I didn't choose to be Mexican. I didn't chose to be Catholic. I didn't choose to be left handed and I didn't choose to be a Dodgers fan. These were all things I was born into. I did however choose not to be an ignorant sports fan.
Being born and raised in Los Angeles I have pledged my allegiance to all of my local teams.
But the Dodgers and baseball in general are my obsession. As a Dodgers fan I naturally hate the San Francisco Giants, their players, fans, and the city as a whole, BUT I do recognize that these players and people are in fact people.
I hate them for being Giants fans but I respect them for being fans of the game of baseball. I hate their players but still respect them as individuals and as athletes. I recognize that they have talent and that Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher. This makes me an educated fan.
Over the years its gotten to the point where I will go to opening day but really cringe at the thought of actually being in the stadium with the two other types of fans.
Ive come to categorize fans into three types.
The Casual Fan
This person, like my father, knows about the team and its location but doesn't really know anyone who isn't a huge name. This is the fan that will take the family out to a few games a year and will pretend to be interested when a game is on television by asking what the score is.
Will the team change ownership before its total collapse?
I firmly believe that NO ONE is allowed to ask who is playing because that should be obvious by looking at the uniforms.
This is the fan that makes up random stats hoping to sound like they know the sport. They are the ones that stand up with excitement when the ball is hit weakly to the outfield.
The Educated Fan
I consider myself, and the fine people on bleacher report, a part of this group. There are many levels of this fan ranging from the 'die-hard" to the "blogger" to the "fantasy baseball" type, but no matter how you slice it they are educated on the sport. We know our line ups and theirs, we know the stats and we are the ones that understand why baseball is not boring. WE CAN NAME THE BENCH PLAYERS!
We understand that its all about anticipation and appreciate the importance of every pitch. We are the ones that buy the whole seat but only need the edge. We understand that there's a game within the game called "Strategy."
We are the ones that think like mangers and GM's. We are the ones that yell at the television because no matter what the woman in our lives think, us yelling WILL make our teams better.
The Left Field Pavilion Fan
Which fan are you?
These are a slight combination of the first two. They are casual enough to know the sport and some of its players but cling on to that one stat. They boo when we bunt and boo when we walk a batter to set up a double play. They randomly chant that someone sucks. They stab people in the parking lot and will forever wear their "Valenzuela" jersey even though they never saw him play.
These are the people who wear Dodgers gear in purple and gold. They are the Raider type Dodgers fans. They are the 4 Million people that go through those gates every year allowing the McCourts to keep on doing what they're doing because these people have blind love for the Dodgers. They are essentially the bulk of the Dodgers economy, from the gear to the $12 beers, they fund the teams payroll.
In all honesty we need all three to stay alive and every team has these fans.
When we, the educated fans, call for a boycott of the McCourts and their foul play we will always fail. We simply do not have the numbers to matter. This is why I believe that unless something drastic happens in court, Bud Selig will never step in and remove the team from the McCourts. Revenue and attendance will continue to go up, just like the ticket prices, and payroll and wins will go down.
Our ownership may not be as important as our economy or the conflict in Iraq but it matters to me, it matters to millions across the country, across the world, spanning this and several generations of fans.
I once told Tommy Lasorda that he ruined my child hood in the 90's. That his ego and terrible decision making was the reason why the Dodgers were a .500 team growing up. He called me a fool and waddled away.
This is what the McCourts are doing to us all. They are taking our money, while ruining what we love most and I'll be the first one to tell you that its hard. Ive said it time and time again that I would not support them but I, like an abused woman, always go back for more. I tell myself that this time it will be different, that this year they will change.
I tell myself that they didn't mean to make these horrible decisions but it never changes. Its never any different. Its hard for me to support the players while not supporting the McCourts financially. Everything I buy, every time I watch, and every time I attend games I put money in their pockets.
Frank McCourt once addressed his critics by saying that under his ownership the Dodgers won back to back NL WEST titles and made it to two NLCS. But it wanst his ownership or leadership that got us their. It was the farm players that were there BEFORE he bought the team. It was the work of Logan White and Kim Ng. It was Ned Colleti trading away Milton Bradley for Andre Eithier.
With his plan to raise prices and drop payroll over the next decade while only having five Dodgers on payroll through the end of this year, expect a long road of mediocracy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If the Dodgers are not withing five or six games of first place at the half, expect a fire sale.
This is a Love/Hate. We love the Dodgers but we hate the Dodgers owners.
This new season starts in less than a month and I have my opening day tickets in hand.
Is this a lost cause? We need to come together as a whole and just stop attending. This will never happen. The casual fans wont care and the Pavilion People wont listen.
Until we can all unite in massive demonstration, even if its for a single weekend series or even one game. If we can have just one game with no attendance we will send the McCourts and Bud Selig a very loud message. We are the city of Los Angeles and regardless of who signs the paychecks, this team belongs to us.