Dodgers fan Eric Amend holds a sign expressing his thoughts during a prayer… (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles…)
Frank McCourt is finished as owner of the Dodgers. Everyone knows it from Bud Selig down to the fans who buy seats in the bleachers. It's just a matter of time. And it is mostly for financial reasons, but McCourt's tepid response to the brutal beating of a Giants fan on opening day reminds me of three more. He doesn't respect the game, doesn't understand the rivalry and seems oblivious to the responsibilities of the owner of one of the great major league franchises.
Instead of expressing outrage and disgust at the near killing of a baseball fan in the parking lot outside of his stadium, he spoke like your everyday landlord trying to avoid a premises liability suit. That would be fine if we were talking about a department store, but this is a venerable baseball club with a leadership role in the community. He is so shortsighted that apparently he didn't consider what this may mean for Dodgers fans visiting AT&T Park in the near future. I feel for them because I am a Giants fan who occasionally goes to Dodgers games, always proudly wearing my cap. Will the rivalry that so many of us cherish, those of us on both sides of the fence, deteriorate into street warfare?
As a Giants fan, I suppose I should want McCourt to continue his bumbling stewardship of the Dodgers forever. It would certainly make it easier for our side. On the other hand, I think I would rather see my proud nemesis in the hands of someone who at least honors the game. In that sense, maybe I actually respect the Dodgers more than McCourt does.
It would be easy to label the attack at Dodger Stadium that has left a father of two in a coma random. If you have attended a Dodger game in the last five years, to label it random would be grossly inaccurate.
Last year was the first time in 40 years I did not attend a Dodger game. Mostly it sickens me to put a penny in the McCourt family coffers. But another reason is the stadium's complete lack of concern for fan safety. When you employ ushers that are more obsessed with controlling an 8-year-old kid's desire for an autograph, or a fan sneaking up a few rows in the eighth inning of another Dodger loss, when all around you, fan behavior has become unruly, full of taunts, insults, vulgar language, thrown food and all this around your children, and the usher then turns a blind eye, to call this random is delusional.
Perhaps the Dodgers should look at a solution that effectively limited problems created by another group of infamous fans —- Philadelphians. The Eagles used to have a jail and courthouse in the old Vet Stadium as well as the new Lincoln Financial Field. Rule-breakers were detained, sentenced immediately on site, and spent the rest of the game in jail. The cells and courthouse are no longer used because the number of cases plummeted. Think of it as a fast-food version of going to court — it could even be called "McCourt."
But building such facilities would take away Dodgers money that Mr. McCourt could use for more houses, private jet rentals and mysterious salaries for family members or psychic healers. The Dodgers do provide a family-friendly environment — provided that your family's last name is "McCourt."
As a native Angeleno now living in beating victim Bryan Stow's hometown of Santa Cruz, I am ashamed and embarrassed by this cowardly attack. As a lifelong Dodger fan, I've walked around my adopted town sporting my Dodger gear, inspiring an interesting mix of glances and sometimes stares in a place that largely roots for the Giants. And while it's clear to me that this has less to do with a rivalry between two very competitive teams (and cities) and more to do with a bunch of idiots having too much too drink, I'm putting my cap away for the time being. No sense tempting fate.
If the Dodgers want to eliminate violence and some of the bad behavior at the stadium, there is one surefire way to do it: raise ticket prices. I'll be happy to pay $40 for a nosebleed seat if it will price out the losers who cause these problems. How many beatings, stabbings and shootings take place at Staples Center? None, because people who pay $100 for a ticket don't act like common criminals.
According to T.J. Simers, the LAPD said "34 fistfights were reported in Dodger Stadium in 2009 and 24 in 2010."
The only thing they forgot to mention is, what inning?
I'd like to thank the McCourts for bringing the NFL experience back to L.A. Raider fan has found a new home … our beloved Dodger Stadium.
When they catch those two non-Dodgers fans responsible the incident in the parking lot, I sincerely hope their punishment will include a walk through the Giants stadium parking lot wearing their Dodger shirts.