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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Butler to Show Cancer He's a Very Tough Out

May 09, 1996|Allan Malamud

Brett Butler is my favorite Dodger. . . .

At 5 feet 10 and 161 pounds, he gets more out of less than just about any major league ballplayer. . . .

He is the epitome of a leadoff hitter. . . .

He is the only batter to lead the National League in singles for four consecutive seasons, 1990-93. . . .

He is a tough out who will foul off pitch after pitch before finding the right one to place in fair and uncatchable territory. . . .

He practices the lost art of bunting. . . .

He is a threat on the bases. . . .

He is a reliable and sometimes spectacular center fielder. . . .

He was put on the disabled list only once during the first 15 years of his major league career. . . .

He hustles. . . .

He is smart. . . .

He is courteous to fans and sportswriters. . . .

He is a member of the Leukemia Society and the National Sports Committee and has been involved with 65 Roses of Los Angeles, California Kids, Professional Athletes Outreach, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Hollenbeck Youth Center. . . .

He is a battler who will give cancer fits.

*

Now we will find out if Butler's replacement, Roger Cedeno, is ready for the National League at the tender age of 21. . . .

Fernando Valenzuela showed he belonged with the Dodgers in 1980 at 20 and Ismael Valdes last season at 21, but they are pitchers. . . .

Injuries could decide the tough American League West race. . . .

With Mark Langston out for six to eight weeks, the Angels probably won't have the edge in starting pitching over Seattle and Texas that most forecasters thought would be decisive. . . .

Greg Maddux is 4-2 with a 3.05 earned-run average, and Atlanta Brave fans are wondering what's wrong with him. . . .

The New York Yankees wouldn't be where they are today without the trade after the 1992 season that brought them Paul O'Neill from the Cincinnati Reds for Roberto Kelly. . . .

USC center fielder Jacque Jones, a U.S. Olympic team member, is batting .380 but ranks only third on the Trojans behind right fielder Jeff Inglin, .392, and designated hitter Paul Cruz, .383. . . .

Terry Donahue, the CBS college football analyst who retired as UCLA coach after 20 years, will be honored by 275 of his closest friends Saturday night at a dinner at the Pasadena Ritz-Carlton. . . .

Keyshawn Johnson, who made a cameo appearance on "Coach" on Tuesday, will graduate from USC on Friday with a degree in history. . . .

Thumbs up to those voters who made the Chicago Bulls' Phil Jackson NBA coach of the year. . . .

Too often coaches of great teams don't get enough credit. For instance, Chuck Noll of the four-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers never was voted NFL coach of the year. . . .

Only honor student Jacque Vaughn would quote Robert Frost--"To take a path less traveled"--while announcing that he is staying at Kansas for his senior season. . . .

Among the NBA playoff records that don't figure to be touched this season is that for most fouls in a series lasting six games. Boston guard Charlie Scott was disqualified five times against Phoenix in 1976 and had five fouls in the other game for a total of 35. . . .

The Spurs weren't the only people in San Antonio who didn't seem psyched for the opening game of their series against Utah. Only 15,112 fans turned out on a night when the Alamodome could have accommodated 20,662. . . .

All 16,000 seats for the Oscar De La Hoya-Julio Cesar Chavez fight at Caesars Palace on June 7 were sold two months ago. The 4,000 tickets that were put on sale last week for a closed-circuit telecast at the hotel were sold in 48 hours. . . .

The day that Michael Jordan joins the PGA Tour, Roy Jones Jr. will start playing in the NBA. . . .

My favorite author, Joe Wambaugh, explores the world of sailing in his latest novel, "Floaters." . . .

In what supposedly was the first baseball game ever played, the New York Knickerbockers beat the New York Nine, 23-1, in 1846. Sounds to me like an American League score in 1996.

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