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Pregame: Live from the Dodgers open opener

March 31, 2011 |  5:14 pm

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First airplane banner spotting was at 3:15 p.m. And it was pro-Dodgers.

The stadium was only dotted with fans while the Dodgers took batting practice, when a plane made a few laps around Dodger Stadium with a banner that read:

LA5, SF1, GO DODGERS, LATACO.COM

That would be a reference to the number of World Series won by each franchise since they came west.

That was followed quickly by a plane that carried a banner that read:

DODGERS STILL SUCK, FROM SF CHAMP FANS

That was apparently a reference to the Giants having won something.

When the Giants first emerged from their clubhouse, they were booed.

Meanwhile, in the Dodgers clubhouse Larry Bowa remained a presence. He was on the over-ahead flat screens, acting as a baseball commentator for the MLB Network. Matt Kemp still made his way through the clubhouse, fist and chest pumping all his teammates.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly rented a suite so about 30 friends and family members could watch his managerial debut.

``I’m definitely excited, but not as nervous as I thought I would be,’’ he said. ``I thought I’d be a little more edgy about it.’’

After a moment of silence in tribute for the victims of the disaster in Japan, Placido Domingo sang the national anthem, followed by a B-2 flyover. No prop planes carrying banners were damaged in the flyover.

From the press box Vin Scully introduced Jerry Reuss, who was supposed to be the opening day starter 30 years ago until injured, ex-manager Tommy Lasorda and Fernando Valenzuela.

Reuss caught Fernando’s first pitch.

Then, in perhaps the best moment, Scully said: ``It’s time for Dodger baseball.’’

It was 85 degrees with Clayton Kershaw's first pitch, a strike.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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