Watching Astros C Humberto Quintero bunt for a base hit during Round Rock’s PCL contest with Iowa Friday night was not, as it turned out, the strangest thing I’ve witnessed this baseball season. Instead, that honor would go the patrons of Chavez Ravine who repeatedly gave Juan Pierre a rousing ovation during last night’s 4-0 loss to St. Louis, and this was before the Dodger LF robbed Albert Pujols with a sliding catch in the 8th inning. If Pierre’s what passes for a fan favorite in Los Angeles at the moment, things are well and truly fucked. We’ve all read how Willie Randolph’s job is on the line for his failure to light a fire under various veterans, but what of Joe Torre’s passive response to Lt. Dangle going-thru-the-motions?
Despite fielding a product that’s almost unwatchable —- if the 2008 Mets are listless, the current Dodgers are baseball’s Karen Ann Quinlan — the McCourt Family deserve some rare credit. The last time I attended a Dodger game (Freeway Series, 2006) parking took nearly 90 minutes and just as much time elapsed while exiting the premises. Saturday night however, I made it from Hollywood to my seat in the top deck in under 40 minutes, with an departure time almost as reasonable on the way out. Clearly, the answers to LA’s crowd control problems lie in a) maintaining a steady evening temperature of 50 degrees and b) scheduling 81 home games vs. an opposing pitcher nearly as imposing as sure-thing Hall Of Famer Kyle Lohse (above).
The Dodger have promoted ’06 first rounder Clayton Kershaw from Double-A Jacksonville to start this afternoon. Jon Wiseman helpfully points out Fernando Valenzuela was only 19 when he made his first big league start, to which I can only add, David Clyde was only 18. Young enough to start in the majors, but not old enough to attend last Friday’s Germs/White Flag/Black Fag tripleheader.
Though I’m sorry Ben Schwartz and I did not cross paths on my brief sojourn in L.A., I do understand that Ben had already attended Friday’s game. And being a family man, I’m sure he had better things to do last night.