Dodger Stadium Is Safe
Another day, another win for the Dodgers. Currently having the best record in all of baseball at 12-5, the Dodgers show no signs of falling apart like the deep depression of 2005*. Even when a high-priced starting pitcher** goes down, the Dodgers have a lizard-like quality to replace him with someone just as effective. While I’m deeply impressed with what they’re doing now, 2005 is still in the back of my mind. I’m happy but very cautious.
One thing that’s really irking me now is the lack of media attention given to the Dodgers on a national level. You’d be hard pressed to find any mention of the team on ESPN. Granted they have a heavily East Coast bias (read: Red Sox-Yankee bias), but this is a little ridiculous. I realize that the Dodgers have hit less homers than A-Rod alone has. I realize that watching a Dodger’s game now is a bit boring. But say something about the hitting and pitching at the very least. The Dodgers don’t have the best record in baseball just by luck.
However this might be a blessing in disguise. With little attention when the Blue play east coast teams that worry me (i.e., the Mets and Braves) they can get a couple of cheap wins. Or worse yet they’ll tank like they did in 2005 saving the embarrassment of being hyped up in April just to have the entire nation scoff in July.
Meanwhile, let's talk about the class of Dodger fans and overall safety at Dodger games - two things that are questioned each season.
I go to quite a few games (I've been to five so far this season) and usually sit in the $7 top deck seats. As a homo who doesn't mince words, I have never felt in danger at Dodger games. I yell out to Russell Martin proclaiming he's my boyfriend. I do yell out to Viejito and the Useless One using the nicknames I've given them, and never has anyone threatened me physically or verbally.
I do verbally heckle the opposing team and fans. I do yell out, "Giants Suck" for the mere fact that it's rhythmically smoother to say than, "The Giants have a severe deficiency in talent and have no chance to beat my Dodgers." You try getting that out in a four-beat measure. I yell at the opposing teams' fans to get back to the safety of their home city. While I never pelt people with food scraps that's about the extent of violence I witness at the game.
I'm not naive in believing that no fights break out. I know they do, but they are few and far between. The people who sit around me are usually respectful of other people's safety no matter how thuggish they might or might not look. I have seen people get thrown out of the game, but usually they are using excessive profanity and security wants to prevent an incident from occurring.
And this is in the cheap seats***.
All in all, just because Dodger games have the reputation for being violent don't let that fear overshadow the desire to be entertained somewhat cheaply for about three hours. We live in a society of fear that has left some people afraid to experience life. Just because a psycho shot up a college campus doesn't mean you won't be sending your kids to college, right?
Ok. This has gone on long enough, and I haven't even talked about the ideas that were tossed around at LAist headquarters. I'll do that in my next post.
* The Dodgers started out on fire going 12-2 in 2005 only to tank the rest of the season and wind up 71-91. You have to go back to 1944 to find a worse winning percentage.
** Jason Schmidt was given a 3-year $36 million contract by the Dodgers. The Giants, Schmidt's former team, didn't even negotiate with him. Lesson: don't dumpster dive from the Giants for pitching.
*** I refuse to sit in the pavilion given the choice. I have sat there before and hate the perspective of the ball field. I've only sat there twice, so I'm not keenly aware of the levels of violence there. But each time I've sat there has been pretty uneventful.
AP Photo courtesy Gus Ruelas