Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dreams Of Field

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, The Militant received a voice mail from one of his operatives:

"Hey [name withheld], call me up, I got a ticket to the game today..."

The Militant knew he was talking about the Dodger game, which was a 12:10 p.m. "businessman's special" match against the Chicago Cubs. He had a few militant and extramilitant activities to do that day, but he is also all about spontaneity. So a call to the operative yielded further information.

"Dude, one of my friends got us VIP field level seats, I got an extra one. You down?"

Hmmmmmm....The Militant thought hard about this one. Although he attended Opening Day, he does want to honor his "Deport McCourt" quasi-boycott, just like nearly every other Dodger fan these days...but Field Level seats? For free? That adds to the ethical conundru....

Wait, this is a free Field Level ticket -- Okay, he was down.

After hopping on a (M) Red Line train and meeting with the operative at an undisclosed location in Chinatown, he carpooled with the operative and two of the operative's friends to The Stadium. Normally, those involved in a carpool would have to fork over a percentage of the $15 parking cost, but the person driving showed a VIP parking pass, so nothing out-of-pocket for us so far!

Upon arriving at the mostly-empty stadium (even the annual UCLA-USC games here seem to get more people...) he was also on the look out for the Dodgertown Police State, with tons of uniformed LAPD officers standing guard to avoid another Bryan Stow incident. Yes, they were present, but it wasn't like we were in Soviet Russia or anything like that.

Then we took our seats. DAYUMN.

The Militant, more accustomed to sitting in Infield Reserve, occasionally Top Deck, and once in a while Loge when he wants to spoil himself, isn't used to Field Level. He only sat in Field two or three times before, but not this close. He was three rows behind the actual field. Had he knew he would have been this close, he would have brought a glove. Seriously, because this was potential foul territory.

The vantage point of the game was radically different here. It was actually a little harder to follow, since you're nearly at level with the field, and don't have the full view of the diamond below you. Line drives towards the left field side are hard to discern, as with any base calls at third. However, double plays were awesome from here. James Loney becomes your homeboy by default. Davey Freaking Lopes was like standing right on front of you.

To add to the situation, this was a different game altogether. Most of all the team wore their baby-blue Kansas City Royals Brooklyn Dodgers (circa 1940s) throwback uniforms. And because it was a "throwback" game, the Cubs also wore their own retro threads. Likewise, the contemporary rock/hip-hop/reggaeton/merengue at-bat music was nixed altogether to simulate an old-school baseball experience. Even the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" performances were done as instrumentals courtesy of Nancy Bea Hefley.

The game was pretty lame anyway; Andre Streak-ier was not in the lineup, Jay Gibbons batted in the three-hole (Whaaat?) and former-former-Dodger Dioner Navarro (and not The Pride of Norwalk, Rod Barajas) was behind the plate. It's as if they planned on losing the game. On top of that there was this freaking annoying Cubs fan in the row in front of us. Arrrrrgh!

But what mitigated all that was The Prime Ticket Club. Our fancy-schmancy tickets (From a business associate of a friend of the Militant's operative) entitled us to access the exclusive bar/buffet area towards the end of the Field Level, where we could treat ourselves - for free - to a salad bar, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, hot wings, roast beef, pasta and Dodger Dogs. There was also a full-service bar (not free though) and free fountain drinks, coffee and soft-serve frozen yogurt. Like whoah. You show your ticket on the first visit, they stamp a "?" on your inner left wrist, and you've gained AYCE status for the rest of the game (Sitting in the 90-degree heat, though, left The Militant sunbaked, and multiple trips for soft serve frozen yogurt were made).

It was the free grub alone that made a 5-1 loss to the Cubs not that bad. Can you imagine if every fan in the stadium had this luxury? Stadium violence would be rendered nonexistent (Unless you're talking about a food fight...). Perhaps the team should just spend the money they're forking over for all that overkill police protection on subsidizing the stadium food (Got that, Mr. Schieffer?).

But the best part of Wednesday's game was that The Militant and the others in his group didn't have to pay a cent for the tickets, for parking nor for food. Nada. Zip. $0.00. The Militant got to take in a Dodger game and not a single cent went to the McCourt Regime! Bahahaha! Up yours, Frankie boy!


cindylu said...

I've sat in field box seats only once. Those tickets came free too, and last minute. It was weird being so close, but I appreciated the free tickets, parking and food (at least to our group of 4). It's always nice to be there and not feel like I'm giving any more money to the McCourts.

Will Campbell said...

Well some of us operative-deficient types forked over $12 for a Top Deck ticket that same day and more money for dogs and a soda (though the half-off concessions were a welcome sight). But at least I biked there and denied the McCourts the $15 they extort most spectators not packing a parking pass. T'was a blast. Might even do it again next Throwback game in June.