Friday, August 03, 2007
Attending the Asterisk? Ah, no...
Last night I attended the second game of a three game Dodgers home series in which they faced their archrivals the San Francisco Giants. Now, this would normally be a ticket I would especially love to get my hands on, but this series in particular, when Barry Bonds is one home run shy of tying Hank Aaron's most important record in sports history, the lifetime homerun count, that would lead one to kill to attend. I went so far as to get bleacher tickets in the All You Can Eat section, at $45 a waste for me as I keep kosher, but I could buy millions of kosher dogs if I caught that home run ball...
This is the first time in the hundreds of games I have attended at Dodger Stadium that I sat in the bleachers. In fact, I have sat in every section but the bleachers.
The fact that Bonds is a lefty and I had seats in the final row (Section 310, row Z, seat 10 to be exact) of the Right Field Bleachers made it a prime target -- er -- spot to try and catch number 755* or 756*. Unfortunately, no such chance came as Barry Bonds sucks. At least that is what the fans around me yelled. You see, the Bleachers bring out the worst in a person. I know this from attending a Yankee game, the only other time in my life I sat in a MLB game in the bleacher section. People threw beer at my friend who was rooting for the other team, a team which doesn't even have an existing rivalry with the Yanks (Like the Rabbis in the story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa, I kept my silence lest I get murdered by the rabid fans as well). This Dodger Game was especially nuts because of the team we were facing, our archrivals, the San Francisco Giants. Anyone who walked by wearing the halloween colors of the Giants was immediately booed. Some people even had things thrown at them, such as peanuts, and at one point, a baseball glove. The man in the orange in the third picture, obviously a dedicated fan of the Giants, pictured was kicked out of the game by ushers, security guards, and armed officers of the LAPD, fans of my section chanting "Kick him out! Kick him out!". On the other hand, Dodger fans who were kicked out (and there were many) were cheered "Let them stay! Let them stay!". Due to the possibility of homicide or riots resulting in someone catching the home run ball, there were dozens of cops packing heat in our section.
I was cheered on two separate occasions, both for tripping for climbing on slippery objects, the first time some wet steps, the second time on wet seats. Gevald, I'm such a klutz and my shins really hurt.
Notwithstanding my idiotic injuries, I would have to declare this the best Dodger game I ever attended. Not just because of the amazing back to back comeback we made in the 8th inning, indeed I have been to Dodger games where historic things have happened: Shawn Green getting four home runs in a single game in a three game streak of seven. Hee Seop Choi hitting three home runs (three more than he usually hits in a game), two of the only rain-outs in Dodger Stadium history, and yet I declare this the greatest game because of the electricity in the air. I spent most of the game on my feet because of the excitement in the section. True, lashon hara abounded, particularly against the center-fielder a couple of feet away (you could also tell when Bonds was up to bat as a loud roar of boos filled the stadium, everyone got to their feet, and everyone in the sold-out capacity crowd was blinded by tens of thousands of flashbulbs). So maybe he gets his asterisk tonight. I don't think it honorable to recognize the record of someone who uses performance enhancing drugs. No, I think we need to revert to the record of the Great Bambino; Babe Ruth's anti-drug was hot-dogs, beer, and women. The Sultan of Sw(e)at never needed to run because he kept hitting them out of the park; the big guy could just amble at a leisurely pace around the diamond.
I wouldn't mind catching that 755th ball, though. I told the woman sitting next to me that should I need to defenestrate myself (I was in the last row and there was no backstop preventing me from falling out of the stadium a la Maude Flanders or the bad guy in Naked Gun). I could always replace my bones with the millions of dollars I would get for catching that ball... I would want to stay if I caught the record-tying 755 so perhaps I could also catch the record-breaking 756, but a police officer told me that they'd escort you out of the stadium so quickly once you caught that ball, lest you be murdered.
And on that cheerful note, goodbye.