Dodgers fans appear to be “all in” for 2013 ballclub

  • David Whitlock

Credit: Sportslogos.net

It’s amazing what a year and new ownership can do to a fan base.  Especially one with as much history, tradition, and success as the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Appropriately, the Dodgers rolled out an appropriate 2013 slogan “A whole new blue” (below).  After a series of offseason moves and spending as if the Mayan apocalypse was coming, fans responded today by showing up in droves to the Dodger Stadium fanfest today.  Bill Plunkett, Dodger beat writer for the Orange County Register, tweeted

Line to get in sakes back thru gates to parking lot. #Dodgers Andre Ethier said he thought that was where line started. Surprised at crowd

Crowds lining up for autographs at #Dodgers Fan Fest pic.twitter.com/W40uShI5

#Dodgers mgr Don Mattingly on expectations/excitement level of fans: “That’s great. Now we just have to back it up.”

Los Angeles Times writer Dylan Hernandez added:

Enormous lines at Dodger Stadium for first offseason FanFest. Andre Ethier said he was shocked by the turnout.

Credit: Bill Plunkett tweet

And the Dodgers have built a lineup and rotation to win now.  The middle of the lineup will feature a (finally?) healthy Carl Crawford, 2011 NL MVP runner-up Matt Kemp (who also battled injury last year), Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Andre Ethier (used to bat 3rd, probably relegated to 6th).  They also “armed up” the rotation by acquiring former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke and Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu to go with 25-year old Clayton Kershaw (who has a Cy Young in 2011, plus a 2nd place finish in 2012).  If they can get any semblance of the Josh Beckett of old, they’ll be a Top 3 NL rotation.  The bullpen is deep, too, and more help is always available at the trade deadline.  Dodger fans have suffered an unimaginable indignity in watching the rival San Francisco Giants win two of the last three World Series titles while the hometown blue haven’t won the division since 2009.  The Dodgers also watched cross-town rival Angels secure high priced talent Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton the past two years, furthering the frustration of the franchise before the new ownership breathed life into the roster.  The Dodgers are postured for continued aggressiveness both on retaining expensive talent and raiding the free agent market courtesy of their $6B-$7B local TV deal which will pump more dollars into the payroll.

Ethier signs autographs today at Dodger FanFest
Credit: Bill Plunkett tweet

-Dave (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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