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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

May 18, 1994|ALLAN MALAMUD

Who do the Angels think they are, the Clippers? . . .

The Angels are making their 14th managerial change in the last 26 years--compared with nine coaching changes in the last 15 years for the Clippers--and this is the most unnecessary. . . .

I have nothing against Marcel Lachemann. . . .

But I do have a lot to say in favor of Buck Rodgers. . . .

He is a strong leader. He is a sound strategist. In Milwaukee, Montreal and Anaheim, he has gotten the most out of the available talent. He is honest with his players, the fans and the media. . . .

He showed uncommon determination when he returned to the dugout on Aug. 28, 1992, after suffering serious injuries in the crash of the Angel team bus in Maryland on May 21 that season. . . .

It isn't his fault that he worked for an organization that has no idea of the meaning of the word stability . . . .

He cannot be blamed for trades, free-agent defections and other cost-costing moves that might be the most damaging in the major leagues if it wasn't for the San Diego Padres. . . .

The Oakland Athletics of 1994 are proof there isn't much a good manager, such as Tony La Russa, can do with a mediocre cast. . . .

Maybe one day the rest of the Southern California sporting enterprises will learn something from the Dodgers, who have had two managers in the last 41 years. . . .

Marcel Lachemann pitched for Dorsey High when I attended what was then Southern League rival L.A. High. He was a tough competitor. Still is. But so is Buck Rodgers.

*

It is too bad the salary cap caused the Raiders to release Steve Smith. He was ol' reliable at fullback. But if you have to decide whether to keep Smith or perennial Pro Bowl center Don Mosebar, you pick Mosebar. . . .

The movement of NFL quarterbacks hasn't ended. Still unsigned are free agents Browning Nagle, Billy Joe Tolliver and Jim McMahon. . . .

Gino Torretta, who has yet to throw a pass in the NFL, is helping to teach the Minnesota Vikings' offense to Warren Moon. . . .

The Pacific 10 Conference was second in the number of NFL draft choices this year with 25. The Southeastern Conference, which has two more teams, had 31. . . .

If a deal Bob Arum is negotiating with one of the three major networks is completed, two Friday night boxing shows a month at the Olympic Auditorium will be televised at 12:30 a.m. live in the East and on a delayed basis locally. . . .

"That would be huge for us," said Arum, whose last three cards at the Olympic have averaged only about 1,000 fans. "It will take a while for the crowds to build, but we'll get that done.". . . .

Dan Goossen has a copy of a letter from Jose Sulaiman stipulating that World Boxing Council super-featherweight champion James Leija must negotiate within 30 days for a mandatory title defense against Gabriel Ruelas, who will tune up against Paris Alexander at the Olympic on Friday. . . .

Can USC win in South Bend? The Trojan tennis team is seeded first in the NCAA Championships that begin Saturday at Notre Dame. . . .

The Toronto Maple Leafs are solid from A--Dave Andreychuk--to Z--Peter Zezel. . . .

Gourmet Pat Burns refused to use the "icing on the cake" cliche when talking about the goals scored by the Zezel line, noted for its checking, Monday during the overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, Burns called it "gravy on the potatoes.". . . .

Members of the Florida Panthers, who didn't make the playoffs, have been nominated for three of the NHL's seven major awards. No members of the New York Rangers, who are in the Eastern Conference championship series, were nominated. . . .

News item: Dick Motta is hired by the Dallas Mavericks. Reaction: That's one less retread available to the Clippers. . . .

Among the best hitters in college baseball is Rice sophomore outfielder Jose Cruz Jr., son of the former Houston Astro outfielder. . . .

Aaron Boone, son of Bob, has tied the USC single-season stolen base record of 24 that was set by Don Buford Jr.. . . .

It is ridiculous that none of the eight NCAA Division I regional baseball tournaments will be played in the West this year. Of the 47 College World Series, 26 have been won by teams from the West. . . .

Chicago Cub pitcher Anthony Young (2-3) is well on his way to earning comeback-of-the-year honors.

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