Game 2: Dodgers 3 – Padres 1

The matchup: Dodgers vs Padres (4.5.17)
Special Guest: Me!
Snacks: Dodger Dog w/ spicy brown mustard and onions (x2), Bud Heavy, Point the Way IPA, plus many more beverages at the Short Stop and Little Joy following the game.
Giveaway: Fernando Valenzuela jersey.
Memorable Moment: Tie between Puig’s first homer and Kenley’s first appearance.

RECAP: Now this is the Dodgers team everyone expects to see this season. Compared to the previous night’s frustrating shutout, these guys played like a well-oiled machine up and down the lineup.

Rich Hill made his first (and hopefully not only) start of the season and continuously buckled the Padres with a curveball that more than justified his free agent signing. The offense came out swinging and put up a pair of runs in their half of the first that would be all Hill and the rest of the pitching staff would need.

Yasiel Puig countered Hunter Renfroe’s 4th inning solo home run with a no doubt bomb of his own that landed in the Dodger bullpen to put them ahead for good.

I’m not gonna lie. I was weird seeing Sergio Romo make his debut in Dodger Blue. It felt like half the crowd started to instinctively boo thanks to his years in San Francisco but we all pumped the brakes before any real noise made. If this game is any indication, the 8/9 punch of Sergio and Kenley is going to bum out a lot of teams.

My friend Meg, who joined me for a few games last season, bought a chunk of our tickets for this year. She asked me to join her for her first game to get the lay of the land and meet her new Section 2 family.

Ran into this guy on a beer run. Is there any better reason to dress up like a hot dog on a Wednesday night than a Dodger game? I need to find him again so he can remind me of his Instagram handle. I woke up the next morning remembering half of it but it was no help. You wouldn’t believe how many variations of @weeniedog you’ll find on the ‘gram.

Dodgers win! One intangible upside to Kenley coming back is we get 3-5 more years of California Love.


Spotted this family leaving the game. They must really love Kershaw. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Game 1: Padres 4 – Dodgers 0

The matchup: Dodgers vs Padres (4.4.17)
Special Guest: My lovely wife.
Snacks: Dodger Dog w/ spicy brown mustard and onions (x2), Bud Heavy
Giveaway: Phone charger
Memorable Moment: It only took 14 minutes to drive home from this game.

RECAP: The long, brutal off-season has finally ended and it’s time for Dodger baseball that counts. For us, The Day After Opening Day has become our official start to the season and spirits were running high when we left for the stadium.

Along the way, we took a pit stop to do our civic duty.

Voting is an important right to exercise. (And that is as political as this site will ever get.)

One of the best off-the-radar aspects of the Dodger Stadium experience is the consistency among the game day staff. If you go to enough games, you’ll eventually notice the same employees posted up in the same spots. Game after game, season after season.

Our aisle has had the same usher the four seasons that we’ve been in Section 2. She was all smiles as she welcomed everyone back. My favorite beer vendor was at my favorite, super secret beer stand, and I got my nightly scouting report from my favorite cashier at the self-serve concession stand. I always start our transaction by asking how the Dodgers are looking tonight and she replies with a detailed scouting report that’s usually sprinkled with some Yoda-level wisdom.

The stadium was still buzzing in the wake of the Dodgers’ 14-3 Opening Day romp. The new pre-game pump up video is incredibly well done. Instead of relying on Kendrick Lamar (like last year) or some other random grab bag of celebrities, the new video features a wide assortment of Dodger fans all around LA that gives a real sense of pride in being a fan. The best part about the video is that it starts out with a slow burning “Let’s Go Dodgers” chant that gets the crowd rocking as if it were a playoff game.

As the randos that made up the Padres’ starting line up were introduced, I wondered why they were even out there. They’d save themselves a lot of time and trouble and make it easy on everyone if they just forfeited the game. They’d probably have more fun catching an early dinner than catching a second consecutive beat down from the Dodgers.

Then the game started and the Boys in Blue forgot how to play baseball.

Our friend Marc is already in mid-season meltdown form.

Following the Padres’ 2 run offensive explosion to start the game, my lovely wife asked me to pass her our binoculars.

“Why?” I asked.

“So I can get a better look at Dave Roberts punching Kenta in the face,” she replied.

(It should be noted that my lovely wife was only kidding but if she ever managed a team, she’d take a lot of pride in having the shortest leash in baseball.)

The Dodgers’ half of the 1st started out promising until Corey Seager stepped to the plate and promptly grounded into the first of four spirit crushing double plays of the night. Most everyone hit the ball hard, the only problem is that everything was hit right at the defense.

By the 7th inning, all we could do was accept the Dodgers’ fate and have a few laughs about such a bummer way to start the season. I guess you need games like this one to make October that much sweeter.

Even still, I would have been perfectly happy if the Padres would have forfeited.

As these fans passed us walking into the stadium, the fella in the Corey Seager jersey told us that he hates walking but he hates giving Frank McCourt money even more which is why they park outside the gates.

The free woodpile is going off right now!

The last photo I took during the game. The irony was cranked up to 11 when my phone’s battery died on phone charger night. Good times.

Game 6: Dodgers 1 – Padres 0

The matchup: Dodgers vs Padres (5.1.16)
Special Guest(s): My buddy Jim and his daughter Elsa
Snacks: Looks like they crushed some Dodger Dogs.
Giveaway: Corey Seager Kids Jersey
Memorable Moment(s): From Jim’s texts during the game: 10 pitches, three strikeouts for Kershaw in the first inning. Kershaw got an RBI. He’s doing it all himself! Nine innings of Kershaw!

Jim - Elsa

Jim and Elsa flying the Dodger flag.

RECAP: With a Corey Seager Kids Jersey on deck for the giveaway, I offered up our tickets to my buddy Jim so that he could take Elsa, his t-ball superstar daughter, to a game. Knowing how kid’s schedules are planned out years in advance, I offered him our tickets long before it became clear that Kershaw would be on the mound so I wasn’t about to dredge up an excuse for needing our tickets back.

As if I’d dare pull that stunt on a couple of hardcore Dodger fans anyway.

Jim’s been a lifelong fan and has been doing his part to make sure Elsa that is too so it’s always a treat when we get to hook them up with a game. From his updates, it was clear they were there for every pitch (no easy feat when bringing a 7-year-old to the ballpark) and were able to make some great memories.

Here’s hoping they get reminisce about this one 10 years from now with Kershaw still on the mound for the Dodgers.

Elsa Dodger Dog

Elsa takes down a Dodger Dog like a pro.

Jim and Elsa

Jim and Elsa joined me for an afternoon on the field at the end of last season.

Elsa at the Warning Track

Elsa got some early practice in the art of robbing a home run.




Game 5: Padres 5 – Dodgers 2

The matchup: Dodgers vs Padres (4.30.16)
Special Guest: This was a solo mission. Couldn’t stay for much of the game and had promised a Justin Turner Chia Pet to a buddy.
Snacks: Greek Salad from the healthy cart and a water. (Made the mistake of stepping on the scale before heading to the game.)
Giveaway: See above.
Memorable Moment: Clayton Kershaw threw me a ball during batting practice. (And I didn’t drop it!)

Justin Turner Chia Pet Ticket

Made some sweet custom modifications to our tickets in honor of Justin Turner Chia Pet Night.

RECAP: Thanks to a prior obligation, I was spared the anguish of having to watch the Dodgers extend their losing streak to six and drop their second in a row to the lowly Padres of San Diego. When I left, neither team had scored and the Dodgers still had hope. We won’t rehash what happened in the following innings.

Howie Kendrick Batting Practice

Howie Kendrick settles in to the batter’s box.

To help off-set the fact that I was a horrible Dodger fan who bounced at the top of the third, I did attend early batting practice to catch the festivities. I get out for it a few times a season and prefer to stick to the sidelines. Better to let the established ballhawks do their thing and not take any chances away from kids. The only time I ever make a play on a ball is if it’s coming right at me. My glove is purely for self-defense and you should definitely bring one if you go to BP. Balls can come in hot.

Even with this “strategy,” I’ve managed to snag several over the years and have had to invoke my self-imposed one ball limit more than a few times. Yesterday’s came from Clayton Kershaw(!) while he was shagging balls out in centerfield.


Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw battles a bat boy (I believe it’s Sergio) for a ball during batting practice.

While Clayton was deciding where to throw it, I gave him a nonchalant wave that was borderline ironic amid all the screaming and waving that happens every time he touches a ball. Next thing I knew, it was coming right at me.

It’s amazing how time can freeze while a ball is in flight. As it made its way towards me, I got the chance to relive every horrific botched pop up from the days of Little League as my brain and motor skills rapidly began shutting down. Luckily, the solid thud of the ball landing in the pocket of my glove snapped me out of my two second flashback and the first thing my rebooted brain reminded me to do was to use my manners.

“Thanks, Clayton!” I yelled out.

Meanwhile, Clayton was probably like, “Great, now maybe that that stalker from the other night will leave me alone.”


Thanks for the ball, Clayton.


Close up of the ball.


Bonus shot of an empty Top Deck.

Not long after the Padres took the field for their portion of BP, I exited the stadium and moseyed up to our level so I could score a second Chia Pet and wolf down a shame salad before anyone was there to see it.

From The Seats

None of these fans were any the wiser that I was the only person to eat a salad at a baseball game.

For a brief moment during the second inning, a rainbow could be seen arcing across the stadium behind right field. It was nearly in the exact same spot as the rainbow that appeared during Vin Scully’s first bobblehead night back in 2012.


Right field rainbow.

Was it a sign from the baseball gods that things will be turning around for the Dodgers?

Let’s hope so.