They were the words heard around Los Angeles: “Frank McCourt is going to sell the Dodgers.”
I think I speak on behalf of most Dodger fans when I say that we have waited for this news for much too long. Suddenly it feels like our luck might change; the Dodgers will be free of the imbecile’s control, and we can get back to playing ball and winning games.
However, like many fans, I still worry about the team’s future. The news that McCourt and Major League Baseball sought approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to auction off the team brings only temporary relief.
In the course of seven years of ownership, McCourt has gone through an ugly divorce in which husband and wife played tug-of-war over the team, battled bitterly with MLB and put the team into bankruptcy.
“This is a swell day for Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote. “I don’t know who will step up and buy this team, but whoever it is can’t do worse. You could grab anyone off the street and get better results.”
Dodger fans and sports reporters alike have repeated this mantra during most of McCourt’s ownership. Now that the idiot is leaving Los Angeles behind, it is time to reconsider that statement.
Interested buyers include Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA; Alan Casden, who was outbid for the team by McCourt in 2003; former owner Peter O’Malley, whose family owned the team for 47 years until he sold it to Fox 13 years ago; and even former Dodgers like Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, according to the New York Times.
With such a long list of people eager to snatch up our prized team, we as fans need to make our voices heard in the process of sale.
Dodger fans should be proud of themselves; regardless of what McCourt says his reasons are, it is clear that by staying home and refusing to put another penny in the bastard’s pocket, we fans made the baseball world realize we meant business.
It is with that spirit we must continue forth into the uncertain future. We do not know who will buy the Dodgers, but it is our duty as fans to voice our opinions.
We need to make it clear that we do not want any more Boston parking lot attendants running the show in Los Angeles.
We must also realize that McCourt’s departure addresses only one of the many issues plaguing the Dodgers.
The team is bankrupt, has not played in or won the World Series since 1988 and the franchise has a serious image problem tainted by the Brian Stow beating.
More of us are watching the games from home instead of spending money to see them in person, but this is not likely to change just because the money will no longer go in McCourt’s pocket.
Potential buyers must realize that purchasing the Dodgers will require an immense investment of time, faith and money to bring pride back to Chavez Ravine.
We must remember what it was that made us Dodger fans in the first place. If we can keep that spirit in mind, with luck, perseverance, increased morale and a new owner, we may be able to help bring life and hope back to Dodger Stadium.
A word of advice to the new owner: If you want to be successful and get the fans on your side, focus on rebuilding the fan experience.
The morale at Dodger Stadium has been at an all-time low since the Stow beating, and it would be in the best interest of the new owner and the entire franchise to promote a family-friendly atmosphere that was prevalent in the O’Malley era of the Dodgers.
This, in addition to highlighting player development both at home and on the road, can help improve the team’s record and make seeing our team in the World Series more than just a dream for our generation of fans.
Lauren Creiman, a sophomore journalism major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.