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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

Look Into the Mirror
2005-05-03 22:51
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Forget about what you think of Dodger ownership or management. Forget what you think of a Dodger player or an opponent at any given moment. Forget what extraordinary behavioral license you think you have purchased with a simple ticket to a baseball game.

If you can't control yourself from ...

  • verbal abuse

  • throwing objects

  • fighting

  • crossing the vertical plane where the seats end and the ballfield begins

    ... you don't deserve your team to win, you don't deserve your team's management making the moves you want, you don't deserve your favorite players performing well and you certainly don't deserve a seat at the game.

    Dodger Stadium might need to police its fans better. It might be time to spend the money to increase security and establish, however temporarily, a "no broken windows" policy at the games.

    But fans must police themselves better.

    Doesn't matter if you're unhappy with the team on the field. Doesn't matter if you're unhappy with your own damn life. There is not tit for tat. There is no excuse. Those of you who are violating the above rules are ruining the game for everyone else. Your pathetic laugh is coming at the expense of tens of thousands.

    Spread the word. It's time to grow up. It's time to be worthy of a winning team. It's time to reclaim Dodger Stadium.

    It's time to be better.

  • Comments (70)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-05-03 23:32:03
    1.   Eric Enders
    Jon, while I agree with all that, I would submit that your fourth bullet point is a somewhat less serious offense than the others. Reaching for a (possibly) foul ball is often a matter of instinct; the other three require premeditation to some degree. Reaching for a ball in play is something that might be unwittingly done by a kid or an uninformed fan; the other three are not. While I think any fan who interferes with a ball should be ejected, I also think it's maybe a bit much to demand that fans always keep a "vertical plane" in mind when a ball comes hurtling their way.

    I also think verbal taunting (as opposed to verbal abuse) like the DARR-RYL chant, yelling at the umpire, etc., is fair game. And while hecklers who rise above that to the level of verbal abuse may be distasteful, I don't think fans whose offenses are purely verbal deserve to be lumped in with the scumbags who fight and throw stuff on the field.

    Just my 2 cents... and has anyone figured out yet what the deal was with all that trash on the field tonight?

    Also, your post seems to be addressing the culprits directly... I hope you're not implying they're all DT readers!

    2005-05-03 23:36:26
    2.   Eric Enders
    Also, picking up something from the now-presumably-dead game chat, put me squarely in the camp of those who have been hearing "Yankees Suck" chants. To my ears, at least, Dodger fans have been chanting this for no apparent reason for almost a year, starting with the Yankee interleague series last year. It continued in the several series after that, and has picked up again lately. The audio comes over loud and clear on the TV broadcast.

    Last year when I mentioned this in a Dodger Thoughts thread, I was pretty much dismissed as a kook who's hearing things. I felt sort of like Ray Kinsella when he admitted to all his farmer neighbors that he was hearing voices. I'm glad to now discover that I'm not the only kook hearing them. ;)

    2005-05-03 23:42:03
    3.   Bob Timmermann
    I'll be at the game tomorrow night, so I will try to pay more attention to what the RF bleacher people are saying. I wonder if they will be selling RF Wednesday. I don't think it will be a huge crowd.
    2005-05-03 23:42:10
    4.   Jim Hitchcock
    Eric, I think it was pretty clear Jon wasn't aiming at us. Rather, he was venting for us.

    LAT mentioned in the open chat thread that the trash throwing was instigated when (two?) fans ran on the field, and were chased down and escorted to the pokey.

    2005-05-03 23:43:19
    5.   Jon Weisman
    Eric, I don't at all claim that all the offenses are equal. (I'm certainly not addressing this to DT readers specifically - I'm addressing anyone who might read it and need to read it.)

    But I don't have much sympathy for the "novice" fan who doesn't know not to reach into the field of play. Only a select number of fans sit in the front row of a stadium. Rarely are they people who have never been to a game and who are seated with people who have never been to a game. Plus, there is the warning in the first inning at every ballpark not to interfere. Not proactively reaching over the railing is just not that complicated a concept to grasp - it's not like we're asking them to calculate their Alternative Minimum Tax on the fly.

    Obviously, I'm perfectly fine with fans trying to catch a ball that comes into the stands. But I don't think it takes any special thought process at all not to reach over the railing at a live ball, which by definition, can be reached by one of the fielders. The reaction to Steve Bartman, for example, was overkill - but I don't buy for a minute that he shouldn't have known better.

    Anyway, if they don't know - guess what, we can start to tell them. Even the kids - like the kid shown on the highlights tonight. Don't reach over. Period. Parents are responsible for protecting their kids from a live ball coming at them into the stands - no reason they shouldn't be responsible for protecting them from a ball that isn't coming into the stands. And I say that as a parent of a lovely daughter who listens to me about as often as a coin lands on heads.

    2005-05-03 23:44:06
    6.   Jim Hitchcock
    `Yankees Suck' is what I heard.
    2005-05-03 23:47:08
    7.   Steve
    On the double by Phillips, fans along the line were fairly restrained, no?
    2005-05-03 23:48:42
    8.   Steve
    Not that I'm defending fan behavior in general or any of the things you're talking about. I just wondered because Valentin scored from first on the play and wouldn't have had the ball been interfered with.
    2005-05-03 23:48:43
    9.   Jim Hitchcock
    What I'd like to know is, where the parents of those two kids at the Angels game were.
    2005-05-03 23:50:50
    10.   LAT
    Eric, the trash on the field was the result of two clowns who ran on the field. I didn't see them at first but it looked like they jumped the short wall in right field and sprinted through right to center. Security was on them pretty fast running one guy down in center, the other in left. Security wrestled the guys down, cuffed them and led them off. This stunt was clearly premeditated by these idiots. They did it between innings and were running the same path and appeared, at least to me, to be laughing and enjoying themselves. Once they were caoght, people in the bleachers started booing and then throwing stuff on the field in support of the guys. You would have thought these clowns were freedom fighters or something they way the pavillions responded. The pavillions response was far stupider than the guys running on the field.

    Initally, the Dodgers sent out one poor guy to pick up all the garbage. After about five minutes security and 10 other guys came to help out. Not sure why it took so long. I sit in the Loge just above Frank and he looked confused. Clearly security needs to be stepped up.

    2005-05-03 23:53:21
    11.   Jim Hitchcock
    And that one guy didn't even have a trashbag with him.
    2005-05-03 23:54:54
    12.   Smirk
    Eric,

    You're not hearing voices. Fans at the stadium (mostly bleachers) have taken to taunting anyone wearing a Yankees hat. I witnessed it firsthand last week. I was sitting down third base, near the bleachers. It was an ugly scene. The hat wearer was a woman. She had to take the hat off so that people would leave her alone. I felt bad for her and the guy she was with.

    I've seen other people taunted as well. Sometimes more violently. But, it seems that Yankee taunts are the most popular because many people wear Yankee hats.

    It's lame and makes me embarrassed to be a Dodger fan.

    2005-05-03 23:55:19
    13.   LAT
    You know Jim, he didn't.
    2005-05-04 00:01:57
    14.   Smirk
    Great, in addition to beach balls, they're now going to start a tradition of throwing trash onto the field.
    2005-05-04 00:06:16
    15.   Bob Timmermann
    If the fans are supporting fans who run on the field, then I may have to draw the line. I would be tempted to not go to the stadium any more if that becomes a regular part of the Dodger Stadium experience.

    Yankee fans don't cheer fans who run on the field. The fans in Chicago didn't support the idiots who, in separate incidents, attacked a Royals coach and an umpire.

    Such behavior is inexplicable.

    Geez, I'm turning into Helen Lovejoy!

    2005-05-04 00:09:07
    16.   Icaros
    It seems the demon that long possessed Candlestick Park has moved to Dodger Stadium upon its former host's retirement from baseball games.
    2005-05-04 00:26:36
    17.   T Money
    Amen, Jon. I'm 100% in agreement. (Or, for those Fred Durst fans out there, 100% in agreeance.)

    And am I nuts, or does fan behavior seem to get exponentially worse each and every season? I've been going to Dodger Stadium with some regularity for a very long time, and I honestly don't remember it ever getting this bad when I was a kid. Any ideas on why we've been experiencing such a steep behavioral slide? However, you cut it, it's upsetting, and it's certainly curtailed the frequency of my trips to the park.

    2005-05-04 00:28:08
    18.   Bob Timmermann
    In other news, Simers wrote a column about how he and Phillips patched things up and both laughed off the incident.

    I think someone clued in Phillips as to what Simers is up to.

    2005-05-04 00:30:32
    19.   Eric Enders
    For many years I've thought the fans at Dodger Stadium were too staid, sedate, laid-back, whatever. Now it seems it's turned into the opposite almost overnight. (Well, in the space of a year or so.)

    Jon, while I basically agree with everything you said in #5, I feel compelled to point out that Bartman isn't the best example to use, as he did not reach onto the field -- Alou reached into the stands (albeit barely).

    2005-05-04 00:32:46
    20.   Eric Enders
    Oh, by the way, tomorrow's SF Chronicle is reporting that Barry Bonds had a secret surgery on his knee yesterday, further pushing back his undetermined comeback date.
    2005-05-04 00:36:20
    21.   Eric Enders
    Also, the best quote in T.J. Simers history appears in tomorrow's column:

    "A day earlier Phillips had gone wacko, angry and screaming about a Bill Plaschke column, and I think we can all relate to that."

    2005-05-04 00:38:20
    22.   LAT
    You either understand this mind-set or you don't. I don't. Why is it funny to see a beach ball delay play for the fifth time in three innings? Why is it worth stopping the game and potentially kill a rally or disrupt your pitcher's concentration (always an issue for Weaver, even when there is no beachball.) Why throw trash on the field in protest of two jerks who are already breaking the law. All of the sudden these trash throwers are making some political protest defending the wrongful prosecution of lame-ass trespassers everywhere. I don't understand it. Why do these people buy tickets and bother coming to the game? Is it so boring for them they must create their own entertainment? If so, save your $6 bucks, stay at home and we will both be happier.
    2005-05-04 00:46:59
    23.   Eric Enders
    They actually need to save their $2... these rowdier nights are generally happening on Tuesdays, right?

    I must grudgingly admit that tomorrow's Simers column is pretty much a classic in every regard. There's even a great line about what a tightwad Lasorda is.

    2005-05-04 01:08:26
    24.   Jim Hitchcock
    "That was kind of crazy," Weaver said. "About a hundred beach balls and 400 pieces of trash".

    Reminds me of the first `Gone In 60 Seconds' when, after a stolen Mustang had evaded capture by driving on the sidewalk in Long Beach, and interviewee said "Yeah, man, he killed about a million people..."

    2005-05-04 01:13:10
    25.   DougS
    TMoney, it is worse now than it used to be. The bleachers are much rowdier than they were even 5 years ago, much less back when I was a kid. I'm not one who generally thinks that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I don't know what the problem is.

    However, I will say that the very last Ball Night in the history of Dodger Stadium was a watershed, and I felt that way at the time. It shocked me that such a thing would happen in Los Angeles, at the home of the Dodgers. In New York, yes. In Chicago, conceivable. In San Francisco, yes. But I never thought it would happen in the Dodger Stadium that I remembered from my youth. And yet it did. :-(

    2005-05-04 01:14:05
    26.   Eric Enders
    I guess Dodger Stadium was better in the good old days, when fans would limit themselves to throwing baseballs at the Cardinals and burning the American flag on the field. ;)
    2005-05-04 01:42:56
    27.   DadofMondy
    Easy old men. (You see, I'm 29, so I'm a youngster.) I'm kidding, but the society's changing. I'd bet the house this doesn't ruin baseball at Dodger Stadium. They want to attract people other than baseball fans, because NEWS FLASH they aren't around like they used to be. Reading some of the old stories in baseball books about old time baseball, with tiny crowds and a couple of scumbags hanging around Shibe Stadium antagonzing the Phillies' third baseman (I'm mostly thinking of a "Baseball Hall of Shame" book I read when I was a kid about 20 times), extending to Tortilla Tossing at Anaheim(!) and the Detroit "Bleacher Creatures" doing profane chants back and forth, it's sort of romantic. Sorry there's kids around, but there's only so much security you can do to prevent the rampant (oh, I need a stronger word) foul language and lurid comments about passing young ladies. Don't jump all over me, trash throwing is objectively objectionable; throwing bottles at Milton equally so, and of course the beach balls and three inning-long attempts to start the wave, I mean, it's not even close to being something cool people (you know, young people) would do. However, my three boys, who get schooled on baseball by pappy, and aren't little, are transfixed by the beach ball and give updates on the wave's progress more than enough. It's a different experience now, no doubt, but it's pasion (with an accent) out there, when the home team's doing well--I was out there for Lima's game and it was unparalleled. Last random thought--a LOT of these fans have dads who, if they watched sports, watched futbol; this ain't Field of Dreams--it's just part of something different.
    2005-05-04 01:44:37
    28.   DougS
    Throwing baseballs onto the field (and I think they were thrown at the umps, not the Cardinals) was what I referred to by, "the very last Ball Night in the history of Dodger Stadium." And when you're my age, 'the good old days' goes back a lot farther than 10 years. ;-)
    2005-05-04 01:53:44
    29.   Eric Enders
    Last random thought--a LOT of these fans have dads who, if they watched sports, watched futbol; this ain't Field of Dreams--it's just part of something different.
    ----

    That's an interesting point that had never occurred to me before.

    2005-05-04 02:08:03
    30.   Jim Hitchcock
    It had to me. Had a friend at that Cardinal game. Big soccer fan, first baseball game. When he told me he had thrown his ball on the field, I chewed him out pretty good.
    2005-05-04 02:27:28
    31.   Eric Enders
    It's 5:26 a.m., I've been up for 45 hours with no end in sight, and instead of sleep I'm jonesing for Dodger conversation.

    There's got to be a 12-step program for this.

    2005-05-04 02:41:04
    32.   Jim Hitchcock
    See what happens when you take a week off from posting?
    2005-05-04 05:46:52
    33.   patsweetpat
    Smirk (#12)...

    I feel bad that a woman wearing a Yankees cap had Dodger fans chant "Yankees Suck" at her in Chavez Ravine. It's certainly not something I would ever do.

    That said, I'll never forget the day I committed the horrible crime of sitting (alone!) in the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium, wearing a Mariners jersey. I was subjected to three hours of the most cruel, disgusting, inhumane chants I've ever heard, ever, in any context whatsoever. I mean, stuff like, "Your mother should've had an abortion." Lotsa graphic gay-bashing stuff. Genuine physical threats. About forty people chanting "You need braces" (I had kinda crooked teeth at the time). Some guy whapped me in the side of the head with a newspaper. Another guy yanked my hat off my head and I spent half an inning trying to get it back while the whole section played "keep away."

    I needed protection to get out of there at the end of the game. Probably three of the most unpleasant hours of my entire life.

    As I said, it's not my style, and it's not something I would ever do to someone else, but... if a Yankee fan in Dodger Stadium hears "Yankees Suck" chanted her way, well, I'm just not gonna cry too many tears for her.

    2005-05-04 06:21:22
    34.   Eric Enders
    Y'know, I hear horror stories like those in #33 all the time, but I've never had any experience remotely like that, not even when I wore Red Sox gear to Yankee Stadium.

    I've also worn Dodger gear in about a dozen other ballparks, including Candlestick many times, and have never had any problem other than some mild, good-natured trash talk.

    2005-05-04 06:46:23
    35.   Colorado Blue
    Ok... I just posted comment #35 and it came up as comment #1... I have no idea where it went.
    2005-05-04 06:48:05
    36.   Colorado Blue
    BTW: the #35 above is NOT the #35 I'm talking about... darn it! I don't have time to re-write... ggrrrrr
    2005-05-04 06:56:06
    37.   Sushirabbit
    Speaking of Crappy fans. Happy Rick Monday Day! Of course, while I am posting this, a new article will appear as usual...
    2005-05-04 07:08:39
    38.   Eric Enders
    When I was a kid some baseball card company included a card of the American flag as part of the set. I sent it to Rick Monday for his autograph.

    Now I shudder at the thought that I once desired Monday's autograph.

    2005-05-04 07:10:21
    39.   Suffering Bruin
    I will beat this drum as along as I can. Yes I will...

    We need awareness of the problem. A great post by Jon in DT is a start. The Dodgers need to appeal to the pride that all of their fans feel and make some damn announcements during the game. Increasing the security presence is one thing but having the PA guy say that anyone seen throwing anything on the field will be ejected and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and oh, by the way, enjoy the game safely and respectively... well, perhaps as a former announcer I'm putting too much stock in it but I think it'll work wonders.

    2005-05-04 07:10:58
    40.   Suffering Bruin
    38 - now that was a funny post! LOL.
    2005-05-04 07:22:52
    41.   LAT
    Eric, that Monday did the right thing in the outfield and the fact that he is a terrible announcer are unrealted. I'll reserve judgment based on this factor: did he sign and return the card? also why does a guy stay up 45 hours?

    While there is no justification for abuse, if you wear another teams jersey to a game you are in a small way looking for trouble. Yes you should be able to wear what you want but the fact of life is a Giant fan is going to catch s@#* at DS for wearing a black hat.

    2005-05-04 07:33:27
    42.   Eric Enders
    LAT
    Yes, he did sign the card.

    Staying up for, now 50 hours: A combination of insomnia, a project with a deadline, and my normal sleeping habits, which are quite erratic. Sleep is highly overrated anyway, although I suspect I'll be wanting some as soon as tonight's game is over.

    I don't mind getting a little good-natured s%$# when I wear my Dodger stuff at other stadiums -- in part, that's exactly why I do it. But I've never experienced anything at all similar to the thuggery others have described above.

    2005-05-04 07:44:39
    43.   Bob Timmermann
    I'm wondering now what color the sheep are that are appearing in Eric's hallucinations. Or maybe he's seeing an image of Tommy Lasorda, but Rick Monday's voice is coming out of his mouth. Or he is just twitching on the ground and muttering "Plaschke", "Plaschke", "Plaschke, gotta read Plaschke."

    I will be at the game tonight wearing a vintage Cardinals cap in honor of my late father's birthday (he would have been 76 today) and he grew up a Cardinals fan and attended high school along with one of Red Schoendienst's younger brother. The Schoendienst family had a lot of kids.

    2005-05-04 07:46:50
    44.   franklin
    just an observation from attending games at DS over the last 20 years... surge in bad behavior seems to coincide with shift to adrenaline-fueling, high volume soundtrack. Using noise to fill between inning exchanges appears to be keeping the crowd excited (and excitable). Nancy Bea--the ultimate crowd control!
    2005-05-04 07:51:27
    45.   Bob Timmermann
    I was thinking about the soccer fan comparisons, but if you went to the Home Depot Center to watch the Galaxy or Chivas USA, I doubt that you would see fans behaving like those in the RF pavilion. Those crowds are pretty well-behaved.

    They're also a little smaller. They really can't get more than 27,000 in there I believe.

    2005-05-04 07:56:27
    46.   Bob Timmermann
    Forgot to add,
    But if you went to something like a US-Mexico international match at the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl, the crowd would be a bit rougher.

    The US won't play teams from Latin America in Southern California. But not because of intimidation, but rather they want a homefield advantage and they try to schedule the matches in places that are in the Northeast and are played in cold weather.

    This still didn't stop several thousand Guatemalan fans from showing up in Columbus, Ohio for a World Cup qualifier.

    2005-05-04 08:30:50
    47.   Sushirabbit
    Does anybody remember the guy helping Counsell last wednesday? I think it was Counsell, anyway, I was like thinking , "how cool, in Dodger stadium, not only do we not interfere, we help the opposing teams by insuring they don't get hurt."

    On another note, nothing can be as bad as sitting in Neyland Stadium, listening to some goober trash talk the Vols like he knows anything about Football. My buddy and I have had a LOT of laughs about stOOpid things they say. And is it just me, but aren't you usually surprised when someone says somthing really intelligent at the baseball games? Usually this happens when you ARE on the front row, but I've had it happen recently in Nashville further back with a 12 year old kid, too.

    My experience with baseball fans in general is better than any other sport. I still love going to the game with extra front row seats and giving them to some young guys intent on getting good seats. (of course, they do have to sit next to me) :-)

    2005-05-04 08:38:10
    48.   gvette
    Everyone makes good points about changing times/cultural issues within the fan base, but bad fan behavior is not a new phenomenon at Dodger Stadium.

    Anyone else remember when they had to shut down beer sales in the Pavilions in the 70's because of the bottle showers that Pete Rose got in left field? Despite that, it was still easy for fans to smuggle in rum bottles past security.

    The idea of a pregame PSA by Vin on the message board is a good one, plus increased security, and if necessary a very public prosecution of trespassing fans.

    Having (briefly) represented Dodger security guards in the 80's, they're usually in a no win situation. You don't want to turn the Stadium into a police state, but you don't want to have Dodger Stadium become a baseball version of Raider Nation.

    2005-05-04 08:41:37
    49.   molokai
    My wife and I used to wonder why they didn't sell the pavillion and upper deck seats for peanuts during the mid week games so they could fill the stadium and make tons of money on concessions while adding some life to a 1/2 empty stadium. Haven't been at the games the last two Two Dollar Tuesdays it is obvious.
    What is even more amazing was the lame Dodger response to the cleanup. It was like they don't even have a plan and this whole thing took them by surprise.
    In 1975 Dodger stadium behavior was at an all time low as numerous fights would break out every game. Jimmy Wynn had to actually take the field before a game and implore the fans to behave. I assume these fans are the children of those fans.
    2005-05-04 08:50:34
    50.   Eric Enders
    Billingsley and Tiffany both got absolutely rocked yesterday. All of a sudden Billingsley's ERA is over 5.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-05-04 08:52:34
    51.   Bob Timmermann
    The Dodgers are also in an unenviable position with the Tuesday night promotion. They are obviously drawing a rowdier element on Tuesday nights with the discounted tickets. But they can't stop the promotion. It gets people in and the Dodgers can't say "Sorry, no discounts for most of you (who are nice people) because some losers come in with you?"
    2005-05-04 09:09:52
    52.   Eric Enders
    One thing they could do would be to hire some additional Tuesday-only security guards.

    They could also make last call a little bit earlier.

    2005-05-04 09:17:05
    53.   Jon Weisman
    Actually, Bob, we can't assume that they wouldn't reconsider the promotion:

    http://tinyurl.com/af5oq

    "The Los Angeles Dodgers are disappointed that a few of our guests elected not to follow our Fan Code of Conduct and interfered with other fans' enjoyment of the game," the statement read. "We continually assess and modify promotions, entertainment and associated security measures to ensure that Dodger Stadium is one of the safest, most family-friendly ballparks in the country."

    2005-05-04 09:31:37
    54.   jeongers
    I wonder if we're making too big a deal out of $2 Tuesdays bringing in a rowdier element. Wasn't yesterday only the first or second game for this promotion? I've been in Fenway where some drunks staggered onto the field, and those seats aren't cheap at all. The price of a ticket didn't stop Yankees fans from hurling things onto the field in last year's playoffs or that infamous incident in Cleveland when Browns fans pelted the field with bottles.

    This is not to say that there isn't a problem at Dodgers Stadium, but it seems to have more to do with the performance of stadium security. I mean, how did the guy who touched Holliday not get thrown out of the stadium? Guy didn't act maliciously, so I'm not suggesting criminal prosecution, but for touching a player like he did, he should have been thrown out of the stadium at least. Security needs to do a better job. If there's a problem in the pavilions and the areas with the low fences in left and right field, then security should be upped in those areas to prevent the incidents we've been seeing. Policies on ejecting or prosecuting fans should be clearly outlined and consistently executed. I think the Dodgers can do a much better job of controlling the situation.

    2005-05-04 09:48:11
    55.   Mark
    My original suggestion stands.

    Stop selling beer.

    2005-05-04 09:56:36
    56.   Eric Enders
    Mark, your suggestion, while it would be perfectly fine with me, will not come to fruition until after David Wells wins Miss America.
    2005-05-04 11:26:03
    57.   Dennis Cozzalio
    My friends and I were in Section 51, field level, three rows up from the deepest part of the new seats in left field, and we had a pretty nice view of the lunatic asylum in the left field pavilion. God help anyone out there who mistakenly thought he could buy a ticket and actually watch the game—by the second inning I'd swear there were at least eight beach balls "in play" at one time, one after the other landing on the field and distracting the team and Vin Scully. The whole section looked like the inside of one of those Fisher-Price popcorn popper toys. I started wondering about the wisdom of $2 Tuesdays… until I looked up at the top deck and realized those cheap seats were filled with fans who were cheering, enjoying themselves and actually aware of what was happening on the field. It's been a while since I've enjoyed the pavilion experience--my last game out there was one in which I had to "talk" to two goons who were about twice my size, and as drunk as a man could be, for taunting Chan Ho Park with every "gook"-related epithet their brain cell-depleted skulls could come up with, all in the presence of my elderly Japanese father-in-law-- but it's unlikely I will never sit out there again.

    And I may reconsider field level seats after last night's game too. A man, 50-ish, had four seats right in front of us, and gave three of them to some of his work buddies. These guys, in their late 30s-early 40s, pounded beers from the first pitch and never once looked out onto the field, except when the "fans" jumped the right field fence and decided to play tag with Security. Why would they need to, when they were having so much fun shouting offensive jokes and gay-paranoid names at each other, punching and shoving each other, and (my favorite) launching fistfuls of peanuts at each other? Of course, when the beach balls inevitably arrived, they got extremely excited. My buddy grabbed one and rolled it to the usher, and was then subjected to some lame taunts from them. When I shouted back, "Hey, guys, do I have to remind you there's a baseball game going on?" they look kind of nonplussed, as if, hey, yeah, they DID need to be reminded. That lull lasted about 30 seconds, and then it was back to the nonstop hilarity of peanut throwing and hat keep-away and other hijinks, all of which took place in full view of an usher who stood there the entire game, and whose job obviously was no crowd assistance or control, but making sure nobody snuck into the more expensive new seats, many of which were not occupied. This usher, who looked like a Doobie Bros. roadie, was either too laid back or too intimidated to actually do his job, and when he got ahold of one beach ball late in the game instead of deflating it, he actually spiked it back into the crowd. And after the on-field troubles, there was even a Security guy a few feet away sitting there smirking at these bozos as they played their playground games in $35 seats.

    The Dodgers need to take this crowd control issue a whole lot more seriously. I'll bet Vin was livid at all the delays, one after the other, in the early innings, not to mention the geniuses who grabbed for glory by running on the field, and the brave souls who showed their support for that idiotic behavior by showering their home field with trash and plastic bottles. I'll be in the top deck from now on. After last night, I'm in total agreement with Jon:

    These fans "don't deserve your team to win, you don't deserve your team's management making the moves you want, you don't deserve your favorite players performing well and you certainly don't deserve a seat at the game… But fans must police themselves better. Doesn't matter if you're unhappy with the team on the field. Doesn't matter if you're unhappy with your own damn life. There is not tit for tat. There is no excuse. Those of you who are violating the above rules are ruining the game for everyone else. Your pathetic laugh is coming at the expense of tens of thousands."

    Thanks, Jon. I just hope someone is listening.

    2005-05-04 11:50:17
    58.   DadofMondy
    Re: my earlier #27, I put in a point about a lot of the fans having a different cultural background, but I #49 (molokai) also reinforced my best point: this stuff has always gone on.
    2005-05-04 12:10:50
    59.   mcrawford
    Living up here in San Francisco, I actually have had a couple of incidents at SBC (nee PacBell) Park from wearing Dodger gear and cheering for the Dodgers.

    One game was in 2001. I was sitting in the CF bleachers (definitely rowdier out there), for the game where Barry Bonds hit HR #71 and #72 off of Chan Ho to break McGwire's record. Needless to say, the crowd was going crazy during the first few innings. But the Dodgers ended up winning the game 11-10, so at the end of the game, I was going crazy. Until some guy a few rows back yelled at me, "What are you cheering about, punk?" Normally, probably no big deal, but something about his tone, his look, his semi-drunken state (but not too drunk)...I stopped cheering.

    The other time I remember was just last year. The idiot goon sitting next to me was going on and on, yelling at every batter, every Dodger fan in the section. Some Giant hit a HR; this idiot turned to me and screamed in my face, spitting on me in the process. I wiped the spit off on his jacket (not smart), but I basically stopped cheering. He ended up getting in a fistfight with some other guy at the end of the game. This other guy wasn't a Dodger fan or anything, he was just pissed about how this idiot had been cussing out the other guy's father the whole game, because the father was asking the idiot to be quiet.

    Anyways, I think the other fans in the area need to be more aggressive about reporting this kind of thing to the ushers. I need to be better about this too; I never want to make a scene but it's really the only way to get these people to stop it. So it's not only that we fans need to stop throwing trash, whatever, but if we want things to change at Dodger Stadium or up here at SBC, we need to be less afraid of talking to the ushers.

    2005-05-04 12:19:32
    60.   Icaros
    Maybe having ushers/security guards who aren't minimum-wage-earning, part-time employees would help in getting them to perform their jobs more effectively, kind of like the difference between the service at In-N-Out versus McDonalds.

    That would probably cut into the owners' profits, though.

    2005-05-04 12:22:12
    61.   Bob Timmermann
    I would think the security people at Dodger Stadium make substantially over minimum wage as do the ushers.

    Private security is a growth business.

    2005-05-04 12:27:35
    62.   DXMachina
    I usually wear a Brooklyn cap when I go to games at Shea or Fenway.

    It's certainly not limited to Dodger Stadium. My worst fan experience was sitting in the bleachers at Fenway for a Sox-Yanks game in 1978. I'll never do that again.

    I was sitting in the right field upper deck at Shea the night Darryl Strawberry made his first appearance there as a Dodger, and apart from the "Darryl" stuff, the only thing really nasty that happened was the moron who threw a baseball at Daryl Boston, the Mets' right fielder. I can only imagine that he was too drunk to realize which Dar(r)yl he was throwing at.

    2005-05-04 12:34:05
    63.   Icaros
    #61: I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I guess they're just incompetent, then.
    2005-05-04 13:21:36
    64.   Bob Timmermann
    When my brother ushered in the late 1970s, he said the Security guys were of the nature "Hey, there was a fight on the loge. I missed it. Dammit!"

    I think they take a different approach now. I don't think they go out looking for goons. They go looking for large, reasonably responsible adults.

    Should I post my random game callback in the morning chat or in the game time chat? Today is not the most scintillating one.

    2005-05-04 14:22:16
    65.   Spageticus
    My fan run-ins, time in the bleachers and suggestions all in one large post (so I can get back to work):

    I've had two completely different experiences viewing Dodgers Vs. cardinals games in St. Louis. When i went in 2003, the fans were very respectful of me (in Dodgers jersey and hat) and many stood and clapped when Mike Kinkade(?) made a fantastic diving catch in left. The Dodgers won, and I didn't get any crap from anyone.

    Last year I went to Game 2 of the NLDS in gear again. I hadn't shaved the chin in deference to the Dodgers' winning record, so I had decent chin music. Right out of my $20 dollar parking spot I noticed the scene was changed. Everyone was in red. The peanut vendor on the street in front of the stadium made sure to point out to everyone that I was Gagne. The game sucked (of course) but I was near Jayson Werth's family (complete with Dick Schofield (I think)) and even slapped five with his mother/wife(?). When I left anyone drunk and under 30 was razzing me. I almost got in two fights and was honked at repeatedly on the way out of town. It really sucked.

    I personally haven't seen anyone treat other fans like this in Dodger Stadium. I saw a Dodger and braves fan go at it, but it was over a seat.

    I haven't been to any games at the Ravine this year, but I was at the first Milton fiasco last year. I was on the third base side. After Milton littered the field with balls and left, the RF bleachers erupted with trash. I was ashamed. A guy a couple rows in front of me called the bleachers the zoo. That night it was fitting, but could very well be taken the wrong way.

    When I have sat there in the past, I've had nothing but positive experiences. I saw a guy propose, had a bird land on my head and watched Jay Buhner crank BP fastballs out of the stadium (twice). I found the people their very comfortable to be around, as they were all Dodger supporters. Howerver, I can see with the recent popularity that things may be getting out of hand. Raise the price of beer, don't allow bags other than small purses or baby bags and use the power of television to convince the fans (as the rest of the world knows) that the wave is passe.

    2005-05-04 14:24:42
    66.   Chris H
    For those suggesting that not selling alcohol would improve things remember that alcohol is not sold in the pavilions. The pavilions are also home to the worst and most numerous offenders at Dodger Stadium.

    It turns out that the problem people get even more drunk when you stop selling alcohol. They get tanked in the parking lot and then sneak alcohol into the stands. Instead of having to fork over $7 and stand in line for 15 minutes the trouble makers get all they want at low, low prices.

    The only real solution is to not let people in who are drunk and to search people who are going into the pavilions.

    2005-05-04 15:02:30
    67.   Langhorne
    "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism, which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as it's highest values one's own ego and one's own desires."
    -Pope Benedict XVI

    I think he was talking about beachballs.

    2005-05-04 15:18:01
    68.   Eric Enders
    Spageticus,
    I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience as a Dodger fan at Busch. FWIW, I went to the series the Dodgers played there last Labor Day weekend, and found the Cardinals fans to live up to their reputation as the best in baseball. They were not obnoxious in the least; many even engaged my brother and I in baseball conversation ("What's the story with this Brazoban guy?" was one of the questions I remember being asked.)

    I got several compliments from Cardinals fans regarding my Dodger jersey with "Valenzuela" on the back. As did my brother with his Jackie Robinson jersey.

    2005-05-04 16:12:08
    69.   Bob Timmermann
    Cardinals fans? You mean, The Best Fans in Baseball (TM)?

    They are good fans, but they are not as great and wonderful and knowledgeable as Joe Buck and Peter Gammons would have you believe.

    They generally eschew beach balls so I give them that. But they will leave early when the game is out of hand.

    2005-05-04 17:00:48
    70.   Spageticus
    cardinals fans are very knowledgeable, I won't slight them on that. As I said, half of my experiences their were great. When I worked just over the river in 2003, I went to the game the cards played against the Braves (the one where the winning run scored on a wild pitch while trying to intentionally walk a cards batter). Everyone was drunk, but everyone was great. That is why it was so surprising to see the shift in attitude at game 2. I was a little disappointed. Of course, I also may have been in more of a fighting mood because the bums had just gotten kicked around.

    There was a billboard on the MLK bridge that had a shot of Rolen playing D. It said something like: Why pull hitters hate to come to St. Louis. That's all it said. You would never see that anywhere else.

    St. louis is also great because it boasts the only two Del Tacos around for miles and miles.

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