I really enjoy the BYB posts introducing the staff writers who contribute to the site each week. It’s yet another great way Casey has illustrated how Bleeding Yankee Blue is really a team in every sense of the word. From the Skipper on down to this reformed Irish hoodlum, BYB has baseball, heart and a real sense of community and family.
Recently you were introduced to staff writer Alexis Garcia, read MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH ALEXIS GARCIA for that. One of the questions posed to the Los Angeles native and University of Texas alum (By the way a couple trips to the Series during her time there. Impressive to say the least.) was how could she convince me to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a chance.
Here's that exchange:
BYB: Mike O'Hara, a fellow BYB writer hates the Dodgers. Can you convince him to give them a shot?
Alexis Garcia: Mike, I would say hating the Dodgers is about 95% of being a Dodgers fan! Some of my best memories of going to games was jeering that bum Kevin Brown while stuffing Dodger dogs in my face. We have the money, we have the talent, we have the best weather in the country, and yet we still manage to choke in the off-season. We develop some of the best talent in the league only to trade it away for players past their prime. It is this frustration of constant under-performance that unites all of us Dodgers fans! Also, we have Vin Scully.
It’s been fairly well documented that I am in no way, shape or form a Dodger fan. I have said, and will go on saying, that I’d rather hear the cheers on Yawkey Way and all over Bean Town than to see them happy at Chavez Ravine. Crazy? Not to me. It’s a long story, but I will explain so that you can understand why I “dislike” the Dodgers so much…I swear it’s not just an East Coast vs. West Coast thing.
First of all, the Dodgers hurt my feelings. That sounds childish, doesn’t it? Well, that stands to reason. I was merely a small child when the club that left Brooklyn beat my Yankees in the World Series. I sat on the floor of my folks’ bedroom and cried.
The Yankees weren’t a baseball team to me, they were superheroes. They couldn’t lose…could they? How did Reggie let me down? Who was this Penguin guy?
And could someone please get Lasorda off my TV screen ASAP! I carried that anger with me for years. It kind of subsided during time in grade school. I started to resent the Mets more…actually I resented my friends who jumped ship and started wearing Strawberry jerseys because the Yanks weren’t exactly the toast of the town any longer. I also NEVER allowed them to live it down when they wanted to come back to the Bronx in the mid 1990s.
Now, you’d think that I’d forget why I disliked LA so much over time, but as my Grandfather would say, “Only 2 creatures walking this planet that never forget. An elephant and an Irishman.” He was 100% correct. My feelings for the Dodgers were just hibernating. They would wake with vigor after I graduated college.
I’m an actor. I moved to Los Angeles, as so many in “The Biz” do, with my game face on. LA does have great weather. It is a trip to go to the market and notice that you are in the checkout line behind Jennifer Aniston, and it’s as if she is just any other person…though incredibly beautiful and pretty nice to boot.
She was very friendly when I placed the rubber divider on the conveyor belt so that her rice cakes and humus didn’t get mixed in with my Guinness, cold cuts, Guldens Mustard and Beefsteak Rye bread. Los Angeles is pretty much as you’d expect to be honest. The people are sort of different. They march to the beat of their own drum. I met a lot of great folks out there. When I got work it was a great time, but it also is a lonely town. Now that shouldn’t reflect on the Dodgers…but I allowed it to. That is not fair and I know it now.
I went to see my first Dodger game the weekend I moved out West. The Boys in Blue hosted the Pirates. I got to see that the Ravine is a great ballpark. It was before so of the recent renovations. The bullpens are still the worst in the league, but there aren’t any bad seats. You can get a great look at the game no matter where you sit.
Dodger Dogs? That is an ENTIRELY separate chapter in this story. My conclusion is LA fans KNOW that the Farmer John product is awful, but refuse to give in to that knowledge. LA does have a “little brother” complex about New York’s hot dog and Pizza Empire. FACT. Here’s a hint Dodger Concession Director. Have Pink’s supply the dogs. They ain’t Nathan’s, but it’d be a step in the right direction.
The pebble that began the avalanche of the return of my DODGER DISLIKE was the fans…there were so few 'actual' fans. I won’t say that there aren’t true blue Dodger fans. There are. They are knowledgeable, invested and all and all pretty friendly. The problem is they are outnumbered in a big way in their own ballpark. Fact. Often it’s by fans of the visiting club. The Mets, Cubs, Sox, Yanks, Phils and Giants all have transplants in the City of Angels and they show up. There is also the “To Be Seen” crowd. They don’t care who is playing; they just want to be at the party. You know the type. Every club has them, but LA REALLY has them. They show up in the 4th and leave in the 7th. They play with the beach balls.
They are on their cellphones. They have dinner reservations at Beso. They think Mike Piazza is still behind the plate. They quote “Naked Gun”…a lot! “Enrico Palazzo! He saved the queen!” Yep, that’s a good one. It’s almost as if MLB should talk to the NFL and ask, “Hey, why don’t you guys have a franchise here?” Fair? I don’t know. But it is what it is.
The last factor in my less than favorable feelings toward all things Dodgers is the “Tough Guy” factor. I saw it every time I went to the stadium and I went a good deal. There are those at the game who are just looking for a problem. It’s not about baseball, although they will be decked out in Dodger Blue. It’s about starting trouble in the stands or in the parking lot. The Dodgers have been absolutely horrendous addressing this issue.
The Bryan Stow incident just shed a bit of light on what happens more often than not at Chavez Ravine. I got to see it first hand at an inter-league match up years ago. I was at the game with some friends from back East. We saw the Yanks take it on the chin and made our way to the car. Almost instantly we hear the jeers. Hey, that’s what you get. I completely understand that. We do it in the Bronx. But these jeers got personal fast. Them they got increasingly angry. My one buddy is a bit of a hothead and I could tell he wasn’t going to stay quiet too long. We found ourselves in outside and noticed that a handful of these Dodger fans had followed us spewing their over the top jabs the whole way. Now two of my friends were US Marines at the time, and in this particular staring contest the other side blinked first. We were lucky. The situation didn’t become a problem…but it could have.
Who needs that garbage? If you want to find a fight go to a roadhouse bar and knock yourself out. It’s a baseball game. We go to have a good time and watch the American Pastime. Period. Yeah, there is some good-natured ribbing and no one wants to see his or her teams lose, but it’s not a turf war. It’s not and should never be personal. The sad fact is that in almost every trip I made to Dodger Stadium, I saw all of the above. It has made me close the book on the Los Angeles club. I don’t like them. I won’t ever like them.
I want Donnie back. I love Vin Scully and respect the actual Dodger fan that suffers through the nonsense I saw. They can’t be happy with that stuff. I don’t like “I Love LA”. I don’t consider LA a sports town. The Lakers stink now…where is everybody? And again, this is not an East Coast, West Coast thing. I’ve been to the Bay Area. I’ve seen games in the Great Northwest. I’ve loved every single trip to San Diego.
The Anaheim Angeles of Los Angeles, near the 5, close to Disney, South of Knott’s Berry, down the street from that strip mall…no, the other strip mall. They are not my favorite either... I don't care for the Rally Monkeys and Thunder Sticks... trust me. But it wasn’t nearly as bad at LA.
Gibby, Butler, The Bulldog and Piazza were guys I enjoyed seeing play. No, it’s more about that first team to hurt my feelings. It’s about the Hollywood fans and the tough guys. They aren’t what baseball is about and any chance that I’d give the Dodgers a chance rolled away with the credits. Sorry, Alexis. It’s just one guy’s opinion.
** One of my Favorite Bands – Please note I do NOT want anything bad to happen to anyone in Los Angeles. I love my friends there. This song just has Los Angeles in the title I like Bad Religion a lot. **
Senior "Features" Writer
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