Those who show for fan appreciation day boo Frank McCourt in Dodgers' season finale, a 3-1 win
What if they threw a fan appreciation day and nobody showed?
The Dodgers wrapped up their season Sunday, and on their fan appreciation day the empty seats outnumbered those filled.
Your neighbor and his uncle almost could have doubled the total. The Dodgers announced a crowd of 38,007, but that, of course, is tickets sold. Actual attendance is not released, but 20,000 might have been a high estimate.
Whether this was out of general fan unhappiness over the Dodgers’ season or all the ugliness that has spilled out during the divorce proceedings of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt is, naturally, subject to opinion. Take a wild guess what mine is.
The game itself was won by the Dodgers, 3-1, a game notable not for the final result but because it was the last for Joe Torre as a manager (that’s his story, and he’s sticking to it) and the last for Brad Ausmus as a player, and because Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless ninth to finish with the lowest earned-run average (1.20) in franchise history.
Ausmus, ending his 17-year career, went two for four with a double. When he singled in the eighth, he left for a pinch-runner and was given a nice standing ovation.
After the game, the team presented Torre with a commissioned painting by artist Opie Otterstad that showed Torre in a Dodgers uniform at Dodger Stadium.
Torre spoke briefly to the crowd, but when he thanked Frank McCourt the crowd reacted with embarrassing boos.
Sort of perfectly capturing the season.
"We’ve had some great magical moments," Torre told the crowd. "I can tell you one thing, I am leaving you and the players in good hands. Don Mattingly is very special."
The game itself featured Matt Kemp’s fifth home run in five days, Ted Lilly allowing one run in seven innings to finish 10-12 (7-4 as a Dodger) and Kuo edging Eric Gagne’s previous team ERA record (1.202) for a minimum of 50 innings pitched.
-- Steve Dilbeck