Home > Uncategorized > This Just In: Dodger Stadium Is Still A Fine Place To Watch Baseball

This Just In: Dodger Stadium Is Still A Fine Place To Watch Baseball

What a week for a guy’s computer to give out. Manny retires; Barry Bonds is found guilty but scores a big legal victory in the process; Kobe Bryant’s different kind of foul; The Masters is won by … some guy. I’ve missed the timeliness boat for those stories, although I still want to talk about Manny being Manny being done. I will do that later.

For now, I’ll talk about last night. Specifically, last night at Dodger Stadium. I was there with all of the police officers on foot, in squad cars, riding horses, bikes and motorcycles.  I took a bunch of photos, none of which I can upload because, again, my PC is dead. But I do appreciate the officers never minding me as I snapped shots of them like an overzealous foreign tourist.

The increase in force was certainly noticeable. But that’s the point, right? Of all the games I’ve been to at Dodger Stadium — and I’ve been to a couple hundred in my time — I don’t remember an occasion when more than one officer was in sight of a ticket gate at the start or finish of a game. Maybe the increased publicity heightened my attention as opposed to those previous nights, but at least three officers were posted outside of every gate that I saw as fans entered. When I left at about 10:30 p.m., I counted 11 men in blue within a quick 180-degree head turn, none of them more than 30 feet away from the stadium. I wondered if some knucklehead would start trouble just to create some personal attention on a night where the police presence overshadowed the actual game. I guess not. I didn’t hear about any scuffles.

I found the scene more odd than comforting. That’s probably because I have never had a problem at Dodger Stadium. I have never felt unsafe or that my well-being was in jeopardy. I felt unsafe while my father driving through Downtown L.A. after a Dodgers game on the night the ’92 riots erupted, but hey, I’m getting off topic.

I’ve sat on the third-base side, first-base side, field level, loge level, infield reserve and upper deck. Chavez Ravine has always been a good site for baseball watchin’. Thursday was no different. It was a very active and entertaining first five innings. Albert Pujols homered. Good times had by all.

However, I’m sure many people at the game felt very reassured with the uptick in security last night. I find that a little sad. I hate to hear from people who have never been to Dodger Stadium or are thinking about attending a game soon now say they are worried or scared about what might happen to them. The Bryan Stow tragedy raises these fears, obviously, but Dodger Stadium is not the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. There’s no doubt some sketchy characters push through Dodger Stadium turnstiles every night. People drink way too much, get belligerent and rude, and yeah, you will see a fight every once in a while. You know a major league stadium where that doesn’t happen? Hint: It’s a number less than one.

You will see more of this behavior if you sit in the outfield pavilions more than anywhere else, but that goes for all ballparks. There are areas, mostly those with the cheapest tickets, where you will probably be sitting among the rowdies. But don’t classify the actions of a few as a stadium-wide phenomenon. Like I said, I’ve sat in many places in Dodger Stadium; I have never sat in the pavilions, nor would I want to, even if there was handicap-accessible seating out there.

What happened to Stow was despicable. But it doesn’t make Dodger Stadium some place where you need to look over your shoulder every five steps. It’s a treasured piece of baseball history with a bunch of great seats that make for an awesome MLB experience. I always prefer the infield reserve.

I’ll be interested to see how long the increased (excessive?) police presence sticks around. If they are gone by Thursday’s game against the Braves, I will let you know because, well, I’ll be there. As always, I am looking forward to it.

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