Last night, I made my first trip to Dodger stadium to watch game 3 of the NLCS. I immediately fell in love with the 46-year-old ballpark (now the third-oldest in MLB). It is intimate, friendly … and has palm trees. (My favorite form of foliage.)
The fans were another story. I know playoff baseball can get ugly, but I quickly tired of witnessing the mistreatment of the few dedicated Phillies fans who showed up sporting their red and white. Two drunk men in Dodgers gear picked out Jamie Moyer’s sons and harassed them all the way back to their seats. A Phils fan in the right field seats had his hat stolen and thrown into left field … twice. The ump had to stop play to walk over, pick it up and return it to the stands. (The LA fans thought Manny might want it as a souvenir.)
I know this behavior is not isolated to Los Angeles, or to baseball, but I wish folks would let a game be a game. Enjoy the rivalry and the baseball. Leave the rest of the BS at home. The times when I sit in the stands at games, I’ve had the most fun when I’m trading friendly jabs with folks from the visiting team. Sports rivalries should be fun. But I guess, until the athletes begin to set a better example (see: bench-and-bullpen clearing melee from the same game), the crowds will simply continue to follow their unsportsmanlike lead.
Tomorrow, I’m flying to Maui on a reporting trip, so I should have some great updates over the next few days. Stay tuned …