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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lazy Night At Dodger's Stadium

Ashley and I ended up last night at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California after a day that was quite different than we had anticipated earlier this week. We originally had some grand visions of a beach day at the Santa Monica pier and along 3rd street before heading down to Venice and enjoying an awesome Italian meal at C&O Trattoria.

But then the weather happened. How does this happen in Los Angeles over Memorial Day weekend? Temperatures in the 60's with thunderstorms and showers. Absolutely unacceptable (with sarcasm). So, with our beach day in Santa Monica blown -- we had a lazy day relaxing at home -- probably something we really needed.

Taking in Section 49 at Dodgers Stadium, Kenny & Ashley Hanscom
Then we headed down to Dodgers stadium to see the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the St. Louis Cardnials for our "token" Dodgers game this season. This was a last minute decision for us, helped by a last minute promotion and $20 field tickets.

And let me stop here for a second and rant a little. Ever since Frank McCourt took over the Los Angeles Dodgers, it has gotten out of control. Prices for tickets have been jacked way up at least 200% for decent field level tickets. Who in their right mind wants to pay $250 a seat for a ticket to the ever mediocre (sorry) Los Angeles Dodgers. Although I love them, let's face it -- the Dodgers are consistently mediocre.

And anyone spending $285-$650 for the premium tickets is absolutely out of their minds. This is not the Los Angeles Lakers that we are talking about here (who I would argue ARE worth that much) -- just an example how Frank McCourt's ownership of the Dodgers have ruined them for many. Not to mention, I am constantly receive > 50% off ticket promotions from the Dodgers -- that says to me that many others feel the same way I do. Cut those ticket prices in half and I MIGHT think about it. Still, just a couple of years ago those seats a couple rows behind the 3rd base dugout were less than $40. Even the Lakers have not seen that kind of inflation. Frank McCourt -- stop ruining the Dodgers!

Ok, I am done with that.

So, we headed down to the Dodgers game (which I interestingly choose over the David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy due to the great promotion) with enough time to catch batting practice. I keep hearing and reading about how different the parking is at Dodgers Stadium these days. While it is a little different (I cannot strategically pick my spot), it makes for a better flow into the game -- almost feels like Disneyland in some ways.

We got to our seats in section 49, row X (the last row) and were happy to know that if it indeed rain like it was threatening, we would not need to seek shelter. After being at the "Jake" or Progressive Field in Cleveland just two week ago, Dodgers Stadium feels really dated. Even with the recent renovation including the "First Base Line Box Club" and the "Third Base Line Box Club", it still needs a lot of work.

The view from Section 49 at Dodgers Stadium is not bad, especially if there is intense weather.
This year, everything is corporate -- you cannot go 30 feet without heading Mrs. Beasley's this or CPK that or Ruby's this. So much for just Farmer John and those great Dodger dogs. I guess I am either getting old, or am just old fashioned. :-)

While watching batting practice -- perhaps the funniest sight was seeing how a number of fans are allowed in the back of the center field. It was funny to watch and see the plastic gates fall down a few times as people tried to get balls. Albert Pujols smashed several shots into the left field pavilion which was entertaining.

The Center Field area during batting practice at Dodgers Stadium that saw the fence fall
The game itself was decent -- even for Dodger fans watching. Other than Brad Penny's meltdown in the 3rd inning by walking the first two batters before allowing 4 earned runs -- the battle between Penny and Kyle Lohse was a good one.

We had an enjoyable time, and had our token Dodger Dogs, Nachos, Peanuts, Garlic Fries, and Carnation Malts -- of course spending more on food than the tickets. That is how it goes these days.

We will have to see how the summer promotions go from the Dodgers. I do feel a little like I missed on my yearly Dodgers experience given the cool weather. Perhaps there is one more summer game left in us.