If you're suffering withdrawal pangs because of the baseball strike, there's no need to throw yourself off the Dodger Stadium scoreboard or bean yourself with a Louisville Slugger.
There's a whole roster of ways baseball addicts can satisfy their craving until major league umpires once again call, "Play ball!"
As the Los Angeles Dodgers' team psychiatrist, Dr. Herndon Harding Jr. usually offers advice to troubled players. But he says upset fans are suffering a slight form of depression similar to grief.
"You've lost something important to your life. You've lost people you identify with, including some that you know everything about."
He says exercise will pump up your adrenaline and improve your outlook. Participating in other enjoyable activities can also elevate your mood. Some people will do the worst thing possible--pig out.
"Since you've lost something important, you try to replace it by filling it up, and some people will try to fill it up by eating," Harding says.
"It's much healthier if you fill it up with minor league games or something that will benefit you as well."
Here are some healthy ways to get your baseball fix.
Rent a baseball movie: There are lots of classics, old and new, available on video. They include:
* "The Pride of the Yankees" (1942)--A drama based on the career of New York Yankees' slugger Lou Gehrig.
* "Damn Yankees" (1958)--A middle-aged fan sells his soul to the devil to become a young player and lead the Washington Senators to the pennant.
* "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings" (1976)--Black professional players in 1939 start their own team.
* "Bull Durham" (1988)--An aging catcher is sent to the Durham Bulls to baby-sit a dimwitted up-and-coming pitcher and ends up falling for a sexy groupie.
* "Field of Dreams" (1989)--An Iowa farmer builds a baseball field in the middle of his farm.
* "A League of Their Own" (1992)--Women's baseball league is born when most of the male players march off to World War II.
Go see the angels: "Angels in the Outfield" that is--the Hollywood fantasy about a so-so ball team and a kid who sees angels. The new version is showing at theaters all over. Or look for the 1951 edition at your video store.
Read a baseball book: The best of the many baseball novels are "The Southpaw" and "Bang the Drum Slowly," both by Mark Harris; "The Natural," by Bernard Malamud; "The Great American Novel," by Philip Roth, and "The Universal Baseball Assn. Inc.," by Robert Coover, says Prof. Cordelia Candelaria, who teaches baseball fiction at Arizona State University.
Highly regarded nonfiction works include Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer," Eliot Asinof's "Eight Men Out" and Roger Angell's collections of essays, "The Summer Game," "Late Innings" and "Season Ticket."
Get the big picture: Ken Burns' much-anticipated nine-part public television miniseries, "Baseball," runs on KCET Channel 28 from 8 to 10 p.m. Sept. 18-22 and Sept. 25-28.
Or check out smaller pictures: A Los Angeles gallery is showing Bruce Prochaska's 20 paintings and chalk drawings of Hall of Fame baseball players, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson. See them from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday. The exhibit, which closes Sept. 18, is in the lobby gallery of Wilshire Landmark I, 11755 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles. Information: (310) 772-1187.
It ain't the BIG leagues, but . . . : ESPN will televise Little League World Series games at 10 a.m. today through Wednesday; at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and at noon and 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
ESPN 2 will show games at 4 p.m. today and Tuesday.
ABC will carry the championship game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Send yourself to the minors: The Class A California League plays through Sept. 4, with prices averaging about $3.70 per ticket for adults. Here's where to see the five Southern California teams:
* High Desert Mavericks, Maverick Stadium, 1200 Stadium Way, Adelanto; (619) 246-6287.
* Lake Elsinore Storm, Lake Elsinore Diamond, 500 Railroad Canyon Road; (909) 245-4487.
* Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Epicenter, 8408 Rochester Ave.; (909) 481-5000.
* Riverside Pilots, Riverside Sports Center, 1000 Blaine St.; (909) 276-3352.
* San Bernardino Spirit, Fiscalini Field, 1007 E. Highland Ave.; (909) 881-1836.
Dress up in vintage uniforms:
* Mitchell & Ness, a Philadelphia sportswear manufacturer, offers copies of about 500 major league jerseys and 70 baseball jackets. 1229 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107; (800) 483-6377.
* Ebbets Field Flannels in Seattle produces about 200 shirts, as well as caps and jackets, from old Negro and minor league teams, including the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels. P.O. Box 19865, Seattle, Wash., 98107; (800) 377-9777.
* Mirage of New York offers a variety of jackets and jerseys, available in local stores.
Hit an (On-)Line Drive: