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Losing Out on Raines May Return to Haunt Smith and the Padres

March 21, 1987

For all of you out there who long for the days of "Donald Sterling and the Clippers," there is a new comedy playing in town. It's called "Then Came Ballard." The story is about a team owner who is trying to sign the National League's top player, a player who could win the West for the team. The problem is, this team owner couldn't negotiate a dog out of the pound, so the top ballplayer is left unsigned. Hence, a team destined for first place is now destined for the worst place--last.

Not since the Mel Brooks film "The Producers" have I seen a script full of characters trying so hard to lose money. But just like "The Producers," I think the Padres will make money. Fans will go to see them for one reason: comic relief.

TOM LEGEMAN

San Diego

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