Fans do not seem interested in the Dodgers
Not as in the past, I have not enjoyed this spring training with the Dodgers. I have listened or watched every game that I could because I run Dodger Place. Last spring I had an average of five visitors a day to my web site, but this spring I have had two to four visitors a day. Though the Los Angeles Dodgers have a good record in the Grapefruit League, as many Dodger fans do, I feel the Dodgers will struggle this season, especially early.
When spring training started, I was excited and wrote an editorial daily. Dodger Place was getting 33 visitors a day. Even when Gary Sheffield had demanded a lifetime contract extension or a trade and criticized Bob Daly and five of his teammates, my spirits remained high. As the ugly situation proceeded, my spirits started to dampen, but I felt certain that the Dodgers would trade Sheffield after he called the Dodger CEO a “liar” and “unprofessional.” Now the Dodgers will keep Sheffield. This decision has destroyed the enthusiasm of many Dodger fans, including me. Dodger fans and I feel we will read about off field scandals involving the Dodgers as we have since Fox Corporation took over the Dodger ownership in 1998. Most Dodger fans, including me, are tired of it. Almost nobody visits Dodger Place now.
Though many Dodger regulars have been injured this spring, Jim Tracy has not played many Dodger regulars together. Although entering spring training the Dodgers had most of their team set for the 2001 season, the Dodgers had the most players of any team in their major league camp. Unlike in the past, most unknown Dodgers have not been from the Dodger minor league system. The Dodgers have many older players who have never reached the major leagues. The Dodgers have used thirty different pitchers. Dodger spring training has reminded me of the baseball classic joke “Who’s on first, What is on second, and I don’t know is on third.” I am still struggling to know who are the Dodgers and who are their opponents.
Yesterday with less than two weeks until opening day Eric Karros, Chad Kreuter, and three somewhat-known pitchers went to Port St. Lucie, about thirty miles south from Vero Beach. Today the Dodgers have a split-squad day, late in the spring for it. I cannot recall the Dodger projected lineup playing together any day this spring, nor can I recall a Dodger regular playing nine innings. I have concerns about the Dodgers establishing communication as a team and having enough endurance to play nine innings.
Though I have not enjoyed this spring training, I liked the fact that the Dodgers are stressing fundamentals. My concerns probably are not justified, and I am only a worrier. Go Dodgers!