Monday, April 20, 2009

Ten Hours with the Dodgers (Part three in a three-part series)

After resting up at Sax’s house and seeing Orel as well, we were off the the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood for the premiere of Bluetopia: The LA Dodgers Movie. And before I continue, I must thank Josh Rawitch and the PR staff for the invitation. Including bloggers to events like this is really nice and makes me feel that we are part of the family.

Now on to the event. We walked in, registered, and at the top of the stairs was a guy dressed up a Dodger uniform directed the celebrities toward the “blue carpet” or to the other side of the railing (we were directed to the other side, guess they could tell I wasn’t a player).

I lulled around outside while my wife saved seats behind the reserve seats in the theater. There were large blow-up pictures on the walls of great Dodger moments. It was great meeting fellow bloggers Trolley Dodger and isportsweb. We all hung around the end of the blue carpet getting to know each other. Big props to Trolley Dodger for making the drive out there – man I hope you have a hybrid car. Then the celebrities started to make their way down the carpet. Al Downing showed up first, then Jaime Jarrin, Nancy Bea Hefley, Ken Levine, Rick Monday, and Charley Steiner. Then the players and executives started to arrive. Ned Colletti, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney. I was lucky to get some autographs and pictures of the players, who were all pretty accommodating. Then they started to usher us into the theater to watch the show.

There have been other reviews at Trolley Dodger, Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts (great to meet you too Jon!), and True Blue LA which range from positive to negative – I think Jon Weisman will defer as he was part of the movie (and did a great job too). The movie depicts the roller-coaster 2008 Dodger season through the eyes of the fans. They concentrate on different fan stories ranging from a 6-year-old’s first baseball game, a cancer patient’s journey through treatment and Dodger games, a father and son that arrive one hour BEFORE the parking gates open to be the first ones there, a family with season tickets for years, an ex-gang member enjoying the game with his family, three elderly ladies who are devoted to the Dodgers, and a tattoo artist expressing his love for the Dodgers at the game and on someone’s skin (even Matt Kemp’s skin!). There are also interviews with personnel and writers such as Josh Suchon, who relates stories about the Coke trivia question participants, and Jon Weisman’s interview and first meeting with Vin Scully. Director Timothy Marx had some nice things to say about everyone before the movie. What was really nice was that the fans that were featured in the movie were guests and were all there in attendance. I thought the movie was a nice tribute to the fans and the team during the 2008 season.

I think every Dodger fan has their own stories about the Dodgers and it is nice to see that there are other people out there that are as devoted, or as crazy, as you are about the boys in blue. The players may come and go, but the fans will always be there. I don’t think that the film is going to be an Oscar winner, but if they were out to capture the fans' devotion and the reactions to the season, they succeeded. There are many “behind the scenes” shots as well, like when Manny arrives to the clubhouse for the first time and before and after Clayton Kershaw’s first game as a Dodger. These are always great to see as they make the fans feel like they are Dodger insiders.

I think the real treat was being able to sit behind the players and executives and watch their reactions to the movie. At one point, they show Matt Kemp striking out and I heard him shout out “For Shame!” There are some rookie hazing moments with Kershaw dressed up as Little Bo Peep, and he immediately slumped down in his seat and covered his face with his hands. And when Josh Suchon states that he “never gives away the Coke trivia answers,” someone shouted out “LIAR!” At the end of the film, everyone broke out into the “Let's go Dod-gers” chant.

What was a little disappointing was again Andre Ethier’s reaction. Timothy Marx was introducing and thanking the players for attending the screening. Each of the players raised their hand or nodded in acceptance. However when Andre was introduced, he was texting on his iPhone and didn’t acknowledge the crowd or Mr. Marx. Poor form, man - I hope that it was an important text page.

On the flip side, Matt Kemp is my new FAVORITE player as his attitude is really refreshing. I was able to take a picture with him and took another one of him that didn’t come out, so he said, “Hey, take another one, I wasn’t smiling.” That was great. He also stayed around the outside before the movie to take pictures and sign whatever needed to be signed. After the movie the players bolted as they were probably tired from that day’s game and had to get up to play another day game that Sunday. I think the good karma was shining down on Kemp as we know how he did in Sunday’s game. Anyone else have good experiences with Kemp or bad ones with Ethier?

Just like the players, we were also tired and had to leave after the movie. We left our house at ten in the morning and arrived home at ten at night and with a two-hour dinner break, it turned out to be about ten hours of something to do with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I really enjoyed the movie and give it 3 Dodger Ducks out of 4. I will probably buy a copy for my family and my fellow Dodger fans as a present. I think it does capture the essence of being a Dodger fan or any baseball fan for that matter. We are very fortunate to have a great team in a great movie city and to the meld the two is only natural. I have been very lucky to experience two great Dodger days within the past week and hope to experience many more. Enjoy and comment on the pictures below. Go Blue!

Jamie Jarrin making an appearance.

Robert Wuhl of Arliss fame was there too.

Bills signing autographs.

Rick Monday was there.

Ken Levine from Dodger Talk and Jon Weisman from Dodger Thoughts.

Matt Kemp signing autographs.

Ned Colletti in the house.

In a movie about Dodger fans, you gotta have this guy.

Charlie was there too.

Clayton Kershaw walked down the carpet.

Nancy Bea signing autographs - made my day.

Andre walking down the carpet.

Matt Kemp and James Loney before leaving to dominate the Rockies the next day.

Earlier: Part One (Photo Day); Part Two (The Game: Dodgers 9, Rockies 5)


Roberto Baly said...

Great stuff. Glad you guys had fun :)

Steve Sax said...

Steiner looks like he's calling a home run right now (though it turns into a infield pop fly)

Eric Karros said...

Who's the feminina behind Bills?

Roberto Baly said...

@ Karros - It's the wife

Celsius1414 said...

Great seeing you too. And no need for the hybrid -- I got the Trolley. ;)

Steve Sax said...

Charley Steiner's date sure has a lot of tats.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

Why no photos of Alex????????

Steve Sax said...

Neeebs, the only documented picture of SoSG Alex Cora known to mankind is on this thread.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Rick Monday looks awful

Neeebs (The Original) said...


That was BN (Before Neeebs).

Unknown said...

Monday sure has aged.

Bills has a nice looking wife, but I have to wonder if he is a high blood pressure risk. His hands really make it look like he retains tons of water.

Chris said...

Awesome photos and recap, Alex! Wish I could have been there, as it looked like a fantastic night.

Alex Cora said...

Chris: Thanks! It was fun. If you have a couple of bucks, pick up the movie - I think you will be pleasantly surprised.