Scenes From My Seat Right Behind Manny Ramirez

I was in the left field bleachers last night for Manny’s first return to Dodger Stadium since his steroid suspension, and you can read my real-time account of the evening on my Twitter page. (Plus, there’s some bonus piccies in there.)

Dodger Hottie

(What happens when photographer pregames with 5 fingers of Ancient Age)

When Manny first entered the field, he was met with an enthusiastic response from the cheap seats, but his reception in the box seat area was somewhat lukewarm.

Manny Ramirez at Dodger Stadium

(My dreads-eye view provided by my friends at BarrysTickets.com)

And I even heard a smattering of boos.

Manny Wood Fans

(To our LAPD friends: Does this constitute a parole violation?)

Manny Ramirez fan

(How do I look? No, really?)

I was just a few feet from Manny the entire night, and not once did he turn to engage the crowd. A little strange considering the circumstances, and the obvious enthusiasm of the fans.

Dodger Stadium Empty Seats For Manny's Return

We all know what a crap sports town Los Angeles is, but I was actually a little surprised to see so many empties last night at the Stadium for Ramirez’s return.

SbB Girl Denise With Manny Fans

(SbB Girl Denise at her first-ever Dodger Game)

So what was the biggest cheer of the night? Read more…

Speed Read: Another Violent Day in LA’s Paradise

The baseball day in Los Angeles started on a solemn note Monday when the Dodgers held two moments of silence for fallen comrades in arms during Chavez Ravine’s opening day Monday (before a third passed later in the day).

Dodger Stadium tributes to Nick Adenhart and Harry Kalas

(Pictures from 710 AM ESPN’s Beto Duran)

By the end of the game (an 11-1 pounderation of the San Francisco Giants, who could not devise a hacky time travel solution with the USS Enterprise despite the cross-promotional gold), the area around Dodger Stadium hosted numerous instances of disrespect to human life through stabbings, gun-waving, fights involving dozens of people, and the stray auto accident.

Of course, we would never draw a correlation between the drop in beer prices at Dodger Stadium and violence around the ballpark. After all, fan-on-fan violence is still seemingly less likely than vendor-on-vendor violence or security-on-fan violence. The relative safety of MLB.com’s At Bat iPhone app is looking better all the time, especially now that it works occasionally.

Another object d’mocktastery best safely seen from a distance that works only occasionally: Isiah Thomas. He’s apparently found a reason to leave the house as Florida International University has shown interest in hiring him as their basketball head coach.

Isiah Thomas suit

(”Look! Look up at that paragraph! It says that someone wants me!  Do you see that?”)

FIU has found a certain comfort level with losing (five straight seasons) and could certainly use the limelight brought by a famous coach. Perhaps Isiah’s excited because he thinks he can ply his trade in a different country unfamiliar with his sordid past. (That’s what the “International” stands for, right?)

Another gentleman of leisure being paid by an NBA team to go away but still looking for a new home will also have to find a new place of leisure as well. At least two of Detroit’s casinos (current count: 439280410) have reportedly tossed Allen Iverson out on his ear for “boorish behavior”, including bodyguard-related scuffling, pouting after a loss, and being generally churlish.

Allen Iverson golfs

(There’s always golf to ruin one’s forced retirement)

So kudos to the MGM Casino and the Greektown Casino for standing up to Allen Iverson’s shenanigans after he’s left town and will likely never return unless absolutely forced to by contract. Also, way to leak the information once the coast is clear.

We once spotted AI in the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, taking over a section of  the open-air lounge and bar to play cards in the late afternoon with his buddies. He did not order from the bar; instead, he had the bellboy bring his crew a beat-up old cooler filled with their own special reserve.

We did not get a chance to see his favorite drink, but we bet he could get it for 25% less this season at Dodger Stadium. Better bring the bodyguards to carry the overflow.

And now our riot police-approved hail of rubber bullets reinforced by the near-certainty there are relatively few industries interested in “boy whisperers”

Which team is the best in all baseball after one week?

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Brog: Mister Frank McCourt, Tear Down This Wall!

Yesterday I went to the Dodgers-Brewers game in Los Angeles, which was no coincidence. Like many here in Lipstick City, for the first time in what seems like centuries, I felt compelled to make the normally daunting trek to Chavez Ravine.

Frank McCourt Baseball's Berlin Wall

With good weather, zoot-suited Manny in left, and the resurgent Brewers in town, you’d have thought we’d be staring down a sellout Sunday. But the ball orchard was only about 55% full, and parking was a smog-filled breeze. So tho it was a little strange to see so many empty seats without the Pirates in town, it was as pleasant an experience as I’ve had watching professional baseball in Los Angeles County.

The only thing that struck me as a little strange yesterday was the giant wall that separates lower level box seats from the rest of the field level chairbacks. The wall was a erected a couple years ago by the McCourts, and I’ve seen it before, from a lower perspective. But I was club level Sunday, so you could really see how ridiculous the gigante barrier looks.

Of course, the wall is designed to prevent unwashed commoners from invading the precious space of those well-monied ticketholders - the ones who leave their $250 seats empty for half the season. By the looks of the wall, I’m surprised Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt didn’t dig out a moat while he was at it.

Brooks at Dodger Game

I don’t know how long McCourt will run the team into the ground own the team, but I’m guessing that ripping up baseball’s Berlin Wall will be the first order of business for whomever wrests the flagging franchise off of Frank’s hands.

I think I’ve found the latest internet rage: WomenAgainstFantasy.com!

Women Against Fantasy Football Two Timing Mates

Oh wait, make that WomenAgainstFantasySports.com. Based on the site’s content, the proprietors apparently are taking a page from CollegeHumor.com, existing only to sell t-shirts.

But the URL is misleading, as the photo montage featuring a couple two-timing guys does nothing to stem every male’s fantasy.

L.A. Valley native Jeff Suppan is now an innings-eater for the Cardinals Red Sox Pirates Royals Diamondbacks Brewers, and was ND’d yesterday thanks to Ryan Brauntasarus’ top-nine, two-run missile to knot Dodgers-Brewers at a quintet (Los Doyers went on to bottom-nine win).

Suppan also now owns a sports bar in the Valley, on Ventura Blvd. in Encino called “Soup’s Sports Grill.” Thursday I stopped in for a Brewers-only private function at the facility.

Jeff Suppan Brooks Soup's Grill

Jeff is pitching the place as a family-friendly sports grill, which has possibilities considering the demo at most nearby establishments (think cast of Big Lebowski extras).

The food was actually good (chicken cacciatore was mega), better than your typical assortment of just-thawed and/or fried sports bar *delectables*. Also a plus: Suppan plans to manage the place day-to-day after the season.

Soup's Sports Grill

If I wasn’t west side, I’m sure that’d be a chill weekend stopoff, or quality Hollywood pregame destination.


Read more…

Manny’s Move to LA Moves Dodgers’ Tickets Sales

Despite the thousands of entertainment options available on a Friday night in Los Angeles (many of which involve drunk attractive girls with low self-esteem), 12,000 Angelenos decided to make the trip to Chavez Ravine to watch the debut of Manny Ramirez in Dodger Blue.

Manny Ramirez Dodgers

LOS ANGELES TIMES reports “In the 30 hours that followed the announcement that the Dodgers had traded for Ramirez, the team sold more than 30,000 single-game tickets as well as almost 300 season-ticket packages for the remaining home games, according to chief operating officer Dennis Mannion.

Manny’s debut in friday night’s game, a 2-1 loss to Randy Johnson and the first place Diamondbacks, was sold out with more than 12,000 of the tickets purchased after the temperamental slugger became a Dodger.

Read more…

Oscar De La Hoya Wants To Hold Next Fight In Dodger Stadium

DE LA HOYA LOOKING FOR A FIGHT IN DODGER STADIUM: Oscar De La Hoya wants a chance to show what he’s got to fans in Dodger Stadium - not out in the field, but in the ring:

Oscar de la Hoya Milton Bradley Dodgers

The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the boxer and East L.A. native is looking to hold a match in the ballpark, possibly in May against British belter Ricky Hatton.Oscar explains his zest for the match: “The Dodgers are the team in L.A., it’s history in the making.”

Interestingly, De La Hoya admitted he’s only been to one game at the park, and that was several years ago. Hope he doesn’t get confused with the new parking directions.

Dodgers Parking

Oscar also hopes the event turns out better than the last (and so far only) boxing match held in Chavez Ravine. In 1963, Davey Moore fell backward in his fight against Sugar Ramos, striking his neck on the bottom rope. Moore died a few days later from a brain stem injury.Bob Dylan even wrote a song about the fateful fight. Maybe Oscar can get Sugar Ray or Five For Fighting to pen a ballad about his bout.

Yet, De La Hoya hasn’t actually asked the Dodgers about using their field for the fight. A team spokesperson said, “It’s something we’d be happy to discuss with them if they give us a call.”

Oscar de la Hoya photos dressed like a woman

Based on his recent choice of wardrobe, Oscar’s sure to sell tons of tickets to the WeHo crowd.