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not so hollywood stars

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Saturday night was the 49th Annual Hollywood Stars game at Dodger Stadium. This has been a long-standing tradition at Dodger Stadium, beginning in 1958, the year the Dodgers came to Los Angeles. A few years back, they changed the game from baseball to softball, and they started letting people sit on the field to try to catch home runs. There used to be some reasonably famous people playing and Jon Lovitz and Billy Crystal would call the game and Tony Danza would fight with the umpires and we would all engage in canned sitcom laughter while eating Dodger Dogs and nachos. My family and I have attended every single year for the past 6 or 7 years, so it's become a bit of a joke tradition to get to Dodger Stadium early and watch the has-beens stars come out to play on Hollywood Stars night.

I will preface this report with the fact that I don't watch much TV and once sat next to Brooke Shields at a Broadway show and never recognized her, so my knowledge of so-called "stars" is very limited. I generally rely on my retired grandparents to tell me who they recognize from what TV show, since retired people like to watch TV and are very good at remembering plot lines. Also my grandmother is a subscriber of People magazine, so she can usually give us reports of who's banging who and which one is bulemic and how so-and-so won their fight against alcohol. While the past few years haven't been all that great, they've certainly had their moments so we gave it another shot. I was rather disappointed.

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First off, we had no idea who was playing because Kevin and Bean from KROQ were calling the game and they didn't announce who half the people were or why they should be considered Hollywood Stars. Usually mini-programs are handed out so the crowd can follow along since there are no names on the jerseys or the scoreboards, but apparently this year someone forgot to make them so it was rather difficult to know who was who. Unlike Billy Crystal and Jon Lovitz in years past, Kevin and Bean didn't make any funny jokes or say anything remotely amusing. It wasn't that they tried and failed, they simply didn't say much at all except to their KROQ friend who they called Psycho Mike, and since I don't listen to them on the radio I didn't understand their little inside jeers. Every once in a while Carlos Mencia would grab the mike and try to be funny, though the only line which got a reaction from the crowd was, "this at bat is in the name of El Pollo Loco." He proceeded to strike out, what El Pollo Loco has to do with anything I'm not sure, but I guess that was the only ethnic joke he could think of with all of the pressure of the game and all.

So the game went on, I was clueless as to who was playing. Kevin and Bean would occasionally announce the name of the batter but not give any background, and then I would rely on my grandparents to tell me if this was a Showtime sort of actor or a WB sort of actor and whether or not my grandma thought he was cute.

Secondly, look at this list of "stars" and tell me what you think:
Luc Robitaille, Aylin Mujica (the only female), James Denton, Gary Valentine, Oscar Nunez, Michael Clarke Duncan, Adrian Pasdar, James Van Der Beek, Neal McDonough, Dave Annable,
Wallace Langham, Joe Mantegna, Mauricio Islas, Carlos Mencia, Larry Joe Campbell, Robert Gossett, David Berman, Danny Strong, Joel McHale, Sam Page, Kenny Johnson, George Stults, Shemar Moore, Jon Wellner, Shaun Livingston (didn't show), Jordan Farmar (didn't play). The only person who remotely excited me (Jordan Farmar) never had an at bat, though Maurice Green showed up and watching him jog the bases with those muscular legs was quite a treat.

Third, there was only one female playing, someone named Aylin Mujica and honestly she is the last person on earth that I would want to represent my gender in any way shape or form. There are a few basic things that I ask people to possess: common sense, self-respect and dignity. As far as I could tell this woman had none of those. From the looks of things she is the Paris Hilton of the Latino community and a quick google of her name comes up with several nude photos. Yipee.

Because she had on these tiny shorts and tied her jersey up under her boobs, the men were sympathetic to the fact that the girl had never seen a baseball game in her entire life. They put the bat in her hands and tried to show her how to swing; the pitcher was able to throw the ball directly at the bat so somewhere in her giggly little head she believed she got a hit.

Now I know not everyone watches baseball and I certainly don't expect them to know the intricacies of the game, but the idiot "hit" the ball and then stood there at home plate giggling like a moron, waving her bat in the air like a magic wand. The ball was picked up and thrown to first before she even left home plate, but the guys decided that because they liked the shape of her ass they would give her 1st base on a, what, fielder's choice? The next batter up was, well I don't know who because they didn't tell us, but that person got a hit. Meanwhile what's-her-name is still giggling on first flaunting her belly to everyone in the outfield. Finally someone told her to run and, I kid you not, she continued running down the first base line into the outfield. She almost got to the fence when the right fielder stopped her to show her where second base was. (Dad said that's probably because she usually goes right past second base and scores, so she wouldn't know where it was or how to stop. Good point, Dad). Again she had been thrown out (making it 4 outs for the inning), and they contemplated allowing her to stand and look pretty on second base for a while until Carlos Mencia (on the other team) protested to end the inning.

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She took the field, playing second base for half an inning. Every time a ball was hit she would duck and cover. She tried for a put-out but, like Juan Pierre, could only throw the ball a maximum of 12 feet and was generally useless.

This was the only woman they could find to play? Last year Mia Hamm played and kicked some serious ass. From role model athlete to half naked bimbo, oh how we have fallen.

Dawson's Creek hit a home run. He's played the past 4 or 5 years and a few years back he knocked the fence over while robbing a home run which really stirred up the crowd, plus he is sometimes on robot chicken which almost redeems him from being on the WB for 6 years.

This guy knocked down the fence and robbed someone of a home run but again, I don't know who anyone was so don't ask.

Web gem of the day goes to Sam Page (they did announce his name after he made this play, thanks Bean) for this kick ass catch. I don't know who Sam Page is but Grandpa explained that he's on some show about a big lawyer with a bunch of interns that sounds something like Legally Blonde but with more drama and fewer dogs. Grandpa likes the show, so even better.

The very best part of the game was when Russell Martin came up to pinch hit for the Blue team, who was losing at that point. This was very exciting for me, obviously, since 1) I actually knew who he was and 2) there was the potential for some athletic action.

Martin hit a home run over the center field fence, and managed to high-five about 800 people on his way around the bases. The blue team enveloped him at home plate as if it were a walk-off home run in the 7th game of the world series, even though it was the 3rd inning of a has-beens softball game with 19 people in attendance. Unfortunately, that was his only hit of the day, he went 0-4 that night in the game against the Blue Jays.

The Hollywood Stars game ended after 5 innings with a 5-5 tie. Everyone was happy, except for that giggly woman in the shorts, who still didn't understand what was going on but was having a grand time hanging out by the Dodger dugout having her photo taken with Ramon Martinez.

One would think this would be enough unorganized madness for one night, but then they came over the PA and announced that it is Cheerleader Night at Dodger Stadium, and 1300 cheerleaders and their families would be joining us to watch the game. They opened the center field gates and all of these underage girls came prancing onto the field into a Bring It On nightmare.

There was no structure or format to this, it was a cheerleading free-for-all with kids from the ages of 5 to 18 running around like puppies in a dog park. Except this is the outfield. And we're at Dodger Stadium. And we're here to watch a baseball game.

We managed to endure this tsunami of acrobatic wonder for a good 10 minutes before everyone lost interest and went to stand in line for beer. I took particular interest in what I called the "Red Cheer Squad of Death" because they were dropping people and falling at seemingly fixed intervals of 1:10.

I was making numerous snide remarks about growth stunting and stage moms and potential lawsuits until I realized all of their parents were sitting behind me. Oh well. It's nothing they didn't already know. Most people couldn't see all of the mishaps going on with the Death Team, but I had my trusty telephoto lens which zoomed right in on the action.

What can be said about the game? I really don't want to talk about it. It was Brady Clark's last game as a Dodger as he was sent down for assignment and will likely become a free agent this week. Bye Brady. Sorry 'bout all this. It's probably best you got out before getting sucked into the vortex of more pre-game festivities.

Derek Lowe pitched his 3rd complete game of the year. Let me correct that. His third complete game loss of the year. He's throwing some great stuff and looking strong, now all he needs is some run support. He tried to produce some offense and had two hits of his own, but since the Dodgers are really big on leading the bases loaded, he never made it across the plate.

So goes another night at Dodger Stadium. I should have gone to the Dyke March with Elise.

All photos taken by Malingering, who would really appreciate a win right about now.

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