Maybe five years ago, I got to play golf with Mike Breen....
Dodgers Fans Hold a Second “Save the Dodgers” Rally
In the first of our week-long series on the Los Angeles Dodgers, we look at last Saturday’s rally.
This wasn’t about the day’s game.
It’s was not about Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, or Chad Billingsley.
This is about a bus ride to Loserville with Frank McCourt behind the wheel.
On Saturday, at the intersection of Sunset and Elysian Park in Los Angeles, Dodgers fans decided, for a second time in as many months, to show their displeasure with the direction and ownership of their beloved Dodgers.
Led by Roger Arrieta, founder of markcubansavethedodgers.com, fans picketed, shouted, and generally made their voices heard to any car driving by. Signs read: “Game Over, McCourt” and “Get out of Town, McCourt.”
Three years ago, the Dodgers and Phillies were the two best teams in the National League. The contrast since then has to be sickening to die-hard Dodger fans. One team has done everything they can to continue their winning ways, never satisfied even after winning the World Series. The other team, well, is the Dodgers.
If a person showed up to the rally looking to make trouble and be a hooligan, they were in the wrong place. While it may be surprising to some, the fans at the rally were not just well-behaved. They were also knowledgeable and purposeful in their anti-Frank McCourt message.
“He isn’t… here, but he needs to know and he is going to know,” said one fan. “Game over.”
While the Dodgers announced attendance well over 30,000 for the game Saturday afternoon, there were clear indications to all those in attendance that the real number of fans at the game was probably under 20,000. In other words, the fan-organized rally seemed to be making a difference.
Christy is ready for Frank to be gone. One thing you can tell from her and others at the rally was how ingrained the Dodgers are as an icon of good times for so many Californians and especially Angelinos. The only additional question I wished I would have asked people was what the Dodgers meant to them. That being said, the protesters made it clear in their passion, emotion, and description of how the team was being run now.
Like many Dodgers fans, Roger’s “frustration level is high.” For many, that is an understatement
Eric from Covina isn’t a crazy fan using this opportunity for someone or something to yell at (like the type of person you might expect at a rally or organized protest). He’s smart and reasonable like many Dodger fans and has some excellent points.
Finally, there is Mark. Mark brought his whole family out, signs and all, to protest Frank. He hasn’t been to a game yet this year and refuses to go until the team is free from McCourt’s grip.
In the end the biggest thing missing from the rally was one big thing that McCourt has done to anger fans. When these situations happen, they are usually based on a large breach of trust. The Brian Stow case was a tipping point for many people. But if the fan base was bought into the team and to ownership prior to the opening day atrocity, the reaction would not have been anywhere close to the same.
The fact that such a large number of “little things” can add up to two unprecedented protests of ownership really says something for the “bloodletting” that McCourt has overseen. Maybe a picture of him as a vampire rather than the one of him as a rat would have been more appropriate on Saturday.
Or maybe Dodgers fans would just as soon never see a picture of him, in any form, ever again.
Check back Wednesday morning for a checklist of reasons why fans aren’t coming to games anymore.
Wednesday: Reasons why fans aren’t coming anymore
Thursday: Impact on the “little guys”
Friday: How did we get here? Best and worst case scenarios for the future