Monday, August 11, 2008
National past time
I went to Dodger stadium to cover Chivas USA's Claudio Suarez throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. I needed quotes for my SuperClasico preview, plus I thought a pic of Nomar and Claudio would look good on the blog. I didn't intend to stay for the game, but it turns out that I parked in the wrong spot. Basically, I was blocked in by other parked cars and I couldn't leave until the game ended.
Normally, I'd enjoy a nice baseball game, but these days, the Olympic soccer schedule, the start of my teaching cycle, and other responsibilities have me running ragged. Some of you might have noticed that I haven't been posting as much. Well, that's why.
At the game, I was rooting for the Dodgers (of course), but especially because I didn't want the game to go into extra innings. The Dodgers seemed to be complying, scoring six runs in the third inning, much to the dismay of Scott French, who was also at the match. Scott is a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan. He roots against the Dodgers as a default.
There's a certain rhythm to a baseball game that I appreciated more as a child, I think. I liked the rituals, the "Play Ball" call, the crack of a bat. I thought garlic fries were the best invention ever.
I still like baseball, but I have to admit, after years of covering soccer games, it does seem slow. Players stand around a lot. Vin Scully is a great saving grace, though.
Scott passes by, reads a bit of what I'm writing and proceeds to argue that the Galaxy went downhill after firing Sigi Schmid. Considering how well Sigi is doing with Columbus this year, that's a valid point. But that's also two GM's and coaches ago.
We also agreed that someone needs to act fast and give Alexi Lalas a job - in television. He's actually quite an incisive and well-spoken commentator. Scott, however, admits he doesn't mind Marcelo Balboa on the microphone.
I wonder if Mia Hamm is here with the twins. Scott scoffs at the notion. He points out that Nomar isn't playing, and that Mia has small kids. I wonder if Mia's not here because her sleep schedule is screwed up by watching Olympic soccer. But perhaps she has Tivo and no burning desire or assignment to see the games live.
Tommy Lasorda just stopped by. I'm somehow not shocked to see him in the media dining area during the time they bring out the Dodger dogs. Tommy knows the servers by name and he greets them as he cuts the line to grab a dog (no bun). They smile and wave as he passes. However, they come out from behind the counter, giddy with excitement, when Suarez stops by for a quick bite. What's especially cute is when the ladies want to take a picture with El Emperador, but not while they have their aprons on. Suarez is patient and he waits for them to pull off their serving aprons and pose beside him. After that first picture, he's held up for a while as other workers press forward, wanting pictures.
Hey, it's the 7th inning stretch. "Take me out to see soccer, I want to see players running, shots on goal and saves near the post, for it's one, two, Lalas and Ruud are out - at the Galaxy!"
It's the 9th inning now and the Dodgers are still ahead, though the Phillies have cut into the lead. I'm just hoping it wraps up soon. Three and out, please!
The Dodgers have blown leads lately, but they end up holding on to this one and yay! I can go home.
Oh, and Vin jumps into the elevator and stands next to me. He's nice to everyone and says hi even to those he doesn't know, like me. He's taller than I'd expected. Covering soccer, it's usually the other way around.