Friday, June 06, 2008

Bobblehead, Ball, but no Win

When I bought my tickets, I asked my friend Nina if she knew for SURE if our friend Alan was going to go to the game with us. I asked her repeatedly before I bought our tickets if he was definitely going. Why? Because after I bought the tickets, Alan changed his mind about going. And Harold said he didn't want to go. Why? If you haven't been paying any attention ... the Lakers played the Celtics in Game One of the NBA finals. And guess what? They had the same outcome as the Dodgers did. They LOST. The Dodgers lost, 5 - 4. It's the curse of the Bobblehead! Anyone know what our record is when they give away bobbleheads? I just looked it up, and they did win on the night they gave away the Joe Torre bobblehead. But last year, I know they lost when they gave away the Nomar, Russell, and Furcal bobbleheads. Not sure about the Tommy one. Come to think of it ... I think they lose on fireworks night too. So, after much scrambling and asking anyone I could think of... Nina's dad decided to take the extra ticket. And I bit the bullet ... so for this game, I ended up paying like $36 for the tickets (mine, Nina's, and Jack's) and I paid for parking. Sigh. Maybe I should give up baseball until I can actually afford to buy tickets for everyone since I seem to be doing that anyway. Or till I can find friends who can actually pay for their tickets. Never mind.

We went to Subway and got our food before the game. We had time while we waited for the gate to open to eat some of our food. We got in, parked, and stopped at autograph alley before going into the Stadium. Rudy Law was the guest in Autograph Alley. Nina was supposed to take pictures of Rudy signing our stuff, because Matt and his cousin told us to always have a picture of whoever it is signing your things for authenticity. Apparently, they had something signed by Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart (I think) and when they tried to find out how much it was worth, they found out that they needed an "official" autograph to compare the ones they got. So, Nina took my camera and took pictures of Rudy signing my scrapbook ... except she got mostly my back and not Rudy. Grrrr ... should've done it myself.

The Dodgers' batting practice was lackluster for the most part. They weren't hitting very hard. Maybe they were saving their strength for the game ... and when they game started ... it took about four innings for their bats to warm up. Chan Ho Park came over and signed a few autographs. Again, Nina was too slow to get over there to get anything signed. I was on the phone with my assistant manager from work, so I wasn't able to do it myself. After the Dodgers finished up, the Cubs took the field. Then came the highlight of my game. That game was my 11th game this year, 29th overall. And one of the Cubbies hit a ball that came FLYING into our section where we were standing. I told Nina to watch out. I see this ball that is moving very quickly. It bounced off a seat and I watched it as I tried to catch it as it bounced RIGHT AT ME. It came right to me... but I didn't catch it. It bounced off my hand, off another seat, and onto the floor right next to me. I dove to the ground and grabbed it before anyone else could. And came up squealing like a little girl! I finally got one. Even though it was hit by a Cubbie. The other one I almost got was by a Red Sox. A few balls later, another one came right to us again. But this one landed in the row behind me, and I couldn't see where it was. I wanted to get it for my friend/coworker Maria who I brought to the game. It was her very first Dodger game. Jack spent most of the batting practice talking with a couple (Caucasian male, Filipino female) who has season seats in the Field Level behind home plate. The guy didn't know that people from the other levels were allowed into the field level for batting practice. During batting practice, there was this adorable little boy dressed in Cubbie clothes. His dad got him a little bat, and he started hitting a wiffle ball around like a golf ball. Super cute. Great hand-eye coordination for someone so young.

Before the game began, we grabbed a handful to All Star ballots to do during the game. Want to guess how many we were able to fill out? I'll tell you at the end of the post. As usual, the kids took the field. Two kids got a little lost. Blake DeWitt's kid had to be directed by a security guard, and Andre's was a little lost too. When the Cubs were in San Diego this week, the announcers were talking about how there were Cubs everywhere. He was right. There were so many Cub fans in our section. The whole row in front of us were Cubs. In the top of the second inning, one Cubbie showed up, sat down, and said out loud: "I smell. I smell bad." Gee, thanks for sharing!

In the top of the third inning, Nina and I got up to go to the concessions. I wanted to get a soda. They didn't have the souvenir cups yet when we got up to the Top Deck. She wanted a popcorn helmet. The helmet for herself, the popcorn for her dad. On our way up, she went up one way and I went up the other. She almost ran into the camera man on her side. It took us a bit to get our food. While I was in line, the girl behind me if this was where she could get the ice cream in a helmet. Unfortunately, they don't serve those on the top deck. I told her she had to go down to the Reserve Level, if they let her, to get it. When we got back to our seats, the Cubbies in front of us already mutilated one of their Takaishi Saito bobbleheads. They tore his head off and were taking pictures with the headless Saito, positioning it like if they were going to eat it. One of them made a comment about Saito being a Japanese player, and his bobblehead being made in China.

There was a Cub fan in our row, and after a Cub did something great during an inning (I don't remember what ... maybe they scored a run), he jumped into the row in front of us that was full of Cub fans and was yelling "GO CUBS!" and giving the Cub fans hi fives. The Cub fans were kinda freaked out by this sudden outburst. After the other guy went back to his seat, the Cub fans in front of me were joking about "are you okay? he scared me." One guy said, "I had to pee, but now I don't." During the Seventh Inning stretch, I dropped my phone as I was getting up. It fell into the row in front of us. Unfortunately, there was beer spilled on the floor and got on my phone. At least it didn't damage it.

The Cubbies in front of us were interesting. In the start of the game, they all pulled out a dollar to pool for a "game" they played. It took me a few innings, but I think the game was ... they were betting on where the ball would land (on the mound, grass, etc) when the player/catcher/umpire threw the ball back to the mound at the end of each inning. Then they talked about the most random things, like skirts, leggings, sweaters that are dresses, muu muus, football, and other things. Towards the end of the game, the guy in our row leaned forward and asked the Cubbies if they would sell their bobblehead to him for five bucks. Two of the Cubbies just gave him theirs. Wonder if they were still in one piece. Two or three of them were talking about baseball cards. I think one of them wanted an A-Rod card.

Kemp made an AMAZING catch, which Edmonds matched with one of his own. In the top of the ninth, Fukodome came up and singled into right field. Andre slid into the WALL and made a loud crashing noise that you could hear all the way from our seats in the top deck. Maria said it looked like Andre was limping. Well, as you know, the Cubs took the one run lead in that inning. When the bottom half of the ninth inning came up, we managed to load the bases! One of the Cubbies said to his friends, "If Kerry Wood walks in the tying run, I'm giving up baseball." Well, he didn't. He struck out Matt Kemp instead, who in turned broke his bat in frustration. Hmm maybe he was wondering if he should've take that suspension. Coincidentally ... about 120 miles south of us ... the Padres and Mets were tied 1 - 1 ... until the Mets walked in the winning run for the Padres by hitting ... Paul McAnulty ... The funny thing was, I was listening to the Padres show on XX Sports Radio ... and they were saying they couldn't remember when something like this happened. I believe it happened to the Dodgers last year ... with Juan Pierre. Okay, I found it. I knew I had the article in my scrap book. It happened last year, on Sunday, May 27th. Against the CUBS!! Here at Dodger Stadium. Randy Wolf started the game and pitched six scoreless innings, and the game went into extra innings. Anyone remember this game? It's the one where Russell made that incredible catch and landed on the lucky lap of a woman who has a fourth-degree black belt. The same one where they Dodgers forgot how many outs were in the third inning, including pitcher Randy Wolf. The same game where in the eleventh inning, Ramon Martinez slipped on the basepath and you thought for sure they had him picked off ... except catcher Michael Barrett threw to second and Martinez made it to third. At this point, pitcher Angel Guzman had already walked two batters. Carlos Marmol came on and walked Furcal to load the bases before he hit Pierre with a 2-2 count pitch.

Overall, even though the Dodgers lost, it was a good game. We went from 4 - 0 to tie it up ... and then lose it in the end. Maria really enjoyed her fast game. When I dropped her off at her place, she said she was looking forward to her next game. As she was leaving, she threw her hands in the hair and said "I love baseball!" Sweet. Another Dodger fan is born.

One more thing.


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