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Southern California sports fans speak out – Orange County Register

Readers had a lot to say about some Los Angeles-area team owners when SCNG columnist Jim Alexander asked them for their opinions. Angels owner Arte Moreno (right) remains a polarizing figure, but fans have plenty to say about the Dodger Stadium experience under Mark Walter (bottom left), the Lakers’ endless coaching changes under Jeanie Buss (center left) and praise the way the Rams are run under Stan Kroenke (top left). (Photos by The Associated Press and Getty Images)

As the responses started pouring in to our column earlier this month, in which we asked the public to rate (or complain about, or maybe even praise) the owners of their favorite teams, there was a surprise. Surprisingly, given the tenor of the emails we’ve received over the past few seasons, not all of them were devoted to the failings of Angels owner Arte Moreno.

Perhaps loyal Angel fans have already vented their tirades in previous correspondence, or some are reluctant to get involved in the early stages of another season in the depths of the American League West.

The Angels and Moreno have been mentioned several times. But the same can be said for the Lakers, who have won one championship in the last 14 seasons, are in the midst of another coaching search (subtitle: “What did LeBron know and when did he know it?”), but still have a firm grip on the emotions of this market’s fan base.

And excessive stadium noise — which has become ubiquitous at all levels of sports, although it seems even more incessant and annoying at Dodger Stadium — was also mentioned several times. The consensus? Turn down the speakers!

(I’m also not sure all of the latter reactions are from the “get off my lawn” generation, although we’re probably more bothered by the noise. You know something bad is happening when the overworked Apple Watch just stops making loud ambient alerts.)

I’m surprised though. I expected more replies. If you reply now, it’ll be too late to post your rant (unless it’s really, really good).

In any case, here are some reactions from the public, with comments edited for clarity:

“Arturo Moreno is by far the worst,” wrote Andy J. Mariani of San Pedro, who has described himself as an Angel fan since 1967. He pointed to Moreno’s “ability to hide and avoid conflict by hiding behind ‘no comment’ and bringing decoys and cronies like his president (John) Carpino to the forefront when something needs to be said. … Ah, those days of a senile cowboy with wife Jackie and Disney cheerleaders dancing in the dugouts were bad, but Angel fans now realize we never had it so good.”

Steve Keller of Mission Viejo defended Arte, calling him a “very good owner” and saying, “Arte spent the money and the players let him down.” He suggested that general manager Perry Minasian and the rest of the front office should take responsibility. But it must be noted, as other respondents have pointed out at other times, that the Angels do not have a president of baseball operations to oversee the general manager or act as a buffer and bail Arte out (or keep him from pulling out his checkbook) when needed.

Keller defended Joe Maddon, who was fired at the start of the 2022 season. So did Blake Kidd, who made this observation: “I just love that Arte told us he wanted this year’s (manager) to have experience. Didn’t Joe Maddon have experience? Until Arte sells the team and we get rid of (chairman Dennis) Kuhl and Carpino, nothing will change.”

Jim Frear, who says his credibility as an Angels fan goes back to 1961 when the franchise was founded, wrote that Moreno “doesn’t understand the concept that you win championships by pitching and defense. He spends tons of money on hitters but nothing on pitching. Please fill me in on the 2021 draft, where the Angels took a pitcher with every pick. Did they ‘coach’ anyone for the majors?”

Matt Quint of Irvine was among those who cheered when Moreno said two years ago he was exploring a sale of the team. The euphoria, of course, was short-lived. “This man (single-handedly) destroyed an MLB franchise by trying to play land games for real estate deals,” he wrote. “Disgusting, dishonest, fraud, joke, need I go on? Those are the terms I associate with this charlatan of an owner. ‘Hey, look at me! I lowered beer prices, please don’t look at how I decimated our farm system and wasted valuable payroll money on washed-up players.'”

Quint praised the Rams and their owner Stan Kroenke. He is one of many in this market who turned their backs on the Rams when Georgia Frontiere moved the team to St. Louis in 1995, but returned to the fold in 2016. “I am proud to be a Rams fan, not only because of the play on the field, but because of the way our team is run day in and day out,” he wrote.

And what about the Lakers, another of his favorite teams? “Oh, how the mighty have fallen,” he wrote. “I love Jeanie (Buss) and what she’s trying to do, but she has arguably the least capital to work with of ALL NBA owners, making us a poor franchise in a rich market. … I don’t know if Jeanie really has what it takes to do what it takes to make this franchise great again? I hope she proves me wrong.”

Carl and Lori Linnecke blamed Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office for the Lakers’ problems, pointing not only to the Anthony Davis trade – “AD is a great player. But he doesn’t always get to play” – but also to the deal that brought Ivica Zubac to the Clippers in early 2019. And then there’s this:

“LeBron James should stay out of decisions about players. Maybe he should quit instead of talking about playing with his son Bronny. James was a great player. One of the greatest. His time has come and gone. As long as he’s on the team, they’ll never win a championship.”

Edward Sussman wrote that the Lakers should cut ties with James, saying that “he’s a great player but a coach killer” and that “the Lakers were a better team with Darvin Ham as coach.” And he added a prediction: “The problem here is that the Lakers are going to draft Bronny and whoever ends up coaching the Lakers will feel LeBron’s pressure to let him play.”

Steve Benoff of Beaumont responded to suggestions – before we realized it was illegal – that James should become player-coach: “LeBron would never accept the role of coach because he would, as you would expect, have to fire himself in a year.”

(Rim shot!)

And as for the other obviously pressing issue raised by fans who responded: try finding a sports venue where you aren’t confronted with deafening music, screaming into loudspeaker microphones, and recorded requests for more noise.

“Finally, someone who knows baseball has mentioned the unbearable noise level at Dodger Stadium,” wrote Tom Kaczmarek of Los Alamitos. “It hits you from the moment you pass through security and doesn’t stop until you leave the stadium. There was a time when baseball at the stadium was an opportunity to gather with family or friends… (or) to discuss baseball statistics and strategies. Apparently those days have been replaced by nonstop, forced hilarity.”

Mike Reuben of Anaheim Hills wrote that the speakers are “so damn loud I had to give up my Ducks tickets, and even the Angels seats are subject to excessive noise.”

So is there a point at which the loss of customers to potential fans put off by the noise overshadows the idea of ​​a high-energy environment that marketers seem to crave?

Judy Kent described her experience at Dodger Stadium: “I was lucky enough to be invited to stay in one of the BofA suites a few weeks ago and was shocked at the noise level (I hadn’t been to the stadium in a few years). It was almost impossible to have a conversation with anyone sitting in the outside seats and it wasn’t much better in the suites either!

“Where do I send my complaint?”

The information guide on the Dodgers website lists an email address at [email protected], and I would imagine—or at least hope—that other teams have similar ways to submit a complaint or suggestion.

But they may not always listen. I will.

[email protected]

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