The LABJ’s L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye


L.A. Stories

Blue Days

Before Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers report for spring training Feb. 12, nearly 100 fans will have had their moment to spit and strut on the Vero Beach, Fla. fields as part of the biannual Adult Baseball Camp.

For $4,195 (transportation not included), fans get to spend a week with former Dodgers stars such as Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Clem Labine, Carl Erskine, Ralph Branca, Duke Snider and Rick Monday (photo).

Each participant receives daily instruction, plays in intramural games, attends nightly dinners and awards ceremonies honoring each day’s best players, who have ranged from 30 to 87.

On the instructors’ side, Garvey, Cey, Lopes and Russell who from 1973 through 1981 were apart of the longest-running infield quarter in major league history will appear together at their first camp since February 1998.

Last year, Monday, now one of the Dodgers broadcasters, suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament after colliding with a fantasy camper during a game. But Monday took the accident in stride.

“That (camper) felt a lot worse than Rick did,” said Chris Gutierrez, the Dodgers coordinator of baseball information.

David Greenberg

Times Bomb

A New York Times story last week noted with some surprise that the city of Los Angeles has managed to produce a readable magazine, with real views about a city that writer David Carr posits has “never seemed to have much interest in itself.”

But in his profile of Los Angeles Magazine, Carr apparently was confused about attempts by residents of the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to break away from the city.

Twice, Carr used the word “succession” when he meant to write “secession” as in, “the city recently attempted, through succession, to cleave itself in half.”

“It’s easy to do when you’re writing fast,” said Los Angeles magazine editor Kit Rachlis. “What’s somewhat surprising, if not shocking, is that it managed to get past the vaunted New York Times copy desk.”

Reached by phone, Carr said he could not comment without talking to his editors.

Darrell Satzman

Where’s Kiki Dee?

For those not eager to hear the strains of “Rico Suave” and who would, in fact, tend to break into a sprint away from the source, Nike has an event for you.

The inaugural “Nike Run Hit Wonder 5K/10K” is being run in Hollywood on Feb. 16. The course starts at Hollywood High School and proceeds along Sunset and Hollywood boulevards.

In keeping with the play on words, the event will feature entertainment from various one-hit wonder artists at every mile. A Flock of Seagulls (“I Ran”) (photo), C+C Music Factory (“Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”), Animotion (“Obsession”) and, of course, Gerardo, a.k.a. Rico Suave, are among the scheduled performers. Former “Partridge Family” member and current KYSR-FM (98.7) deejay Danny Bonaduce will be “honorary starter.”

No word on whether Vangelis will appear to perform the theme to “Chariots of Fire.”

Danny King

Team Players

Forget looking for love at nightclubs or singles’ events this Valentine’s Day.

Instead, try looking across your cubicle the relationship might last longer.

“If you do get involved in an affair at work, the odds are it won’t be casual because there’s so much at stake,” said Alison Roth, executive producer of L.A.-based, the online dating service of eUniverse. “It’s going to be because there’s a more long-term vision and commitment to the relationship.”

According to a recent survey by the American Management Association, 30 percent of 391 managers and executives have dated someone at work. Of those, 44 percent said such a relationship led to marriage.

Despite increased awareness of sexual harassment and more litigation the survey noted that 84 percent of executives said their companies had no written policies on workplace dating.

“People spend more time at work than they do in any area in their lives,” Roth said. “The people they work with often have the most in common with them. So I think it’s a fairly natural inclination, especially in L.A. where everybody is in their car all day long.”

Amanda Bronstad

The Roving Eye

Love on a Budget

Even Valentine’s Day has been hit by the down economy.

The special day for lovers is always one of the most profitable nights for L.A. restaurants with the right ambience and this year it falls on a Friday.

It’s almost as lucrative as Mother’s Day, as chefs comb through their recipes to cobble together an attractive fixed-price menu that reaches for your heart and tugs at your wallet.

But this year many local restaurants and hotels are holding their Valentine’s Day prices even with 2002.

The Regent Beverly Wilshire hasn’t changed the $650 price tag for its Valentine’s Day package that includes a night at the hotel, two monogrammed spa robes, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Same goes for the Valentine’s Day meal at Pinot Hollywood, run by Joachim Splichal, the German chef who started Patina on Melrose Avenue. Pinot Hollywood is charging $45 a person for its fixed price menu that starts with white asparagus and ends with a gateau de St. Valentin. This year, none of Splichal’s Pinot restaurants is charging a corkage fee.

Diners at the Saddle Peak Lodge, which has been booked up for Valentine’s Day since December, will get a four-course meal for $85 per person, same as last year. “We have a waiting list that’s three-and-a-half pages long,” said Gerhard Tratter, the lodge’s managing partner.

Jean Francois Meteigner, owner/chef of La Cachette near Century City, has held his prices steady at $80. Valentine’s Day is Meteigner’s busiest evening of the year and he expects to serve 300 people at the 120-seat establishment.

“It’s like live theater,” he said. “When you remove the curtains, you don’t know what is going to happen.”

Deborah Belgum

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