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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

August 01, 1994|ALLAN MALAMUD

Tom Lasorda is managing the Dodgers as though there is no tomorrow. . . .

Well, at least, no Aug. 12 or beyond. . . .

"The probability of a strike has to affect the way I manage," Lasorda said Sunday after the Dodgers maintained their one-game lead in the National League West. "We're in the stretch now. Every game is extremely important." . . .

Lasorda met with his coaches before Saturday night's game against Houston and asked for their thoughts about how to best cope with the Aug. 12 strike date set by labor. . . .

A few hours later, Lasorda removed pitcher Kevin Gross for a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, two out, and the Dodgers leading, 2-1. No strike imminent and Gross might have stayed in. Instead, Dave Hansen came to bat, and two runs scored on a passed ball. The Dodgers won, 6-1. . . .

"That was an example of our thinking," Lasorda said. "Right now, we've got to operate like we have a one-game lead with 10 games left. We'll do anything to win. We might even switch our pitching rotation." . . .

Catcher Mike Piazza often is rested during day games that follow night games, but was in the lineup Sunday when the Dodgers reached the magic .500 mark. . . .

*

Of course, the strike was the prime topic of conversation Saturday on old-timers night. . . .

"A strike is going to be lousy for everyone," Ron Cey said. "It's a no-win situation." . . .

"Hopefully, (Richard) Ravitch and (Donald) Fehr can sit down and be rational," Doug Rau said. "They're getting paid a lot of money." . . .

"I don't think the strike will last more than a few weeks," Steve Garvey said. "But I don't see why anybody would want to stop a season like this one. If I were in baseball, I would hate to see football dominate the sports pages in August." . . .

"The owners refuse to share the revenue among themselves, so they're asking the players to do it for them," said Mike Marshall, the 1974 Cy Young Award winner. . . .

Maury Wills and Richie Ashburn long have been even more deserving of a spot in the Hall of Game than Phil Rizzuto, who was inducted Sunday. . . .

The new two-point conversion rule is putting some spice into the NFL exhibition season. . . .

But don't look for coaches to go for two during the regular season when they have a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter like the Raiders' Art Shell did against Denver in Barcelona. . . .

If you are going to trade a goal-scoring machine such as Luc Robitaille, you better get something special in return. . . .

Rick Tocchet doesn't seem to fit that description--not a 30-year-old Tocchet, who is coming off back surgery. . . .

The Kings, who have traded Robitaille, Tomas Sandstrom, Paul Coffey and Corey Millen the last couple of years, are left badly in need of firepower. . . .

And, no, don't expect the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade Robitaille back to the Kings, a la Marty McSorley. Luc should blend into the Pittsburgh system perfectly. . . .

So much for those of us who believed the Lakers would land one of the three attractive free-agent forwards--Horace Grant, Danny Manning or Dominique Wilkins--and good luck to Del Harris. . . .

Manning isn't a franchise player, but Charles Barkley is and the Phoenix Suns ought to be the class of the Western Conference next season. . . .

Now that the Clippers have a coach, how about some players? . . .

A couple of weeks before Puerto Rico won the Goodwill Games championship, it lost to Magic Johnson's team of former NBA players, 118-104. Magic had 26 points and a triple-double. . . .

Among the best prospects at the recent Las Vegas high school basketball tournament was Mike Bibby, a 6-2 guard from Arizona who is the son of Henry Bibby. . . .

Oscar De La Hoya was brilliant Friday night. Sure, Jorge Paez has seen better days. But De La Hoya, who was all business from the moment he left his dressing room, would have knocked out most any other 135-pounder. . . .

Southern California is brimming with quality fighters in the 130- to 140-pound range--De La Hoya, Rafael and Gabriel Ruelas, Zack Padilla, Genaro Hernandez and Shane Mosley--and the potential matchups are intriguing. . . .

The 40th anniversary of Roger Bannister's unprecedented 3:59.4 mile recently was celebrated in grand style, but it won't be too much longer before someone runs two sub-four minute miles in the same race. On Saturday, Moses Kiptanui of Kenya set a two-mile record of 8 minutes 9.01 seconds.

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