Friday, April 4, 2008

Blaschke! ( the noice I make when I sneeze and puke at the same time)

In an effort that would make me vomit cheese doodles out my nose, Plaschke is at it again and he produced this.

Bill Plaschke:
Past becomes a present to Dodgers fans
A surprise pregame ceremony that had past players assume their old positions at Dodger Stadium becomes long moments of 'Look at that.' The McCourts hit a home run with this one.
April 1 2008

No. 50 started with No. 4. He likely means Dodgers stadium here. 50 years ago the Dodgers moved to LA and in their 4th year they finally moved into their new home at Chaves Ravine: Dodger Stadium. But the way he writes it can mean a number of things, especially if you continue reading. Is he talking about Brent Cookson (#50) or Bell Brand (#4). After racking my brain to try and understand the logic I had read half the article and missed just about everything that actually happened...

He appeared from behind a blue outfield wall, walked carefully across the deep green grass, startled huge cheers from a stunned Dodger Stadium crowd. Here we go...

Then, halfway to second base, he stopped, and so did our hearts.

Duke Snider had returned to center field. At the moment I'd take him over Pierre.

Fifty years after they arrived, the Dodgers are returning to Los Angeles. But they never left. How can they be returning if they never left?

From the dark Coliseum to the sunny Chavez Ravine, the milestone is being celebrated as a cornerstone, the Dodgers reminding us who they are, reminding us who we are. Because out of the blue I had to be given an identity card from a Dodgers security gaurd last week to remember who I was.

At Monday's opening day, Los Angeles was 56,000 Dodgers lovers with peanuts in their throats and Cracker Jack in their memories. Was someone choking? Peanuts in the throat sounds kinda dangerous. You gotta be old to remember cracker jack sold at the park!

During a surprising pregame ceremony, the field breathed Dodgers history, exhaling the sweetness of old stars, the smoothness of recent heroes, the shout that was Fernando, the whisper that was Sandy. Shouting, Whispering, again... It seems like all dodger fans do is whisper.

Who ever thought the McCourts could be so McCool? McThis Mctype Mcof Mcwriting Mcis Mcbeyond Mcold.

"This was way beyond cool," said former pitcher Jerry Reuss, an honoree. "You take cool, then go a step beyond, then a step beyond. This was something for which they have not yet invented a word." Plaschke invented it: McCool.

This was a 15-minute production that began with Snider walking alone to center field wearing a Brooklyn jersey. It continued with 40 other mostly uniformed former Dodgers stars appearing one by one from different parts of the outfield fence to man their old positions.

From left field marched Don Newcombe, the Dodgers' last remaining living link to Jackie Robinson. What about Scullie?

From right field ran Steve Sax, the Dodgers' last world champion second baseman.

From left field walked Maury Wills, the Dodgers' inventor of the stolen base. Because before Wills no one had ever stolen a base before.

From right field sprinted Steve Finley, whose division-title-clinching grand slam is still rattling around out there somewhere. This is cheap crap. Why would Finley be there? He played all of 3 months with us!

On and on the parade went, each name more surprising than the next, each figure accompanied only by the solemn announcement of his name and the tinkling of music from a "Field of Dreams" medley.

"With just Duke walking out in the beginning, fans weren't sure what was happening," Reuss said. "Then when they saw players coming from everywhere, when they realized what it was, it became surreal." See, the quotes are good. It's just the fictional writing that is crap.

Here was Bill Russell, making his first appearance on this field since his managerial firing a decade ago, running out to huge overdue applause deserved by one who has played more Los Angeles Dodgers games than anyone.

There was Eric Karros, the classy link from the past to the present, running out to the sort of applause that was often missing in those years. The applause for Karros lasted 24 minutes, because that's how long it took him to run to first.

They cheered Jimmy Campanis, and you wondered if they weren't also cheering the memory of his father. cheese doodles.

They cheered Don Miles, and he played in only eight games for those 1958 Dodgers -- only eight games in his career -- and you wondered how they knew? They didn't. they likely didn't even recognize him.

"I can just imagine what it was like in the stands," Reuss said. "There were grandfathers probably telling their sons about players they remember, and then those sons turning to their sons and talking about different players."

It was long moments of "Look at that!" and "Is that him?" and "Wow." Old typical Plaschke... putting words in out mouths. No doubt there were fans ooing and aahhing, why can't he put in a few quotes from the fans then?

Then, finally, it was the closing stretch of royalty, beginning with Fernando Valenzuela stepping from the dugout, one of the only two players who did not wear a uniform, of course not, he would never wear anything old, right? This doesn't make sense. 1) Fernando likely has to call the game on the radio for the spanish version and he didn't want to change clothes multiple times today. Not that the other players didn't, but to say that Fernando didn't wear it because it was "old" is just a bad speculation.

His cheers rattled the building, echoing into the entrance of another man from the left-field bullpen, Tom Lasorda, and you knew he was wearing a uniform because he never takes it off. I gotta admit, Tommy looks funny in a Uni. Kinda like an Oompa Loompa.

By now, everyone was standing, folks hooting and stomping and struggling to keep their composure. Stomping? Yeah, I usually stomp when I feel like I'm about to cry.

"And here came Sandy," said Manager Joe Torre.

Indeed, here came the cleanup pitcher (Cleanup pitcher? dominant, overpowering, masterful would have all been good words there, but cleanup pitcher... not. ), the final memory, Sandy Koufax, the only other player not wearing a uniform, as if anyone cared.

Koufax has been on this field maybe once in the last 25 years, he's so private, yet he came today because the owners asked, and he understood.

Once he stepped to the mound, the cheers still reaching to the center field hills, the current Dodgers players filed out of the dugout to show their own special appreciation by greeting their ancestors.

"It gave me goose bumps," Matt Kemp said.

The original idea was for Koufax to then end the ceremony by throwing out the first pitch, but, typically Sandy, he didn't want to do it alone, so he was joined by Carl Erskine and Newcombe.

Nobody was swinging, of course, but on that pitch, a home run was hit by the McCourts, who have proved to be worthy caretakers of the Dodgers culture. I'm surprised Plaschke can get anything done when he has Frank McCourts penis in his mouth.

They have rediscovered what the Fox Corp. had lost. They are rebuilding the glorious memories that years of chaotic behavior had eroded. It was because of McCourt that we didn't sign Vlad right?

When it comes to Dodgers history, the owners get it, they really get it. first lets fire everyone! Then hire a bunch or ex gnats.

The only Dodgers legend who was available but missing from Monday's ceremony was the ever-humble Vin Scully, who preferred to watch it from his broadcast booth, speaking only to announce that ceremonial first pitch.

Appropriately, the mere sound of his voice over the loudspeaker may have elicited the biggest cheers of the day.

"This was about connecting the last 50 years to the next 50 years," Jamie McCourt said. "The players today, their time has never passed, it will never pass. For Dodgers fans, three hours of a game is a lifetime of memories, and we want to celebrate that."

The creative force behind the pregame ceremony was the Dodgers' new chief marketing officer, an eternally bubbly guy named Charles Steinberg who has other surprises planned.

"Today, we were hoping to inaugurate a season in which families can bond with each other over their love of the Dodgers," he said.

Mission accomplished. While Plaschke is a horrible writer and even worse in his delivery, the idea to present something to the fans like this is a great gesture. My family and I have a special bond that no matter what is going on we can always talk dodger baseball.

Even the opposing San Francisco Giants did their part Monday, showing up as perhaps the worst team to play here in 50 years, barely making a peep in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers and Brad Penny. Good one! Finally Bill has said something right.

But this wasn't about the game. This was about the culture. Lets play the season and think about the culture... and win every game from here on out.

This was about a nameplate over a locker next to Penny's in the Dodgers clubhouse.

"Tom Lasorda," it reads.

Penny hangs out with Lasorda so much, he insisted the former manager have his own locker, and so he does.

He wants him close. We want all those living memories close, don't we?

On this most splendid of Dodgers birthdays, they never felt closer. Stomp, stomp, stomp...


Anonymous said...

tommy laloompa... nice


Steve Sax said...

Nice job, dusto. And thanks for your comment on Bill's SoSG guest post.

You know, Bill invented "McLovin," too.

SoSG Steve Sax