Practically more police than patrons showed up to last night's Dodgers game against the St. Louis Cardinals. LAPD media relations won't give out the exact number of officers for "tactful" reasons, but, well, "there were a lot."
Their amped presence, publicized in the weeks leading up to the game as a menacing "sea of blue" in response to Bryan Stow's brutal beating ("and it's not gonna be Dodger blue," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck), had one major victim: The drunks.
Forty-six citations were issued throughout the night...
... all of them alcohol-related. That's 46 baseball fans who'll soon be shelling out at least a couple hundred bucks (not that we would know) for tryin' to get their buzz on.
The stadium's highly anticipated half-off beer deal was pulled as well. And, according to the Associated Press, the other best part of the Dodgers experience -- the pre-game tailgate -- likewise felt the Bryan Stow effect:
Indeed, they were everywhere, in uniform and plainclothes, in squad cars, on bicycles, motorcycles and even horses. Everyone from captains and lieutenants to patrol officers. And although they were polite and friendly, smiling and exchanging pleasantries with fans, at least one group didn't hesitate to write citations for several young men they saw loitering by a car in the parking lot. Beck had promised there would be a zero-tolerance policy for tailgaiting.
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Of course, the at-large thugs who beat Stow into a coma on Opening Day were probably running on more than their fair share of full-priced beer, so a clampdown on drinkers was necessary to the Dodger Stadium healing process. And who knows what kind of unsporstmanlike conduct would have gone down if there hadn't been a cop for every cubic meter of pavement.
So we applaud the LAPD this morning for a smooth run at the park last night. (Though the Dodgers don't deserve the same. Guys: You sucked.) Dodger "dog" and team owner Frank McCourt was paying for it anyway, so we all come out ahead.
Except, of course, the drunks. From now on, if you want to black out by the seventh inning, we'd recommend you stick to pounding 'em back on the comfort of your own couch. Preferably wearing a Dodgers snuggie. Much safer for everyone. And cheaper, to boot.