It’s baseball’s opening day, and the Dodgers will be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the stands, walking vendor Robert “Peanut Man” Sanchez will be starting his 50th season selling food to fans.
He says he covers about six miles and 15,000 steps, carrying and selling foods up and down the stairs of the stadium. Nevertheless, he says, “It's fun. I'm having the time of my life. This game never gets old … the electricity in the air, the bases are loaded, full counts. The kid wants another ice scream, that dad wants another beer. The vendors are yelling. Baseball's back. It's exciting!”
But he’s not a fan of the new pitch clock, which requires pitchers to start their windup within 15 seconds after they get the ball — 20 if there are runners on base. “I guess they want the commercials to come on faster on TV. … The way I see it right now, it's going to take about 20 to 25% of our income away, as the walking vendor, because we get paid by commission.”
He’s not sure the fans will be thrilled, either. “I'll tell you what I've already heard from people … ‘Hell, I went to the restroom, I got me a hot dog, and it was the bottom of the fourth inning.’ The game, it moves quick now.”
LA fans are notorious for arriving late and leaving early, but given the new shorter games, Peanut Man suggests fans come early or they’ll miss too much of the game.
The Dodgers were favorites to win the World Series last year, but they lost the division title to the San Diego Padres. Peanut Man says the Padres are contenders this year, too.
When it comes to the Dodgers’ chances this season, he thinks it will all come down to the pitching and the performance of some of the new players. “If our pitching holds up, if everybody stays healthy, there's really no reason why we cannot be competitive all the way to the end.