If the Dodgers stay in contention all summer -- and perhaps even if they do not -- they appear headed for a franchise attendance record.
The Dodgers set the record when they drew 3,608,881 in 1982 and came close to breaking it last year, when they sold 3,603,646 tickets. They're selling tickets ahead of last year's pace and project sales of between 3.6 million and 3.7 million, Chief Operating Officer Marty Greenspun said Sunday.
When Frank and Jamie McCourt bought the Dodgers in 2004, they set four million as their goal. That figure is "very doable ... in the next couple years," Greenspun said.
The Colorado Rockies are the only club in National League history to sell four million tickets, when they played their inaugural season in Mile High Stadium in 1993.
Under major league rules, the Dodgers can set an attendance record but not necessarily draw a record number of fans. The National League used the turnstile count in determining attendance through 1992, then joined the American League in defining attendance as tickets sold. Teams are not required to announce how many tickets are sold but not used.
In his seventh major league game, outfielder Matt Kemp batted third. Why was Manager Grady Little comfortable hitting him there?
"Those balls that keep sailing over the fence," Little said. "That gives me a comfortable feeling."
Kemp did not hit a home run Sunday, but he hit one in each of his previous three games. The powerful start does not necessarily foretell greatness, as evidenced by the short list of players who hit more home runs in their first week in the majors.
Mark Quinn hit five in his first seven days for the 1999 Kansas City Royals, according to David Vincent of Society for American Baseball Research. Five others hit four: Brant Brown (1996 Chicago Cubs), Joe Cunningham (1954 St. Louis Cardinals), Sam Horn (1987 Boston Red Sox), Dave Kingman (1971 San Francisco Giants) and Mike Jacobs (2005 New York Mets). The only other Dodger to hit three: Dick Gray, in 1958.
The Dodgers are considering whether to start Sunday games at 2 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. next season, Greenspun said. They're wondering if fans might be more likely to attend if they could participate in church services or another morning activity and still make it to the game without rushing. ... Catcher Dioner Navarro, who has sat out one month because of a badly bruised right wrist, took batting practice in the batting cage Sunday and said he hoped to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment within a week. Outfielder Jason Repko (high ankle sprain) said he hoped to be off crutches Tuesday but did not expect to start a rehabilitation assignment for three to four weeks. ... Little said he gave first baseman Nomar Garciaparra and shortstop Rafael Furcal the day off because of "little day-to-day things that are nagging." Asked what injuries were nagging them, Little said, "It's the overall fatigue a player gets when they play as much as they've been playing." ... If you bring a new children's book to tonight's game, the Dodgers will give you a free ticket to a future game.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times