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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Reliever Daal Gets the Call

April 24, 1993|MARYANN HUDSON

Omar Daal was asleep when he got the phone call about noon Thursday in Albuquerque. His roommate, Steve Allen, awoke him and told him that Fred Claire, the Dodgers' executive vice president, was on the phone.

Daal thought he was kidding. Even after he started talking with Claire, Daal thought it was somebody imitating Claire's voice.

"Fred asked me if I could get out left-handed hitters," Daal said Friday night in the Dodger clubhouse in Philadelphia. "I said I'm ready."

Daal then called him mother in Venezuela, who cried.

Daal replaced Tom Goodwin on the roster. Goodwin, who made the team because of his speed, was sent to Albuquerque, a curious move for a team that needs runs and is doing well with its pitching.

Daal, 21, is the most promising left-handed reliever in the club's farm system. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, he played in Santo Domingo for two seasons before vaulting to San Antonio and Albuquerque. This season he had a 1-1 record at Albuquerque with a 3.38 earned-run average in six games.

Daal speaks a little English, but asked catcher Carlos Hernandez to help him communicate with reporters.

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Candid camera: Tim Wallach was the victim Friday in "Jay Johnstone's All-Star Baseball's Funniest Pranks," which will be televised before the All-Star game. On cameras hidden in Manager Tom Lasorda's office at Veterans Stadium, Lasorda told Wallach he was going back to Canada, that he had been traded to Toronto for Ed Sprague.

Wallach, of course, had a few things to say before being told about 10 minutes later that it was all a joke.

In Ken Dayley's two appearances in Toronto before the Blue Jays released him, he faced seven batters and gave up four walks, had two strikeouts--each after a count of 3-and-0--and gave up one double. Somehow, though, he was never scored on.

Toronto management, believing Dayley was having elbow problems or suffering from vertigo again, asked him to go on the disabled list, but Dayley said he was fine. A Toronto source said the club couldn't send Dayley out to the mound again without some rehabilitation, so they had no choice but to release him. Dayley was signed by the Dodgers to an Albuquerque contract.

"I talked with Ken and he said he was having trouble throwing strikes the second inning he pitches," said Todd Worrell, who pitched with Dayley for the St. Louis Cardinals. "He said he doesn't feel the symptoms of vertigo still, but sometimes your system can get messed up from something like that. One time he said he threw 16 straight balls and walked in a run, and he never does anything like that."

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