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Dodger Pregame Montage Ignores Tradition

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I have given up (for now) on convincing the powers that be over at the “Dodgers Media Network” to stop playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the 8th inning of home games. I listed many reasons for this last season inthis post. Despite the fact we are biting the song from other clubs, despite the fact it was written by a San Francisco Giants' fan, the crowd really seems to love it. Being a man of the people, I say let it play out until the fans tire of it. Even if it kills me, which it does.

While the question about whether or not to play the Journey tune is one based on personal taste, the subject of this post deals with a question that is based solely on tradition.

Before home games, at least during my tenure of being a season ticket holder, there has been a pregame video celebrating the city of Los Angeles. This year was no different, only one of the great Dodger traditions was tarnished in the process. The video was cut to Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.”. For those unacquainted with the stadium experience, the Dodger’s only play this song after a home win. Broxton strikes out the final batter and Randy Newman fires up on the piano. We sing the lyrics displayed on our scoreboard accompanied by the cheesy, but loveable palm tree scene. It’s such a campy and fun tradition, the Lakers play it after they win as well.

Now what? Will we get this montage every game? Some readers may think this is not a huge transgression, but in a team that emphasizes tradition, we clearly don’t care about this cherished one. Would the Yankees ever play “New York, New York” before a game? No chance. Would the Red Sox play “Sweet Caroline” in the 2nd inning? No they wouldn’t. The Dodgers should hold themselves to the same standard.

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It's so much more than just deluding an experience that fans look forward to. It's a feeling that the programmers don't understand the program. The feeling of belting that song out after a playoff win is the best reward for putting so much hope on something you can't control.

I don’t want to blame our bullpen problems on this tactless music selection, but I am going to anyway. The Dodgers traditionally have a strong bullpen, but if they can break the tradition of saving Randy Newman for after a home win, they can certainly break the tradition of using relievers that actually get batters out. While we’re at it, let’s have Tommy Lasorda come out in an Angels hat, let’s stop serving Dodger Dogs and let’s get rid of Vin Scully and let Eric Collins go solo every day. Also, Dodger blue is pretty old school. We should probably update that as well. I’m thinking lime green and maybe a mulled wine purple. That is way more “spring”.

Am I going too far? Yes. Am I over-exaggerating to a blasphemous degree? Probably, but I'm doing so for a reason. Once you mess with a tradition, you run the risk of messing with more of them. It's a slippery slope. It’s a gateway offense. The Angels are so desperate for tradition they are pretending to be from Los Angeles (the most ridiculous name in sports including the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of the Japanese NPB that are literally named after yogurt) . Do we really want to be the Brewers and resort to men dressed as sausages racing a lap around the field in between innings? I know I don’t.

The Dodgers have tradition. They have classic uniforms and colors. They have stories and legends. They have little quirks and nuanced charms from Vin Scully conducting the last few notes of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” from his booth to the annoying beach balls that litter the airways of day games.

And until recently, we had a campy song played only when our boys on the field earned us a win and a cheerful drive home. Now, it’s just a song played once on a bad day and twice on a good day.