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T.J. SIMERS

Fans come out swinging at Angels and Dodgers

Tattered seat cushions at Angel Stadium and lousy shuttle service to Dodger Stadium are among their complaints.

April 21, 2012|T.J. Simers
  • One of many tattered seat cushions at Angel Stadium -- this one in a photo emailed by reader John Costa, along with the comment, 'Unbelievable.'
One of many tattered seat cushions at Angel Stadium -- this one in a photo… (John Costa )

I get pictures.

John Costa sends a photo of his tattered seat cushion on the club level in Angel Stadium, Section 306, Row B, Seat 5.

"Unbelievable," as he puts it.

I walk down the left field line Saturday and there are a number of tattered seats in more than a dozen sections. The worst are in Section 303, Row E. Although I must say, if you're returning a night later, the ripped cushions would be a great place to store uneaten food.

What's up with this? Arte Moreno spends millions on Albert Pujols, but as Costa notes, "Arte can't even afford duct tape?"

I check with Angels' PR guy Tim Mead knowing how fan-friendly Arte wants everyone to think he is. I wonder whether he is giving a tattered seat discount to fans who might feel ripped off.

"That's part of the process for upgrade in 2013," says Mead, which is probably when the bullpen will be upgraded as well.

I get email.

Herb Ortiz asks, "Can you find out why I'm watching poker and the Dan Patrick Show on FSN when the Angel game is supposed to be on?"

Ira Rosenberg takes it a step further. "My son … called to find out why, a recording informing him there is a contract dispute and for L.A. County area codes the Angels are an out-of-market team. I'm sure that Arte Moreno will be glad to know this — so much for his 'Los Angeles' marketing plan and name change."

Next time we chat, I'll mention it.

It might be a cable dispute, but it's up to the Angels to do a better job of advising/warning their fans.

I get a bunch of emails after the Dodgers' opening day, prompted by the Dodger Express from Union Station.

"There is nothing express about it," Gerald Trudeau says. "Left Union Station at 11:45, at about 12:49 just before Innes Avenue we decided to get off and walk into the stadium. We had just passed the parking lot booths when the two jets flew over … this is two consecutive years we have taken this so-called express and it is horrible. Could someone at The Times look into this?"

Lee Senese concurs: "We left at 12 straight up and did not get dropped off at Dodger Stadium until 1:40. Total distance: 1.76 miles. You would think after 50 opening days they could do something about the traffic. Can you see if you might help?"

Sure. Don't take the Dodger Express.

"Tell me it's not true," Jack Bock writes. "The Dodger telecast is waiting for a Clippers game to conclude?"

What do I look like, Dear Abby?

What about me? Who can I email?

I lose my Visa card, get another, and then make an appointment at Massage Envy.

Ever try to get a back rub from your wife? I almost developed a gambling problem making wagers in the hope of winning a back rub.

So I pay a monthly fee to go to Massage Envy, and still have two or three unused massages on the books. And Massage Envy is telling me they have a 1 p.m. opening — but I can't have it.

I tell them I will be there at 1, hand them my new Visa card and then get a massage. They say I can come in, hand them my card, but I cannot get a massage until I give them the card and then make an appointment.

I call customer service to see whether Frank McCourt is one of the owners of Massage Envy.

I get a recording that directs me to another recording and then the operator. My neck is getting stiff while sitting on hold. The operator comes on, but it's a recording telling me no one is available. Just imagine how angry Arte Immature would be if there was no one to get mad at.

I understand frustration. And there's a ton of it out there, the world now orchestrated by a recorded voice or email.

And here sports are supposed to be our escape. But how often do you go to a game now without getting irritated by something or someone else? And who makes it better?

How about soaring ticket prices and finding a raggedy seat? Do you take it, or act like you didn't notice and position the wife to sit there?

I get more email complaining about poor customer service in local sports than I do about anything that Dwyre writes.

Pretty soon folks are just going to stay home and watch the game on TV, unless of course it's the Angels.

What happened to the Dodgers last year should scare every team owner. It wasn't just about McCourt; McCourt symbolized a broken fan experience.

The Angels began this season with a ticket fiasco, fans waiting in line for hours and team officials seemingly not all that concerned about the discomfort.

Tattered seat cushions don't really mean a lot, but to a club-level paying customer who wonders why he should be so unlucky to be sitting there, it's not the way to start a night out.

Right now the Angels find it acceptable selling tattered seats. Hey, they got rid of Mike Napoli, so who knows how they justify things.

An express bus trip gone sour to start the season would have to be another turn off.

You can bet it's going to get more expensive to attend games, so the Dodgers should be concerned when Nikki Erickson begins her email: "I can't tell you how disappointed I was to arrive at Dodger Stadium …"

No one should arrive at a baseball stadium on opening day and be disappointed. Things do go wrong, but where's the effort to get it right the next time?

Maybe Arte had it figured out from the start: lower beer prices and eventually the paying customers will have no idea where they are sitting. Or care.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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