I’m not sure if I believe in chakras or not but mine certainly weren’t aligned Friday night as I stepped into Dodger Stadium to watch the Blue Crew take on the hated Anaheim (I refuse to call them Los Angeles as they don’t play in the city or even the county!) Angels. We sat in the right field all-you-can-eat section and loaded up on hotdogs, peanuts, popcorn and nachos. I immediately spilled nacho sauce down my shirt.
Japanese import Kenta Maeda was on the mound for the Dodgers so there were large groups of Japanese walking up and down the aisles with the men mostly wearing suits and ties and the women looking “smart for the office.” At one point a tiny Japanese girl walks by and spilled a hotdog right into my lap. My leg is now completely covered in mustard and relish. She apologized profusely in scant English and I felt really terrible for her. I told her everything was ok and went to clean myself off in the bathroom.
The Dodgers can’t do a darn thing and eventually lose 5-1.
It was fun watching the drunk guy in front of me entertain the crowd with some well-timed jokes, “Angels suck” chants and profuse booing of Albert Pujols. His wife cackled at every spectacle. A girl a few seats behind me vomited everywhere. My girlfriend was trying to get center fielder Joc Pederson to wave at her which he eventually did. She was smitten, and he just might be one of her new favorite Dodgers. (She’s a Dodgers fan.) I’ve always been a bleacher-creature kind of guy and the free food thrown in made this a really fun, yet grimy game. We got home around 11 o’ clock and I immediately threw my clothes in the washing machine.
Opening day is on Monday. Let’s go Oakland!
“Goddamn it, they put his dumb ass in there again… I’m going to bed!” my mother says as she jumps out of her La-Z-Boy and tosses the remote control at me.
“He might do it this time,” I say as the goon in question meticulously blows another tightly contested/hard-fought contest in the ninth. There is nothing worse in the baseball world than a closer who embodies a dumpster fire.
Mom by no means is a knowledgeable baseball fan, but she knows what she doesn’t like…and she didn’t like Brian Fuentes. I knew how she felt. It got to be frustrating sitting there for 3 hours and change just to see this big-eared, goatee’d goofball with a lame-duck delivery and an inflated contract desecrating your team’s chances of winning. It hurt even more to know that he was forsaken by the Angels, the terrible team from Orange County that famously sticks with terrible closers until the apocalypse freezes hell over. If that smug blockhead Mike Scioscia is fed up with a reliever than there is reason for panic.
I had been to the Oakland “Mausoleum” merely days before, proudly sporting my green cap with the gold, gothic “A” on the front. The night began with a few nips from a flask at the BART station and ended with fans staying after the game to verbally try to rip Fuentes a new asshole as he blew yet another save; becoming the physical incarnation of our dwindling hope as fans. I sat there stunned, quietly giving in to shikata ga nai: the Japanese habit of surrendering to fate. When the A’s finally released Fuentes (STILL paying that contract off by the way) my mother could only say with a dismissive wave, “Well, you can’t make chicken salad outta chicken shit.”