All right, so it was an afternoon game in the middle of the week in the early part of the season. You would expect a smallish crowd. But LAT columnist Steve Lopez called this afternoon's turnout embarrassing - maybe 15,000 bodies in the stands.
Andre Ethier, the only Dodger anyone wanted to see, is not in the lineup. My guess is he quit. On the bright side, there could be as many as 15,000 fans here now. You know, I've always wanted to see minor league baseball in Southern California, but Rancho Cucamonga and Lake Elsinore are too far. Thank you, Dodgers. Now I can see minor league baseball without leaving L.A.
"This is about as bad as it gets," says disgusted die-hard Tom Ropelewski, the screenwriter, who waited 'til the bitter end for something to happen. Final score: Cubs 5, Dodgers 1. But it wasn't that close. One last thought: I have tickets to eight more games this year. Anyone interested in a really good deal?
Meanwhile, owner Frank McCourt keeps hitting the airwaves in the hopes that he'll be able to convince fans that the team is not in a financial hole, that if only he had the long-term TV deal with Fox - the one Commissioner Bud Selig refuses to sign off on - he would be in fine shape. No particulars - just patter, and at this point it's not very convincing. Actually, it isn't Selig who is putting McCourt in a bind - it's that godawful team he has assembled. A slimy owner is one thing - a rag-tag ball club is something else. No wonder the stadium is empty.