As Frank McCourt's battle with Major League Baseball to maintain control of the Los Angeles Dodgers gets nastier, McCourt is now trying to buy the goodwill and forgiveness of the Dodgers’ fan base. But if the Dodgers fan I ran into this week is any indication, they are just as sick and tired of McCourt as Bud Selig is and are squarely on MLB’s side in the dispute.
I would never say that one fan can speak for the entire Dodgers fan base, but I suspect that the vast majority of them are equally upset and bitter about the damage McCourt has inflicted on the franchise, especially after Major League Baseball alleged that McCourt plundered the organization to the tune of $189 million. They seem to be hoping that Selig can convince the bankruptcy court to let him rid baseball of McCourt once and for all and install an owner who actually will put some money back into the franchise rather than one that MLB says used the team as his personal piggy bank.
McCourt is now trying to win back the fans that fled the team in droves with ticket price decreases of up to 64% from the 2011 baseball season. I think it’s going to take more than cheap tickets to get Dodgers fans back in his corner. Sure, some fans will be drawn back by cheaper tickets to ballgames. And the Dodgers do have several players worth watching, including possible Most Valuable Player Matt Kemp. But the price drop and star attractions do nothing to address the security issue that has Dodger Stadium at times resembling a site for a gang turf war rather than a major-league ballpark or the atmosphere of hostility that led to one fan being severely beaten and forced into a medically-induced coma. Of course, there is also the possibility that McCourt could prevail in his quest to keep the team (perish the thought).
You know that saying “can’t buy love”? Apparently, Frank McCourt never learned it.
Thanks to Ron Reiring and UCinternational for the Matt Kemp photo.