Black and Blue

at 12:35 AM

Baseball season has been awkward for me since I moved here a dozen years ago. You see, I grew up in Los Angeles, a Dodgers fan. It doesn't matter that between then and now I lived overseas. My blood still runs Dodger Blue, especially when the Dodgers play the Giants.

But more than any team, I love baseball. It's an optimistic sport where a scrappy team with no prima donnas can work smart, play hard and get it done. And yes, that's a tip of my cap to the 2010 Giants.

While rivalries like the Giants and the Dodgers are part of the fun, they can go too far. Unfortunately we saw this opening day, when a Giants fan was severely beaten in the Dodger stadium parking lot. He remains hospitalized.

Over the years, there have been other tragic cases of violence on both sides of the equation. I've even had my own minor run-ins with Giants fans. A guy at Candlestick emptied his beer on me because I was wearing a Dodgers shirt. Someone threw a hot dog at my kids at AT&T park because they were cheering for L.A. Nobody was hurt, but it made the rest of the game uncomfortable.

I'm sure most people would rather not feel threatened inside or outside any stadium. More security personnel is one answer. I also think baseball fans can defuse some of the tension by following this playbook:

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First, cheer more for your team and less against the other team. "Go Giants!", instead of "L.A. sucks!", for example.

Second, don't throw food, drinks or other objects. With the price of concessions, you'll have the added benefit of saving money.

Third, cut out the profanity and inflammatory comments.

And finally, don't start fights.

Baseball is the thinking person's sport. Let's all think before we act, and enjoy the game.

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With a Perspective, I'm Brenda Watson Newmann.

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