The Dodgers’ satirical invocation of Anchorman on Twitter in the wee hours Friday, before the anger over Thursday’s brawl had begun to die down, has earned a lot of praise for its bold comic timing, with even U-T San Diego taking note.
See you on Monday in Los Angeles: twitter.com/Dodgers/status…
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 12, 2013
I wish it didn’t make me uncomfortable, but it does.
The past two years have been an ongoing effort to rebuild the reputation of the Dodger fanbase following the 2011 attack by two men on Bryan Stow in the stadium parking lot. It should go without saying that the actions of those men don’t represent Dodger fans overall, but – with no small help from what had become a rough atmosphere in some sections of the stadium – we have needed to make the point over and over again. We support our team, but you have the right to support yours. Every city has its bad apples, but they don’t speak for us.
“You stay classy San Diego” undermines all that. The Dodgers themselves have told the world that it’s okay to label a city based on the unfortunate actions of just one individual.
And they’ve done so with an arrogance that, with the memory of the Stow tragedy so fresh, they shouldn’t necessarily possess.
So the @dodgers, where someone got beat into a coma, are telling San Diego to stay classy? Smog is bad for brains.
— Tony Wang (@tonyw44) April 12, 2013
The text on the Dodgers’ tweet, “See you on Monday in Los Angeles,” even seems to encourage confrontation.
Yes, some people in San Diego defended Carlos Quentin’s actions. And yes, the tweet was all in good fun – though clearly fun mixed with exasperation at what had happened. It rallied together the Dodger fan base, thousands laughed and even many outsiders now think the Dodgers have, if nothing else, good comic taste.
— Jim Brady (@jimbradysp) April 12, 2013
That doesn’t change the fact that the Dodgers have opened the door for anyone to mock the entire city of Los Angeles any and every time something goes wrong. I’m not happy about it.
Humor can defuse a fight, but it only exacerbated this one.
Perhaps I shouldn’t care what other people think of us, but I’ve got too much pride in Los Angeles, the Dodgers and their fans to just ignore perception. I’ve spent about four decades watching people make fun of a fan base for being dilettantes, even as evidence ceaselessly appears around the country of others acting in the same way. (Here’s but one example of many.) Following the Stow attack, the ridicule only intensified, drowning out the voices of those who were disgusted by the criminal behavior and support their team as well as anyone else in the country. In the eyes of countless baseball fans around the country, Dodger fans became thugs.
Is any else as pissed as I am that the @dodgers posted the “stay classy San Diego” when we all know their class is minimal at best?
— Chris Sullivan (@Sully7324) April 12, 2013
With better security, new ownership, improvements to the stadium and what I believe to be some level of collective soul-searching about behavior at the ballpark, I like to think the negativity surrounding Dodger fans is dissipating. Some wil never credit us for being great fans – certainly, many in our rival cities have no incentive to. But I do think it’s important to put our best face forward. This is a proud franchise with a glorious history, and it deserves to be seen that way. Not to mention the fact that the atmosphere at Dodger Stadium is best when everyone feels secure.
The city of San Diego did not fracture Zack Greinke’s collarbone. Carlos Quentin did. Yet the Dodgers themselves chose to make it about the city. Now, when almost inevitably someone in Los Angeles does something unthinkably stupid at a baseball game – perhaps as soon as Monday, when tensions toward the Padres hit a fever pitch – the rest of the baseball world will have carte blanche to make it about all of us. Will we still be laughing then?