Observing Los Angeles

Observing L.A. via the Dodger Stadium lens

dodger-stadium-aerialbw-lapl.jpgDeadspin's editor emeritus Will Leitch turns his spring training eye on the Dodgers and, by extension, Los Angeles. He sees the (now 48-year-old) stadium up near what used to be Chavez Ravine as "a relic...that feels old but not old. When you're there, you can still imagine Bob Hope hopping by, cracking one-liners, swinging a golf club, keeping Nixon in power....revered but not sacred." Then he observes upon the city around and below.

Dodger Stadium is an old home for young people.

It's timeless in the same way Los Angeles is timeless, never on the cutting edge of anything, always reacting rather than innovating, the place where people move even though they'd rather not, only to get there and realize they'd be fools to ever consider leaving. (Larry David will never look right there, but he's not going anywhere.) It's a fantasy land, a ballpark complex in the middle of a downtown that isn't a downtown, a distraction but one tucked away, a film set off a freeway exit. It gives them that unique artificial quality we demand from Los Angeles: The Dodgers are fake, but comfortably fake, an illusion that's constant, and therefore not an illusion anymore at all....

They are not showy like the Lakers, not flashy, not dangerous, not quirky. They are Bob Hope. They are not Jack Nicholson. They are not Robert Altman. It's why Manny Ramirez has never felt right here, even with his immense popularity, why Jim Thome looked ridiculous here.

A commenter at the blog sums up: "So, this one falls more in the 'musing' category." Leitch has a book coming in May called "Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball."

Lede of the day: From Michael Hiltzik in the L.A. Times.

To everyone who claims that our wealthiest citizens pay more than their fair share of income taxes and we should cut them a break because they're the ones who, you know, create jobs in our economy, I have four words for you:

Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Photo: Ralph Morris / LAPL

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