Celebration at Chavez Ravine (aka: Best Loss Ever)
Good day, fellow Dodger fans! Sorry for the delay in posting this, but it has been craziness ever since the Dodgers won the division. One thing or another has kept me busy and away from my laptop for the past couple days, but now I’m here ready to blog about what a wonderful season this is, and our boys in blue making it to the postseason!
First off, congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers, your 2008 National League West Division Champions! Since the Dodgers had the division won before they took the field, it became obvious that Joe Torre wouldn’t be in it to win it on Thursday evening. It would lead to an awesome celebration, though.
Sweet September Breeze
As my girlfriend, Sarah, and I closed in on Dodger Stadium, I could hardly contain my excitement that the Dodgers were going to celebrate their playoff spot in style.
Usually before every game, there is someone signing autographs and it is all cool. For the final game of the season, Sweet Lou Johnson would be signing, and he was such a cool guy! After that, we decided to muck around and take pictures around the ballpark. Batting practice was pretty cool that day, but it was crowded with fans. I had no chance of getting a baseball with the warning track being that crowded. Since I didn’t want to go to our seats yet, I decided to take an awesome shot of my lovely girlfriend. Doesn’t that look cool? (I love that blurry background effect, for some reason) I also decided to check out the shops, and saw that they ALREADY were selling stuff to commemorate their NL West crown, and decided that it needed its own picture.
Dodgers on the Field
When we finally took our seats in the loge level for the first time all season, we decided to check out the section, and loved the setup there! They even had Wii baseball for fans to try. Granted, I already own a Wii, and I absolutely love Wii Sports, but it was still fun to do that at the stadium in front of a bunch of other fans! (For a while, I owned the top score on that particular game) After finally getting our Dodger Dogs and racing to our seats, we saw a nice ceremony with some olympians from the 2008 Beijing games, and all the Dodgers coming out before the game and tossing baseballs into the stands. Very nice gesture, indeed.
Although I didn’t get a picture of second base, my favourite moment before the game had to be Jeff Kent’s kids coming out on the field with him for possibly the final time, and he looked like he truly enjoyed himself. I do love that before the game, kids get to run out on the field with the nine Dodgers playing on the field.
The game itself wasn’t much to get excited about because with the Dodgers having clinched the division already, Joe Torre decided to put Eric Stults out on the mound instead of Greg Maddux against Jake Peavy. Stults decided to quickly give up two runs in the first inning, and the Padres never looked back. (Hey, at least they won’t get 100 losses this season)
It was refreshing to see one of my fav Dodgers, Rafael Furcal, back in the starting lineup, and not looking too bad! After that, Jeff Kent made his first start in the lineup, and he actually looked very good at bat. Joe Torre could have some tough decisions ahead in regards to who he leaves out of the playoff roster. Oh, what a problem to have. If you look at it this way, it’s better to have too much talent, as opposed to not enough talent. I have confidence in the manager, though. He has been through it all, and has led the Yankees to four championships in the last decade. We’ll see how the rosters look after the regular season ends.
The Discontent of Drunken Fans
As a couple of local radio personalities say frequently on a popular sports show, “One word: OY!” As the game drew near to the seventh inning, I began to notice that some of the drunken fans were getting slightly unruly. This is truly one thing that disappoints me about fans at most stadiums: Their drunken stupors that end up resulting in pointless fights and affecting innocent bystanders caught in the crossfires of thrown beer bottles. This was the first time I actually had to call that Dodgers Hotline because some people were hindering other people’s enjoyment of the game. That guy got booted very quickly just as he was beginning to curse up a storm and get in other people’s faces. Fortunately, nothing terrible happened around where we were sitting. However, as the game dragged on, people in other sections around the park were getting frustrated, and took out their angst on other people. It seemed like every two minutes, a new brawl was starting in a different section… and it got slightly scary when people were throwing stuff from the reserve level and having it land all the way in the field level seats. I have one word for that: Pathetic.
By that point, even the game was getting slightly testy. As the Dodgers made a valiant attempt to make some sort of comeback, their pushes toward the lead were thwarted by the Padres’ pitching and defense. Even with Juan Pierre stealing bags, the Dodgers B-team couldn’t come back. But it didn’t matter!
Celebrate Good Times, C’mon!
After the final out was recorded, it was time to celebrate! The graphics were strewn about the stadium right away, and the team went into the locker room almost right away. After they retreated, Sarah and I decided to go on the other side of the loge and get some pictures when the Dodgers came out of the locker room and partied with the home town folk. Here are the resulting pictures….
What a wonderful day it was! It was a wonderful night, and a good way to end the regular season. As for the final game of the season, how cool is it to see Nomar Garciaparra as acting manager for the final game of the season? I know Joe Torre has made a tradition of making one of the players a manager if his team has already clinched a spot and the final game doesn’t matter in the standings. He could have chose any other player, but Nomar was my bet, and I’m loving it! I leave you now with this… onward to the postseason!