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Sporting News Hearts LA
As over 150,000 Dodger fans spent three days showing Barry Bonds as much hate as they could muster, Sporting News saw fit to profess its love to Los Angeles.
Yesterday, in an article entitled "Best Baseball City: Los Angeles," Managing Editor Stan McNeal expounded upon why he believes this to be the best town in which to be a fan.
In running through a laundry list of well-reasoned arguments in favor of Los Angeles (and Anaheim), McNeal touches upon a vast array of items people usually pick as cons against Los Angeles and its baseball fans.
In L.A., baseball doesn't have to share headlines with the NFL.
He also takes on the long-held view that fans who leave early and come late, as some Dodger fans are wont to do (as, are some fans in every ballpark), are somehow not real fans:
You might think the best fans are the ones who stay to the end no matter what. I think the best fans are the ones smart enough to know when to leave.
McNeal then addresses the East Coast, taking dead aim at the ol' bastions of tradition, New York and Boston:
In L.A., stress is not a requirement for attending games. In N.Y., there's the subway crowds and old, dumpy ballparks. In Boston, a bank loan is needed to purchase tickets to sit in tiny, cramped seats where you may or may not have an obstructed view.
Finally, McNeal, who also addressed the cleanliness of Dodger Stadium and the success of its franchise, ends with a display of both his understanding of the local culture and his love for the city:
If you don't understand my reasoning by now, I'll say only one thing. Slip on your sandals, strap on your shades and get going, dude. L.A. baseball is awesome.
The only thing he left out, in my estimation, was a paragraph on the venerable Vin Scully, whose brilliant career as the Dodgers main announcer will be over too soon whenever it ends. Each tradition-filled baseball town has had its share of great voices that, over time, became synonymous with their team. Jack Buck in St. Louis, Bob Shepperd, the so called "Voice of God" for the Yankees and, of course, Vinny in Los Angeles. Not one announcer has squeezed such poetry and prose into a 9 inning game as Vinny has done for the past 57 years.
For Scully, and the other reasons mentioned, McNeal is right on: Los Angeles is the best baseball town.
Photo via Flickr, by kla4067