It’s all about Dodger green now

Times Staff Writer

Not to put a damper on the Dodgers’ fast start or anything, but local fans will be fascinated to scan some new statistics released by Forbes.

According to Forbes:

* The value of the Dodgers’ franchise increased 31% last year, to $632 million, ranking the club fourth in the major leagues behind the New York Yankees and Mets and the Boston Red Sox.

* The Dodgers last year had the second-best operating income, $27.5 million, behind only the Florida Marlins.


* Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers for $421 million in 2004 and has seen the worth of the franchise jump more than 50% in only three years.

Despite this, McCourt raised ticket prices by up to 40% this season and the price of parking by 50%, a $5-a-car increase.

The Dodgers may not win the National League West this season, but it’s obvious that for McCourt, 2007 is championship-or-bust in the Forbes Division.

Trivia time

Where did the Angels rank in Forbes’ latest major league franchise valuations?

Succinct, to the point

Author Kurt Vonnegut, who died last week at 84, had a brief -- very brief -- career at Sports Illustrated in 1954, at which time he “confessed to knowing next to nothing about sports.”

According to the magazine in its April 23 edition, one of Vonnegut’s first tasks was to write a caption about a racehorse that had jumped the rail at Aqueduct.

Vonnegut wrote, “The horse jumped over the ... fence.” Then he walked out of the office and never returned.

Decades later, critics have come full circle on that caption. Once considered crude and obscene, the sentence is now being hailed as a colorful and economical use of the English language.

Just to clear up any confusion

To sports fans unfamiliar with the works of Vonnegut, it is worth reviewing some of his more notable books.

“The Sirens of Titan” is not about the police and Pacman Jones.

“Slaughterhouse-Five” is not about the 2006-07 Boston Celtics.

“Slapstick” is not about the 2006-07 Los Angeles Kings.

“Welcome to the Monkey House” is not about Angel Stadium.

“Breakfast of Champions” is not about morning carb-loading with the Florida Gators.

“Jailbird” is not about Jamal Lewis.

Evidently not an ‘Instant Classic’

UCLA gave Notre Dame all it could handle on the football field last season before losing at South Bend in the final minute, 20-17.

Briefing mentions this now in hopes of jogging some memories at ESPN, which aired a feature on Notre Dame’s spring game and listed several “notable games” on the Fighting Irish schedule this season.

USC was mentioned. So was Stanford (2006 record: 1-11). But no UCLA.

Attention, Bristol: The date of that game again, just to jot down on a Post-It note -- Oct. 6, 2007: Notre Dame vs. UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

Trivia answer

No. 14, with the club valued at $431 million. According to Forbes, the value of the team has more than doubled since Arte Moreno bought the Angels for $180 million four years ago.

And finally

After the Dodgers defeated Pittsburgh, 7-3, on a 10th-inning grand slam by Russell Martin, ran the following headline: “Martin hits walk-off granny in 10th”

It’s a good thing he didn’t get arrested for that.