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Morning Briefing

Once Mighty Dodgers Are Now Called Wimpy

December 14, 1987

After the deal that sent Bob Welch to Oakland, Murray Chass of the New York Times wrote, "Everybody was happy. Or were they? Reports of disagreement in the Dodgers' family have surfaced.

"It wasn't clear who was unhappy and why, but it was believed that the manager, Tommy Lasorda, did not want to let Welch go."

Wrote Steve Jacobson of Newsday: "The two clubs that history brands most likely to make a bad deal are the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Now the least likely to make a good deal appears to be the Dodgers. Fred Claire, who was not terrific as a public relations man, polished up the handle of the big front door and became a general manager who has difficulty pulling the trigger.

"After all the arrogant years, there is little sympathy for the Dodgers falling on bad times. They have become wimpy. 'They had stability for so long that it became stagnation,' one general manager said."

Add Red Sox: Wrote Art Turgeon of the Providence Journal-Bulletin: "On the face of it, Manager John McNamara's new edict to improve the team's road record by forbidding them to bring golf clubs on road trips--but not specifically forbidding golf--hardly seems meaningful. But, as one source put it, 'Some players are so cheap, they'd never pay to rent clubs, anyway.' "

Trivia Time: What does Ron Brown of the Rams have in common with former NFL receivers Gerald Tinker and Johnny (Lam) Jones? (Answer below.)

Atlanta Falcons Coach Marion Campbell told Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel: "I think we've got the right kind of people to stay with it."

Said Greene: "So did Custer."

Wait a Minute: Said Philadelphia Coach Buddy Ryan after the 28-10 loss to Miami: "You don't give up 28 points and win games."

Miami, in its previous start, beat the New York Jets, 37-28.

From Peter King of Newsday: "Kodak paid $15,000 to San Francisco receiver Dwight Clark for the rights to a photo of his great catch in the 1982 NFC Championship game, when he beat Dallas cornerback Everson Walls for the decisive touchdown in overtime. Walls heard about this, contacted Kodak and said that he deserved a piece of the pie. Kodak offered a slice --$1,000, plus a camera. Walls refused. He is suing Kodak."

Add Forgettable Quotes: Said Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard after the deal that sent Rick Vaive to the Chicago Blackhawks: "We robbed them blind. Vaive is finished. He'll bounce around the league now until nobody wants him."

Vaive has scored 23 goals in 30 games. He scored the last two Sunday when Chicago beat Toronto, 5-1.

Boston fans would tell you that the officials blew it and that Magic Johnson was lucky on his game-winning shot Friday night, but Larry Bird doesn't want to hear about it.

"Magic had to make a great shot to beat us," Bird said. "It was a running shot going left, and only the great players can make that shot. We can't cry over the call. We had a big lead several times, and we couldn't hold it."

Trivia Answer: All three won Olympic gold medals in the 400-meter relay--Tinker in 1972, Jones in 1976 and Brown in 1984.

Quotebook

John Elway, who played one summer in the New York Yankee organization, on the combined career of Bo Jackson: "I can't imagine making all that money and playing all year and not having time to spend it."

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