10:45 p.m. I ASKED JOE TORRE A QUESTION! It was a stupid one, but still.
"With the off-day tomorrow, do you have any plans to rest regulars during the Angels series?" I asked.
"They'll all rest tomorrow, I think," Joe said.
10:07 p.m. Sweep! Down to the clubhouse. Glad it'll be a happy place.
9:37 p.m. Steinberg was right: People are really singing along with "Don't Stop Believing."
9:35 p.m. Everybody on your feet!
9:32 p.m. They just handed out Casey Blake bobbleheads out to everyone in the press box! The Dodgers are a CLASSY OPERATION.
9:21 p.m. The complimentary Dodger Dogs are out! But I've already stuffed myself at Dave's Diner. I settle for a cookie.
9:14 p.m. Under the lights:
9:08 p.m. The seventh-inning stretch. Nancy Bea Hefley is right with us in the press box!
Nice loud bobblehead-fueled crowd tonight. They've only done the wave once.
8:37 p.m. A condom balloon just floated by. I kid you not.
Is this another one of Charles Steinberg's marketing ideas?
8:27 p.m. Half the press box was watching the end of the Magic-Cavs game.
8:07 p.m. Forgot to mention Mark Sweeney was in uniform, helping out with batting practice. Is he a coach now?
I'm starving. Who has time to eat?
7:29 p.m.: Two on, no out in the first inning. Urge to clap is surprisingly strong, especially since we're surrounded by cheering fans.
7:04 p.m.: McConaughey throwing out the first pitch:
6:00 p.m. Back into the Dodgers' clubhouse. Russell Martin's got these huge headphones on, looking meditative. A man asks Juan Pierre to sign something, Beast Mode obliges. Chad Billingsley walks by. Virtually every member of the team passes through at some point. Which makes perfect sense, if you think about it.
5:50 p.m. Patrick shows me the visitor's clubhouse. Also small. And dull. But there's Livan, and he's got music cranking. (No music in the Dodger clubhouse when I was in there.)
5:30 p.m. Introduce myself to Dylan. Turns out he is one cool motherfucker. "I have you on my RSS feed!" Sweet. Introduces me to Patrick Cain of ESPN the Magazine. Another very cool fellow. Future "Blog Spot" attendees: Seek out Dylan! (Sorry, Dylan.)
4:40 p.m. Onto the field for BP. Remember that scene from Dave as they go on the field? Here's how it starts:
The crack of the bat!
Trying to cover all the bases:
A window into XP's life:
Dodger and Dodger-related people spotted on the field: Eric Collins, Michael Eaves, Steve Lyons, Drew Merle, Rick Monday, Patrick O'Neal, Josh Rawitch, Jon SooHoo, Charley Steiner, Jeanne Zelasko. Ceremonial first pitch-thrower Matthew McConaughey is hanging out and chatting with Torre.
4:20 p.m. Joe Torre's pre-game talk. Lasts 20 minutes. He's pretty candid and seems to have a comfortable relationship with the media. Our group includes Michael Becker, Ken Gurnick, Dylan Hernandez, Ken Levine, Ben Maller, Doug Padilla, Josh Suchon.
4:00 p.m. Hit the clubhouse. Chat with the very helpful usher working the door. The clubhouse is smaller than you'd expect. Hey, professional baseball players! Be cool, Orel. Joe Jareck gives some helpful tips.
3:49 p.m. Unfrozen. There is one player on the field, practicing his bunting. His name is BEAST MODE.
3:48 p.m. A stentorian voice, louder than you'd expect, at the back of the press box. I freeze.
3:47 p.m. The view from the press box—er, the Vin Scully Press Box:
3:36 p.m. Just saw Charley Steiner. He is beardless. Repeat, beardless.
3:29 p.m. Greetings from the Vin Scully Press Box. That's right, from inside the Vin Scully Press Box. What the hell am I doing here? Well, if you thought Josh Rawitch (Vice President, Communications) was cutting-edge in creating Blogger Night, now he's positively bleeding-edge in granting some of us bloggers media credentials. Meaning that today, I, SoSG Orel, have access to the press box. And the clubhouse. And the field.
I've never been in a press box or clubhouse of any sort. (The field? Once.) I've never even taken the Dodger Stadium tour. My main points of reference are Eight Men Out and Ball Four. (Josh and his staff have kindly compiled a list of basic media etiquette, so rest assured I do know enough not to cheer in the press box, or to ask for autographs. Especially during an at-bat. That would be embarrassing.)
My primary mission is to get you Joe Torre's pre- and post-game quotes as quickly as possible. Those will go up in separate posts. My secondary mission is just to observe, and to pick up my jaw off the ground before anyone trips on it. Because I want to get used to this.
So stick around as your humble blogger brings you his impressions of behind-the-scenes Dodgerdom. I'll update this post throughout the day, and look for me in tonight's Game Thread. Go Blue!
P.S.: Thanks to Josh Suchon for the wireless help!