The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are tentatively set to play at Dodger Stadium next season, the highlights of what could be the most attractive home schedule in club history.
The Red Sox and Yankees never have played at Dodger Stadium in the same season. The Red Sox are scheduled for three games here in August, the Yankees for two games here in July.
The Dodgers also are set to play two games at Yankee Stadium in June. The 2013 schedule has been distributed to teams but has not been released publicly and is subject to change.
The Dodgers' home schedule also includes 10 games against the rival San Francisco Giants rather than the usual nine, for the first time since 2006, and the removal of the Houston Astros, bound for the American League.
The appealing schedule — and an off-season unclouded by ownership limbo for the first time in four years — could help propel the Dodgers back toward the top of the attendance charts.
The Dodgers ranked among the top three in the majors in attendance from 2004-10 before falling to 11th last season, when Commissioner Bud Selig took over the team and former owner Frank McCourt then took the team into bankruptcy.
The Dodgers currently rank fifth in attendance. After failing to sell 3 million tickets last season — for the first time in a full season since 1992 — the Dodgers are on pace to sell 3.34 million tickets this year.
Billingsley in relief?
On the day before the Dodgers expect to learn whether closer Kenley Jansen can pitch again this season, Manager Don Mattingly suggested Chad Billingsley might return as a short reliever.
Billingsley has not pitched — or even played catch — in the 10 days since the Dodgers put him on the disabled list because of a sore elbow. With the regular season in its final month, Billingsley might not have the time to rebuild the arm strength necessary to return as a starter.
"If he could be healthy enough to help us with an inning here and an inning there, that would be good," Mattingly said.
The Dodgers could use Billingsley as a late-inning power arm to complement Ronald Belisario and Brandon League, who are sharing the closing role with Jansen out. Jansen, on blood thinners after being hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat, is set to meet with doctors Tuesday to determine whether he can come off medication and return this season.
Dodgers President Stan Kasten said last week he feared that Billingsley was done for the season.
"I heard that," Billingsley said. "They haven't really told me that. I'm trying to get back as soon as possible. We've got something special going on with this team. These past 10 days have been the most boring time I've ever had."
If he does not return this season, Billingsley said, he probably would test the elbow early in the off-season so the Dodgers could proceed with surgery or other treatment if necessary, without waiting for spring training.