Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Dodger Thoughts

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Sound and Fury
2004-05-31 13:30
by Jon Weisman

Let's face it. This downtown place where we say baseball played is not Disney Hall.

The acoustic foundation at Dodger Stadium is a totem pole of speakers behind the center-field fence. The sound level from these speakers has to pacify everyone from the bleachers to the top deck a thousand feet away, and survive the multitude of sound idiosyncrasies the stadium presents.

Me, I can't walk into the kitchen from the living room without the TV volume becoming problematic.

The Dodger Stadium speakers themselves are state of the art, I've been led to understand. That's not the problem. But unless the Dodgers can even out the sound that they generate, they are going to have many unhappy ears at the stadium.

Exacerbating the sound system dilemma is the decision, reported by T.J. Simers of the Times on Sunday, to play more and more CD music at the expense of the stadium organ.

I'm going to call it a digression to note that, as someone who owns his hundreds of rock CDs, who mocked the very need for a movie like Footloose the moment it came out, who dreams of hearing the opening riff of "Born to Run" whenever envisioning a walk from the on-deck circle to the plate, I consider organ music a character of the game. Silence the organ? You might as well bench the flute in "Peter and the Wolf."

However, the more pragmatic issue is that in Dodger Stadium, no disc jockey, whatever his talents, is better equipped to navigate the inefficiencies of the sound system than Nancy Bea is at her organ. Hers is a soothing sound, not jarring, that augments the game experience rather than interfering with it.

In contrast, the stadium music department seems in a perpetual wrestling match with the guitars and drumbeats that now dominate the airwaves within Dodger Stadium - a different volume for every piece, it seems. The experience is like someone's first driving lesson on a stick-shift, over and over again - too much gas here, not enough clutch there. There is just no smooth ride to be had.

The justification for rejecting the organ for this cacophony is no secret - the people in charge have concluded that soothing is a pretty word for sleep-inducing. For the unconverted fan, rock music does a better job of masking the so-called boring parts of the game, they believe.

It's certainly not helping my experience any. Even the volume when the play "Welcome to the Jungle" for Eric Gagne - a riveting moment to be sure - seems way too high for anyone to enjoy. And I truly question the sanity of the loud approach with regards to the youngest fans - the generation the Dodgers have so much reason to court. Are they under the impression that Moms and Dads across Los Angeles play their home stereos at 11?

There's no denying that a lot of people yawn at certain points of a baseball game, and that it's harder to yawn during AC/DC than Nancy/BeaC. So it comes down to this. Consider me signed on the petition to return the stadium organ to its former prominence. Beyond that, though, if the Dodgers are going to abandon tradition to court new fans through music, they need to do it with a lot more sensitivity. The stadium sound is more aggressive than fun. It's supposed to be a baseball game, not Battle of the Bands.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.