Dodgers Return To Blue (And Colder Than Usual) Heaven On Earth In Season Opener
The forecast for Dodgers Opening Day so far: Rain in the morning, pockets of gray clouds in the skies and a temperature dropping into the low 50s and potentially into the 40s.
But none of that matters to the fans excited for the return of Dodger baseball.
The Dodgers meet the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:10 p.m. tonight at Blue Heaven on Earth without longtime third baseman Justin Turner and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner.
But lifelong Dodger fan Martin Rodriguez is still confident that the Dodgers will stomp the Diamondbacks, "9-2 ... guaranteed," he said.
Rodriguez was standing just before Sunset Boulevard and Vin Scully Avenue, planning his opening day. He hasn't missed one in 25 years, and he wouldn't let the threat of cloudy skies and cold weather deter him.
Weather? What weather?
"I'm gonna wear two thermals and my jersey on top ... and maybe a Dodger beanie."
When asked what jersey, Rodriguez said, "Urias, number 7."
For Jason Aguirre, who grew up in Echo Park, being a Dodger fan is about commitment. His grandfather was a fan and he used to work at El Compadre near Dodger Stadium, where Turner — now with the Boston Red Sox — used to have lunch regularly. He acknowledges Turner was a loss, but Aguirre says being a Dodger fan goes beyond fandom.
Why Opening Day is like a family reunion
"We do [this] religiously," he said. "We're here every year ... we have food together. It's more of a family reunion because there's family members we don't see until this day."
Dennis Guzman has also been a Dodger fan since he was a kid. He grew up near Dodger Stadium and remembers when Vin Scully Avenue was called Elysian Park Avenue.
Guzman says Opening Day "is like a holiday; it's always love, much love here."
Some pundits are predicting the Dodgers to finish second in the National League race behind the San Diego Padres, who outspent the Dodgers by signing shortstop Xander Bogaerts and re-signing Yu Darvish and Manny Machado.
Rodriguez acknowledges how good the Padres could be, but he remains optimistic.
"I just hope the Dodgers get first place in the west, Rodriguez said. "Because the Padres are loaded."
As for Opening Day —or night — against the Diamondbacks, Rodriguez reiterates, "Easy win."
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This is why we can't have nice things.
Please don't hurt yourself.
Stephen Nelson, 33, will call more than 50 games in the upcoming season.