CHICAGO — When Manny Ramirez returns to Dodger Stadium, so does Mannywood.
The fans have spoken, the Dodgers say. They want their "Mannywood" T-shirts, and their special block of seats adjacent to left field.
When Ramirez was suspended May 7 for violating baseball's drug policy, the Dodgers withdrew the Mannywood promotion. He is scheduled to be reinstated July 3, and the Dodgers plan to reinstate Mannywood on July 16, in their first home game after his return.
"We decided to reopen Mannywood directly based on our fans' interest," Dodgers President Dennis Mannion said.
The decision also reflects the Dodgers' marketing strategy of enhancing some of the less desirable seats at Dodger Stadium by selling them in package deals that can include tickets, food and merchandise.
Mannywood seats are next to the foul pole in left field. The "Bleacher Beach" section opened last month at the end of the reserved section, three levels up from Mannywood. The right-field bleachers were converted last year into an all-you-can-eat section.
The Dodgers plan to introduce other such seating areas during the second half, Mannion said, including "Look Out Point" and "BBQ Bull Pen."
The Dodgers offered free parking for last week's series against the Oakland Athletics, and Mannion said walk-up sales increased by an average of 1,600 fans a game.
Manager Joe Torre took exception to critics who have argued that Ramirez should not be playing in the minor leagues, even on a rehab assignment, during his 50-game suspension.
"Then you might as well make it a 60-game suspension," Torre said. "You're going to have to practice somewhere.
"It's a disservice to the team if he doesn't play in games before he comes back, and the person is going to get hurt."
The Dodgers have played 73 games this season, without losing three in a row. The last Dodgers team to play so deep into a season before losing three consecutive games: the 1965 World Series champions, who lost their 72nd, 73rd and 74th games.
If the Dodgers lose tonight, they will lose their 72nd, 73rd and 74th games.
Seattle set the modern major league record in 2001. In a season in which the Mariners won 116 games, they did not lose three in a row until their 147th, 148th and 149th games.
Miller on board
The Dodgers agreed to terms with their top draft pick, Baylor left-hander Aaron Miller. Miller, selected 36th overall, is expected to receive a signing bonus of close to $900,000.
Jeff Cox, who coaches third base for the Chicago White Sox, grew up in West Covina. His mother still lives there, and the family got together Thursday to celebrate her 90th birthday -- and to watch the Dodgers and White Sox on television.
So, from her son in Chicago: Happy birthday, Veronica Cox!