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Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Last night I went to see the Dodgers play the Giants with Cindy and our friends Eric and Mindy. Mindy got the tickets from work. The Dodgers pulled out the 4-2 win despite being outplayed for most of the game. Down by a run in the eighth they scored the tying run on a Jeff Kent bloop single. Kent went on to win the game in the bottom of the 10th with a two-out two-run homer. Pretty exciting, huh? Yes. It could have been a lot better though if not for the idiots who call themselves Dodger fans.

34,575 attended last night's game although in the 56,000 seat stadium it looked and sounded more like 3400. Entire sections were empty. Keep in mind the Dodgers are only six and a half games out of first place and the Dodgers/Giants rivalry is second only to Yankees/Red Sox. OK, it's a distant second but nevertheless, in this situation, Dodger Stadium should have been packed with fans. Real fans. People who go to a game to help the team win. Instead, the crowd last night was much more taken with itself than the on field heroics of Kent and crew.

Granted, I'm a life long Red Sox fan. I know it's chic to say that right now but it's true. I've been following the team since 1975. I'll just come out and say it. Red Sox fans are the gold standard. Just being honest here. When you're at a Red Sox game with other Red Sox fans, no matter if its in Anaheim, Baltimore or Fenway Park, the focus is on the game. Sox fans take the game apart and put it back together, observing every tiny detail, speculating on every strategy, calculating every permutation. Yeah, it's insane, but that's what it's all about. The game and how it's being played.

At this point, I feel compelled to apologize to the world for Fever Pitch. That is a movie for Drew Barrymore fans, not Red Sox fans.

As the night wore on last night and the scoreboard filled up, the crowd became increasing vocal. Down by a run in the bottom of the seventh, you'd think the home crowd would get behind the Dodgers. Instead, these knuckleheads started the rather sad "Giants Suck!" chant, a weak West Coast imitation of something that most Red Sox fans aren't really proud of to begin with – the "Yankees Suck!" chant.

Childish though it may be, the beauty of "Yankees Suck!" like any other expletive, relies on its context. Alex Rodriquez slaps tries to slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove? Yes, time to chant. Sox losing Game 3 of the American League Championship 19-8? No, keep your chant to yourself. Gary Sheffield pushes a Sox fan in the right field stands? Eh, that's a tough call. That guy kind of had it coming to him and a lot of people who sat near him said he had been an asshole for a long time. Anyway, you see my point. It's all about timing. With the Dodgers needing a run to stay in the game, the fans focus should be on the Dodgers, not the Giants, and certainly not each other.

As the crowd last night grew uglier, Cindy asked what I would do if a Yankee fan started giving me crap about my Red Sox hat. I said I'd just point to my shirt that says "2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox."

"Yeah, but then he'd point to his '2000 World Champion New York Yankees' shirt and then peel that off to reveal his '1999 World Champion New York Yankees' shirt and then peel that off to reveal his '1998 World Champion New York Yankees' and keep going like that till he'd gone through all 26 championships."

That's why "Yankees Suck!" is more just a tool to be used effectively when the time is right rather than an absolute truth. Don't get me wrong. The Yankees do indeed suck and they always will. But they're also winners.

But back to the knuckleheads at Chavez Ravine. When their team needed them most, these people were too busy yelling at each other, causing scuffles, and inciting each other to even watch the game. I looked with amazement as spectators, embroiled in a security guard vs. patron fracas, literally turned their backs to the playing field as the Dodgers batted in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied. At that point, one swing of the bat could have won the game and these people wouldn't have even seen it. By the tenth inning the front railings of the first two tiers were lined with young men, elbow to elbow screaming down at the crowd below. These guys didn't come here to watch a baseball game. They came here to show off for each other.

Two summers ago I went to a Single A minor league game out in the desert between the Mavericks and the Quakes. The Mavs fans had more class than these Dodger fans.

Go Sox.


At 5/17/2006 4:06 PM, Anonymous said...

go back to boston.


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