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|| News Item: Posted 2000-04-27

Dodging a Bullet
By Sam Mircovich, Reuters

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium has come and gone and guess what? The world didn't end for photographers ... it just got a little smaller. Despite all the fears and rumors, we were still able to do our jobs with a modest amount of comfort and only some inconvenience.

It definitely was more crowded in the wells, but it returned to normal later in the week. The covered well had no TV camera on opening day, and about ten of us crowded in for some baseball in the partly cloudy sky. Too many for that well, but Jorge from La Opinion is of shorter stature - he didn't take up much room.

Photo by
The phone lines in that well were intact. Unfortunately, the lines were not installed in the new darkrooms. This makes it difficult for the AP stringers who use the old Leafax D-1 transmitter. Their alternative is to either take the film back to the office, or drag their film down to the photo well to transmit.

The LA Times, Daily Breeze and Daily News have phone lines in the outer wells, enabling on field transmission as well. If only we could make the well a bit more safe for laptops, like a flip down shelf that would provide a place to set up. Also if someone could think of a way to prevent your equipment from falling victim to spilled beer, I am sure the Dodgers would appreciate it.

The infield rakes are being stored in the tunnel to the new luxury seats, with groundskeepers waiting 1/2 inning before each use on the photo well steps. Thank the Lord!

The biggest hassle is the parking. Lot 2 is a nightmare, despite a roped off area that is media exclusive. The wait for the elevator can be a nightmare if you are late. It's only nine stories to the field. I am sure we are all strong enough to carry our gear down, then up the stairs at the end of the game. And when you leave, check out the beer bottles littering the lot. I found one under my tires.

But hey, as of this writing the Dodgers are only 1 game back of the Diamondbacks. The team seems to have some sort of chemistry and we swept the Giants in their pretty new ballpark. Gonna be a fun summer!

(Sam Mircovich is a contract photographer with Reuters News Pictures based in Los Angeles.)

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