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As Dodgers' falling attendance makes news, it's time to recognize main cause: Fans are boycotting ownership

May 31, 2011 | 11:06 am

Boycotteers, as your movement swells, so does its attention.

Those empty seats at Dodger Stadium have to be an embarrassment not only to the team but to Major League Baseball. Which is now running the Dodgers, sort of.

The plummeting attendance figures received the A-1 treatment in Tuesday’s edition of The Times, with Chris Erskine’s piece getting the kind of prominent display reserved for major news stories.

Which this clearly has become.

Through Monday, attendance through the Dodgers’ first 29 games was down a total of 207,612 -- accounting for most of baseball’s overall decline of 237,983. And that includes what the Dodgers called their biggest walk-up crowd of the season (4,200) on Memorial Day.

Attendance is down for 19 teams, but most by a marginal amount. The Dodgers are down an average of 7,159 per game (16.7%).

Reasons given in Erskine’s story for the decline were: "a backlash against owners Frank and Jamie McCourt; the team's punchless performance at the plate; the brutal opening day attack on a Giants fan; an unseasonably cool spring; the poor overall economy and the fact that school isn't out yet — always a turning point for attendance.’’

I’d say he went 3-for-6 on that one, and was hitless in his last three at-bats.

It hasn’t been that unseasonably cool. The economy is poor all over. And school is never out this time of the year (and the figures are matched against games at the same time of the year).

He connected on the first three, although I don’t believe for a millisecond they are of equal significance. The dominant factor is the public’s disgust with the McCourts.

The boycott is real, even if made easier by the team’s poor play. And it’s time to acknowledge it.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, right, watches the game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on April 29. Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US Presswire