Wednesday, April 04, 2012

At-Preseason Game Recap: Bug-Eyes Is The Difference (April 3, 2012; Dodgers 4, Angels 1 (Exhibition))

Had a great evening back at the Stadium for the first time in 2012, though it was for a meaningless exhibition game. It was just good to be back, you know? Like seeing an old friend that you haven't seen in a long while. It did feel weird, though, what with the Dodgers leading 4-1 and still coming out to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. But hey, it's preseason; who the hell cares anyway, right?

Which made the evening a little weird. Yes, we were in Dodger Stadium again (three Sons in attendance: DelinO, Nomo, and yours truly!). Yes, it was a wonderful evening out there with smatterings of competitive spirit (and the unfortunate wave that surfaced in the sixth; sigh). Yes, the concession lines were god-awful long (Frank McCourt is clearly skimping on staffing for his last month of ownership); you couldn't even walk down the field level concourse because of the long lines (which persisted all game long; seriously, I went up the escalators to get beers on the Loge level at least twice). But it wasn't a real game, so it wasn't a real event...just a test run, if you will.

Matt Treanor may have the scariest Diamondvision card of any Dodgers player (his eyes are bulging out so much, I thought I had 3D glasses on; unfortunately, they switched the graphic before I could snap a photo). But he did come through to ice the game with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Both Marty Feldman and I were stoked. After some opening innings with missed opportunities (Dodgers were 3-for-12 with RISP), it was nice to see the local boy come through and break the game open.

Wanted to post some pictures from the evening...

The big walls at the end of the concourses commemorate the Stadium's 50th anniversary, rather than any player; no player's picture was seen on the outside exterior either (at least, visible from the field level entrance in left field).

Long lines just to get in the gates. Jeez, if this is what happens when only 20,000 fans show up, what the heck is going to happen for a Opening Day sellout?

Jeff Kent is in the house! Oh wait, maybe that's his brother, Clark.

Magnet schedules in hand!

Cheesy State Farm rally towel in hand (free for filling out a survey; good luck trying to contact "Steve Sax")!

Dodgers take the field. Very strange to hear what appears to be the voice of a new announcer, who is not quite as resonant as the one I recall. Maybe it's a trick of the light.

Bobby Wilson represents "Angels Baseball" (as opposed to Angels Football, I suppose). But wait, it gets better...

...Juan Rivera represents Bank of America! Maybe Juan is moonlighting as a window teller!

A full slate of promotional events on calendar.

I'm not gluten-free by any stretch. However I did find this the fastest way to get beer on the Loge level. Downside: the sign says $6/bottle, but the register says $6.25/bottle. The cashier was unrepentant. NO TIP!

Looks like new World Series Championship "banners" below the Stadium Club.

Frank McCourt, too cheap to wrap concrete columns. Seriously, these bare columns look ridiculous. Going with the earlier comment that individual players do not seem to be profiled on large banners on the stadium's exterior no Dodger safe? Can't we at least commemorate Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, for pete's sake? (Also, visible signs of cheapness abounded: unstaffed and shuttered concession stands, fewer visible security guards on the concourse; no interior column wraps or players on the stadium exterior; Diamondvision videos which ran last year (e.g., Tommy's "Code of Conduct" video at the pool table); failing to play the song options during the "crowd-selects-between-inning-tune-by-cheering" exercise. I expect this all to change for Opening Day, or at leaast for the May 7 homestand....)

Anthony Mercado (whom I could have sworn was introduced as Anthony Lamb, but maybe I'm hallucinating), the singer of last night's national anthem. Look, I'll be honest, I wasn't fond of the way he sang God Bless America, especially starting out at a dirge's pace. But maybe I'm colored by my opinion that we shouldn't be doing GBA every seventh inning stretch, in the first place. And let's be clear, as Chris Erskine of the LAT said, it's hard not to like an eight-year-old kid in a shiny tuxedo. (And I did like how he screamed "Go, Dodgers!" at the end of GBA.) More power to you, Anthony.

Anyway, a great night at the Stadium. Can't wait for the real thing, when the games count--one short week away!


QuadSevens said...

Nice recap Sax! This post reminds me that I need to buy some tickets soon.

Hideo Nomo said...

I'm pretty sure the PA guy last night was just filling in for Eric Smith. He was either drunk, eating, or both. My favorite part was when he announced "George" Cantu.

Great seeing you and DelinO last night! Thanks again for picking up my tab. I got next.

(Yes, folks, if you let Sax cut in line, he might just buy you dinner.)

Steve Sax said...

I bought DelinO a beer as well. Preseason magnaminity, I tell you. I'll be a lot more stingy if the Dodgers start nosediving.

DDGRDUG said...

There was a banner for Hideo Nomo outside the RF entrance of the Loge Level. Not sure if they are going to put them around the stadium or if its just a few here and there.

Hideo Nomo said...

I'll have to check that out next Wednesday.