Monday, April 14, 2008

Five Things I Realized on Blogger Night

1. The Dodgers are a baseball team, and the Dodgers are a business, and never the two shall meet. The Dodgers' notoriously indiscriminate fanbase (2005 record: 71-91, 2005 attendance: 3,603,646; 2006 record: 88-74, 2006 attendance: 3,758,545) gives the franchise the rare luxury of developing off-the-field interests, such as real estate and charitable work, regardless of the team's performance. It's good for the community, it's good for the McCourts. It's not so good for fans who don't believe in supporting a bad team.

2. Nothing is new: The Dodgers have heard it all. There was no question posed to Josh Rawitch, Ned Colletti, Frank McCourt and especially Tommy Lasorda they hadn't already addressed countless times. Not that they were unwilling to give answers—they couldn't have been more gracious. Rather, the preparedness of their answers demonstrated they had considered all angles. Whether you agree with their subsequent decisions is another matter.

3. The Dodgers don't know what to make of bloggers. Blogs are a strange new animal: safer than journalists, more dangerous than the average fan. Of course, all teams are dealing with this trend, and the blurring line between reporter and blogger (see: Jackson, Tony; Leung, Diamond) complicates the issue further. Rawitch's reaching out to bloggers was savvy as it was kind, since the only certainty is that blogs aren't going anywhere.

4. Ned Colletti has got his mind set (and it's not on you). It's pretty clear who makes the big baseball decisions for the Dodgers: Ned Colletti and Joe Torre. Colletti spoke with conviction and specificity about his baseball philosophy. This did not strike me as someone who would be influenced by the press—if he reads the press at all. As for Torre: The Dodgers are 5-7 but thus far most criticism has centered around Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.

5. The Dodgers need to hire more help, inside the stadium and out. Rawitch has a staff of energetic young people, some of whom we had the pleasure of meeting. But I suspect he could use more of them, especially if the team's foray into China pays off in increased international popularity. Inside the stadium, more ushers have been added to deal with the recent Field level autograph situation, but anyone who's witnessed fights at Dodger Stadium can tell you that even more ushers—and security guards—would be a welcome addition.


Lasorda said...

Re: #4. Funny, but this isn't exactly the way Will Carroll's sources described it. Either that, or Ned decided to try to spin the perception this way (just short of a "there's a new sheriff in town" statement).