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There's No Accounting for Dodgers Allowing Valenzuela to Continue

August 06, 1988

My wife recently became a baseball fan. She got hooked last year during the World Series. Frank Viola's intensity on the mound had a lot to do with it.

Anyway, she came into the room and took a seat next to me last Saturday as I was watching NBC's game of the week between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros.

"Is this the pregame batting practice?" she asked.

"No, dear. It's the fourth inning."

"Oh. Well, then why is the pitcher throwing the ball so slowly?"

"He's had a problem with his fastball lately. Most everyone knows it."

"Oh. Well, he doesn't seem too intimidating to me." Just then the pitching coach and some players converged on the mound.

"What are they doing now?" she asked.

"They're having a meeting because the pitcher thinks he may have hurt something in his arm."

"Oh. Well, why don't they take him out?"

"Because, it's Fernando," I said.

"Oh. Well, it looks as if the batter could easily hit his pitches."

Just then Alex Trevino hit the home run.

"See, see. I was right. Look, even the manager in the dugout is upset."

"Yes," I said. "You're right."

"Gee," she said as she was leaving the room, "with the salaries they make, you'd think they would know better."

THOMAS HOERBER

Los Angeles

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