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SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD. [7-24-10] | metsgrrl.com



The end came as it always does, ingloriously, us beating a hasty retreat up the stairs to the concourse so we can get out of the ballpark as quickly as we can. Oliver Perez may still have been standing there; I don’t know, because I wasn’t looking. Randy Newman booming out “I Love L.A.” as we bob and weave through the Dodgers fans who are strolling confidently out of Dodger Stadium as though their triumph was somehow predestined and they hadn’t run out of position players and didn’t throw an uneffective Broxton, Weaver and then Sherrill. By the time we navigated the acres of parking lots back to our rental car, we couldn’t even remember which Dodger had teed off of Oliver and had to look it up on Gameday so TBF could complete his scorecard. I guarantee you we hit the quickest exit out of Dodger Stadium ever executed by a non-home team fan who stayed for the entire game. In this town, that is sadly an accomplishment to be proud of.


Today’s seats were the best out of all 6 Mets games we saw, 7 rows up from the Dodgers dugout. There was no net in the way, we could see the faces of the players, we could also look into the Mets dugout. Had there been any kind of significant offense, it would have been a great photographic vantage point. However, as you know, the offense was once again nowhere to be found, and I would even strongly interrogate the Mets defense to find out where exactly it thought it was at multiple times during this game.


It is sad when the team scores a run and instead of thinking, “Yes! Rally time!” you instead think: “Well, at least we’re avoiding the shutout.”


I am still debating whether the Thursday night crowd was worse than the Saturday afternoon crowd. Do you know when Dodger Stadium suddenly became a pleasant place to watch a game? Around the 11th inning, when people who cared about the game were able to sneak down into the seats around us and the idiots who were more concerned about tossing beachballs had beat a hasty retreat. We killed two today, could have taken down two more, and remain pleased with this achievement, despite TBF getting the sobriquet “BALLPOPPER!” because of victim #1. It wasn’t until those idiots started throwing things at us that it bothered us at all; it would have been nice if the Dodgers security actually paid attention to their narc hotline (for everything bad I say about Mets security, when you text them, they respond promptly), but the beach ball people are exactly the ones who leave right before the stretch so it honestly wasn’t an issue. A security guard checked in with us in the later innings, specifically to see how we were doing (as the only Mets fans wearing colors – yes we were the ones both wearing #34, but mine is black and his is grey so we decided we could get away with it on the road) and told us that if we were popping beachballs, that he liked us just fine.


But seriously, things lightened up in the extra innings. Mets fans snuck down to take seats from the beautiful people who left early. Families of large and small Dodgers fans did likewise. They groaned when their bullpen trotted out, we equally assured them not to worry when Oliver Perez showed up on the hill. It was friendly, good-natured and enjoyable, and everything that the previous regular innings were not. I do not know how Dodgers fans deal with this crap day in and day out. I do not know how they deal with getting to their ballpark, I do not know how they deal with parking or the hike in from Sunset Boulevard, I do not know how they deal with the gigantic divide. The bathrooms on the field level at Dodger Stadium could be in a nightclub. The ones in the upper deck would remind you of Shea Stadium, except that Shea’s were nicer. I could go on, but that is all part of a longer treatise for another time. I know there are awesome Dodgers fans, because we met some, both at the games and on the stadium tour. But it was like a mix of the worst of Wrigley and Yankee Stadium in one place.


I missed getting a good shot of Vin Scully once again during the stretch, but was happy to have a chance to capture Fernando Valenzuela himself when he made an appearance on Diamondvision later in the game.


Now we come to the status of Mr. Michael Pelfrey. He wasn’t terrible today, but I’m not about to declare him over whatever his malady may have been, and I am withdrawing my nomination for “Ace” status until I see some mastery return. He was adequate. It wasn’t his fault that he got no run support.


There were some dismal defensive moves out there today, and a series of incredibly lackluster at bats. You know, you can try to analyze them pitch by pitch but I could live with scrappy, sloppy baseball if they were getting a series of little bites and hits and bloops and putting a baseball game together out of it. Instead we have these low-scoring games that make it seem like it’s Cy Young vs Cy Young when in reality it’s just the Mets getting men on base and then not bringing them home. There have just been too many bases loaded situations which they don’t capitalize on. I know I am particularly upset about the situations today because I had a pink hat girl behind me who shrieked directly in my ear every time something happened whether or not that something rated a shriek but it just seemed ridiculously egregious. I mean, they were throwing Carlos Monasterios fer cryin’ out loud. No really. Neither TBF nor I knew anything about this guy. We literally had to sit there during BP and read his player card and his Baseball Reference page on my phone, and it’s not like we don’t pay attention.


To add to my bad day, Dodger Stadium security tried to confiscate my camera when I was over shooting into the Mets bullpen during BP, when Oliver was throwing. I wasn’t yelling at the players, leaning over the railing, requesting balls or autographs. My lens is under regulation length. I got out of it by switching into crying girl mode, promising I would just put my camera away, and then getting out of there as quickly as possible. Yes, the dignified thing to do was to get TBF to come over with the printouts of the Dodger Stadium security rules, educate the security guard that lens length is determined when the lens is retracted, not extended, and that if he wanted me to move away from the bullpen, all he had to do was ask me to do so and I would have. On the other hand, that approach would have likely ensued with my camera being immediately confiscated, instead of me beating a hasty retreat to the expensive seats in the ballpark, where I surmised that security was less likely to try to tell me that my lens was too long, and where someone in my row had a lens 10x longer of the type you’re likely to see in a photo pit at a game. This would be reason #654 we are unlikely to return to Dodger Stadium any time soon.


We fly home tomorrow morning. I am secretly glad that we are done with Dodger Stadium and done with California. I will tell you that despite the horrific losses, this has still been an amazing trip. We met great people (and terrible ones), we ate good food (and terrible food), visited great ballparks (and terrible ones, I’m looking at you, Oakland Coliseum). I will say that a Mets loss is easier to take when it’s in great seats, as hypocritical as that might seem. And in the end, it’s still baseball, and it’s been the trip of a lifetime.


Funnily enough, we have three games at Citi this coming week, so we are still keeping up our pace. I wish I could say the same thing for the Mets. There is no fight left in these guys. We will likely see the occasional flare of offense for the rest of the season, and we will all get excited and think that they’re rallying or coming back or surging forward, but I think it is an error to mistake those false positives as the sign of any kind of desire to win. Maybe it is the upshot of only seeing one win, but I feel like they have given up on the season. Maybe they will find some fight at home, but the way they have played over the last 10 days, I’m not seeing any sign of it.

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