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How the Dodgers are losing a generation of fans

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My friend Bob Timmermann is a longtime Dodgers fan. But he lives in Los Angeles so, like a lot of Dodgers fans, he can’t see the Dodgers on TV due to the carriage dispute between Spectrum/Time Warner, which owns Dodgers broadcasts, and the other carriers which will not pay the exorbitant fees Spectrum/Time Warner is demanding.

We hear about all of this mostly when some new court case pops up. I personally hear about this most loudly from intense, diehard Dodgers fans, angry about not being able to see their team through normal channels. They beef a lot about the shady, sometimes expensive lengths they have to go to in order to see their team.

The folks we don’t hear much from, however, are people like Bob. We don’t hear much because, as he describes, he’s not angry, as such. He was mildly bummed, but since 2014 life has gone on and he simply hasn’t watched the Dodgers. Now they’re just a thing to which he’s mildly and tenuously attached:

The biggest difference between being a Dodgers fan now and one from just five years ago is intensity. When I could easily see the Dodgers on TV, I would be thinking about the team a lot. I would be very much invested in the daily ups and downs of the team. I would block out time at home to make sure to watch a game. Now, the Dodgers are something I can just check in on to see how they’re doing without investing as much mental energy. Over time, the Dodgers may end up meaning as much to me as any of L.A.’s other pro sports teams. Which doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers as I am hard pressed to name more than 3 or 4 members of teams like the Lakers, Clippers, or Rams.

The Dodgers have made a lot of money due to their massive TV deal with Spectrum/Time Warner. But that will end one day. And when it does, they will have sacrificed an entire generation of fans, like Bob, who were devoted to the team when they were actually able to be but who mostly moved on when the team made it all but impossible for people to enjoy their games.

It may very well prove to have been a shortsighted play.

 

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.