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A Strikeout for Villaraigosa

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Around the fourth inning of the National League Championship Series Monday night, as the hills north of Los Angeles continued to burn, Fox cameras panned to the dignitaries sitting in the luxury seats.

With its usual host of celebrities and debutantes, the collection of upper crust was noteworthy for only one reason. Amongst the select crowd was Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who smiled as Derek Lowe was mowing down the Phillies; smiling as thousands in the San Fernando Valley were driven from their homes by two blazes that burned without care; smiling as thick smoke choked parts of four major freeways closed earlier in the day; smiling hours after 19 homes burned; smiling after two had died.

Earlier in the day, a yellow flak-jacketed Villaraigosa mugged for the camera with two City Council members. The mayor somberly updated the viewing audience with news of the massive blaze including the apparently homeless man who perished with a dog.

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But that was in the afternoon, around 2 p.m., and the social butterfly mayor whose omnipresence is only tempered (or perhaps aided) by his ambition, had to be seen. And there he was, yucking it up with the stars having turned in his yellow jacket that screamed, I care about this fire, with a Dodger blue one that whispered, I'm a fan...really.