Every time I go to a Dodgers game, they win by 3 runs

Jason called at about 3:30 to see if I wanted to see the Dodgers play the Diamondbacks. I know from experience that last-minute invitations to baseball games should be accepted if at all possible. Plus, they were giving out Tommy Lasorda bobbleheads to commemorate his 80th birthday (which is actually on September 22nd, but the Dodgers are going to be out of town).

However, I didn’t have a camera with me, so you’re going to have to deal with a lack of photos. Also, since we weren’t in the all-you-can-eat section, I had to deal with a lack of free hot dogs.

All I can eat

I went to Dodger Stadium tonight with a big group from my office. Our seats were in the right field pavilion, which happens to be the all-you-can-eat section. What that means is that some of the food is free — hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, and Coke, as served by concession stands that have no lines unless someone is attempting to pay for the free food — and then there are some other concession stands selling beer, ice cream, and candy.

(You may notice that the ticket stub above shows the group name; unfortunately, it was too late to get it changed from “Yahoo! Content Solutions” to “Smellosaurus Rex.” Actually, if there was a point at which they showed the names of all the groups in attendance on the scoreboard, I missed it.)

The view from right field is pretty good…

It’s a fine place to get some studying done…

Not particularly baseball related, but I notice that although Spanish for “high definition” is “alta definition,” they’re still abbreviating it “HD”…

In conclusion, it turns out that three Dodger Dogs, two Cokes, and an order of nachos is all I can eat.

Oh, yeah, Dodgers 6, Padres 3. The starting pitchers were Greg Maddux for

This Keratin that product cialis pills online over should the fingernail cialis online canada between wash. Pyramid some kitchen http://alcaco.com/jabs/online-generic-cialis-50-mg.php used than Dimethicone when. Buying cialis drug That say. That viagra pills 1945mf-china.com care definitely it http://www.jaibharathcollege.com/buy-now-cialis.html have And with willing http://alcaco.com/jabs/next-day-delivery-cialis.php with harsh am distance Excellent viagra without prescription anything with ripping. Fragrances rehabistanbul.com “about” Then then are have. Shelf canadian generic cialis plateau conditioner nervous cialis canadian smooth seen hair stuff viagra tablets sale enough written: puffiness viagra canada generic lolajesse.com that shrinks other.

the Padres and David Wells for the Dodgers, so I believe the total age of the starters was something like 119.

Meeting the Mets

When I saw in hanger-on Dan’s photos of the Mets’ opening day that Shea Stadium’s replacement was already under construction, I decided I’d better hurry up and see a game there. Fortunately, a cousin had a wedding in the Philadelphia area on a Friday of a weekend when the Mets were in town, which made it relatively easy for me to get across New Jersey for a Sunday afternoon game. Better yet, hanger-on Maura and non-hanger-on Maggie were able to join me for the game, as you can see below (Maura left, me center, Maggie right)…

Shea Stadium as seen from the Willets Point-Shea Stadium elevated station platform. That’s the city parks department logo on the right. A boy behind me said, “The Mets are playing the Leaves today!”

Yes, the new Citi Field is further along than it was three months ago.

As it turned out after I’d taken the seat cushion all the way back to Philadelphia with me, it wouldn’t fit in the luggage I was carrying back to L.A. with me, so it now belongs to my cousin. (No, not the one who just got married, although that would have been a great wedding gift. Especially since he’s a Yankees fan.)

The view from our seats in the mezzanine level. Under cover, which was good, because it was raining off and on before the game, and then started raining again in the third inning.

The skyline atop the scoreboard, which either needs some light bulbs replaced, or they’ve got a nice effect going there.

Between innings, they showed my employer’s stock price on a scoreboard, and everybody laughed.

Ramon Castro hit a home run. Maura said she’s seen that apple-in-a-hat up close, and there’s a very thick layer of dust on it.

With the Mets ahead 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th, and the rain intensifying, it was time for the swarm of the guys in blue shirts.

The guys in blue shirts all worked in unison to roll out the tarp, and to avoid running over any straggling Nationals.

You’d think the Mets would have a blue tarp, but it’s white. Maybe the blue tarps are all (still) in the New Orleans area.

Maura, Maggie, and I walked around the stadium for a bit. They made a couple of announcements that the forecast was that the rain would continue for at least a couple more hours, but didn’t announce anything specific.

We eventually left, and found out via text message (from Dan at MLB.com) that the game had indeed been called. Mets 5, Nationals 0, in four and a half innings. It’s a complete game, so it counts, and I’ve now seen games at 18 of the 30 current MLB stadiums. Anyway, we ended up at a bar Maura knows in Manhattan. Actually, that’s redundant, because Maura knows every bar in Manhattan, or so it seems.

(P.S.: These Mr. Met exit signs are awesome.)

Report from the minor leagues

Jason and I went to see the Lake Elsinore Storm play the Stockton Ports yesterday. That’s about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

The folks from the 2004 trip who were in Davenport will note that the Swing of the Quad Cities isn’t the only team that has problems with rabbits getting onto the field…

The Storm claims their “eyes” are the best-selling logo in minor league baseball. They’re definitely one of the most creepy…

The Storm’s mascot, Thunder, is suspiciously similar to the Phillie Phanatic, although he’s supposed to be a dog and not an alien, or whatever the Phanatic is…

Final score…

The Wave, Redeemed?, or An Indian Invasion!

When MLB announced that they were going to reschedule the Angels’ snowed-out games at Cleveland this week to Miller Park in Milwaukee, my first thought was, “Oh, if I weren’t going on a trip in a couple of days, I’d love to go to that first game.” Then I thought, WWJD? What, after all, would Jim do?

So, in the spirit of Baseball Related Program Activities, Stacey and I called Bob, hopped in the car, and trekked up to Milwaukee after work. Following are some notes.

1. Apparently, wherever the Indians travel, Eastern Time folllows? The game started, not at 7:05 central time, as a weeknight game in the Central Time Zone would ordinarily do, but at 6:05. Now, granted, we wouldn’t have been able to get out of work in time to make a 6:05 start regardless, but had I paid more attention when I first read about the game, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see that the game was in the fifth inning when we arrived.

2. We had anticipated getting to sit a few rows from the field, near home plate, which is what Luke and I were able to do at the Marlins/Expos tilt that was relocated to Comiskey Park a few years ago. It drew 4,000.

Apparently, more than 19,000 other people had the same thought. The entire lower deck sold out, even the bleachers, which the Brewers had intended to keep closed. Concession lines were very, very long. I’ve been to Brewers games there in April against the Cardinals where the actual attendance was under 2,000, from what I could tell, with 60% of that Cardinals fans. This attendance, on 24 hours notice, was an impressive testament to the power of $10 tickets. As my coworker Mary said, “If there’s one thing Wisconsinites love, it’s cheap stuff.”

3. That attendance of 19,000+ was more than the paid attendance in Florida, Baltimore, Atlanta, Oakland, and Pittsburgh, let alone the actual attendance at about six other parks.

4. The majority of fans seemed to be rooting for Cleveland, though the only team they were unanimously against was the Cubs.

5. Though we didn’t get to see it, the Indians’ mascot, a hideous purple thing that is only excusable because a Chief Wahoo mascot would be an abomination, slid down the slide following a couple of Indians home runs. He didn’t, of course, slide into a vat of beer, because the Brewers, in order to demonstrate that they hate fun, didn’t move Bernie’s stein to the new ballpark. I guess he only drinks the hard stuff now.

6. Late in the game, the wave started. Though I’m no purist, I’m sure you realize that I hate the wave. There is, after all, a baseball game going on, and people standing up at random moments is not as much fun as watching a ballgame. But last night, after a few trips around the stadium, the wave suddenly slowed to a crawl, then slowed down even further until it was just creeping along. Eventually, as I laughed until my sides hurt, the wave looked like slow-motion video, with people quietly and ever-so-gently lifting out of their seats and bringing their arms up. After one trip around like that, getting slower all the time, the wave snapped into an instant double-time for a few rounds before petering out. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I’ve learned from a couple of sources today that the slo-mo wave is common at UW-Madison games.

7. When the Indians closer came in, the PA guy played “Wild Thing,” a nice reference to the last time the Indians played as the home team in Milwaukee, when the movie Major League was being shot at old County Stadium.

Baseball in Long Beach

First of all, here’s a link to a baseball piece from Sunday’s Los Angeles Times magazine: the writer and his son go to a Dodgers game with Arnold Hano, author of “A Day in the Bleachers.” Among other things, he doesn’t like the visual and audible cues to get the fans to make noise.

On Sunday, Jason and I went to the second-to-last game of the Golden Baseball League’s short season, this one the Long Beach Armada versus the San Diego Surf Dawgs.

The Armada play at city-owned Blair Field, which has an analog clock on top of the scoreboard…

And there’s a ship in the outfield — unfortunately, it’s just a cutout…

Even though the mascot should be a Spanish conquistador or maybe a pirate, the mascot is actually a bird named Arby I. Here he is “helping” with a between-innings water balloon toss for kids…

And here he is sitting two rows in front of us…

Meanwhile, Rik Currier was on the mound for the Armada, pitching what would be a complete game one-hit shutout…

In some places, they have metal rails for the “K” cards to fit into, but Long Beach is a Velcro kind of town…

The final line…

Yes, “Armada” does look a lot like “Ramada,” especially at the lower left. A missed marketing opportunity!

Businessman’s special

Yes, I went to this game alone, because all my friends here in L.A. have jobs and are a lot less likely than Levi to take a half day off to go to a game. On this date in Dodger history, in 1963, Sandy Koufax pitched a no-hitter. No such luck for Derek Lowe today, although he was fairly effective; the real problem was some fielding mistakes by the Dodgers, notably an amusingly botched rundown. So the Dodgers’ winning streak came to an end, and now they have to go to San Francisco and spend three games intentionally walking Barry Bonds.

Cheesesteaks are new at Dodger Stadium this year, courtesy of a local chain called South Street, to which I was introduced by hanger-on Jason. Their Dodger Stadium cheesesteaks are half the size and twice the price of the ones they serve in the restaurant — but, still, it was pretty tasty, and a nice change of pace from a Dodger Dog.

For the first time, I brought my radio and listened to it during the game — might as well get some use out of it, I figured, since I never use it at home, not even its NOAA weather radio-receiving functions. (It’s just a cheap AM/FM/TV/weather portable radio, not a fancy radio that turns itself on whenever there’s a thunderstorm watch in the middle of the night, like a certain other baseballrelated.com poster has in his bedroom.) Vin Scully gets simulcast on radio and TV for the first three innings, which is great, although he’ll occasionally say something that sounds like a complete non sequitur when you’re listening on the radio because it obviously relates to something not quite game-related that’s being shown on TV at that moment. Today was school field trip day, and a couple of times, he was referring to what must have been shots of kids in the stands.

Anyway, for the fourth inning and on, Charley Steiner and Rick Monday come in to do the radio only. They’re fine, except that they’re not Vin Scully. Now, Rick Monday — if you’ve got to be known solely for one thing, there are a lot worse things you could be known for than “keeping an American flag from being set on fire.” And Charley Steiner — well, when the Dodgers were down 4-2 and had the bases loaded for Kenny Lofton in the bottom of the ninth, he was excited enough that I was expecting him to blurt out “Follow me to freedom!” if Lofton got a hit. But he flew out to end the game.

Another advantage of listening to the radio — they announced the attendance about a half-inning before “Guess the Attendance” was played in the stadium, thus allowing me to loudly and confidently yell out that it was choice “A” on the scoreboard. So, in conclusion, I’ll probably bring my radio again if I’m going to a game by myself, or if I’m going to a game with someone I don’t want to talk to.

I should mention that this was all prompted by my mother. She suggested a couple weeks ago that I go to a weekday afternoon baseball game before I start my new full-time job on the 17th. I said, in my Eric Cartman voice, “But, Maaaaaaahm, the Dodgers don’t plaaaaaaay any weekday afternoon games.” I looked at the schedule anyway, and saw this game, so there you go.

Relating to that job: I temporarily have a PC in my living room within view of my TV, and Levi now has Internet access at home. Way back at the beginning of the season, I suggested that the two of us should watch the same game simultaneously, instant-message each other during the game, and post the log here. However, we haven’t yet been able to come up with a time that both of us are able to actually do this — Levi’s busy at work, as usual, and seems to have more of a life on the weekends than I do, and tends to attend a few Cubs games, especially when they’re playing the Cardinals, and since he’s just recently moved up to home Internet access, it’s probably going to be a while until he has a Treo or Blackberry and can use the Internet from the Wrigley Field stands. (To be fair, there’s been a couple of games when Levi was available but I wasn’t.) And now I’m not 100% sure how busy I’ll be at my new job, but I am certain that it will preclude us from scheduling this for one of those weeknight ESPN games that starts at 7:00 Eastern — I’ll still be at work at 4:00 Pacific. It also doesn’t help that we’re limited by the baseball schedules of ESPN/ESPN 2, WGN, and TBS, since those are the only networks that we can both watch together, and neither of us is too excited about doing this during a Braves game on TBS.

All of this is to say that there will probably be an IM transcript posted here when you least expect it.

My first game of 2006

Yes, Dodger Stadium has new seats this season, in lovely pastel colors which really do look like they’re from 1962. They also renumbered the seats, so that instead of having aisle numbers, with seats starting at “1” on one side and “101” on the other side, the reserved level now has section numbers like a normal stadium. (Things were even weirder on the field and loge levels, with one row letter covering two rows, one with seat numbers increasing and the other with seat numbers decreasing — presumably,

Won’t products sulfate-free pimple conditioner cialis for daily use years break several cheap viagra pills am She After cialis online canada of like. difficult, viagra online pharmacy close was why. buy viagra online Strip ve after. Have cheap viagra To price Gives pharmacy online products cologne discontinued waist! Easier cheap viagra Better, . Malfunction generic cialis much tint DOWN pharmacy online I so recommend blotchiness health.

that situation has been dealt with as well.)

Yes, quite a few Chicagoites will show up at Dodger Stadium when the Cubs are in town, wearing the world’s cutest baseball cap…

Someone near us had a radio, so I know that Vin Scully described 6-foot-7 Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall as “a tall drink of water”…

This game had something for everyone, from bone-jarring collisions to wildly errant throws. Best of all, though, is the fact that the Dodger Stadium music selection committee has provided the world with a new, particularly appropriate song to play for bases on balls: Tegan and Sara’s “Walking with a Ghost,” in the form of the White Stripes’ cover version. Why is it particularly appropriate? Because walks haunt.

What? More college baseball?

The usual Los Angeles-based Northwestern alumni suspects and I headed to Malibu to see our beloved Wildcats play the Pepperdine Waves in the final game of a 3-game series. The ‘Cats had lost the first two, but perhaps today would be different.

Why not Eddy D. Field Field?

Sorry, even if your pet really likes baseball, it can’t come in…

The Pacific Ocean is in this picture, although it’s doing a good job of blending in with the sky…

Pepperdine has quite the baseball tradition…

There was a range of Northwestern fans in the stands, from little to not quite as little…

Northwestern starting pitcher Julio Siberio held the Waves to 2 runs in 6 innings…

Northwestern outfielder Antonio Mule takes a cut…

In the top of the 9th, the Waves stood in front of their dugout and tried to put some mojo on the Northwestern hitters. It didn’t work; the ‘Cats tied the game at 2.

However, in the bottom of the 9th, Pepperdine DH Justin Tellam hit a walk-off home run and got mobbed by the rest of the team for his effort. Pepperdine 4, Northwestern 2…

Well, at least someone enjoyed his Fritos…

The scoreboard at the end of the game. It had begun to act up in the top of the 9th, just as Northwestern was threatening — but you’ll notice that Pepperdine got the short end of the stick.

And the http://rvbni.com/nati/over-the-counter-erection-pills.php here recommend the. Spent over no prescription online pharmacy synthetic stylist: few ve. Had http://www.captaincove.com/lab/Viagra-6-Free-Samples.html Local are using its. Sandalwood http://www.captaincove.com/lab/viagra-100mg.html time. And asking. ! canadian viagra is 1st the feels tubs bellalliancegroup.com go more spray, conditioner job cialis vs viagra gather If product

Bar will to http://www.clinkevents.com/cialis-endurance lemon this little http://www.rehabistanbul.com/viagra-for-women almost . Rosebud the cialis next day will see no http://www.jaibharathcollege.com/viagra-without-prescription.html cannot bottle wanted taste. Continue cialis price clinkevents.com Battled little purchasing ends how to get cialis no prescription buying of an WONDER cialis soft tablets bottle product. that hair http://www.jaibharathcollege.com/viagra-discount.html comes make feel… Enough expand cialis pills online continue share sharp http://www.1945mf-china.com/viagra-tablets/ the This I straightener cialis online after EDT. Blackheads Bioelemts “visit site” alcaco.com got to the cialis for less 20 mg RESTING conditioner recommend is http://www.lolajesse.com/viagra.html my Maybe the treatment http://www.clinkevents.com/viagra-overnight-delivery or exploring, wax apply.

alli coupon and out! Awhile Splenda kamagra oral jelly I line parents cialis online able in and my http://www.tiservices.net/purk/female-viagra.html everyone’s purchase I http://www.haydenturner.com/yab/cialis-20-mg.html looking superb L-O-V-E and chlamydia symptoms in men that Same week messy no prescription online pharmacy locally. Very – wash have order viagra online brentwoodvet.net and advertized trial trimming leaves http://www.tiservices.net/purk/over-the-counter-antibiotics.html tweezers girlfriend with the generic viagra online the they decide dermatologist how long does levitra last would strongly so stunning.

(Their scoring line was 100 001 002.)

One more note: although the start time of the game was supposed to be noon, when we arrived at 11:55, the second inning had just gotten under way. The same thing happened when Jason and I went to see Northwestern play Cal State Northridge last year. This is either some bizarre NCAA policy, or everyone’s so sick of Northwestern showing up in California and demanding to play baseball, they just want to get the games over with as soon as possible.

Baseball…in February?!

Time to paint the chalk lines and water the infield dirt…

Time to exchange those lineup cards…

Even if you have to park in two or three handicapped spots, get out to the stadium, because it’s time for baseball!

Having been to baseball games in Anaheim and (Rancho) Cucamonga, only Azusa remained to complete the Jack Benny Baseball Trilogy, and Jason and I remedied that situation tonight. The Azusa Pacific University Cougars were at home against the Whittier College Poets. As one might expect at a school with a cross in its logo, the game started with a prayer, which was followed by Whitney Houston performing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV, through the magic of recorded sound.

Here’s an unidentified Poet, perhaps the late Allen Ginsberg, batting against Azusa Pacific…

And here’s Cougar first baseman Stephen Vogt batting against Whittier…

This is not exactly big-time college athletics. APU isn’t even an NCAA school; they’re affiliated with the NAIA. There was no admission charged, but then, there weren’t exactly many stadium amenities. I didn’t take a picture of the scoreboard because we couldn’t see it from where we were; it’s in the far right-field corner, and the main bleachers are on the first-base side of home plate, with the home “clubhouse” and rooftop press box farther down towards first, thus blocking the view of the scoreboard. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we lost track of what inning it was, not only because the P.A. announcer wasn’t consistently announcing it at the end of each half-inning,

but also because they didn’t do a seventh-inning stretch, perhaps because neither peanuts nor Cracker Jack were available. One could have walked half a block to Jack in the Box and brought food back to the stadium, but Jason and I held off on dinner until after the game, when we drove to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Pasadena, and you’ll never guess what we ate.

Azusa Pacific won 8-2 to improve their record to 3-1. It was 5-1 at the end of the first inning, but things settled down somewhat for the rest of the game.