Pirates @ Dodgers April 10, 2012: The Home Opener

Alternate title: “The Return of Rod Barajas“.

There’s lots to get to today, but let’s start out with the bad news first: Vin Scully, battling a bad cold, will not be in attendance for the home opener. Frankly, that’s grounds for canceling the entire event as far as I’m concerned, because the distance from Vin to Steve Lyons is somewhat akin to going from Miguel Cabrera to Juan Uribe. (As Steve Dilbeck points out, this is just the second time in 63 years that Vin has missed a home opener, with the only other time coming in 1977 when he was off broadcasting the Masters.)

I’m sure Vin would no doubt point out that he’s not the show, and while that’s eminently arguable, the game must go on. Besides, this is no ordinary home opener; this is the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, and so Chris Jaffe of the wonderful The Hardball Times sends over this amazing historical note – despite being 50 years younger than Wrigley or Fenway, Dodger Stadium has exceeded each when it comes to total lifetime attendance:

Stadium Attendance
Yankee Stadium 151,741,771
Dodger Stadium 146,987,687
Fenway Park 139,452,863
Wrigley Field 135,210,452
Tiger Stadium 104,261,485

It’s behind only the old Yankee Stadium, so sometime near the end of next season, Dodger Stadium should be the #1 park of all-time in MLB attendance. As it should be. Other important Dodger notes from April 10: today is Andre Ethier‘s 30th birthday (it’s all downhill from here, Andre), and in 1998, Mike Piazza hit a grand slam for the second day in a row. He’d be traded to Florida within five weeks. Most importantly, Jackie Robinson had his contract purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers on this day in 1947.

Clayton Kershaw is on the hill with the regular lineup behind him. By the way, the hosting transfer isn’t quite complete yet, so if the page goes away again today, you’ll know why, but I’m hoping it’ll last. Finally, in case you missed it, Matt Kemp was on Conan last night, prompting my girlfriend to say, “ooh, he’s charming.” Uh-huh. Links to video of his appearance here and here.

Pirates
Dodgers
LF
Presley
SS
Gordon
RF
Tabata
2B
M.Ellis
CF
McCutchen
CF
Kemp
3B
McGehee
RF
Ethier
1B
Hague
LF
Rivera
2B
Walker
1B
Loney
C
Barajas
3B
Uribe
SS
Barmes
C
A.Ellis
P
Correia
P
Kershaw

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