worrell closed it
out, and voila'! A nice, tidy, close win. Todd Zeile is still looking for
his first Dodger hit. Hurry, Todd, or we want the $9.5 Million back.
||Tom Candiotti picks up the win in relief
of Pedro Astacio. Windy and cool. Wilton Guererro picked up his first Major
League RBI, and had a nice triple. Raul Mondesi left the yard for an insurance
run later. Sat in Aisle 8, moved on to the field for a spectacular fireworks
display following the game. Sure, the fireworks were great, but not as
great as being able to walk around on the field at Dodger Stadium.
||If there's one thing we're learning about this year's Dodger ball club,
it is this: They are an uninspired team. A late really helps, and with
a man aboard in the ninth, Greg Gagne hits his third long fly ball of the
game. One earlier left the yard, the other died just short of the fence.
That's a fate suffered by this blast, too -- Gagne misses winning the game
by five feet. More about my trip to this game can be found in my column
Things That Make L.A. Cool. Indicitive of fan
interest -- I was able to buy great seats at the Stadium just before the
game. (Aisle 9, reserved deck, row G).
||Rookie Towel Night is a big success. The Dodger bats come alive, Mondesi
has two homers, Pizza and Karros also go deep, and I spend some quality
time with my buddy Amy Huggins. What could be better? Why, a free beach
towel, of course! Great reserved seats for this one -- right behind home
plate, in aisle 3, row T.
||Interleague Play! See my column The Twain Meets
for more information. I'm happy only in that I was there to see history
made. Bad history, but history nonetheless. Nomo loses control, and leaves
the game allowing one hit, but five earned runs. And so, the fall of civilization
begins. (Uh, due to the Interleague play, not Nomo walking four guys.)
||Not only the debut of Interleague play at Dodger Stadium, but one of
the best baseball games I've ever attended. Dodgers down, 3-2, two outs
in the bottom of the ninth, when rookie Wilton "Corky" Guerrero
races home from second base on a very wild pitch to tie the score. Todd
Zeile hammers the next pitch over the fence, and a desperate situation
becomes an incredible victory in the historic first game against cross-town
rival Anaheim. Sat in the top deck, and warned the people who left with
two outs in the ninth that "it's not over." Little did they know!!!
||Dodger Dreams come true -- A friend at KCAL sets me up with the "Working
Media" pass, which means access to all areas of Dodger Stadium. Yep,
I sat in the Dodger dugout for batting practice, the press box during the
game, and got post-game interviews in the clubhouse. Wow. Here's
a more detailed account of this fantastic night.
||The Padres dominance of the Dodgers continues. Tony Gwynn hits an inside
the park, grand slam home run. It was that kind of night. Sat mostly behind
home plate, Aisle 2, Reserved Deck.
||I hate the Padres. Tony Gwynn is the man, again, with a bases-loaded
double in the 8th inning. Just when the offense heats up, the pitching
goes on vacation. Good going , Dodgers. Almost the same seats as last night,
right behind home plate, aisle 2, Reserved Deck.
||Typical Dodger game: They give up a 9th inning run to Texas, making
it 3-1; then Raul Mondesi hits a solo homer in the 9th, making the final
score a maddening 3-2. Aisle 3, Reserved Deck. After the game, a friend
and I get a glove autographed by Todd Zeile for a young friend of hers.
Thanks, Todd, for staying late and signing autographs near the player parking
lot. (Todd and coach Reggie Smith were the only people to sign at all!)
||Parking at Dodger Stadium - $5.00. Parking at Anaheim Stadium - $7.00.
Dodger Dog - Good value, great taste. Angel "Sausage Shack" Hot
Italian Sausage - An affront to humanity. Dodger Stadium - Classic music
provided by Nancy Bea Hefly on the Dodger Stadium Baldwin Organ. Anaheim
Stadium - Non-stop "scream rock" from Van Halen and assorted
faux-Techno artists. Dodger Stadium - Diamond Vision presents replays,
bloopers, and informative stats of other games. Anaheim Stadium - Video
board shows commercials featuring "comedian" Carrot Top for a
local county fair. Most Annoying Dodger Cheer: "Go!" "Dodgers!"
Most Annoying Angel Cheer: Anytime that set of disembodied, anatomically
incorrect gloved hands show up, making a stilted psuedo-clapping motion.
The republic is saved when the Dodgers sweep the season series from the
Angels. The Dodgers suddenly look like a team with some life. Hey Disney
Company: Next time, try to keep those XL t-shirts in stock for the second
game. All over the ballpark, hours before the game, they were all sold
out. Good planning.
||It gets ugly for the hated Giants. The Dodgers pick up after the All-Star
break on fire, and a six-run eighth puts SF away. Chan Ho Park goes seven
innings for the victory. I sat up in the reserved deck behind home plate,
aisle 3, row S.
||In two days, the Dodgers have now outscored the hated Giants by a total
of 17-2. That's always fun for us Dodger fans. Nomo gets the win, Todd
Zeile hits a homer, and six Dodger runs in the fifth inning are plenty
of offense. Sat up in free media seats -- Aisle 30, Row CC. Hey, they were
||Tripp! The fill-in infielder Tripp Cromer
continues to play past his previous heights; a bases-clearing double tonight
sparks the Dodgers to a big victory. It should be noted that the Dodgers
have outscored their opponents 25-5 in the last three games I've attended.
Are you listening, Dodger people? It's time for you to cough up some season
tickets! Sat in the reserved deck aisle nine, row H.
||Uh, as I was saying about the Dodger
Offense ... oh well. Tom Prince goes deep for the second night in a row,
making the loss of Piazza (bad hamstring) a bit more tolerable. But the
rest of the offense sleeps through the game. Case in point: Ninth inning,
nobody out, Raul Mondesi reaches second with the tying run. Karros, Zeile,
and Guerrero promptly do absolutely nothing, stranding Raul, and ending
the game. Ouch. Roved through the top deck general admission seats ...
but not far enough. Rowdy horseplay by unsupervised kids ends up dousing
me with a splash of nacho cheese sauce. Next time, it's back to the Reserved
||A lovely Sunday afternoon at the Stadium with my pal Amy Huggins, offset
only by the fact that due to the Earth's rotation and the design alignment
of Dodger Stadium, we remained a maddening 20 feet from shade the entire
game, and it was a little warm. Tom Candiotti continues to prove his value,
going seven strong innings, and a big sixth inning offensively powered
the Dodgers (they scored five runs in the sixth) to victory. We sat in
the sunny seciton, Aisle 16, Row T.
||A pitchers duel on a lovely evening, first game back from the long
road trip. Chan Ho Park is a big draw, as are the Cubs, so 46,000 fans
crowd the Stadium, and I end up in Reserved Aisle 56, row D. It's a fun
night, as Park pitches his first Major League complete game, and there
are plenty of fans there just to see him. The hated Giants lose, so we're
only a a game and a half back. Go Blue!
||Ismael Valdes pitches a great game, but it is the newest Dodger who
wins this game. Newly acquired centerfield Otis Nixon goes over the wall
not once, but twice, making two great catches, and frustrating David Segui,
the Expo who has to be wondering what if he had hit the ball just five
feet further eitehr time? What are the odds that Nixon would "bring
back" two of Segui's long blasts? The longest blast of the day, though,
no one catches. Mike Piazza destroys a Pedro Martinez fastball, sending
it almost 460 feet, over the Dodger bullpen, providing the margin of victory.
||The Dodgers score three nuns in the first inning, then fall apart.
The lowlight: Pedro Astacio gives up a three-run double to the Reds pitcher.
The highlight of the night: a pre-game ceremony retiring Tommy Lasorda's
number. It's always great to see old-time Dodgers like Pee Wee Reese and
Duke Snider out at Dodger Stadium.
||Dodger offense, paging the Dodger offense! It's ugly, and it's ugly
early. Bad defense, limp offense, Nomo giving up early runs... yuck. We're
back to two and a half behind the hated Giants, but I'm in it for the long
haul. I just bought seasonstickets for the rest of this year. Don't let
me down, guys!