This week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wrested control of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt because of the team's shaky finances occasioned by the latter's messy divorce.
There are many Southern Californians who can't connect with the Dodgers anymore. Indeed, season ticket sales have plunged. The stadium, inconveniently located and poorly designed, has grown old before its time. Its restrooms are vile. Parking and refreshments are priced exorbitantly. Worst of all, the fans have grown crude to the point of wanton violence, as we saw on opening day.
Perhaps the time has come for the Dodgers to find a new stadium, a new owner, and perhaps even a new city. Down the road in Anaheim people watch the Angels in a cleaner and better designed venue that is convenient to the freeway. Parking costs half what the Dodgers charge. Refreshments are far more varied and prices are fair. Most of all, the ambiance is cheerful and family friendly.
If the Dodgers can not provide a safe and clean stadium for an outing at a reasonable price, then both the team and the city might be better off without each other.
Baseball Players Practicing by Thomas Eakins, 1875. I find an industriousness and a brooding quiet in many of Eakins' works. Here, only a handful of spectators, barely sketched, presents no distraction to the players. The crowds will return with their adulation, but in this moment, late in the season and after the game, as evidenced by the yellow turf and long shadows, the athletes are joined in wordless diligence. Click on the picture for a closer look.