Sunday, June 19, 2011

Post-Game 73 Thread: An Aborted Father's Day Catch

DODGERS UNO, ASTROS 0

Humping it down from the Bay Area today was interesting; kids in the back seat watching movies on the iPad, wife and I in the front seat listening to the game streaming over the MLB AtBat11 app on my iPhone, racing against time to make it to the Stadium for the post-game Father's Day Catch. iPhone in the front seat! iPad in the back seat! Gotta make my mind up--which seat can I take?

Anyway, I think the fourth inning was starting over an hour past the first pitch, so I figured we'd be tracking nicely toward a 5p arrival at the Stadium. But suddenly, the game started picking up pace, due at least in part to the Dodgers' offensive ineptitude: seven batters in the entire fourth inning (top and bottom), six batters in the fifth inning, and seven batters in the sixth inning. Hiroki Kuroda faced a little bit of a challenge in the seventh inning, yielding a leadoff double to Chris Johnson, but Johnson couldn't even advance to third base before his side was retired.

The Dodgers got their one lucky stroke in the eighth inning, with an unlikely one-out solo HR from Dioner Navarro (who ended the game with a .175 batting average, after going 2-for-3 today for pete's sake). Vin Scully was so surprised, his call here of the HR says "A homerun by Dioner Navarro, of all people, and the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead." Navarro's HR didn't come in time to give Kuroda the win, which ended up going to Matt Guerrier (Javy Guerra pitched a perfect ninth for the save). Kuroda continues to get the short straw of low run support from this team. But the Dodgers IMPROVE to 1-5 on this homestand and avoid the sweep. Sigh.

Oh yeah, and about my Father's Day catch experience? We made it to the Stadium by 5p, right on schedule (the Dodgers' press release said the gates would be open for two hours after the conclusion of the game, which ended around 4p). But despite successfully negotiating our way past clueless Dodgers parking security guards (who seemed to be unaware of the catch altogether), we parked and made our way to the Stadium, only to find a queue stretching from the center-field gates all the way to the entrance of lot G, and not moving an inch forward. Clearly, there were capacity issues that would have prevented our family from getting on the field in any time less than an hour's wait, and with two young kids who had just endured five hours of carseat prison, that was too much to ask. No foam squishy Dodger baseballs this year for the Sax family, though to be truthful it was only the Dodgers apron that I coveted the most. Oh, well.

Happy father's day anyway, and congratulations to all who got in to enjoy it. And a big Happy Fathers Day to my father, too; and thanks for teaching me to always throw strikes, Dad.

PGT idea courtesy of Paul, in the GT

14 comments:

Offermans Rage said...

I was in the group to be herded into the stadium at 5:30 p.m. for catch. We waited in line for 1 hour, 35 minutes. 9 and 7 year old complained the entire wait. But afterwards they said it was worth it.

Steve Sax said...

My kids have always loved this outing. I'm sad to have missed it, but convinced it was the right call. Hope you got an apron, O.R.!

Josh S. said...

The catch is better when the team is out of town. It seemed like they tried to do a little too much this year, which is kind of why I stayed away.

Steve Sax said...

@Josh S: Agreed, but I have to say, I give the Dodgers props for at least the effort. They could have easily bagged on the event altogether just because of the afternoon home game, and they tried to do something for fans, even the fans that couldn't afford to buy a ticket to the game (distinct from the Friday Fireworks nights, for example).

Just goes to show you that the Dodgers still have plenty of great fans. They just don't want to fund McCourt anymore.

Steve Sax said...

hmm, the "recent comments" widget seems to be broken.

Steve K said...

My wife surprised me with tickets to the game for Father's Day.

Sax, the reason the line wasn't moving is that they shuffled people through in groups every half hour or so. We were lucky enough to be in the group that got in at 4:30, so we only waited 40 minutes or so.

O.R.: I had no idea that groups were still going in at 5:30. Sorry to hear people had to wait so long!

It was fun. Got my apron and squishy Dodger baseball and had a great time with my wife and baby.

Josh S. said...

Oh, duh...

Happy Father's Day, Sax! And also to the other SonFathers and SonsReaderFathers.

Steve Sax said...

@Steve K: glad you went to the game and the catch! Send us some pictures!

Btw, you mean to tell me you were at the game, and still had to wait 40 mins to go on the field for the catch?!?!

Dusty Baker said...

@J Steve

Saw your pic on Facebook. Great stuff - happy Father's Day!

Same to all the other fathers out there.

Steve K said...

I was on the loge level behind home plate for the game. By the time we gathered everything, got down to field level, and made it out to beyond center field, there were already a ton of people there. I assume that most of the people there by 4:00 were at the game. Offermans Rage was probably at the game, too, and he waited over an hour and a half.

The problem was that this was a game day, so there were already 30,000+ people at the stadium (44,000 announced - no way!), many of whom were ready to stay and play catch. Because of the volume, they were only using the center field entrance, allowing them to let people in in shifts, limiting the number of people on the field at any given time and leaving enough room to actually play catch.

I took a look at Orel's photos from the past couple years and each shift of people today had a lot more people than what appeared in those pictures.

If they do this on a game day again, I recommend leaving your seat in the 8th inning to get in line and hopefully be part of the first group of people, especially if you're not on the field level towards the pavilions.

Steve K said...

Thanks, Dusty! It was fun watching my baby play in the Dodger Stadium grass!

Steve Sax said...

Steve K, thanks for the update and I'm really glad you got on the field for the catch. It really is a beautiful event; too bad this year was a little crowded!

Steve K said...

By the way, Juan Uribe came up to bat with a Rhianna song playing...

Jason said...

^ In a related development, the headless corpse of a horse was discovered in Matt Kemp's backyard.