Friday, February 20, 2015

YOU LIKE JOBA IN DODGER BLUE? I DON'T


I sat there listening in pain as the PA speakers blared Randy Newman’s famous tune.  The stands, which were really only full in the 5th, 6th & 7th, are now close to empty.  The beach balls are gone. Dodger Dog wrappers, the worst hot dog in the Majors, lay strewn on the stadium stairways.  The game at Chavez Ravine is now over. What was the score? Cubs 4, Dodgers 2…but aside from a collection of actual die-hards, nobody there noticed.


This was my experience going to many games in Los Angeles while I was a resident of the “Southland”.  “I Love LA”? You might, Randy.  I don’t.  I won’t go into the whole anti Los Angeles rant.  It’s not a terrible town; it’s not really a town at all. It’s a collection of spread out suburbs. 818, 213, 310, 323…an area code is your membership number.  I had a lot of fun in LA.  I met some great people (mostly native to New York, Chicago and Boston) in my years there.  It can be a good time.  It’s biggest draw for me? LA is only and hour and a half-ish from San Diego on the 5 Freeway.


Look, I’m just not and LA guy…and that’s okay.  I’m a New Yorker.  I call the east coast home.  I’ll take the bitter cold and subways over the earthquakes and gridlock.  It’s just me.  I don’t feel the need to bash the “WEST SIIIDE!” anymore.


However, I will never agree that LA is a great sports city.  Yes, the Kings beat my beloved New York Rangers for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Hey, the Kings had a better club.  You tip your cap and hope Nash shows up in the playoffs this year.  But does that mean the LA fans are equal to their club? No way.  It ain’t even close.  The Lakers stink now…suddenly the local population has Clippers jerseys and have given their purple and gold #8 a rest in the hamper.  The city cries out for an NFL team…slow down.  I think the NFL will survive without a return to the City of Angeles.

You might be asking at this point, “Mikey, why the post on the plastic city behind the Saints?”  I’ll tell you.  I “dislike” the Dodgers that much.  I read recently that my buddy and former Yankee Joba Chamberlain is getting serious looks from Lasorda’s darlings.  I wished him well and cheered him on in Motown…unless he was throwing against the Yanks.


I’m his pal and a fan of what he is capable of doing on the hill.  I could go into the ridiculous “Joba Rules” and the Bombers role in ruining a young talent…but why pick that scab?  The bottom line is I won’t wish any ill on Justin, but I can’t root for anyone on the Dodgers either.  I can’t. I won’t.  I have said many times that I’d rather see the Sawk win than see any happiness in Dodgertown.  I mean that. I am in NO way a Red Sox fan, but in a way they are part of the family...it’s hard to explain.  I can’t stand them, but they have my respect.  Their fans are delusional, but they know their club and live and die with what happens on Yawkey Way.  Dodger fans? Nope.


The Dodgers hurt me first.  I watched as they beat my Yankees in that World Series…I shutter to name the year.  I was a little kid but my distaste for Lasorda, Cey, Garvey and Company was at an adult level.  I am okay with Los Angeles getting a football team…as long as they play in what is now Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers (NO TRAINS TO DODGE IN LA BY THE WAY!) move back to Brooklyn and serve as a Single A affiliate to the Mets from their crimes against my Nana who loved them.  I’m only sort of kidding about that.


I don’t want Chamberlain in Dodger Blue.  Their bullpen is the worst.  They sit on those plastic chairs you get at Target! The stadium isn’t awful, but it’s not great either.  Go to Philly! Go to Chicago! Go to Atlanta! Hell, go to Boston (not really). But please, Joba, don’t take the “Magic Dollars” and move to Melrose Place!


At the end of the day I hope Chamberlain lands in the best spot for himself and his family.  Yankee fans have strong opinions on him…I get that.  I root for him because of the person he is not the record he has.  This post is really just a way to poke fun at LA.  If Joba signs in LA and excels under Donnie Baseball…I’ll appreciate it…I guess. I’ll be happy until October rolls around, and then hope he ended the season with a great ERA, an All Star appearance…and an early vacation.  Nope, can’t have them in the Postseason…let alone the World Series.  Joba, weigh your options.  Citizen’s Bank is a great park.  Maybe the Mets need a power arm in the pen…Arizona has a pool for the love of Pete!  LA…well, the Grove is a heck of an outdoor Mall…my manager can probably get you on Kimmel…Oh! They have New York style pizza…and Pink’s Hot dogs…which isn’t much of a draw since you’ve had Nathan’s…they have a subway system now…but the ground shakes so…the weather is really nice…but you’re from Nebraska so who cares about the weather? Plus you’re a baseball player…so you work in the spring and summer…and travel all over the country…so that doesn’t work.  Yeah, I’d say pass on this offer.

** Here are 2 songs. One I wrote about an Irishman living in LA and the other a song that is heard when a baseball game ends in a CITY!**





 
 --Mike O'Hara
Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21






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