The Los Angeles Dodgers have taken a step to improve the perception, if not the reality, of the security in and around Dodger Stadium, in the wake of the opening day beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow in the parking lot. Today, the club announced the hiring of former Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton to oversee the development of a security program in the stadium and parking lots.
Bratton, currently a Chairman at the risk consulting company Kroll, willhelp the Dodgers develop an internal program to improve the security in and around Dodger Stadium. "We are committed to ensuring that Dodger Stadium remains a family-friendly environment for all baseball fans," said Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
This is the latest move by the Dodgers this week to improve their perception after some backlash over the weekend. On Friday, Frank McCourt told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, "You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it's just not going to change that random act of violence," and while that statement is correct it is at the very least insensitive.
The Dodgers on Sunday released a joint statement with the Giants and city leaders of both Los Angeles and San Francisco condemning fan violence, though the timing (three days after the beating) suggested a hint of insincerity and a healthy dose of CYA by the Dodgers. Then, on Monday, the Dodgers added $25,000 to the city of L.A.'s reward for any information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to the beating, and today the Dodgers hired Bratton.
In one sense, however, Frank McCourt is screwed no matter what he does. He isn't going to be popular with the fans no matter how hard he tries, whether or not his actions are sincere. At the very least, the Dodgers adding to the reward, and taking steps to improve stadium security is a good thing, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter the ulterior motives.
For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.