Sunday, September 5, 2010

How The Dodger Game-Going Experience Has Changed: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

As a lifelong L.A. Dodger fan, I've gone to dozens of Dodger games over the years. Ever since I first laid eyes on Dodger Stadium when I was 7 or 8 years old, I still think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. At night, when it's all lit up, there are few places in Southern California more breathtaking than Chavez Ravine.

But while the game still stays the same all these years later (baseball changes its rules as often as Al Bundy changes his underwear), the baseball-going experience has certainly changed, as I learned while attending last Friday's game.

Here are a few examples:

1) Think Dodger Stadium will ever have a "Nevin Barich Night"?

Neither do I. But it's more possible now than ever before. In the past, Dodger games had -- at most -- one special "night" per game (if that). These days, however, each game is full of special "nights." Last Friday, for example, was both "Pancreatic Cancer Night", "L.A. Police Valor Night" and "Recognize Our Team Photographer, Who Has Worked With Us For 25 Years Night."

Well why stop there? Let's also see "Breath, Blood Or Urine Testing Night." "Ode To Fat Women Who Eat 5-7 Dodger Dogs A Game Night." "Great Test Or Less Filling Night." "Broken Families Night." "Glee Night."

So why is a "Nevin Barich Night" so beyond the realm of the possible? It's not like anyone would care. Hell, it's not like anyone would notice!! What do you give a damn if I get to throw out the first pitch?

Oh yeah, that leads me to:

2) Remember where there was only one "first pitch"?

Major League Baseball games, for those of you who don't know, always have someone throw out the ceremonial first pitch before every game. It's a very cool honor, and several high-level folks -- from famous celebrities to Presidents of the United States -- have partaken in this tradition.

And it's still very cool...when there's one first pitch thrown.

But these days, Dodger games have three or four first pitches every game. Last Friday, for example, the cancer survivor threw a pitch, the police chief threw a pitch, and the team photographer threw not one but two pitches (because his first pitch sucked).

And you know what the best part is? They give the first pitches different names. "The honorary first pitch." "The ceremonial first pitch." "The warmup first pitch." "The first pitch you should actually give a damn about first pitch."

When did the first pitch need to be multiplied by 6? Whose dumb idea was this? At least change the name. Don't call it "first pitch." Call it "first throws" or "warmup tosses" or "waste of time" time.

Ya know?

And 3) Margaritas.

Check this out:

While waiting in line last Friday for some nachos (don't worry, I got some Dodger Dogs later on), I was right in front of a woman who had a drink in her hand and heard her tell her friend the following:

Oh my God, this margarita is terrible!! What the hell? Dodger Stadium makes the worst margaritas ever!!

OK, two things:

a) Why the hell is Dodger Stadium serving margaritas? I mean, isn't there a law against this or something? Shouldn't there be? Baseball games should only serve the following:

Hot dogs.





Cracker jacks.

Ice cream.

And cotton candy.

Everything else is nonsense.

And b) Of course it's the worst margarita ever!! It's Dodger $#@&%$# Stadium!! What the hell did you expect?!? You got people working behind the counter who give you a blank stare when you ask where the napkins are, and you expect these same people to make you a decent margarita? Have you forgotten where you are? Do you not realize you're at a ball game? Is beer suddenly not good enough for you even though it's been serving the rest of the baseball-watching population just fine for more than 100 years?!?

I'm just sayin'.

So overall: While the game stays the same, the experience -- for better or worse -- has certainly changed. But if there ever is a "Nevin Barich Night", fear not: I don't expect you to pay attention as I throw out the fifth "first pitch" of the night. Feel free to use it as an excuse to head out to the concession stands.

Margaritas are $8.


And now for this week's:


I got busted. :-)

In last week's blog about my first (and most likely last) wine tasting experience, I wrote about how my wife Ramona and I visited the Tolosa Winery in Edna, Calif. (population 1,600; located in San Luis Obispo's wine country). In the blog, I wrote the following:

The guy with the moccasins -- Greg -- explained each wine to me. And honestly, it was jibberish. He talked about sommeliers and tanins. He mentioned lighting rings and crystals. He talked about bonding with the wine and letting "your pallet engulf your spirit."

Well guess what? Greg got wind of the blog -- no doubt through the power of this connected, technological world we live in -- and actually responded:

Well I remember you and your wife, who did seem to enjoy her wine. You did go through the motions, swirling, dumping, but you made no faces or appearing to be drinking piss. I by the way do not have your culinary experience in that category. And for the rest of you out there there was do discussion of lighting rings or crystals, but what the heck he writes a clever line. Finally, "your pallet engulf your spirit." did not come out of my mouth.

I love it!! :-)

Now, in fairness to Greg, he's right: He did not say "your pallet engulf your spirit." That was my line. I take creative liberties sometimes. There, I admit it. And I'll say this also: The Tolosa Winery is a beautiful facility. Pretty views, it's nice inside, and for those of you who come there as part of a group and are tasked with being the designated driver, Tolosa's got some Martinelli's apple cider on tap. Plus, Greg is a cool dude. Nice guy, very mellow, the kind of person you'd hope to find working in a winery. Plus, he gave Ramona a good price on some wine she bought, which she very much appreciated.

But Greg: You did talk to me about lighting rings and crystals. That's something I couldn't make up if I tried.

Regardless, next time folks in So Cal have the hankering for wine tasting, visit Tolosa. Say hi to Greg. Tell him I sent you.

He'll love that.



Adam said...

The margaritas at Dodger Stadium ain't that good, but they do give you a lot.

Isabella said...

I think the cancer night is kind of cool, but yeah the other nights sound really really stupid

Francisco said...

I never show up before the 3rd inning so i didn't even know there was a bunch of first pitches now lol that's funny

Anonymous said...

Haha you got busted on the wine!

Cyndi said...

Dude "Dodger Stadium is breathtaking?" You've got to be kidding me. That place is a total shithole!

Rafael said...


Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!