Dodgers plan big price hikes, cut in player spending

McCourt v. McCourt is the divorce case that keeps on giving, as far as glimpses inside the secret workings of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now it seems the Dodgers have told prospective investors the team intends to nearly double ticket prices over the next eight years (from a $29.40 average to over $53), while spending less on players than the club does now. The Dodgers' credo is that "ticket prices are relatively inexpensive and there is substantial room for prices to increase without resulting in a decline in attendance," say the documents quoted by Bill Shaikin in the L.A. Times.

The story notes scoffing within baseball that the Dodgers could field a contending team if they lower the share of revenue devoted to players to about 25%, as apparently intended. The Dodgers currently spend more than 40% of their revenue on players — even with a core of cheap youngsters — and the rule of thumb in baseball is about 50%, Shaikin says. So: higher ticket prices for inferior teams, by design. Is that any way to run the Dodgers? My KCRW piece on Friday discussed other aspects of the McCourt family secrets that are bleeding out from the divorce proceedings.

Meanwhile: Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla admits that he wasn't "grazed" by a bullet this off-season in Venezuela Nicaragua, he was shot through his right leg and lost a lot of blood before reaching a hospital.

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