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DODGERS DAILY REPORT : Claire, Bowden Have Similar Dislikes

October 04, 1995|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, and Cincinnati General Manager Jim Bowden advocated changes Tuesday in the playoff format.

Baseball needs to change its tiebreaker system, Claire said, pointing out that in the event of a three-way tie, the wild-card team automatically qualifies while the division leaders have a one-game playoff. That was the case in the American League when the New York Yankees clinched the wild-card berth and the Angels lost in Monday's playoff to the Seattle Mariners after they had tied for the West Division title.

Bowden's chief complaints are that the team with the best record isn't playing the team with the worst record, and that the so-called home-field advantage is a joke.

"I think we've got to go to a best-of-seven series," Bowden said. "The way it stands now, you go against three hot pitchers, and you go home."

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Dodger left fielder Roberto Kelly, who spent a little more than a season with the Reds, said that owner Marge Schott never rubbed Schottzie's hair on him for good luck.

"I never even saw her," Kelly said. "She was suspended when I played there. I guess her dog was too."

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Former Dodger and Red Eric Davis, who had not been to a baseball game since retiring last season from the Detroit Tigers, showed up at Dodger Stadium, saying he was contemplating a comeback. He said that the neck injury that prompted his retirement has healed.

Davis, 33, who played 11 years in the Reds' organization and in 1992-1993 for the Dodgers, says he'll decide in December whether he wants to resume his career next spring.

"After being around this again, it doesn't help," he said.

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Dodger third baseman Tim Wallach on playing his first playoff game since 1981: "This is the best moment in my baseball career. I can't even explain it."

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Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, on the resignation of Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson: "It's a sad feeling to see Sparky leave. Sparky is one of the best managers in baseball. There's a spot in the Hall of Fame waiting for him."

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Lasorda became only the fifth major league manager to lead the same team to the playoffs in three decades. He joins Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics, John McGraw of the New York Giants, Casey Stengel of the New York Yankees and Walter Alston of the Dodgers.

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He was an all-star shortstop two months ago, but there was Jose Offerman, introduced to the sound of boos, knowing that he'll be spending this series on the bench.

"It's so tough for him," Dodger closer Todd Worrell said. "I know that he senses it's tough to feel a part of this when his job is taken away.

"But Offy has nothing to hang his head about. He's contributed as much as anybody in here. We wouldn't be where we are today if he hadn't contributed.

"When we clinched the division, I saw him in the clubhouse shaking hands, but I came over and hugged him. It's hard to know what to say. But I told him how much he's meant to this team.

"Hopefully, it can be a motivational thing for him."

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