Right Field an All-You-Can-Eat Area

You won't have to buy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks in the right field pavilion in Dodger Stadium next season. For $40 a ticket you can have a variety of deductibles and all you can eat.

Tickets for the pavilion will sell for $35 in advance and $40 on gameday, although some items at the concession stand aren't included -- beer, ice cream and candy will be sold separately at regular prices.

Fans spend an average of $12.30 on food and drink per game, a major league executive told the Los Angeles Times. The all-in-one package affords fans the opportunity to "spend a few extra dollars and have everything taken care of," said David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. "Most people probably believe they're into a ballgame for $40, even if they're just in general admission."

"Instead of paying cash, fans ask for whatever they want, and they get it. There are going to be some self-service parts, buffet-style, as well," Dodgers executive vice president and chief operating officer Marty Greenspun said.

There will be and incentive to arrive early. Food booths open 90 minutes before games and close two hours after the first pitch.

With Dodger Dogs priced from $4.50 to the all-beef variety for $5.25 -- the deal is quite a bargain but your requests must be reasonable. You can't ask for 25 hot dogs and french fries.

"If a person asks for four for his family, he won't be told no," Dodgers senior vice president of communications Camille Johnston said.

Greenspun said the team tested the all-you-can-eat concept three times late last season. "The response was overwhelmingly positive" and the Dodgers determined it would be a good idea.

A few other teams have experimented with the same offer. "The St. Louis Cardinals have done it," Greenspun said. "It hasn't been anything of this size." In addition, he said, "the other ballparks charge a higher rate than this."

Tickets in left field, meanwhile, will be $10 and if you are hungry, you have to pay as you go...er...eat.

The Dodgers are also are raising the price of the cheapest game-day ticket, in the top deck, from $6 to $10, matching the price in the left-field pavilion. The Dodgers raised other game-day prices by $3 to $25 per ticket, with increases ranging from 11% to 36%.

Another Infielder Signed-- Veteran utility player Damian Jackson is one of six non-roster invitees signed by the Dodgers, a number that will certainly grow before pitchers and catchers report to Vero Beach, Fla., on Feb. 16.

Jackson, 33, a .243 hitter in 11 seasons, can play second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions and did just that last season for the Washington Nationals.

Pitchers Travis Smith, Dario Veras and Matt White, and catchers Sandy Martinez and Ken Huckaby also have been invited to spring training.

Smith, 28, is 6-6 with a 6.56 earned-run average for three teams the last four years. Veras, 33, was 5-3 in 53 appearances for San Diego and Boston from 1996-1998 and pitched in the Dominican League this winter. White, a 29-year-old left-hander, has a 16.76 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

Martinez, 36, was a backup for six teams but hasn't played in the major leagues since 2004. Huckaby, 35, a former Dodger minor league player, had eight at-bats with the Red Sox last season.

He Won't Throw to Dukie?-- Free agent John Thomson chose the Toronto Blue Jays over the Mets and said he made the decision because he didn't want to pitch to New York catcher Paul Lo Duca.

Thomson, a former Atlanta Brave, agreed to a $500,000, one-year contract with the Blue Jays and told the memdia, "As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field, I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate. I know a bit about (Toronto catcher) Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he's not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that.

Don't Say Goodbye-- Former Dodger outfielder and last year's Washington manager Frank Robinson will not return to the Nationals with any sort of full-time job, and he said the team took until this week to deliver that news.

Robinson was told during the final week of the 2006 season, his fifth with the team, that he wouldn't be brought back as manager. But there was a possibility raised about some sort of future role with the team for the Hall of Famer who hit 586 homers during his major league career.

However when general manager Jim Bowden finally called Robinson he told him the team did not have a spot for him.

Bowden did ask Robinson if he would be interested in coming to spring training — with his expenses paid — and then working with minor league players but at this time Robinson hasn't called him back.