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Dodgers' fans talk a good game, but he knows they won't stay away

Outrage against Frank McCourt is genuine, with the season still fresh. However, then comes opening day and Vin Scully and 3 million more will come back.

October 19, 2010|T.J. Simers

Dodgers fans sound so unhappy, a whole bunch responding to questions asked here a week ago.

But does it really matter?

Unhappy or not, won't they show up as always?

Andy Hyman: "Our seats are fabulous, located in the loge deck at home plate in aisle 111 in the shade. But is it truly worth the money? Certainly not, if that money is being siphoned off by some greedy owner."

Sal Osorio: "I currently teach for the LAUSD. I try to be as loyal to my Dodgers as possible. This year I paid off my car, paid off a couple of credit cards and saved some money. I said to myself I will buy 2011 season tickets in left field. Then I read tickets are going up 60%. I just got my master's degree and all it gave me was an extra $48.66 a month. And with seven mandated furlough days this school year, this is not Blue Heaven on Earth."

Geno Apicella: "My season seats (top deck) have increased 50%. I can tell you this right now, I will not buy season seats and the only time I will go to a Dodger game is with a free ticket."

And so the letters go, but so what?

To hear all the gnashing of teeth, one might think Dodger Stadium will be deserted next season.

But Frank McCourt knows better, which is why he remains in hiding. He has no reason to emerge and say anything to you.

He knows you will be there 3 million plus next season, so whine and whimper all you want, it really makes no difference to him.

Or, as Sean Walsh put it: "Fans are like cattle, the difference being they know that there's a slaughterhouse at the end of the line, but they line up anyway."

McCourt has got you, all right. He can put his kids on the Dodgers payroll, take money out of the Dodgers Dream Foundation and use it as a bonus for his personal valet and let the team's farm system go to rot. He's got you.

Robin Johnson: "It is difficult to be a fan of an organization whose owners spend $150,000 per year on their hair and pay themselves $14 million in stadium rent, while charging $15 to park and $3.50 for a bottle of water. Is it time to head to Anaheim for baseball?"

Plaschke and Dwyre can write all they want about the Angel Stadium experience and a fan-oriented Arte Moreno. But when it comes time to park, many will choose to pay $10 in Anaheim, but more will put down $15 to be close to Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers' lot takes longer to clear, there is a cry for more security and the "gang atmosphere," as Blaze Kistler put it, "is too poisonous."

But the fans will continue to come to Dodger Stadium.

Matthew Hungerford: "I've been a Dodger fan my whole life. I have cheered on my team through ups and downs, through Jose Offerman, Kevin Brown, and the trade of Mike Piazza. But I will not put up with the way the McCourts have treated the Dodger name and the team's fans. Until the wannabe aristocrats leave, the Dodgers are dead to me. The McCourts no longer deserve the unconditional love Dodgers fans so openly bestow on this organization."

Erik Loyd: "As long as the McCourts are in the picture, I will not attend a game at Dodger Stadium, even if the tickets are free."

William Snoberger: "I turned in our top deck season seats today. As reward for being season ticket holders in the worst seats in the house where we still pee in a metal trough, we were given a 50% increase. Have fun trying to get real fans to sit in our seats 65 games a year. We are there, just Mary and me, dressed in Dodger gear screaming our heads off … but not anymore."

The emotion on display here is real right now — fresh off a disastrous season and almost two weeks of courtroom gunk, but history says most will be forgotten come spring training.

McCourt knows that. He knows the outfield walls will be covered again in advertisements because advertisers know you can't stay away.

It won't even take a big-time off-season acquisition to get people thinking about opening day, because what's better than listening to Vin Scully once again?

Now maybe you might get somewhere if afforded the chance to talk to McCourt — that is if he's not curled up in a ball in some corner waiting for the judge to rule. If you had that chance, what would you tell him?

Chris Backs: "Sell. Now."

Rick Livingood: "[You] have permanently lost the people of L.A. and there is nothing [you] can do to get them back."

Jim Wiles: "Hit the road, Jack."

But unless he can no longer pay the Dodgers' bills, there is no reason for McCourt to sell. He might not be popular, but he can hire folks to prop up his self-esteem.

Or read Page 2, as Rothschild Trip put it: "You are far too nice to the McCourts."

McCourt already has fans asking for his autograph in the stadium. And he's convinced the Dodgers have enjoyed success because he's the owner of the team.

He's somewhat delusional, and if you spent any time in the courtroom, you would strike the word "somewhat."

But he knows there are too many Dodgers fans to be turned off all at once, a new TV contract forthcoming because a TV network understands the same thing.

So thanks for all your feedback, but it really doesn't change a thing as far as McCourt goes. He knows you're just blowing off steam.

W. Lee Miller Jr.: "The problem is that Dodger Stadium possesses a sentimental value for Angelenos. We are all suckers. INCLUDING ME."

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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