I’m about as loyal a Dodger fan as you can get. I loath the San Francisco Giants, especially Barry Bonds, like any bitter rival would. I swear to “Bleed Dodger Blue” as they like to say. It’s been hard to swallow that the Giants took two of the three games from Los Angeles during the Blue Crew’s final homestand, essentially denying our postseason aspirations yet again. Consequently, this weekend has opened up a gaping hole in my side for blue plasma to drain my emotional frustration.
Yet for some reason, my mind hasn’t been on baseball too much – and it shouldn’t be.
The Los Angeles Police Department has reported that a Giants fan was shot and killed after Friday night’s game over a dispute associated with the Dodgers- Giants rivalry.
Differing accounts have inconsistently reported who the victim and the suspects had been rooting for, however.
Regardless of which team each party supported, it’s nothing short of a tragedy.
The image of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants organizations have unfortunately been tainted by the mindless rage of an infinitely minute percentage of one team’s fan base. The person that shot Mark Allen Antenorcruz unfairly represented the team he or she claims to support – the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But like sports, life is not fair.
Mark Allen Antenorcruz lost his life – that is not fair.
The person(s) responsible for such calamitous tragedy are not Dodger fans, even if that’s what the thug claimed to be on that fateful night. If found guilty, the suspect is a criminal and should suffer the appropriate consequences under the law.
This is not some blown call that screwed your team out of the glories of a playoff bid or three vital seconds that magically disappeared off the scoreboard due to some mechanical error. This is a tale about the value of one man’s life.
The details of this heated dispute should not matter. At no point should an argument over baseball, alcohol provoked or not, ever escalate to the desperate excuse of murder.
Sports rivalries, including the bitter Dodgers/Giants dual, are beautiful things. They insight an allegiant energy devoted to cheering the success of an organization in the triumph over a hated competitor. At UCSB, faithful supporters from both teams live in coexistence, usually living together. Sure, there’s nothing worse than knowing that your Giants fan roommate lives with undeserved satisfaction until next April.
But that is the brilliance of competition. You haven’t tasted life until you’ve cheered on the Dodgers in the left field pavilion. Fans of every class, creed and color bind together to root on a mutual interest. What better representational portrait could be painted of the city of Los Angeles than of the magnificent colors that so appropriately embody the faces and hearts of my fellow Angelinos?
As a true Dodger fan, I would like to express my condolences to the family of Mark Allen Antenorcruz, faithful Giants fan.