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Dodgers: ESPN Examines Why Los Angeles Fans Are So Down On Their Team

Should Dodger fans be frustrated or not?

A dejected Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers dugout.

Thus far, it’s been a slow off-season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Without doing much digging, you can look around on social media to see that Dodgers fans are frustrated and itching for a big move.

However, some outsiders wonder why fans are so frustrated with the organization. Take ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle for example. Doolittle writes at ESPN about the Dodgers being in a position where they have bags of money to spend, but no logical candidate to spend it on. Furthermore, he examines whether or not the fan frustration has any validity.

Obviously, Doolittle empathizes with all of us that have waited so long for a championship. For instance, read one of the first paragraphs he writes.

The Dodgers have not, however, managed to end a franchise championship drought that began after the Tommy Lasorda/Kirk Gibson/Orel Hershiser Dodgers won it all in 1988. That, in a nutshell, is where the discontent stems from. The growing concern seems to be that the Dodgers are willing to do just enough to keep the turnstiles turning, but not quite enough to get over the ultimate hump. At least that’s my take on what the beef is, because, to be frank, I don’t quite understand the antipathy.

Next, he acknowledges the fact the organization didn’t get the job done on the big three of Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole, and Anthony Rendon. Still, Doolittle doesn’t fault the organization. Here is where he says the organization is left out in the cold without a dance partner in a free agent that moves the needle towards winning a title.

It’s hard to know to what extent any of those proclivities could have been erased with a whole lot of zeroes, and if you want to hammer on the Dodgers for not outsprinting the other offers, that’s fair game. Beyond that, once that elite trio was off the market, the Dodgers were left in a position of having bags of cash to spend and no logical candidate to give them to.

Finally, Doolittle says that he has the Dodgers winning 100 games and getting to the playoffs once again. It seems that he feels Dodger fans should understand the position the organization is in, and why no moves have happened. Also, he points out that the Dodgers could still sign a remaining free agent.

So I ask you, are you frustrated; and if so what would you have done differently this off-season if you were running the Dodgers? Let us know in the comments below.

NEXT: Dodgers Enter 2020 With A Chip on Their Shoulder

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

57 Comments

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  1. Looks like main stream media is noticing the 33 year drought. Thanks for posting this Clint. Finally a voice for a majority of the fans! I saw this on espnlosangeles today, I was surprised to see we were only 22 nd on the spending metric. Yanks 1 st, Nat’s #2.

  2. Doolittle “examines whether or not the fan frustration has any validity.” Its the lack of understanding by outsiders like these guys that shows they have no empathy for the fan. Tell you what Mr. Didlittle, you come live in LA with all of us who haven’t seen a Dodger WS title since the new century and well before that and then tell us our wishes for one have no validity. The Dodgers make as much as anyone in baseball, probably more than anyone yet they spend like they are the Florida Marlins! Yes, were as frustrated as hell and we don’t want to take it anymore so keep your stupid opinions about the proclivities of the Dodger’s fans to your freaking self!

    • Blue Vinman, I concur here with you. mr Doolittle also does not understand at least why I am frustrated with this Dodger organization. Yes, there are 7 straight division titles but I am upset with Roberts and Co more than anyone else because Roberts has already said he would make those exact same pitching decision he made in game 5 of NLDS that ultimately cost the Dodgers that game and series. I also am not too thrilled with seeing that as of now anyway Dodgers will go into 2020 with the same predominantly left handed lineup with no real impact RHB to at least protect Bellinger in middle of lineup. Also aI am not looking forward to the lineup and position shuffling done every time Dodgers face a LHP. It’s one thing to give guys a day off (rest) but not playing musical chairs with everyone. Lux is a prime target to become another Joc who will be platooned if he shows the slightest struggle facing a LHP. Dodgers have had the tendency to make many hitters 1 dimensional, base upon L-R-L-R matching up and running games via a spread sheet. Pitching as it stands now is questionable going forward.

    • Dude, you are way too hostile. It’s a game, and we will win soon with our own. The rest of MLBs GMs will be watching when we do. Lindor? We have Lux. Betts? We have Belli and Verdugo. Free Agency? 300million bones was a pretty good bid for a guy who ultimately just wanted to be a Yank. (Cant argue with a guys bad taste). 200 million dollar yearly payroll? Not bad. Here is my real concern though, players not wanting to play in LA because of the constant platoons. Career killer. That is my real concern.

      • Seriously, you’re comparing Lux to Lindor? Lindor is a proven all-star and Lux has proven nothing – he’s still nothing more than a prospect right now. You put Verdugo in the same sentence as Betts? That’s just so absurdly stupid I don’t even know where to start.

        • Did not mean to compare present state Lux to Lindor or Verdugo to Betts. What I am saying is that the prospect capital other GM’s would force our team to part with exceeds the stat difference at the end of the day between what our guys will do and where Betts and Lindor end up. In this case, I see the FO as refusing to be ‘held-up’ on the trade table just to appease fans who demand a major roster change. I fully understand why Dodgers fans are so disappointed in the FO. We’re desperate! But desperation is a position that you do not want to be negotiating from. For my part, I will enjoy watching our young guys this season. I think we will win, and look forward to the possibility of a major pitching acquisition at the trade deadline.

          • A major pitching acquisition? You know that team would demand the same packages every team does. In other words we’d settle for another 3.80-4.10 ERA overhyped pitcher like Darvish

  3. I believe Dodger are strong and make the play off again. My down side to the club are they have problem in playoff pitching and a true lefty killing right hand bat. Of course can ask why they ever signed A.J. Pollock when you have so many minor leagues player in waiting to play the out field. You know what you was getting when you signed A.J. he not a lefty killer he just a decent major league baseball player who got over payed for front office try to do to much. Kelley seem to just try to do to much to make up for his contract. I close in hoping Dodger rookie can make a large step forward and give the team I love a world series again.

  4. Paul and Blue, the way I see it is they’ ve made their bed now and must sleep in it! The apologists in the media like this guy don’t realize they have OPENED the conversation at least, and the more it makes headlines,the more it allows astute fans to hear other fans takes. Instead of Kasten just coming in and arrogantly telling us/we how it’s going to be ,and to just shut up and show up, as articles like these get the buzz going again! Its like anything else American, the paying customer still has the power of NOT supporting any product that’s overpriced and especially where they are lied to! The only way any of these guys start respecting the fans is to expose their monopoly! This author is wanting clout with the team by being yet another apologist that isn’t on their payroll yet, and calls our disdain rhetoric? I applaud his brown nose servitude of the regime by giving us a national platform to be heard!

  5. How about a team with questions throughout the pitching rotation (looking at you Kershaw, and the unknown “rookie starters), a pathetic bullpen with an over the hill closer, and tremendous resources which are only going into the owners pockets rather than using some of it for reinvestment in the product…you think this may be a realistic reason for the anxiety a antipathy?

  6. Can we speak frankly – my frustration comes from the LACK of playoff performers for one. The NL MVP Bellinger CHOKES – he has no protection to make people fear him especially in the playoffs. Plus he still can’t control his bat with down & away pitching. Dodgers lack proven playoff performers who can strike fear in a pitching staff. Second, like at least another person said Roberts said that he’d make the same exact moves – so you have NO REFLECTION, no ability to learn from your mistakes. Yes in the past they traded for at least 2 big time players but didn’t resign them and or this past year traded for one decent pitcher and that was it. Third, read Dylan Her Andes article about how LA sees the other West teams as unwilling to make enough moves to challenge them so they don’t have themselves. They “wait to the deadline” and then don’t pull multiple triggers to get better players – I mean we could’ve had Verlander. Fourth, they value their assets too much. Windows are limited but you can’t make a trade for Lindor bc of Lux? Lindor is a SUPERSTAR, which we don’t have, and could bat lead off & switch hits & hits lefties. Even if we don’t trade for Lindor – we could easily get Betts & Kris Bryant – imagine a lineup with those 2 to protect Belli & add depth. Fifth stop hoping you can clean the bottom of the bullpen barrel and fix what others couldn’t.

  7. At least he doesn’t fall back on that “fans should be happy with all those ‘competitive’ years'” bullpucky that the Friedman Fanboys trot out. And make it clear, we are not “unhappy” with the team. We are unhappy with the management of said team. In a recent post, one of the Fanboys said we should be happy we aren’t Chicago. Really? The head guy in Chicago will be in the Hall of Fame someday because he won in both Chicago and Boston. Meanwhile, Andrew Friedman continues to aspire to being in the Hall of “very good.” You will never hear the Dodgers say “if not now, when.” They just don’t think that way. Everytime Kasten opens his mouth we are reminded that “success” is many things that have nothing to do with a World Championship. As long as that is the talking point, fans have a right to be “down on their team.”

  8. Problem #1 Friedman and Kasten, well there not billionaires like the rest of the Guggenheim. So they must keep the gravy train going along smoothly. Which is have a decent team to contend in the weak western division and keep the turnstiles turning at the stadium. Problem #2 The manager Roberts. As successful he has been he’s still one of the lowest paid managers in the league. Why because Freidman and Kasten don’t want to pay a big salery to a legit manager. Remember we could have had Joe madden a few years ago. But Freidman and Kasten don’t believe in a Five million dollar a year manager. So basically that’s it. If the Four million fans that attend dodger games every year continue nothing will change. And Freidman, Kasten and Guggenheim will continue to prints money at the fans expense. I propose that the fans that go too fan fest which is at the end of the month BOYCOTT it. Show Friedman and Kasten that your fed up with just winning a division.

    • Once again, as a Dodger fan from the years of Koufax and Drysdale, I fail to see the reason for the negativity. We have a solid, solid team. Yep, they are lefty heavy. But we are getting trade offers that are heavily in favor of the other team. The free agents we missed? Cole got a HUGE offer from us– and is now a Yankee. Strasburg wanted to stay in Washington. Rendon didn’t want to play in LA. Ryu was not worth the risk. He HAD his career year. And will probably miss one of those 4. Bumgardner didn’t like LA. And so it goes. When we start seeing May and Urias having double digit K games, maybe you guys will SEE. And cool your jets. Man! You sound like we just won 67 games. Not 107.

      • You sound like we just won some championships recently. These guys are failures in the playoffs always have always will. This is LA’s version of those Brooklyn bums

  9. I don’t believe the Dodgers needed to make the big splash I think they only need to stay the course with player development and a championship will come

    • Dennis, in case you haven’t noticed, this mngt has been sticking ” only” with player development . The question I have with other Dodgers fans that think relying solely on our own players is ” how many MLB teams in your lifetime have ever won the World series with just their own farm players? The answer is None! A lot win with some balance throughout the lineup but its never been done! The master programming from Kasten convincing fans that ” always” waiting for players to develope and holding onto their farm is lip service! The only way a Championship will come is when the Dodgers start admitting that every single one of their farm guys isn’t the next Babe Ruth, and admitting their weaknesses in their lineup each season and spending that fortune they have that 29 other teams don’t and attaining a few. Next thing is getting back to fundamental baseball with a fundamental manager that knows when to go get a pitcher, one that will demand his players can bunt, sac bunt, safety squeeze, hit and run etc. One that knows when to get a pitcher , when to ride a hot hitter and one that knows when to sit a slumping player. And a manager that tells the GM that he calls the shots! There’s s couple more things like balancing the lineup with both left right players, but this Dodger team will never win another world series until they change their entire futile philosophy.

  10. It is frustrating to know that your manager has blown it for you with terrible decisions by pulling pitchers out to soon or leaving Kershaw in, ( Hill, Maeda 2017) leaving Kershaw inn 2017,2018,2019 and given the chance 2020. The Front office does not solidify your starting rotation to win a world series. Kershaw at your # 2 or 3 starter and the fact that he gives up home runs and you basically need a 6 run lead with him in a game to feel comfortable. Then we get to analytics! It works in 162 Games but not in the playoffs and even less in NLCS or freaking World Series!!! Then Kasten being condescending and arrogant in interviews like if we are all dumb children. I wouldn’t bet the farm on deals that are rentals or dont make sense but they have money to spend on a power bat, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm so why not do it already via trade or free agent ahhhhhhhhhh?!

  11. I hope their be some protection for Belly this year lead national league in walks. Let bat Barnes behind him again. That was the worse line up of the year Roberts came up with. Barnes was pitch to every time Belly was walk or pitch around. I am not try be to negative but every one right what we do this year if we lose just one of Dodger top pitcher.

  12. It’s not just that they haven’t won the World Series since the 1980s. It’s also that the Giants won 3 in the past 10 years. I lived my whole life knowing the Giants hadn’t won since 1954. Until 2010. I don’t just want the Dodgers to win A World Series. I want them to win at least a few in a row if not more. I live in the Bay Area now by the way… You try dealing with Giant fans on a daily basis.

  13. Stay the course too funny
    that is all the front office have done.
    They have gotten close but have not gone all in to stack a heavy favorite and take home the world series.
    Hard core Dodger fans don’t need there opinions spoon fed to them by know nothings.
    Fan fest should be boycotted at least by fans that realize what is happening can think for themselves and actually care about the product being put on the field.
    Fan fest Seems like a money Grab
    I would go if ….
    I didn’t see the Dodgers taking steps backwards could not even be bothered to keep the team together. Or do anything to make the team better.
    This Club has done nothing to improve we are even weaker then last years early exit team. Why would I or any self respecting fan go and give anything to an organization that takes with out remorse.

    You can’t get pictures with players close up?
    But you money is still good in the stadium.

    Can I pay steve sax to give my a shot right In the balls or is that extra?

    This Organization BA looows.
    BOOOOOOO
    STAN YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT YOUR JOB AND NEED TO LEAVE TAKE ANDREW THE CON MAN WITH YOU

  14. Clint and Kirk
    You guys both are on point with what you have to Express about my beloved Dodgers
    Keep up the good work

  15. We need to get a clutch hitter like lindor or betts either one of these would be a great addition. We left the bases loaded how many times this last playoffs and scored maybe twice on those bases loaded. Betts and lindor have always come up big in the playoffs.

  16. I’m feel bad for the Dodgers fan this team is regretting and whit robert and Friedman on front this season is going to be the same nothing good for us but maybe they are going to have another little trophy and keeping the management happy

    • You’re right Hugo, It’ll be Another pat on the back for winning their pathetic division by 20 games and then wondering what hit them when they get bounced by a team that’s equal to or better than them and who were actually tested during the season

  17. My chief frustration about the dodgers of the last 7 years is their inability to go “all in” to finish the job of winning a World Series. They’ve had lots of very good players and gotten a good look at the trophy and rings at the end of the tunnel each of the last 3 seasons. In 2019 against the Nats all they needed to advance were a couple of good relievers, benching A.J. Pollock when he was cold as an igloo, batting Martin and Freese more when they were hot, and avoiding the ridiculous late inning pitching substitution decisions of Game 5. In 2017 and 2018 they were ‘right there’ with the title within reach and they couldn’t avoid colossal puzzling, devastating managerial mistakes and huge performance letdowns.

    • I agree with everything you said except about game 5 last year. They had the available relievers to get 6 more outs with a 3-1 lead. Buehler went 6.2 Kershaw got the last out, literally all dopey had to do was put in Maeda for the 8th and roll the dice with Jansen and we win the series despite all of the other complaints we had that series

  18. Unfortunately, the Nationals were destined to win the World Series and nothing could be done to stop that. Entering the World Series they had won 16 of their last 18 games with the only 2 losses to the dodgers. The Astros were overwhelming favorites to win the world series and the Nationals even eat them. The dodgers were ahead in the fifth and final game of the playoffs until the 7th inning and the Nats hit two home runs to tie the game and won with the grand slam. I will gladly take another 106 game win season and take my chances in winning it all.

    • No team is destined unless we’re going to go ahead and admit our sports leagues are fixed and scripted. The Nats run would’ve ended had Maeda pitched the 8th from the beginning and Jansen for the 9th. Despite all of our teams struggles that series we would’ve won in the end. I know Jansen was very shaky last year but I think he shows up that night, can’t speak for the rest of the playoffs though

  19. I think people should look at things in perspective. The Dodgers are a business with responsibilities to investors for return on investment. The Dodgers do very well making profits. The odds of winning a World Series, with all the variables in a season, are not improved by the payroll for super-premium players. The Dodgers know that fans will buy tickets and merchandise without the team going to the World Series.
    The Dodgers do REALLY well every year and that’s what we should expect.

    • Odds actually are increased when you have pieces that your opponents don’t have. Having 3 shutdown relievers in the late innings and starters like Buehler who can pitch 7 and hold a lead, a few clutch hitters, and a more balanced lineup. Of course, if you subscribe to the cr*apshoot theory then nothing really matters I guess

  20. Mr. Doolittle, you have your head up your butt. Try to convince Dodger fans that our starting pitching is as strong as last years. Ryu was our best pitcher last year when you look at stats, and now he’s gone. We are down two starters and Kasten and Friedman sit on their ass. We bid a lot of money for Cole but don’t think for a minute that management didn’t know the Yanks were going to offer more years and as many bucks as it would take to get him. Friedman knew all along he was not going to sign him and Kasten wasn’t going to spend what it would take to sign him anyway. Kasten is all about the buck, our dollars and Friedman is all about prospects. If I’m wrong, then why haven’t we signed the free agents that were available. A prospect is just that, a prospect and hasn’t proven anything until he proves he can do it at the major league level. Management is going to sit back and wait until the trading deadline before they do anything and we will probably win our division and watch someone else play in the WS. Get used to it folks, another year with a lot of wins and no WS rings.

  21. Seriously not one mention of how bad Dave Roberts is at managing his pitching staff? The different lineups every night? Chris Taylor getting 400 -600 at bats a year ? Every time kershaw pitches he gets the worst offensive lineup possible . Anyone with or without pulse can manage this team in this weak division to the playoffs . When it counts , Roberts gets out managed every time.

    • The different lineup shuffling around based upon the hand the opposing pitcher throws with has been a main sticking point with me. And most of all, the way Roberts manages the pitching is a head scratcher… But again some of the lineup shuffling is a result of some players not having good enough splits to play every day. By every day I don’t necessarily mean all 162 games because no player does that any more for the most part.

  22. How about the tv broadcasting deal that left half the fan base unable to watch dodger games? Then numerous years blowing it with Kershaw and no reliable bullpen. Now they didnt even keep Ryu…its obvious they just want money over fans and to be in the playoffs every year, nothing more.

    • More than the team losing, it is the disregard for the fans who live in Los Angeles who cannot watch the games. Guggenheim took the money and screwed us. MLB has a local blackout and if you do not live in Spectrum’s area of coverage, the only way to see the team on TV is an illegal hookup. Coming to Dodger Stadium brings me back to my 70’s Dodgers and the Pepsi Fan Club. I am born, raised and live here. They are my team. I loathe the ownership immensely. Just seeing any of the ownership at a game, sickens me.

  23. We are not down on the team. We appreciate the fact that we are consistently in contention, in the playoffs and in the World Series in 2017 and 2018. We are frustrated because we are so close to the World Championship and fail because the front office (and the ownership they represent) consistently leave us short of the bullpen staff and the starting pitching staff needed to win it all. We watch signings or trades that bring “more mediocrity” rather than “exceptionalism “. We love to root for our Dodgers on the field and will always do so. We are tired of the front office showing little interest in getting the best “players” who can take us over the top. We need a concerted effort by the front office to always make a concerted/reasonable effort bring in the needed pieces to get the World Championship. We feel that that concerted effort has too often been lacking.

  24. So Kershaw had the 7th best ERA in the league at 3.03, yet LA needs at least a 6 run lead when he pitches? Ok?
    Plus he gives up HR’s, sorry EVERYONE was giving up HRs last year, the ball was juiced! Most LA fans wanted to get Verlander, who has worse WS stats than Kershaw, plus he gave up like 40 HRs last year!!! So, what were you saying again???

    • Dodger fans are very passionate about the team. It’s made up of people from all races and incomes who all bleed blue. The playoffs the past seven years have been especially painful with what many of us see as somewhat of a choke by the team. Games 2 and 5 of the 2017 WS should have been wins and game 7 wouldn’t have happened. Game 5 last season was brutal. 3-1 lead in the 8th with 10 pitchers in the pen and Kershaw chokes it away. Also, in that game Bellinger was on second base with no outs in the 4th and 6th innings. A 4th run would have been a dagger in the 4th. In the 6th, the Nats had scored and getting back to a 3 run lead would have been a crusher for the Nats. We all know how good they are and think we’re 1 player away, but continue to lose on the big free agents. In addition, the TV contract is just BS. All of us would pay for the channel, but it’s not even an option where we live. They are losing a generation of fans. If they couldn’t get it done for St. Vinny’s last season, will they ever. The anger is real.

  25. The answer is simple: Dave Roberts. He has shown repeatedly that he is not capable of making smart decisions in the biggest games. And he’s not learning. You cannot win a title with a manager who doesn’t understand that the postseason is different from the regular season. Analytics don’t matter in a short series, momentum does. You go with the hot hand. His incompetence has cost the Dodgers several playoff and World Series games over the past 3 seasons.

  26. Platooning Roberts way will never , ever win a WS , we needed a RH bat and some pitching . Why the hell did we keep Barnes over R. Martin ,and he can even pitch , Barnes is us less .. It all falls on Roberts and his mismanagement of his team .. Boycott !!!!!!!!!

  27. They just seem to lack the urgency when it comes to free agents. And when they do sign someone, they’re usually a middle of the pack player like Brian Dozier… not exactly the players to get us over the hump. They have money, spend it. Friedman needs to stop sitting on his hands and get busy.

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