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Dodger Notebook : Stubbs Gets a Chance to Start at First and Throws It Away

March 18, 1986|GORDON EDES | Times Staff Writer

VERO BEACH, Fla. — The lobbyists for Franklin Stubbs took a beating Monday.

Stubbs, given his first start of the spring and a chance to state his case for playing first base for the Dodgers, instead of Greg Brock, suffered through a long afternoon here Monday.

He committed two of the Dodgers' six errors, overran a foul pop and managed just a single in four trips in the Dodgers' 4-3 loss in 12 innings to the Detroit Tigers.

When it was suggested he was better off having a game like this in March than later, when the games count in the standings, Stubbs shook his head.

"Better now than later? Not for me," he said. "Somebody else, maybe, but that's a strike against me."

Stubbs, who had been used as a late-inning replacement for Brock, came into Monday's game with three hits, one a double, in nine trips, a .333 average.

"I'd been playing good all spring and today was my reward, to start, and I messed up," he said. "From the time I threw that ball a little high to Mariano (Duncan), the rest of the day was shot."

Stubbs was referring to a play in the first inning, when Fernando Valenzuela had Dave Collins cleanly picked off, only to have Collins reach second when Stubbs' throw went off Duncan's glove.

Stubbs also mishandled a ground ball by Darrell Evans in the eighth and overran a foul pop by Larry Herndon in the fifth.

"Maybe I was trying too hard, I don't know," Stubbs said. "It was just one of those days. I tried my best but nothing would go right. I messed this one up, I've got to go on to the next one."

The Dodgers, who led the majors in errors last season with 166, have made 18 errors in 9 games this spring. Monday's game was decided on an error by minor league shortstop Manny Francois, who couldn't handle Tom Brookens' double-play ball with the bases loaded in the 12th. Bill Russell and Bobby Castillo made the other Dodger errors.

Russell also singled on a 0-and-2 pitch for two runs, tying the score in the bottom of the 11th after Castillo had given up a couple of runs on Collins' two-run triple. Earlier, Collins had saved a run with a diving catch of Alex Trevino's line drive with Stubbs on second in the eighth.

Dodger Notes Fernando Valenzuela became the first Dodger pitcher to go six innings this spring. He struck out six but also walked five. . . . The Dodgers, according to custom, wore green caps for the St. Patrick's Day game. The Tigers also wore green caps and all of their players wore No. 30. The significance of the number? Tiger owner Tom Monaghan, modestly described in the team's media guide as "a beautiful blend of complex business genius and simple love of baseball innocence" owns a pizza chain that promises to deliver your pizza in 30 minutes or you get the pizza free.

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