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Rain Offers Dodgers Break in Despair : Baseball: Everything, including a clubhouse meeting, has been tried in a six-game losing streak, so some see weather as help.

April 27, 1993|MARYANN HUDSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — The tornado watch on Monday ended about 5 p.m, but the rain had its own timetable. A downpour, which paused only long enough for the Dodgers and New York Mets to play one inning, caused their game to be postponed.

After six Dodger losses in a row, maybe the rain helped.

"Something like this can be good for a team. It can relax everybody, just like taking a day off," Darryl Strawberry said.

It came after a Sunday clubhouse meeting in Philadelphia in which players aired opinions about what has gone wrong on a trip in which the club has lost all six games.

That followed a reported Saturday night tirade by second baseman Jody Reed, which supposedly took place in the shower after a 7-3 loss that dropped the Dodgers into last place in the NL West.

"That isn't responsible journalism," he said of stories of the incident. "I was angry. We had lost five games in a row and had lost the momentum we built up with the wins against Pittsburgh. The team was taking a lackadaisical attitude. Instead of playing to win, we were playing not to lose, tucking our tail under our legs halfway through the game.

"But as far as reports, no one knows for sure what happened. No one saw what happened. . . . It's not a public thing and should stay inside the team--if something happened."

Reed said the Sunday meeting helped change things around. "We talked things out, and our attitude was much better the next game, even though we lost," he said.

The meeting, in which Strawberry was silent, apparently made an impact on him. He is fairly intense about his game and said he is determined to play hard, even with back stiffness.

"I can't play if it's real bad, but I'm going to play as much as I can," he said. "I need to pick up my game."

No one player led the meeting, but infielder Dave Hansen said it was the best one he has been involved in. "We went out afterward and played like a unit, even though it didn't work out for us," he said. "What we got out of it was that everybody cares. When one player was talking, the rest were silent. It was pretty intense."

Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said he hopes the rainout can help turn things around.

"Sometime something like this can stop the snowball from rolling downhill," Lasorda said. "I don't know if it will, but I hope it will."

Pedro Astacio pitched one inning and will start Wednesday against Montreal at Dodger Stadium.

No makeup date has been scheduled.

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