L.A. Dodgers fans have high hopes for this season

first_imgOther members of the Armed Forces, as well as local law enforcement officials, then unfurled a giant American flag while a trio of singers from the Los Angeles Opera belted out “The Star Spangled Banner.”The crowd — many wearing blue — booed the visiting Giants when they came out of their dugout, but cheered loudly for the Dodgers, particularly Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig.Expectations ran high for the highest-paid team in Major League Baseball.“The team this year, it’s incredible!” raved George Jimenez, 40, of La Habra. “I truly believe we’re going to win the World Series.”“I can’t wait for the rest of the season,” said Jazer Torres, 21, of Downey. “I’m looking forward to the championship in the fall.”The game — the first at Dodger Stadium but already the fifth of the season — started ominously, with coach Don Mattingly benching Puig for arriving late to batting practice.Some fans could only shake their heads.“That’s unfortunate,” said Jimenez. “He’s a really good player but it doesn’t seem like he takes his responsibility too seriously.”“He’s immature,” added Torres. “He really has to step it up, work on his behavior, be focused.” Still, Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday believes this is one of the strongest teams the Dodgers have fielded in recent memory. “From an offensive standpoint, this is a club that has the potential to score some runs,” he said. “You combine that with the pitching that they have, and 2014 should be a very good season.”“It’s not only the organization and the fans that have high expectations, but the players have very high expectations of themselves,” he added.Another former player, Don Newcombe, worried about injuries.“Clayton Kershaw — you can’t take him off the lineup and expect to feel good about it,” he said. “But when you get that kind of pitching rotation (out of the disabled list), you’re going to be awful tough to beat so we’ll be fine.”“If they don’t win it’s a disappointment to me,” said Tommy Lasorda.Not all fans were optimistic, however, complaining they couldn’t even watch the team on TV at home.“It’s a shame that Time Warner and Direct TV can’t come to an agreement, because a lot of fans are being blacked out,” said fan Guillermo Topete. “We want our Dodgers on TV, for all DirectTV customers, and for Dish Newtork, Fios customers as well.”“Seventy percent of the fans can’t see the game and I think it’s a shame,” he added. “We want our Dodgers.” “I’m excited because this is my first Dodger Opening Day and I got these beautiful seats and life is beautiful!” he raved.Robert Rangel of Southgate watched the game with his 10-year-old son, Ricky.“It’s a good feeling being here with family,” he said.The opening ceremonies began with a rousing performance from the USC marching band.The U.S. Navy Parachute Team — “The Leap Frogs” — then jumped out of a C-130 cargo plane overhead and landed on center field. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img There were fireworks, Tommy Lasorda, Magic Johnson, even Navy SEALs parachuting from an airplane onto center field. Opening Day at Dodger Stadium had everything that devoted fans wanted — except a win for the home team.The Los Angeles Dodgers lost 8-4 to their bitterest rivals, the San Francisco Giants but many in the sellout crowd of 53,493 still found something to celebrate, including watching beloved broadcaster Vin Scully throw out the first pitch to his fellow living legend Sandy Koufax.Fan Tay’shawn Tho, 23, of Pomona did a dance as soon as he walked through the gates of the storied ballpark.last_img

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