28 August 2013

Big Rob's Take: Philadelphia Trip. Also, Dodger Train Beginning to Slow?

Big Rob's take on recent Dodgerly events, as well as our trip to Philadelphia:

 

August 28, 2013

I was away from my typewriter and could not write for the Curse of the Pizza last week. I traveled to DC to confer with the editor and chief.

The Chief and I traveled to Philadelphia on August 18, 2013, to see the boys in blue. Due to all the toll booths, I thought we might run out of money before reaching the stadium.

Citizen Bank Park is a beautiful stadium. It is the best stadium I have ever been in. An hour and a half before the game, the concourses and restaurant areas in the ballpark fill with people. The smoke and smells of items being grilled travel through the insides of the stadium, tempting you to get a cheese steak, BBQ or frank.

The chief and I were excited at the prospect of extra baseball. The game was tied in the ninth. Prior to the game we took on ballast in the form of a Pat’s cheese steak. We were ready to go 18.

But Hanley made two errors in the ninth and dashed our hopes for extra innings. Ever since that loss the boys have not been quite as dominant. Don’t get me wrong, they are playing well, but the express has slowed. Our trip to Philly was not a total loss; we comforted ourselves with a very good pizza after the game.

Last night was Rick Monday bobble head at the stadium. The figure has Mo in a Cub’s uniform saving the American flag from two hippies who had run onto the field with the intent of burning it. This incident happened during the 1976 season, the bicentennial year. I was a young kid in 76. I remember seeing the photo of Mo saving the flag in one of the local papers. In those days, the only home games that were televised were playoff games. Fortunately someone was filming the incident and there is a video record.

A recording of the Great Vin Scully calling the play also exists. Vin can be heard saying “I think that guy was going to burn the American flag, can you believe that?” Rick Monday a former Marine made the greatest play of his career that day.

Last night Kershaw was on the mound. He managed to lower his ERA but still lost the game. Same old story, they did not hit for him.

As I type the boys in blue are beating the Cubbies 4-0.

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And they ended up winning the game thanks to a solid pitching performance by Ricky Nolasco and home runs from Messrs.  Ethier and Ramirez

The trek to Philadelphia was my second trip to that city and, likewise, my second foray into Citizen's Bank Park. Big Rob is quite correct -- the place is a fantastic venue and a great place to watch a ballgame. As much as I love the charm of Dodger Stadium, I hope that our new owners take it upon themselves to renovate the place in a way similar to the "Next 50" plan proposed during the McCourt years. The typical ballpark experience in stadiums around the country has vastly improved over the past twenty-five years. It's time for the Ravine to catch up.

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