Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Valour, glory, firmness, skill, generosity, steadiness in battle and ability to rule - these constitute the duty of a soldier. They flow from his own nature.
- Bhagavad Gita, Sanskrit Poem Incorporated into the Mahabharata (c. B.C. 400)

Granted, it was a day game, day games can never draw the attendance of a night game, in fact, from the owner’s standpoint, day games might be some sort of charity, a gift to the smaller number of people who can cut work or cut school to enjoy the sunshine and catch the game, because it really is the best way to see a ballgame, out in the warmth and the heat and the bright shining sun, so those ten or twelve dates on the calendar really do feel like the owners giving the fans a gift, knowing that there’s no way the attendance numbers are going to match the numbers of a night game . . .

So yeah, you get used to a day game and seeing quite a few empty seats, and I have been to quite a few daytime Dodger games and seen probably a hundred of them on television, but I have never, ever seen as many empty seats as I saw at the game yesterday. A shot from the first inning:

Empty seats at the Dodger Game

The Dodgers – this is the team that hit the three million mark in attendance for the first time in baseball history. Think about that, the first team in the history of baseball to have three million people show up on an 81 game schedule of home games. It was only after the Dodgers hit that mark six more times that one or two other teams that ended up joining them there (Cardinals, Yankees? I’m too lazy to google it) in years after that, but for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, almost like a marital contract, L.A. fans stuck with their Dodgers and they were showing up three million strong in good years and in bad, year after year.

Now it looks like a Florida Marlins game. First time I’ve ever been to a Dodgers game, and they didn’t even announce the attendance! It’s that bad! What was it? 20,000? 15,000? Holy crap, we are seriously encroaching on minor league attendance numbers! It’s one of the most dramatic turnarounds I’ve ever seen, a major league ball club turning itself into minor league attendance numbers.

So how did this happen? How do you explain it?

I can only attribute it to the year starting off with two asshole gangbangers beating a Giants fan into a coma, an act of such stupidity and assholishness that I can’t even begin to address it here, but that was maybe the worst thing we’ve ever seen at Dodger Stadium and then compound that with the McCourts divorce and how their finances have become such a disaster that Major League Baseball has decided that they must wrest control of the ball team from the owners themselves . . . and yet with all of that, somehow that still doesn’t explain it.

It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to fathom, but it’s so sad to see a team that used to draw three million doesn’t even announce the attendance any more.

Oh dear God, someone please resurrect my beloved Dodgers.

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Doris Kearns Goodwin