I finally made it Dodger Stadium tonight and took in a rather dreary 3-1 loss to the Padres. Jeff Kent, who continues to be so dialed in that he looks like he is playing a different game than his teammates, scored the only run off of a Jose Cruz Jr single.
This was the first game I've attended in recent memory after having given up on the team, which made it difficult to engage. But it also made their sluggish play much easier to take. I feel no ill will toward this team. I think they're playing hard and sadly, they're playing to their potential. They're just not very good.
I hated the increased commercialization of the stadium and the game time experience. It starts with advertising on the turnstile and never ends. New this year is the advertising ring on the edge of the second deck, product ads on the boards between innings and sometimes during the innings, and even ads on the screens used to drag the infield. Combining this with $10 parking and $29 for four bad hot dogs and two big sodas, it was a dispiriting experience.
I regret that I wasn't able to go earlier and more often this year, but at least I kept my streak alive. I've attended at least one game every year since my first trip to Chavez Ravine in 1969, a Dodger loss to the expansion Montreal Expos. I figure in that time I've attended just about a full season's worth of games, and I'll look forward to adding to that number in 2006.
I hate what McCourt has done to the team and stadium, but they were my team and my stadium before they were his, so I'll be back. I'm waitin' 'til next year, but I'll be back.