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Dodgers fans' to-do list should be higher Stan Kasten priority

T.J. SIMERS

Columnist also takes issue with Mike Scioscia's decision to pitch to Andre Ethier late in the game Tuesday, which is remarkably like Don Mattingly's decision to pitch to Albert Pujols on Monday.

June 12, 2012|T.J. Simers
  • Dodgers President Stan Kasten says he wants to make Dodger Stadium a better place for the fans.
Dodgers President Stan Kasten says he wants to make Dodger Stadium a better… (Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg )

When I met with Dodgers President Stan Kasten on Monday, I told him what a great guy I was. I see no reason not to accentuate the positive.

I told him in the past when I received email from fans complaining about stadium experiences gone sour I would pass them on to the team to get fixed.

If fixed, I wouldn't make the complaint public.

If not, I would.

Kasten said I should do the same with him, "but don't overwhelm me with emails," he said.

I took exception, a little surprised the Dodgers wouldn't want to address every complaint given the dramatic fall-off in attendance.

If Kasten can't be bothered maybe it would be best to just run the complaints here. The first comes in response to Kasten's proclamation, "there are no more concession lines" in the stadium.

Patrick Carroll: "Last night was my first game of the season since early last year. Please let Stan know that I stood in line for 25 minutes for one hot dog and when I finally made it to the cashier I was told it would be five more minutes before the hot dogs were ready."

Knowing how Kasten wants to stress the positive, I presume he would tell the guy: The good thing is the hot dog was probably hot when he finally got it.

More email arrived with more complaints and I began to feel overwhelmed.

Chris Madero: "Please help. My family and I have been waiting on Cesar Chavez Avenue since 6:20 and it's now 7:45 and we've missed the first two innings. Please ask Mr. Kasten what he's going to do about traffic. No traffic controllers out here; it's really bad."

It's now 8:20, the top of the fifth on Mike Scioscia Bobblehead night and the traffic remains jammed with folks trying to enter the stadium.

But look on the bright side, as I'm sure Kasten would tell everyone inching toward Dodger Stadium.

Everyone loves the Dodgers again.

UPON REFLECTION, two outs in the ninth Monday, tie game, the Angels have a runner on second and Albert Pujols is due up.

Do you really have to be wearing a baseball uniform to figure out what to do next?

Instead of immediately walking Pujols, Manager Don Mattingly told pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to go to the mound and ask closer Kenley Jansen what he wanted to do.

And the Dodgers are paying Mattingly to do what?

If you're young and a macho fastball pitcher like Jansen, what do you think he's going to say? Jansen wanted to take on Pujols.

"He hasn't been the same this year so far," said Mattingly of Pujols.

But in the past 26 games Pujols is hitting .350. And this season he's hitting .471 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

He has a .326 lifetime batting average in 6,554 at bats. He was one for two previously against Jansen with a home run. He's an obvious Hall of Famer.

"He's not there yet," said Mattingly, although Mattingly seems to be doing everything he can to help him get there.

So he'd rather have Jansen take his chances against Pujols than Mark Trumbo?

"When Kenley is throwing the ball good," Mattingly said, "We take on everybody."

Pujols singled to left, giving the Angels the lead and a few minutes later the win.

"Write it however you want," said Mattingly, and how funny to watch Scioscia pull a Mattingly on Tuesday night and lose as well.

Scioscia had his pitching coach talk to starter Jerome Williams, two outs in the eighth and the Angels up by one. Williams stayed in, Andre Ethier tied the game with a single and Scioscia made no move to bring in a fresh arm.

And then Holy Napoli, a former Angel, Juan Rivera, hits a three-run homer off Williams.

Who knew it would turn out to be Scioscia Knucklehead night.

YOU CAN just imagine how excited I am about the Kings.

Goose bumps.

When they showed the Kings' victory celebration on the scoreboard, I hadn't seen people jump to their feet for joy in Dodger Stadium in more than a year.

It was so cool to watch Dodgers fans go crazy.

We are not allowed to cheer in the press box, but we're always encouraged to accentuate the positive. So I think it was great to see so many fans wearing Kings' sweaters in the stadium rather than Dodgers jerseys.

I cannot write like award-winning columnist Bill Plaschke. But I swear the same exact words came to my mind as he wrote: "A team's skittishness became greatness while a city's ice stare melted into tearful slush."

I know how long Plaschke has been a dedicated Kings' fan, those six games probably gut-wrenching, so it's nice to see someone rewarded for their perseverance.

We won and the wife sent me a text: "Go Kings!" She's wild and crazy like that.

I bought Kings' tickets from StubHub earlier this season to take her to a game. She owns a Kings sweater with her name on the back. And she wears it in public, and that's my name on the back of the jersey as well.

She was on such a hockey high last night when I got home. "Happiest night of my life," she gushed, and I thought it was a night on a cruise ship just off St. Thomas.

"Don't be silly," she said. "As they were saying on TV, this ends 45 years of frustration."

I think we were married 25 years at the time, but I digress. The Kings won, and now the Stanley Cup will make an appearance at Dodger Stadium Wednesday. Better start driving to the stadium.

Magic Johnson might even be here, and the Kings' parade will be Thursday.

How lucky are we to have something so exciting to kill time while waiting for the Lakers to get good again.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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