May 29th, 2012
Since it was Memorial Day and he had the day off, Simon took us to Hollywood and we all played tourists for the first half of the day. We first went to the Hollywood Bowl Overlook, where you can see downtown Los Angeles, and also the Hollywood sign (separately). Downtown LA is off in the distance here, and you can just see the Hollywood Bowl on the lower right.
Since I held up the Gateway Arch on April 27th, I figured I should try to make the Hollywood sign float above my hand. Mission accomplished. Simon took two pictures, one with me in focus, and one with the sign focused. The one with me in focus made the sign unreadable, so I went with the latter.
We then went down to Hollywood Boulevard, and walked around for a bit. There were thousands of tourists, and it was pretty crowded. We didn’t stay very long, but we did walk past the Chinese Theatre, and saw some of the Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Including the one below. I didn’t know that the Dodgers had their own star, I thought they were reserved for movie stars and singers.
After our short visit to Hollywood, we went back to Simon’s place in Burbank, and relaxed by/in the pool. The picture below is of the view from just outside his and Kate’s apartment door. Not too shabby. Simon had planned ahead, and bought Bratwurst for the occasion. He boiled them in some Miller Lite, and then used the communal grill to finish them off. It was a beautiful afternoon and it was a relaxing way to spend Memorial Day afternoon.
Simon decided to join me and Dustin at Monday’s game, and we left his place around 3:30. Dodger Stadium is about 10 miles away, and at that time of day it only took us about 12 minutes to get there. We bought our tickets and went to find the best spot for game photo number 48. The first day at a new stadium I’ve been getting it taken from in front of the home plate entrance. Arizona didn’t have a home plate entrance, and Dodger Stadium’s “home plate” entrance leads into the uppermost deck, because it’s built into the side of a hill. This is what the home plate entrance had to offer. It would’ve made for one boring picture.
The view facing outward from the upper deck entrance is nice, and gives you a closer look at downtown LA than from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook.
We went back down the hillside until we reached this spot, which I agreed was the best it was going to get in terms of exterior signage.
We then went back up to the reserve level (where our seats were), and made our way inside. It was $1 Dodger Dog day, and we each bought two before the game started. Simon was right, they are way overrated. I had eaten one when I visited Dodger Stadium back in 2004 for my only non-Brewers MLB game. My parents, Dustin and I went to LA and San Diego during spring break my junior year of high school, and we hit up a Dodgers – Padres game. The hot dog is longer than bun length, but that’s about the only thing to note. They normally run $5, so we had to take advantage, but I didn’t even feel like finishing the second one (I did anyways).
The game got underway at 5:10, and the sun was to our left (torching my face) for the first hour and fifteen minutes of the game. I balanced my glove on the side of my head to shield the sunlight. The second the upper deck roof provided some shade it felt 100 times better. Even though we were in the reserve level, I was able to get some decent shots during the game. This is Shaun Marcum pitching early in the game:
The game itself was slow, and low-scoring, so it seemed to drag on, but since I didn’t have anything until 7:00 pm the next day, I could’ve cared less. The Dodgers took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI double by Andre Ethier. It remained 1-0 until the fourth inning, when Aramis Ramirez tied it with his fourth home run of the season. Ramirez was all smiles when he gave Rickie Weeks a high five on his way back to the dugout.
The Brewers added two runs in the sixth inning after a controversial call at first base. Aoki reached first after the Dodger’s pitcher, Aaron Harang, threw to first and it pulled the first basemen off the bag. Or at least that’s what the umpire said. I really thought that Loney had his foot on the bag when he caught the throw, but I haven’t seen a replay yet. Aoki wound up scoring on a single by Ramirez, and then a sacrifice fly by Weeks scored Braun. If it weren’t for the “error” Aoki never would’ve been on base, and the fly out would’ve ended the inning, so both runs were unearned. The Dodgers got one back in the bottom of the 8th, but K-Rod got out of the inning without giving up the lead, and Axford got the save in the ninth. Final Score: Brewers 3 – Dodgers 2.
Before the eighth inning I had a lady behind us take a picture of Dustin, myself, and Simon. Simon is actually an A’s fan, but he has a few Dodgers hats since he lives in LA now, so he was kind of rooting for the Dodgers on Monday. It was mainly because he had picked them to win in ESPN’s streak for the cash game, where you try to get a streak going of successful sports picks.
I missed a pitch today, and it marks the fourth straight non-perfect game for me (a new high). When Ethier was at the plate in the first inning, a graphic on the scoreboard said Ethier led the National League in RBI and was second in the Majors with 41. He drove in a run that at bat, and they changed the graphic before switching to Jerry Hairston’s graphic, and I was asking Simon if he had 41 or 42 RBI before the at bat. It was at this time that I missed the first pitch to Hairston in the bottom of the first inning. I’m trying to stay focused, but it’s more challenging than I thought it would be. It makes me wonder how many pitches I missed in previous years.
I think Dustin and I are going to the beach today, and then it’s back to to Dodger Stadium for game two of the series.