A mostly empty Dodger Stadium. Photo by Tony Pierce.

Of Course I Miss Baseball

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Who doesn’t want to hear that Dodger Stadium organ belt out Iron Maiden and transition into “Let’s Go Dodgers”?

Dodgers organist Dieter Ruehle is a gift to LA.

Who isn’t dying to catch a whiff of two guys sharing a joint outside the Top of the Park gift shop, a good half-mile above the batter’s box?

Who doesn’t miss the faint roar around a drunken fight between fans? Usually, both wearing Dodgers gear. Sometimes still holding their children.

Yeah, I miss baseball.

At Dodger Stadium.

I don’t even go to this school, and I was looking forward to this delightful “Revenge Season” in which the fully loaded home team files its nails while waiting to mess with Texas.

Doesn’t everybody want L.A. to finally get what it sorely needs: A subway system that drops you off directly in the terminal at LAX?

A breakdown of how the Houston Astros cheated.

How do you cheat and “win” the World Series, and, once you’re exposed, how aren’t you banned for a year or two? Or forced to play in, like, Florida where all seats are a nickel?

Where every Friday is Boo at the Dirty Cheaters Night.

Oh, it’s fun: They announce each player before the game, and they have to run out to the third-base line and stand there. Then, each player is assigned a Designated Booer. At the end of the introductions, the best booer gets free drinks and the honor of banging the crap out of a variety of trash cans all day.

There are only day games at Cheater Park. First pitch is at 6 a.m. so L.A. can laugh all morning.

It’d be better than overcharging Astros at Beverly Hills hotels.

As much as I miss baseball, it sure seems like only a greedy pig would try to force a season in the middle of this God-awful pandemic.

Plus, it’s not even a real season — nearly two-thirds fewer games, the DH in the National League. And something they swear will happen in the 10th inning that children should be shielded from watching.

Some call it blasphemy.

But back to The Plague. I’m old enough to remember what it was like before they put up lights at Wrigley Field, back when some games would be called due to darkness.

More than 133,777 dead Americans who won’t ever see Gavin Lux hit sure seems dark to me.

And then there are these geniuses who say that 20- and 30-something athletes in top condition have nothing to fear from this contagious virus so freaky they’re releasing thousands of criminals from jail so they don’t die from it.

I’ve not heard one person say, “Oh yeah, COVID was awesome. Come here and kiss me.”

Do we really want to see Clayton Kershaw have to hang it up next year because he caught something avoidable, “recovered,” but actually never really recovered?

So billionaires could get a smidge richer?

So that your precious Fantasy League could resume?

So that Fox Sports can give Joe Buck a reason to show off those hair plugs?

To quote Mike Leake, King Felix, Nick Markakis, Ian Desmond, Joe Ross, Ryan Zimmerman, Wellington Castillo and the Dodger’s own David Price, yeah, no.

Markakis was obviously spooked when his teammate Freddie Freeman, one of four Braves who have tested positive, talked to him. “Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough,” the 36-year-old outfielder said. “It was kind of eye-opening. With everything that’s going on, not just with baseball but all over the world, it makes you open your eyes.”

If you and I miss baseball, imagine what it’s like playing it your whole life, and you have to turn down a huge payday, where you only needed to play for three months.

Price would have been paid $11.9 million to play in maybe 15-16 games this year for the Dodgers.

If Price is willing to turn away from making $793,333 a game for a team that set a record for wins last year, maybe we shouldn’t put these players in the position of having to choose between their moneymakers — their healthy bodies — and Who Knows What.

And some have even deeper reasons to hit pause.

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On my mind.

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This morning Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey tapped out of the season. More will probably follow if this march to certain doom continues.

The Cubs’ Kris Bryant last week raised a red flag. ‘‘What we agreed to was testing every day,’’ the 2016 NL MVP said. ‘‘We have had guys here that showed up on Sunday and hadn’t gotten tested again seven days later. And then you don’t get the results for two days, either, so that’s nine days without knowing. And I think if we really want this to succeed, we’re going to have to figure this out… I wanted to play this year because I felt that it would be safe and I would feel comfortable, but honestly? I don’t really feel that way.’’

Even the best player in the game, Mike Trout, has expressed doubt about this season being wise to play.

“I love playing this game. We want to play… There’s a lot of questions. I love baseball, but I have to do what’s right for my family. It’s going to be a tough decision if something happens down the road,” the 2019 AL MVP said.

So why play it?

Over the last decade, MLB has nearly doubled its revenue. A league that made a paltry $5.9 billion in 2009 raked in a respectable $10.4 billion last season, despite games lasting three hours on average. The Dodgers alone pulled in more than a half-billion last year.

The Dodgers will be fine.

I, too, miss hearing Vinny belt out, “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”

But now is not that time.

Los Angeleno