July 26, 2014

Merry Christmas to Every Dodger Fan Out There

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas

It Truly is a November to Remember for Dodger Fans

Who would have thought when November first began that Dodger fans would have so much to be thankful for?  It all began on November 2nd, when Frank McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers.  On Nove,ber 17, Clayton Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Matt Kemp signed an eight year, $160 milion deal on November 18. Really, can it get much better than that that?  Absolutely.  Tomorrow the National league MVP Award will be given out, and if Dodger fans had their way, it would go to Matt Kemp.

That would be 20 days of baseball euphoria in Los Angeles.  I honestly am having a hard time finding something to compare it to.  Here we have a down-on-it’s-luck franchise, getting the ultimate gift when a despised owner agrees to sell the city’s beloved franchise, followed quickly by it’s young phenom pitcher receiving the highest award possible, followed by their charismatic and unbelievably talented young outfielder signing a lucrative extension and proclaiming his desire to be a Dodger for life.  It kind of makes you think Matt Kemp is due the MVP doesn’t it?

I so want Matt Kemp to be the MVP.  I want it for him because he had one of best all-around seasons for any baseball player in decades.  I want it for him because he played hard everyday on an average team.  I want it for him because he played the game the way it’s meant to be played: with hard work, class and a fantastic attitude.  But mostly, I want it for Dodger fans…for their support, passion and believe in this club.

But whether or not Matt wins the MVP, I’m thankful.  Thankful that the Dodger organization has turned a corner and that hope is once again on the horizon.  A new owner will soon be in place and we’ll have the opportunity to see Kershaw, Kemp and the others for years to come.

As a baseball fan, you really can’t ask for much more than that.

KeMVP, baby.

Photo credit: Jon SooHoo / 2011 LA Dodgers

New Look at Dodger Stadium Attendance Drop

Jim Peltz from The Los Angeles Times gives the noticeable drop in attendance at Dodger Stadium this year some focus: attendance is down 7,902 per game, resulting in $27 million in reduced ticket sales, parking and concession revenues, and approximately a 9.4% drop in annual revenue.

Woah.  Now only the Dodgers can tell us what the $27 million actually means for the financial operations of the club (although I think it’s safe to say it doesn’t mean the Dodgers will be a leading candidate to sign Prince Fielder this off-season).  That said, people are staying away.  When the nightly attendance figures are announced for every home game, it’s practically a joke, with writers and fans frequently tweeting about the released number and smaller crowds in the stands.

And yeah, that 7,902 figire represnts the largest drop across Major League Baseball.  In his must-read article for Dodger fans, Peltz notes that the next-biggest attendance drop is the Seattle Mariners, with an average drop of 4,213 per game.

In my opinion, the attendance decline is tied directly to utter disgust with the McCourt ownership group, the Opening Day beating of Bryan Stowe and a lack of financial commitment to fielding a competitive team worthy of the #2 media market in the country.  Put all three of those things together and you have one pissed off fan base that appears to have had it.

The scary thing is, Frank McCourt’s history is to fight to the bitter end, and for Dodger fans, that’s a prospect that should make everyone very, very nervous.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Diamondbacks Take First Place in NL West, Sky Doesn’t Fall

I am glad the rapture was scheduled for last weekend, because I would be much more worried if it were still forthcoming given the Diamondbacks current position in first place in the NL West. While this accomplishment doesn’t exactly spell out the end of days, it is surprising given their middling start and long absence from the position (they last graced sole ownership of first place back in September of 2008).

The D-backs have currently won 6 in a row and 9 out of their last 10 games. They are 14-2 since May 14.

    Take a look at the striking difference between the turnaround the Diamondbacks have delivered

(as evidenced by the number and margin of their victories) since the beginning of the season:

Diamondbacks Game Results (source: baseball-reference.com)

    Now, contrast that with the same data for the Dodgers

:

Dodgers game stats (source: baseball-reference.com)

I am no statistician, but the D-backs clearly have a strong trend going while the Dodgers have had a few peaks during specific series this season (ATL/CHC in April, PIT in May).

In fact, the D-backs performance is even more impressive when you note that 6 of the 8 losses the team has suffered since May 5 were by only one run each.

Can we clone Kershaw and get him active for every start? If not, the Dodgers likely have a long road ahead of them if they are going to snap their mediocre performance to-date.

Dollar Dodger Dogs on Memorial Day

We all know that seats at Dodger Stadium are pretty easy to come across these days, but that doesn’t make the trip any less expensive with parking and concession costs being what they are. Fortunately, the Dodgers are giving everyone a break on Monday (and doing their best to come up with creative ways to spark attendance) by offering dollar Dodger Dogs for the Memorial Day game against the Rockies.

Looks like there will be a 4 Dodger Dog limit per transaction.