A Los Angeles earthquake

The most amazing story in baseball continues to be the ocean of empty seats in Dodger Stadium, once one of the most attractive places to watch a major-league game, but now a nightmare worse than the Vet at its nadir.

These days, the phrase "boys in blue" refers to the scores of uniformed police summoned to patrol one of the most dangerous venues in professional sports.

"Oh my God, it's like an armed camp in there," fan David Hamlin, a communications consultant who attended a game last month, told the New York Times.

The massive policing came in response to an opening-day attack on a San Francisco Giants fan who is still in a coma. The episode was unsettling for its brutality, but it was not entirely a shock, Times reporter Adam Nagourney wrote, noting that the stadium was a source of complaints about drunken and menacing crowds in the stands and in the streets.

These "fans" are being compared to the rough and threatening crowds that used to attend Raiders games before the team returned to Oakland in 1994, many of whom would sport gang colors and tattoos.

Just another fun night out in LaLa Land, eh?

Newsy notes

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster picked up his 107th career win with a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday and moved past Kirk McCaskill for the second-most wins by a Canadian-born pitcher.

Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins is safely ahead, with 284.

The Padres are expected to bring up prized prospect Anthony Rizzo on Thursday. The slugging first baseman, who has 63 RBIs in 60 games for triple-A Tucson, was acquired when San Diego sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in December.

Cole Hamels is the Phillies' second-best hitter right now at .286, but he's not the hottest-hitting pitcher in the NL. The Dodgers' Chad Billingsley went 2 for 2 Sunday with a homer, double, bases-loaded walk, and three RBIs. He's hitting .304. 

 
Contact staff writer Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.