Second time this year I’ve seen the Dodgers on the East Coast (May 30th in New York), and for the second time, Clayton Kershaw was starting. Plus, I get to add park #10 to my MLB lifetime tour. What luck, right?
Uh… right. About that. Man, what a brutal game. Between Kershaw giving up 3 runs in the first, the offense being completely non-existent, and the bullpen being all too happy to allow further damage, this was one of the most depressing games I’ve ever seen. No drama, no hope – although Citizens Bank Park is phenomenal – and an afternoon spent directly in the baking sun. That said, it wasn’t without its interesting moments. Let’s take a quick look.
Just look at the sun there – kind of helps to explain why Matt Kemp completely lost that ball, right? I had a hard time following any balls off the bat; I’ve never been in a sun field that brutal.
Before the game, we got there early enough to catch some batting practice, where I saw this exchange:
From left, that’s Greg Maddux, Hiroki Kuroda, Danny Ardoin, and I think Chad Billingsley, though I’m not sure on the last one. What kind of conversation do you think that was like? One of the greatest pitchers who ever lived, a guy who barely speaks English, and a career backup catcher. Just to the right of this, coach Ken Howell nearly lost his head on a screaming opposite-field line drive by James Loney.
No pictures of this next moment, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. Walking around the park, I was pleasantly surprised to see a healthy amount of Dodger fans representing. I saw a pretty wide variety of players represented on shirts and jerseys: some Martins, a Manny 99 or two, a Kemp here and there, even a Kershaw. But there was one I nearly fell over after seeing – a legit gray “Sweeney 21″ jersey. Even more surprising, it was on a pretty attractive woman. Since they don’t make official Mark Sweeney jerseys, this woman had to drop some money on getting it custom-made. I mean, this has to be his wife, daughter, family friend, or crazy stalker right? Who else gets a Mark Sweeney jersey? She was behind the LA dugout with everyone trying to get autographs at the end of BP, although who knows if she was just trying to get his attention – or a lock of his hair.
And then there was the capper: seeing someone in the stands in a Dodger jersey whom I actually recognized. That’s right, the infamous Troy from West Virginia. The mutton chops are even more glorious in person, and just in case I wasn’t sure it was him, he was sitting next to a guy in a West Virginia t-shirt. No, I didn’t go say hello. “Hi.. I know you from the internet.” That’s always fun. But hey, at least I got this lousy, kind of creepy picture on my phone.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness