The Dodgers are making a couple of sweeping changes in the wake of the still-unsolved beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow that took place outside the gates of Dodger Stadium on Opening Day.
We’ve already touched on the “sea of LAPD blue” that will be seen around the park going forward. Now, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have canceled six scheduled half-price alcohol games that had been featured on the club’s promotional schedule.
Food and soft drinks will still be available at half price, but beer and other alcoholic beverages will no longer be discounted for fear that cheap drunkenness might incite violence.
The Dodgers have also hired Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton to review the stadium’s security measures and to provide advice on changes. Those findings will be discussed Thursday at a press conference.
It’s unfortunate that everything had to get so serious at one of baseball’s finest parks and that responsible drinkers are having a couple of good times spoiled, but the Dodgers had to do something to ensure the safety of their fans. And shutting down alcohol consumption altogether is simply never going to be an option.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.