"Sadly," because it comes as no surprise and I really ought to know better.
Last night I went to what will almost certainly be my only regular season* Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium. They were playing the St. Louis Cardinals, my long time second favorite team in baseball, and while I was hoping to see the Dodgers win (which they did) I was also hoping to see Albert Pujols - the greatest active player in baseball - hit a homerun (which he didn't.)
*"Regular season" because if the Dodgers somehow get into the World Series, I might just be dumb enough to fork over the enormous sum of cash that would no doubt be required to obtain a ticket to one of those games.
Back to the rant.
Last night's ballgame cost $339.10 for three people.
Admittedly, the biggest part of that cost was my decision to, for once and since it will be the only game I attend this regular season, buy good - not great, but good - seats. The seats were in the next to last row of the loge section - which because of the casual slope of Dodger Stadium is pretty far back from the field - about halfway up the baseline from home to first.
Here's the breakdown of what it cost:
$210 - 3 Loge section seats.
$15 - parking.
$21.50 - "convenience" fees for buying tickets and parking online.
$4.35 - "order processing" online.
$39 - 3 16 ounce cans of Tecate beer.
$28.75 - 5 Super Dodger Dogs.
$6.75 - 1 Polish sausage.
$5 - 1 bag of peanuts.
$3.75 - 1 small Diet Coke.
$5 - 1 bottle of water.
(If I had bought the cheapest possible tickets - $12 (upper deck "nosebleed seats") - and everything else was the same, it still would have cost $165.10 for the three of us. That's a lot cheaper, but it's still pretty high priced entertainment for most families.)
Here's what we got:
The Dodgers trounced the Cards, 12 to 4, which was somewhat gratifying, although I much prefer close, exciting, low-scoring games. (There were, however, some great plays.)
The crowd, of course, loves Manny Ramirez. Me? Not so much. The guy can hit, there's no denying that. But if you take away some of the hits that get past him - because he's a crummy fielder - and subtract those from his batting average, he isn't all that impressive.
My favorite Dodger is Casey Blake. The guy is a fantastic third baseman, and hell - he even psychologically-engineered a game winning balk a few games back. That's my kind of baseball. But he didn't play last night.
The Super Dodger Dog I ate was far better than a regular Dodger Dog (which I think is awful.) The Polish I ate was awful, if I had had anything much resembling lunch I probably wouldn't have finished it. The Tecate was Tecate, the water tasted like water, the peantus were pretty good. We did lose an inning standing in one of the ludicrously slow moving concession lines even though it wasn't all that long of a line.
The weather was nice, temperature comfortable, the early evening part of the game when you could also admire the pastoral (well, for Los Angeles) setting of the ballpark, the company of my friends, the knowledgeable comments of the old guy (even older than me) sitting next to me, were all lovely. If it was half the price I'd happily do it more often. If it was a third of the price, more often than that.
But the Dodgers have to pay the high price of Manny and his crappy fielding. And the McCourts have their idiotic spoiled-rich-folk divorce to get through and I've given the Dodgers more than enough of my money for this season.
I will, however, be heading out to Rancho Cucamonga for a whole lot more Quakes games, where the best seat in the house is twelve bucks and the concessions are reasonably priced and generally tastier than at Dodger Stadium, and the play, while not of big league quality, is enthusiastic and the crowd even more so.