Take your pick of numbers spiking throughout the Dodgers’ organization this season: TV ratings are up 42 percent from last year, the payroll is a record $220 million and merchandise sales are up 50 percent from a season ago.
Attendance totals appear headed for the largest turnout for any major league team since the New York Yankees drew 3.77 million fans during the 2010 season – but Dodgers fans will pay a price for it.
Among the rising numbers next season will be ticket prices.
Included in the Dodgers’ announcement Thursday that 2014 season tickets went on sale was the fact that front-row seats between the bases will increase by $30 per game while rows two through eight will increase by $20.
The Giants were mathematically eliminated from the postseason Wednesday night thanks to the Cincinnati Reds’ victory over the Cubs. Now all that’s left is to avoid joining the 1998 Florida Marlins as the only defending World Series champions since 1903 to finish last in their division a season after claiming the title.
Of course, the Marlins imemediately dismantled the team that won the 1997 World Series behind series MVP Livan Hernandez and a lineup that included Edgar Renteria, Moises Alou and Bobby Bonilla.
The last-place Giants entered Thursday 19½ games behind the Dodgers in the National League West, but only the division leader and second-place Arizona Diamondbacks are out of reach.
Don Mattingly didn’t rule out the possibility of Brian Wilson joining the Dodgers on Friday, but the Dodgers manager refused to allow whether Wilson would make a fifth minor league appearance or not. The former San Francisco Giants closer pitched in multiple innings Tuesday night for the first time since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Wilson allowed a single in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Albuquerque, but the Dodgers are mum on what the next step will be and who Wilson may replace on the roster when he is called up to the parent club.
“I didn’t say he wasn’t ready,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think we’re willing to talk about anything with Brian as far as what’s going to happen, what we’re going to do. We’ve talked about different scenarios, but they’re all fluid for me in the sense of when’s it going to be? What’s happened in the bullpen before then, after then?”