I hate the Dodgers. It has nothing to do with any Giants connection because I’m not a Giants fan (what a shocker.) It has to do with what happened in 1988. I think it was a World Series or something … I’m trying to forget. Actually, that won’t ever happen — I will always remember the horrifying home run hit by the elderly, disgusting Kirk Gibson off of Eck. Therefore, there’s no scenario where I would ever root for the Dodgers. None.
That being said, I do like Dodger Stadium. If it were in Oakland, Lew Wolff would want to move out of it for being “old.” Morons would say the A’s “deserve” a new stadium. But where it presently sits in Chavez Ravine, Dodger fans like it just fine. Despite the fact that LA traffic is even worse than downtown Cairo, getting in and out of the parking lots is run in a somewhat efficient manner. There are cops everywhere in the parking lots, and there is also a zero-tolerance policy on any alcohol. The Dodgers certainly do not want or need another Brian Stow type of incident.
I was wearing an A’s hat and t-shirt and was not harried or hassled in any way. I know that the A’s are not exactly blood enemies of the Dodgers, but the opportunity for teasing or worse was certainly there for any Philistine to grab. Being 6’ 2” might have helped, but I noticed that no other Oakland fan was being bothered. It was a family atmosphere. I asked a Dodger fan in the parking lot why Clayton Kershaw had been scratched and he politely explained why. The guy sitting next to me asked me why “the A’s were so good last year yet so bad this year” and I told him that the buck stops with the Billy Beane. I’d love to hear other excuses.
One thing I thought was very cool was when Vin Scully appeared on both hi-def scoreboards and gave a brief rundown before that night’s game. It was taped earlier that day, but it was classy and actually very informative. He talked about players and trends — and as he put it, “the numbers.” I have a lot of respect for Scully, and I’ll tell you why: in that infamous 1988 Fall Classic, he and Joe Garagiola did the national tv broadcast. You could not tell in the least that Scully worked for the Dodgers. He called the game squarely and got excited at the right moments for both teams. He’s a true professional, and if you listen to him, you go back in time and are virtually listening to a baseball game from the ’50s.
The A’s split the series and in so doing showed their true colors. They have Sonny Gray and not much else. Billy Burns, Stephen Vogt, and a befuddling hot Josh Reddick are impressing, but Gray is the only true diamond of a talent on the entire roster. They must hang on to Gray at all costs. The rotation is a shambles now and the bullpen remains as incendiary as a flint. Plus, with three former All-Stars shipped out in the last week and zero big leaguers coming in return, the guys between the lines know what management thinks of them.
There’s still a lot of baseball to be played. The hot days of August and September lay ahead. We’ll still be going to the Coliseum, hoping for victories. But we might have to take pleasure in small ones, like from a Brett Lawrie home run or a fine throw by Josh Phegley. The pressure is off, because the men upstairs have told the team in a less-than-tacit way that the 2015 season is over. A’s fans have developed a gallows humor in order to deal with the most reckless G.M. in all of sports. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. And if you get the chance, check out Dodger Stadium. It’s way better than that toilet in Anaheim.