We again extend our thanks again to all of those, especially in Dodgerblogville, who’ve sounded off on the fan-ownership concept we tried to layout this week (linked here).
As the third installment of the responses, we visit three of the most-visited Dodger fan sites, trusted voices who’ve probably seen and heard it all already:
== Rob McMillin, editor of 6-4-2 blog (linked here):
I have always been of the belief that MLB wouldn’t allow a Green Bay Packers scenario because of a proscription on public ownership; the real reason is that business is good,
MLB doesn’t want an undifferentiated mass of people it largely doesn’t know running a team, and there will be no shortage of buyers available should the Dodgers end up on the auction block.
The itch to pander, which is always a bad idea, is doubly bad in baseball because unlike football, the draft is important but not for picking out college or high school stars (who may or may not turn into pro stars), but for eventually recognizing, through attrition, those who may become stars.
== Howard Cole, editor of BaseballSavvy.com (linked here):
Well, I’d love to see Dennis Gilbert get the Dodgers, but if it’s going to be a large group of Los Angeles citizens, I’d just as soon buy the club myself. I figure, if the team is worth $800 million, I can round up 100,000 of my closest friends, who’ll each chip in 8,000 bucks. I’d be managing partner, of course.
My first act of business, with fanfare, would be the removal of “Don’t Stop Believin” from the stadium play list. Next, parking fees reduced to $10, Eric Collins goes to the Clippers, Mike Scioscia replaces Don Mattingly, and Sandy Koufax gets his statue at long last.
In honor of $150,000-a-year hair stylists, and as a final tribute to Dennis Mannion, Fantastic Sams kiosks ring the Reserve Level.
== Jon Weisman, from ESPNLosAngeles.com Dodger Thoughts (linked here):
I give all due credit to Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News for raising the topic of community ownership of the Dodgers and giving it a realistic appraisal. It has generated a lot of online conversation.
Having said that, can I tell you just how much I hate this idea? I don’t just mean that it’s unrealistic, which it is, as pretty much everyone concedes. I mean it is really, really unappealing to me.
Don’t construe my response as an endorsement of anyone named McCourt as owner – far from it. But fan ownership to me is completely not the answer in my mind. It is the fire that has the potential to make the frying pan look comfy.
Has everyone gotten amnesia about what it’s like when a group of Dodger fans talk about what’s best for the team? Opinions, to eschew a coarser term, are like snowflakes – none are the same. Now imagine millions of them at once. The cacophony of disagreement would be deafening. And yet somehow, a person or persons hired by the fans to run the team would somehow transcend all of this and make everyone happy? I’m not buying that for a second. Yes, they would put the Dodgers’ interests over swimming pools, but the thrill would end there.
The last thing I want to do is make this a political discussion, but as an example, we do gather as a community and choose someone to run something rather near and dear to us – it’s called the city of Los Angeles. And as we can say, some things would get solved, but it’s not like all our problems go away.
Given the impatience of most of the fan base in Los Angeles, the instability for the Dodgers in almost every aspect of the organization would probably be like nothing we’ve ever seen before (which is saying something in this era). In my mind, community ownership would essentially turn the Dodgers into a political football – a sport I have no interest seeing the team play.
The best hope for the Dodgers is for a responsible ownership to come in and support a responsible front office. That in itself is much easier said than done, but whatever happens, if we have stuff to complain about, at least we’d be complaining at them, not at each other. On the upside, we could end up with something like the Lakers, whom I think are fine to consider a role model in this respect – not perfect, but much better than what a few million co-owners would achieve.
My vision of community ownership brings to mind the final moments of “The Graduate,” with Ben and Elaine on the bus, having finally gotten together, and saddled with those gloomy “Now what?” expressions on their faces. And even so, I give Ben and Elaine more hope than I’d give the fans who own the Los Angeles Dodgers.