I swung by the Top of the Park Store at Dodger Stadium yesterday, just to take a look at the playoff gear for sale (unfortunately there wasn't much) and consider the game that could have been that day, but wasn't. And in its relatively empty state, it was very sad, almost somber.
Aside from minimal press coverage traffic from a Joe Torre / Ned Colletti end-of-season conference, the Stadium was empty. Desolate. Yet it was a beautiful sunny day that would have been perfect for California baseball, especially with the intensity of the playoffs. One could only imagine how rockin' the crowd might have been had we been able to extend the series to a sixth game; the Stadium certainly would have looked a lot different than it did Friday.
Driving up, I noticed that they were already taking down some of the temporary tents (note: this is not one of the Team Store tents, but a different tent that would be outside the right field foul line):
And then of course, I couldn't help but take a look at the field from high atop the Top Deck. Workers were spraying off the seats in the Top Deck as if to give them one last cleaning before they would sit idle for five months. Note that on the field, the NLCS logos near each dugout had already started to be erased.
The press conference had just broken up from the dugout, and reporters and bloggers were perusing the goods left in the store, almost as if to say "goodbye" and "thank you" to the 2009 season. I had the great fortune to bump into Roberto of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy; I rather embarrassingly called "Ronaldo" at first. Roberto had his notebook in hand and was clearly eager to get somewhere (I assumed to get to a computer to post his findings, and only found out later he was gunning to feed the beast).
Roberto is a real credit to the Dodger fan bloggers; he's young and clearly passionate about the Dodgers, and anyone who reads VSIMH knows he doesn't pass up many opportunities to meet the players or participate in a fan experience. This kid is indefatigable! He's done a great job this summer in his rookie year of blogging, and though his recap of our chance encounter focused more on the secrecy of our conversation, what he was too humble to mention was that I definitely told him (and believe) that he does a great job with his Dodger fan blog. It was nice meeting you, Roberto; hopefully when we meet again I'll get your name right--and thanks for keeping my identity secret!
I also bumped into Chris of dodgerfan.net, whom I'd met before, and who was also there for the press conference. In his recaps of the press conference, Chris poses the question "Do the Sons EVER leave the Stadium?" And I do hope that information also stays secret, as I don't want to have to start paying rent (plus, the Stadium's wifi network is pretty good, and definitely helpful when AT&T service is crapping out).
Anyway, I don't have notes from the press conference--after all, I was just there to get a t-shirt--but I highly suggest going to either site to pick up the highlights of conversations with Joe Torre, Ned Colletti, Andre Ethier, and Jon Garland. As for the Top of the Park Store, I'll be back in a week or so; maybe I'll see another blogger (or player) there again.