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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2002-10-30

'I can't decide if I am pissed or bitter' or 'A Giants fan's view of covering the 2002 World Series'
By Brad Mangin, Major League Baseball Photos

Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register

Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register

Angels slugger Tim Salmon douses club photographer V.J. Lovero with champagne after Game 7 of the World Series.
The All-California World Series between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants will go down in the annals of baseball history a few different ways, depending on what part of the country you hail from.

If you are an Angels fan it will be remembered as the greatest moment in team history, one that finally erased 42 years of hell and dark clouds that have hovered over this team ranging from Lyman Bostock being murdered in 1977 to Donnie Moore to the bus crash to the 1995 collapse. Many of these horrible memories were erased on Sunday night when the Halos beat the Giants 4-1 in Game 7 to claim their first-ever World Series crown.

If you are a regular baseball fan who didn't care who won you probably rooted against the Giants because you hate Barry Bonds. No one outside of San Francisco seemed to wanna see Bonds win his first Series ring. The greatest player of his time is also the most hated player of his time, thus many fans and photographers rejoiced when he went home to San Francisco a loser.

Finally, if you are a San Francisco Giants fan like me (also a season ticket holder who would do anything to have a beer with John Montefusco) you don't know what to think. You are bitter. Pissed. Dazed. Confused. The Game 6 collapse, when the Giants blew a 5-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, was almost too much to take. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You knew it was coming but you couldn't warn the
Photo by Phil Ellsworth

Photo by Phil Ellsworth

Clarence the mean security guard at Edison Field harrasses V.J. Lovero after Game 7.
people on board to get off in time. While the train was going over the cliff there were 44,000 red-clad fans beating ThunderStix together and clutching stuffed monkeys cheering your misfortune.

Is it hard to cover a World Series when you have a strong rooting interest? Kinda. Is it an ethical dilemma? No. I don't write slanted stories that favor my team- I just take pictures of anything and everything that happens on the field- even the Angels jumping around in celebration after Kenny Lofton flied out to center field for the final out of Game 7.

The bottom line is the Giants bullpen sucked in Game 6 and Livan Hernandez and the Giants bats sucked in Game 7.

But more importantly- the Angels played a helluva Series and deserved to win. However, there was one member of the Angels ballclub that deserved to be doused with champagne more than any other in the home clubhouse Sunday night...20-year club photographer V.J. Lovero.

V.J. has been through quite the roller-coaster ride the last few years, much like the club he works for (Lovero is also a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated). So it was very gratifying for many of us sports shooters who were covering the Series to see him get the chance to celebrate with the team and get a champagne shower from Angels star Tim Salmon.

In fact, many out of town shooters who had no rooting interest in the Series were rooting for the Angels so V.J. could get a ring (here's hoping the club gives him one).

Now that the Series is over and I don't have to drive up and down Interstate 5 anymore I thought I would reflect back on some of the highs and lows of the 2002 Fall Classic.

The Highs:

Photo by Rob Tringali Jr.

Photo by Rob Tringali Jr.

Scott Clarke drops back to pass in Big Sur during a break in the "Car Pool" trip from San Francisco to Anaheim for Game 6.
1. The spacious overhead shooting positions at Edison Field in Anaheim. These spots were great to work from and were not overly crowded. Kudos to the Angels and MLB for getting the big platforms built behind first and third bases to hold all of the photographers.

2. The easy travel between Anaheim and San Francisco. Like many other shooters covering both ends of the Series, I decided to drive and save the hassle of dealing with all my gear at the airport, etc. I logged around 1,800 miles over the course of the Series on my Honda CR-V and thanks to my traveling companion, Karl Mondon of the Contra Costa Times, the trips were smooth and went by pretty quick, especially with my "Giants Greatest Hits" CD playing on the stereo as we rode down for Game 6.

I don't think anyone had as much fun traveling by car as the group that was led by Lovero and Scott Clarke in a rented white Chevy Suburban. Joining them in a fun trip up and down the coast that sometimes lasted as long as 13 hours were Allen Kee and Rob Tringali Jr. of ESPN The Magazine. They stopped at Big Sur to play football and take pictures in the pretty light at sunset on their way back down to Anaheim for Game 6, then stopped in Hollywood for dinner.

3. Getting the chance to hear Mickey Palmer and Johnny Iacono tell stories. These two guys have seen it all and done it all. Best friends since childhood in New York's lower East side, Johnny and Mickey would make a great TV sitcom, or at least a funny cartoon- they are that funny.

4. The wonderful end of game celebration pictures made by Mark J. Terrill of the Associated Press and Ron Vesely of Major League Baseball Photos. Mark, Ron and a few other lucky souls were stationed behind the backstop when the final out was recorded in Game 7 and made a terrific picture of Troy Glaus, Bengie Molina and Troy Percival celebrating with fireworks going off in the background in the rock pile behind the center field fence. Nice job guys!

5. Digital photography. I was fortunate to finally get out of the dark ages and shoot the entire Series with Canon 1D's for MLB Photos. What a joy it was to be able to see my pictures (good and bad) right after I shot them. Even more important was how great the quality was (especially at the VERY BRIGHT Edison Field in Anaheim). Seeing the quality of these files
Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos

Troy Glaus, Bengie Molina and Troy Percival celebrate the Angels first World Series crown in club history.
and what they look like when they are reproduced doubletruck in a glossy magazine means there will never be a reason to shoot film again at a night or indoor sporting event.

6. The wacky folks from Getty/Allsport and The Sporting News who celebrated the Angels win (or was it Barry Bonds' loss?) by sliding into home plate at Edison Field and posing for pictures late Sunday night after they had transmitted all of their pictures. After seeing the pictures it was quite obvious that bitter A's fan Jed Jacobsohn was VERY happy that the Giants had lost.

7. The many Giants fans among the corps of sports shooters covering the Series that helped me cope with the Game 6 disaster; Karl Mondon, Jose Luis Villegas, Scott Clarke, Robert Hanashiro, Mickey Palmer (who goes back to their days at the Polo Grounds), Eric Risberg and the Giants team photographers Martha Jane Stanton and Andy Kuno.

...and now the Lows:

1. The many problems involving security, fans and photographers in both ballparks during the entire Series. First there was a problem involving a fan who wouldn't leave the overhead first platform in Anaheim at Game 1. To make matters worse the fan harassed and threatened MLB's Ron Vesely when he was asked to leave. This problem was done away with in subsequent games when a security guard was added to the platform tom keep the fans away.

Second there was the incident involving a runner and a fan above the overhead third base basket in San Francisco during Game 3 that resulted in an altercation between the two. Fans don't like us getting in their way when they pay scalpers lotsa money for Series tickets and this resulted in an ugly episode that is still being sorted out.

Next there was the drunk fan who threw beer at the AP's Mark J. Terrill and his laptop while Mark was working Game 4 from the section 124 overhead position at Pacific Bell Park. Having working photographers exposed to drunk fans during a World Series game is not a good idea.

Finally, there was the incident involving an overzealous guard and V.J. Lovero at Edison Field in Anaheim after Game 7. A large African-American male security guard wearing a burgundy blazer and a gold tie shoved aside the 20-year Anaheim Angels club photographer and threw him to the
Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register

Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register

Allsport/Getty senior staffer Jed Jacobsohn is prett happy that Barry Bonds and the Giants didn't win the World Series.
ground during the post-game celebration. After the trophy presentation Angels outfielder Tim Salmon took the World Series Trophy in the infield and began to head down the right field line holding it aloft over his head while being followed by many photographers trying to get pictures of him as he ran into right field. Lovero was among the followers until he was shoved to the ground by the guard.

Overzealous security guards are becoming more and more of a problem that we the media have to deal with every day, especially since 9/11 as we try and do our jobs. Lovero was the unfortunate victim this time as this incident is especially troubling, since it happened in the ballpark where he has worked as a part of the home team for the last 20 seasons.

2. The Giants bullpen- especially Felix Rodriguez. Sorry to sound like a broken record. Felix- in the off season can you please learn how to throw a second pitch? Your 97 MPH fastball doesn't work all the time anymore. Try an off speed pitch and maybe next time Scott Spiezio won't be able to time your heater so well after fouling off a million pitches.

3. The pounding noise that rings in your ears after hearing red ThunderStix clapped together by Angel fans for 4 hours every night. The Angels have a fine team and I am sure their fans are nice folks...but after being at Yankee Stadium for the last two Series I know the great fans in
Photo by Robert Seale/The Sporting News

Photo by Robert Seale/The Sporting News

Kevin Sullivan of the Orange County Register is safe at the plate after Game 7. It looks like he recovered from his food poisoning quite nicely.
New York STILL make more noise that the fans in Anaheim WITHOUT the plastic noise makers. Since the Halos will be the defending World Champs next season I hope their fans can survive by rooting for their great team and won't need artificial help.

4. The food poisoning that Orange County Register staffer Kevin Sullivan suffered through after Game 3 in San Francisco. It seems that Kevin and some other sports shooters were looking for some late-night food near their hotel when the concierge at Chuck Solomon's hotel recommended the Cafe Mason. After eating the Salmon Fettucini it was all over for poor Kevin. Robert Seale from The Sporting News came to the rescue and saved Kevin's life and possibly the lives of the pour souls in the 3rd base dugout position next to him the next night by giving him some Immodium AD. A week later and Kevin is finally feeling like his old/young self.

5. Since the Giants made it to the World Series, Giants owner Peter Magowan will undoubtedly raise our season ticket prices for the 2003 campaign at Pacific Bell Park. I will be able to handle the increase even though the club will probably open the season without Dusty Baker and Jeff Kent. But I might have a real problem coughing up several thousand dollars if Pedro Feliz is on the opening day roster.

Finally, to end this long and sometimes bitter diatribe on an uplifting note: Only 107 days until pitchers and catchers report!

(Brad Mangin is a San Francisco-based freelance photographer. His many clients include Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball Photos, for whom he shot the 2002 World Series.)


Related Email Addresses: 
Brad Mangin: brad@sportsshooter.com

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