Like fellow B.la contributor Cindy, I too attended last night’s game at Dodger Stadium. And from the looks of her awesome fireworks photos and shots of the post-game field, my wife and I may have been only a couple rows apart from her and her dad up there in the Top Deck ó once my favorite spot to see my favorite team in one of my favorite places to be in the whole world. But not anymore. Not after last night.
There’s something rotten over there in the Ravine, and not only is my love affair with the Top Deck over, but I fear my lifelong devotion to the team might be on its way out as well. No, not just because of their lackluster play and their 10-3 loss to Arizona, or the finale-less fireworks (abruptly shut down, I believe, by fire officials after a second blaze broke out behind the stadium’s 76 station). I can’t even blame my sinking feelings on the family directly to our left who released five fucking beach balls simultaneously. And as much as I’d like to I won’t pin responsibility on the jackass behind us whose game-long, overly loud comedic stylings began when he took his seats with “Whoa! I’m getting a nosebleed! Har Har!” and proceeded downhill practically nonstop thoughout the almost three-hour game.
No. I can deal with disrespectful idiots ó I’ve made it this far in my life in a city full of them. Instead, my melancholy stems from something much deeper and dynamic. A tectonic shift. It’s there in the encroachment of those new seats and the way they’ve cinched in the once-graceful geometry of the field. It’s in the addition of anonymity by the subtraction of the names off our player’s backs. It’s in the erasing of the history of Robinson and Koufax and Gibson and other greats who adorned the outfield wall, replaced with tributes to Bud Light, Adelphia, and Albertsons. And it’s there in a home team that’s neither at home here nor a team.
It wasn’t all depression and frustration. I applauded when Shawn Green hit a homerun at his first at-bat, but he plays for the Diamondbacks now. And when L.A. native Brett Butler took his position in the first base coach’s box, I was very happy to see him still in the game and pointed him out to my wife Susan. Told her that Brett’s one of my favorite Dodgers ever ó one of the best leadoff hitters of his time. He’s with the Diamondbacks, too.