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Scott Ostler

For All Deserving People and Teams: A Gift of Dreams

December 24, 1987|Scott Ostler

All you lucky people on my gift list, may Santa take your stockings and stuff 'em. With the following:

For the Dodgers: A rudder.

For Terry Donahue: After the Hula Bowl, a week off before he starts worrying about next season's opening game. OK, a weekend. . . . Five minutes?

For Lester (The Judge) Hayes: A dignified, hero's exit from the Silver-and-Black Kingdom. Also, for this poet laureate of the Raiders, a solid gold scoop, a token of affection appreciation from all the "scoopmen" (sports writers) he has regaled over the years. So be it. For every National Hockey League player: A GI Joe doll, with combat infantry battalion accessories, so the players can have a healthy outlet for all the pent-up anger and violent tendencies.

For all the kiddies who are pro hockey fans: An NHL player doll. Wind it up and it high-sticks and slashes your GI Joe doll.

For Irwindale: RTD bus tokens to the Coliseum, just in case the deal falls through.

For major league baseball: A black manager. No hurry, of course. Let the old favorites, the Zimmers and Williamses and Martins, take another swing around the circuit first.

For pro football: A black coach. Another 20 or 30 years without one, it's going to start looking suspicious.

For Bo Jackson: A return to him of all those gold medals he won in Sweden. Or was that Jim Thorpe? I get those two guys mixed up. OK, then how about an official Brian Bosworth-model speed bump for Bo's driveway, so he can run over the Boz several times a day?

For Tom Lasorda: A certificate good for a one-game moratorium on the no-visitors-in-the-clubhouse rule. Let Lasorda stage just one more of his memorable pregame all-star celebrity brunch-and-backslap sessions.

For George Raveling: Talented players to match his enthusiasm.

For Benoit Benjamin: Enthusiasm to match his talent.

For Bill Sharman, Laker president: A mini trampoline, so the eight-time National Basketball Assn. All-Star and Basketball Hall of Famer can realize his lifelong dream of dunking a basketball.

For Johnny Ray: A left fielder's glove, so he can help the team, as opposed to helping himself. Or are we missing the point of the game here?

For the Dodgers: A genuine center fielder. They haven't had a true star out there in years, unless you count the Pope.

For Sugar Ray Leonard: Another fight with Marvelous Marv Hagler, so Sugar can prove his win wasn't a one-shot fluke. If Sugar won't give Marv a rematch, Leonard should be arrested for hit and run.

For Refrigerator Perry: A return to the greatness he never achieved. And a Juan Berenguer Workout video.

For all the jocks who make it a policy not to talk to the press: A lump of coal, to be divided evenly among 'em.

For Jeffrey Leonard: A 50-gallon drum of spicy mustard, for my favorite hotdog, now that Reggie Jackson allegedly has retired. Thumbs up for flaps-down.

For Eddie Garcia and all the other race-track riders busted for possessing illegal shock devices: Anything that does not have batteries included.

For Marcus Allen: A position he can call his very own, or a new team.

For Angel coach Jimmie Reese: A year's truckload of his favorite vitamins, the ones that keep him fungoing up a storm at age 82.

For the rest of the Angels: Access to Reese's stash, the better to head off the dreaded late-season energy shortage.

For Wes Matthews: Xavier McDaniel's bald head.

For Ben Johnson and Pat Cash: A search party. You guys just stay put and try to send up a signal flare. Wherever you are, we'll find you.

For UCLA and USC: A few local high school basketball superstars who aren't itching to blow town and play their college ball in Des Moines or Hoboken.

For the Boston Red Sox: An end to the tyranny of Manager John McNamara. First he forbid the practice of players having pizzas delivered to the clubhouse during games. Now McNamara has instituted a new rule that players can't take golf clubs on road trips. Lighten up, Mr. Scrooge.

For the Dodgers: An end to the rule that players can't take baseball bats on road trips.

For the Dodgers: An end to cheap shots from the media. Or at least a cease-fire. A one-day moratorium. Tomorrow.

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