Team makes a ticket offer

Times Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- With a nod to the sputtering economy, the Dodgers are dangling this offer in front of their season-ticket customers: Renew for next season now, and they won't increase your ticket prices.

The offer extends through Sept. 5 and applies to full-season and partial-season tickets, chief operating officer Dennis Mannion said.

"This economy is an abundant reality," he said.

The Dodgers have increased almost all of their ticket prices every year since Frank McCourt bought the club in 2004. However, the Dodgers are on pace to sell fewer tickets this year than last year, which would mark the first attendance decrease since 1998. The Dodgers still project to sell 3.67 million tickets, third-most in club history.

But Mannion said the no-show rate has increased this year, in part because of the high cost of gas. When fans buy tickets but do not use them, the Dodgers lose out on revenue from parking, concessions and merchandise.

The Dodgers have not determined whether to extend the offer beyond Sept. 5 or to broaden the price freeze to single-game tickets, Mannion said.

The Dodgers presented the offer in a mailing that also detailed options for tickets to the potential playoff games this fall, to exhibitions at the new spring home in Glendale, Ariz., and to the World Baseball Classic finals next fall at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers have not yet released ticket information for those events for fans who do not buy season seats.


Manny afield

The Phillies' Shane Victorino led off the 11th inning Sunday with a double, hustling to second on what appeared to be a routine single to left field and beating what appeared to be a soft throw from Manny Ramirez.

Davey Lopes, the Phillies' first base coach, said Ramirez was shaded toward center field and that by the time Ramirez tracked down the ball, he did not have time to stop, plant his feet and make a firm throw, so he had to sling the ball toward second base in a hurry.

"That's why it looked like he wasn't hustling," Lopes said.

Ramirez offered his own explanation: He thought Victorino would stop at first base.

"He was going slow, and then he put on the turbo," Ramirez said. "He got me. He's fast. He tricked me."


Steroid suspension

Dodgers minor league shortstop Rafael Aybar was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for the steroid boldenone. Aybar, 18, was playing for the Dodgers' Dominican Summer League team. He is not related to former Dodgers infielder Willy Aybar or Angels infielder Erick Aybar, according to Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch.


Short hops

Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who is hitting .163 with one extra-base hit in 11 games since the Dodgers activated him from the disabled list, did not start. . . . Catcher Carlos Santana, the key prospect traded to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake, was selected the California League's most valuable player. . . . Reliever Cory Wade pitched one scoreless inning for Class-A Great Lakes on Monday; the Dodgers are expected to activate him on Wednesday. . . . The Dodgers' Sept. 5 home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks will be broadcast on ESPN, so the starting time has changed from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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