Opening Day at Dodger Stadium was a bust. It was a total disaster. Oh it was memorable all right. It will be remembered as the day a horrific event took place. The problem is it seems like it’s starting to be common place.
The weather was great, the Dodgers won and I’m sure the Dodger Dogs were fantastic. The dignitaries were there and Vin Scully painted a beautiful picture of the game on radio as he always does. Everything seemed to be in order for a perfect beginning to the 2011 baseball season.
Then something happened that was so out of order that it completely wiped out any of the positive things that had happened. Opening day was a bust because a 42 year old Giant fan was nearly beaten to death out in the parking lot by two Dodger fans after the game.
Bryan Stow, a Santa Cruz paramedic who is the father of two, was simply walking out to his car following the Dodgers victory. Stow was with two other fans who were wearing Giant apparel when he was attacked by two men wearing Dodger clothing.
The other two escaped injury but Stow was knocked to the ground and hit his head on the pavement. He is now hospitalized in a medically induced coma. Doctors said they are hopeful that the brain swelling will go down but if it doesn’t he might have to have one of his frontal lobes removed.
Stow’s crime? He was wearing Giant gear at a Dodger game. So now you have to be careful what you wear to Dodger Stadium? Anybody who makes an argument that Stow should not be wearing Giant colors at a Dodger game is admitting that it’s not safe to attend a game in Chavez Ravine.
And I’m beginning to wonder if it is. Think about it. Would you want to take your wife or girlfriend to a place where violent criminal acts like this take place? How about bringing your young son or daughter to a place where you feel like your life is at stake when you walk to your car after the game?
Over the past few years I’ve witnessed a few scuffles myself. One year a Dodger fan wearing a Mike Piazza jersey nearly came to blows with a Giant fan sporting a Barry Bonds jersey.
It’s not always Dodger- Giant stuff. I’ve seen Dodger fans brawling with…well…Dodger fans.
Another time I saw Dodger fan hurl beer at a group of fans sitting below. They weren’t Giant fans though – they had on Cubs merchandise.
The element at Dodger Stadium has changed significantly over the past few years. I don’t know what changed or when it exactly changed but it has and Frank McCourt or whoever he has hired for security needs to get busy.
The culprits aren’t actually fans. They claim to be but if you ask them who Don Drysdale was they stare at you with a confused look on their face.
They are thugs – plain and simple. They’re criminals dressed in Dodger Blue. To them the game is insignificant. A baseball game is simply a place to wreak havoc, commit crimes and attempt to show off their testosterone.
This isn’t the first time it has happened. Two years ago a Giant fan was stabbed. In 2003 another Giant fan was shot and killed after getting in an argument while exiting the stadium.
We know McCourt won’t dole out money for players but apparently he won’t pay for proper security as well.
No arrests have been made as of yet for last Thursday’s attack but it’s been reported that the LAPD has significant leads.
Hopefully they’ll be caught and locked up and there will be two less thugs off the street. But you can be sure there are plenty more lurking out there – especially after a few beers at Dodger Stadium.
So if you do make the trek out to Chavez Ravine, don’t forget your glove, Dodger hat and bullet proof vest. As for me I’ll be covering a high school game. It’s a lot safer.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.