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BASEBALL TAKES CONTROL OF DODGERS

Fans see reason to be optimistic

At Dodger Stadium, the view is that Selig's actions are a step in the right direction for a battered franchise.

April 21, 2011|Jim Peltz

"I was shocked."

Karen Meguiar probably spoke for many others Wednesday night when she reacted to the news that Major League Baseball had taken control of the Dodgers.

"I cannot believe this happened," said Meguiar, a Newport Beach resident who said she has been attending Dodgers games since 1959. Still, she said, "I think it's going to make [the team] look stable and get rid of the mess that's been going on."

Indeed, a spot check of fans at Dodger Stadium for the game against the Atlanta Braves showed that although many were stunned at the latest turn in the Dodgers' saga, they thought it was a step in the right direction.

"You hate to see a thing like this go down the way it did, but long-term something had to happen," said Randall Kyles of Visalia, who took in the game with his brother, Shawn Kyles, a Dodgers season-ticket holder. "They'll gain some footing."

Shawn Kyles, of Thousand Oaks, said he hoped it would bring stability to the club "because it's been a lot of drama" with the divorce of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt, the severe beating of a fan on opening night that led to surge in the police presence at Chavez Ravine, and now the takeover by Commissioner Bud Selig.

Throughout the game Wednesday, police cars cruised the stadium's parking lots, their red and yellow lights flashing. Other police officers patrolled on horseback, and security inside the ballpark also was pronounced.

Charles Prohaska, 36, of Redlands said he hoped Selig's action would mean "the distractions are finally over."

"They can start focusing on the team now, start spending some money to get some players, and start playing ball and not have to worry about any type of off-the-field distractions."

Those worries are not likely to abate soon, though, because the details of Selig's plans for the Dodgers are not known. He plans to appoint a trustee to oversee the club in the next few days.

Selig's action, in fact, drew a puzzled response from Shawn Mann of Glendale, who said he attends five to 10 games a season, watches most others on TV and first heard of baseball's takeover when he arrived at Wednesday's game.

Mann said he grew up in Texas and watched closely as the Texas Rangers went through a bankruptcy before being sold at auction last year. While not knowing the details of Selig's plan, "it seems strange for Selig to step in proactively and so something" with the Dodgers, Mann said.

Eduardo Castro, 45, who lives in Elkhorn, Wis., but grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended Wednesday's game while on vacation, said the takeover was "very disappointing for . . . a very storied franchise."

But on the bright side, he said, "it should provide stability for the team" and "solidify the financial situation [of the Dodgers] for potential future owners."

Will all of this help bring more fans to Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers beat Atlanta on Wednesday, moving to 9-10?

"Having a winning team brings fans in," Shawn Kyles said. "So if somebody like a Jerry Sands turns out to be a really exciting player, I think that's what will bring fans in. Hopefully, the players now can focus on winning."

james.peltz@latimes.com

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