Me, Elsewhere: Sir Not Appearing in Los Angeles

You may have noticed a few empty seats in the Padres’ loss Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Attendance was listed at 29,764, which is 53 percent of capacity (and probably a generous estimate of how many people actually showed up to the game). For all my complaining about the small crowds at Petco Park, the Padres are not alone in struggling to fill seats.

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) notes that the Dodgers currently rank sixth in the National League in attendance, which represents their second worst showing since 1918, when there were only eight teams in the league.

Since moving to Los Angeles 54 years ago, the Dodgers have finished first or second in attendance 41 times (76%). Poor play is a factor, but the actions of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt are far more damaging to a brand name that, love it or hate it, has provided a rare beacon of respectability on the west coast for decades.

As a Padres fan, I want to see my guys beat the Dodgers every time the two teams step onto the playing field. As a baseball fan with strong ties to Los Angeles, it kills me to see the McCourts run the franchise into the ground. Watching a rival get beat like a drum between the lines is fun. Watching that same rival destroy its name for no good reason, not so much.

The Padres need the Dodgers to get their act together soon. Otherwise, who will be left to hate?

Tagged as: , , , ,

4 Responses »

  1. At this point, I think we’re bigger rivals with the Giants anyway…the Dodgers just haven’t been that relevant since the mid-90s, and the circus show in the front office isn’t helping. And if the Giants aren’t good enough, thoughts of ’07 always make me bitter about the Rockies. But between the quality of the teams on the field, the nice new stadiums and the mini-defections of Boch, Klesko, Roberts, Correia, Cruz, etc, I think the rivalry with the Giants has been much more important over the last decade…I mean, since the sweep in ’96, what from the Dodger-Padres rivalry even comes within the same stadium as Latos vs Sanchez I, II, III and IV last year?

  2. The rivalry will continue for many more years to come, don’t you worry. You say that you want the Dodgers to start doing better, but once they actually do I bet that you will regret saying anything. Attendance throughout the entire nation is down for the MLB, so don’t think it is just the east coast.

  3. I agree, I think the Giants since the Bonds era have been the bigger rival. The Dodgers did make a decent playoff run two years ago, lest we forget. Thank god Vin Scully will still be around next year to hold down the fort for old time baseball. For God’s sake Selig, correct your mistake and eject McCourt before the fans go to one of his 10 mansions and run him out of town….

  4. @AdamA
    They’ve had 4 playoff appearances in the past 8 years (including 2 NLCS appearances under Torre), so I think your “they haven’t been relevant” claim is a bit overstated. They are not the CBS Yankees of the late 1960′s, or the Giants of the ’70′s.

    The Dodgers have traditionally been a big road draw also. I agree that it’s important to the game for the franchise to restore its name.