The LA Times’ Bill Dwyre is far more impressed with Tommy Lasorda’s work as a pitchman for MLB than I.

In each case, Lasorda is wearing a tuxedo and being part wise grandpa, part annoyed-at-these-wimps older brother and part Henry Kissinger. MLB’s Tim Brosnan says that part of the tuxedo-wearing concept was inspired by the Harvey Keitel role in the movie “Pulp Fiction.”

“Tommy is perfect,” Bud Selig says. “He is the absolute best ambassador for our game we have.”

When they filmed at the USC sorority house, the house mother was so taken by Lasorda that she went out to a restaurant and brought him special rigatoni for lunch. Reports are that it measured up perfectly to his two required specifications. It was hot and free.

The Devil Rays have confirmed they’ll have higher ticket prices for games against glamor teams in ’07 than the rest of the riff-raff (something the Mets have done for a couple of years now). The price of mediocrity is going up in Denver, too, and Bad Altitude’s Mark Donohue is bemused.

According to team president Keli McGregor, 35 days spent in first place during (the first half of) 2006 justifies a 10% jump. The Rockies’ strategy, as it has been for the last several seasons, is to make as much as possible from wealthy season ticket buyers (whose seats will remain pristinely empty down the stretch) while offering as little incentive as possible for po’ folks like you and me to buy walkup seats. Will you be able to get Rockies-Yankees tickets? No, you will not, as the Rockies have launched a scheme to let the same people who show up for Opening Day, the Cubs, the 4th of July fireworks, and no other games buy those tickets before you can. I went to three or four A’s games a week when I was in college because the folks at the Coliseum, understanding the concept of sunk costs, would sell anybody with a student ID perfectly good upper deck seats right behind home plate for three bucks. Coors Field offers the Rockpile, certainly, but why should I sit in a centerfield upper deck with benches while there are tens of thousands of empty seats in the mezzanine and main upper deck? Heck, thanks to scalpers overestimating demand, you could get fantastic seats at Wrigley Field this summer for less than the cheapest Coors tickets that actually provide a full view of the action on the field. It’s really time for the Rockies to reconsider their ticket strategy.