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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : McDowell Prospers in Whatever Role

April 28, 1993|MARYANN HUDSON

Roger McDowell isn't a fan of signing autographs in hotel lobbies or while he is eating dinner, but he makes a career of it at the ballpark--any ballpark.

"I like to converse with the fans, and I think it can help win them over, even in dreaded San Francisco," McDowell said. "I'm not trying to say I try to win fans like some goody-two-shoes, but I just like to let them know who their opponents are. It's the easiest in Chicago." McDowell has pitched in every role from the bullpen the past eight seasons. When he was with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, he was used as a closer and saved 128 games in 6 1/2 seasons. Since being traded to Los Angeles in July, 1991, he has been used more in the setup role.

"I may come in and pitch two innings in the middle of the game and help the team get to that point where a Todd Worrell comes in, and that's satisfying to me," McDowell said. "What may show the next day is only the beginning and end of the game, not what I did in between. But the guys in the clubhouse see what happened out there. And I don't care as long as I have the respect of the guys and the coaching staff."

McDowell is off to a good start. He has given up four runs--two earned--in eight appearances and has a 1.69 earned-run average in 10 2/3 innings with one save.

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The New York Daily News reported that Dwight Gooden was accidentally hit by Vince Coleman, who was swinging a nine-iron in the clubhouse Monday, and that that's why Gooden was a late scratch for Monday's scheduled game, which was postponed because of rain. . . . Responding to public outcry, the Dodgers will revert to their previous practice of opening the parking lot two hours and the turnstiles 90 minutes before games at Dodger Stadium. . . . New York Newsday featured a full-page photograph on its back cover with the headline, "OVER THE HILL? Straw (.185) says he'll be fine, but his best days seem behind him." But the picture was of Eric Davis, even showing his No. 33, rather than Darryl Strawberry. . . . Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, on the newest left-handed reliever, 21-year-old Omar Daal: "He's not always going to get batters out 1-2-3, but when you see poise and presence like he has at a young age, you have to say he is gifted." In two appearances, Daal has faced nine batters and retired them all.

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