Dodgers Play Home Opener

The Los Angeles Dodgers will play their home opener at Dodger Stadium Tuesday. The starting lineup: new foods, a divorce, and oh yeah, baseball. 

A soft pretzel big enough to feed four fans, smoked sausages and more healthy fare will join the traditional food choices at Dodger Stadium this season, beginning with today's Opening Day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Victory Knot, billed as an extreme take on the traditional soft pretzel, is made with two pounds of dough. It is served in a full-size pizza box and will be available at California Pizza Kitchen stands.

The three Kaiser Permanente Healthy Plate Carts will have an expanded menu. The new items include curried chicken lettuce wraps; fresh fruit and Greek salads; assorted sushi and turkey sandwiches.

And making a comeback: the spicy Picante Dog will be reintroduced to the menu due to what a team official described as overwhelming fan demand, including a Facebook group dedicated to the subject.

Tuesday's opener is the first since the divorce filing of Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt. The case has included a slew of unflattering behind-the-scenes details about the McCourts. Frank McCourt, the team's chairman, has said the divorce has no bearing on the operation of the team and its acquisition of players.

The Dodgers will lose "a handful" of fans because of the divorce, according to Tom Boyd, a Cal State Fullerton professor of marketing.

However, "just as there will be people" who are less likely to buy Dodger tickets because of the lurid nature of the divorce, "there are people who are attracted because it is lurid," Boyd said.

When asked whether the McCourts divorce would have an affect on the team, manager Joe Torre said. "We can't let it."

Torre said he met with players during spring training and told them "you're going to be asked questions. I'm never going to tell you what to say, but just understand one thing -- you're here to play baseball."

The key point in the divorce case is the ownership of the team. Jamie McCourt, who was fired by Frank McCourt as the Dodgers' chief executive officer a day after the 2009 season ended, insists she is the team's co-owner. The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 30.

The first pitch for the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks is scheduled for 1:10 p.m., with Dodger left-hander Clayton Kershaw facing right- hander Ian Kennedy.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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