February 2, 2017 by Smith/Fostex
Fan Fest Frenzy! We had it! There’s nothing like a ballpark in January! Excited families, jovial ballplayers, drunken reporters, what’s not to love? In Los Angeles, a sunny day in January can feel like spring anywhere else—we were feeling the heat by 11 AM! Tom Fostex was in full force as you’ll get to read his musings on the fest (Part 1 of 3) and all the nuttiness that ensued (including the deportation of Col. Mustard in Part 2!)
We’re counting the days until Spring Training…after Mustard’s deportation, we’re down a man, but that won’t stop Tequila Towers from being the tawdry talk of the town! Sadly, Question Mark and The Mysterians have other obligations and can’t be the house band this year, BUT, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs have agreed to haul their hearse to Tequila Towers to fill in for the Mystery Men…Glendale A-Go-Go!
What’s that you say? You’d actually like to read about the fan fest? This is just a small sample of what’s yet to come! Okay, okay, we’ve delayed it enough…ladies and gentlemen, we present the debut of our latest rascalsoftheravine.com reporter, Tom Fostex!
In the early morning hours, before the fanfest began, Elysian Park slowly came to life. Birds darted through the cold air as the sun lit up the green grass and palm trees near the old TB ward. The distant chatter of a few USC film students in a shaded grove and the occasional whoosh of a passing police cruiser were the only sounds I heard…a far cry from the Budweiser-soaked fiestas that usually occupy these grounds on Dodger gamedays.
Around 10:00, I shook a few twigs off my rumpled madras shirt and stumbled down the hillside towards Stadium Way. I’d come into the park after a few rounds at The El Compadre at around midnight last night, hoping to glean some Elysian Park mojo and perhaps catch a glimpse of the ghost of a former player that’s been said to roam the Ravine (there is no such rumor-S.M. Smith, ed.) but I passed out before I could eyeball a pale vision of Bob Welch or Jose Lima. Some bootleg vendors began to head toward the stadium as I reached the bottom of the hill. I recalled a moment in my youth when I had spied Roy Scheider smoking a cig and reading a paperback in the exact same spot I crossed now, in front of the old TB ward. He wore a white t-shirt, khakis, and aviators, as if had never left Amity Island.
I walked up Vin Scully Ave. and pulled back my pea green lid to wipe sweat off my brow. The direct sun beating down brought last night’s tequila intake to the surface, I reeked of stale Cuervo. I caught a whiff of weed smoke and heard the sound of empty beer cans rolling around the pavement as I headed up the hill. Preferred parking was already full, as cars poured into the general lot. Dave Vassegh’s adolescent timbre droned over the PA system…finally he began to introduce dismal Dodger GMs, Zaidi and Friedman. I wished for parking lot beer vendors as I spied Ned Colletti heading toward his car and gave him a nod. He returned it. A nice man scanned my ticket and I went inside.
The concrete concourse in the lower reserve was cool from lack of sunlight and much quieter than the ruckus on the field. Down on the diamond, kids screamed and went bonkers on bouncy house-type shit. I inhaled some fried grease, grabbed a jumbo beer, and headed for stage left.
Vassegh finished polishing up the turds by summing up all that the Dodger GMs had accomplished so far during the offseason (holding onto Turner, Jansen, and Hill…the trade for Forsythe) but somehow managed to leave out the fact that the Dodgers still have no outfield…or a bonafide third starter…or a catcher…or a setup man…
I know, I know, it’s a fanfest. What’s Vassegh supposed to do, start a god damned riot by listing all the Dodger shortcomings? The injury prone pitchers, overpaid duds…everyone already knows they don’t pull the trigger on studs when they need to (Braun, Queto, Price, etc…) I looked around to see if anyone else was buying the spiel. Most folks were occupied with seat selection, rounding up rug rats, and alcohol acquisition…who could blame them. I put down my empty and headed back up toward the cool concourse…
There ya have it folks, Part 1! Not bad, huh? That’s just a little taste! We were lucky to get him after the arson incident at Sports Illustrated and the permanent 86 from Las Vegas. It cost us $1,000 to get his ankle monitor removed, but we think it was worth it! Fostex gets into much more mayhem in parts 2 and 3, so stay tuned! Until next time, mirth-seekers!!!