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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

This Time, Magic Picked the Right Time to Retire

May 15, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Good for Magic. . . .

If you ever saw Willie Mays play for the New York Mets or Johnny Unitas for the San Diego Chargers or Muhammad Ali fight Larry Holmes, you didn't want to see Magic Johnson play in the NBA next season. . . .

Tom Lasorda, manager of the Hitless Non-Wonders, says he has been sleeping like a baby this season. . . .

"Asleep one hour, up the next hour," he said. "Over and over. All night long." . . .

In his 20th season on the job, Lasorda says that Steve Garvey was the Dodger who fell into the fewest prolonged slumps. . . .

"If he stopped hitting, Garvey would snap out of it by laying down a couple of bunts and going to the opposite field more often," Lasorda said. . . .

He says he tells his slumping batters--most notably, Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi and Mike Blowers--to be more selective, spray the ball to all fields, and not to try to hit home runs. . . .

"Karros has been trying too hard," Lasorda said. "He's been beating himself more often than the opposing pitchers have." . . .

You'd think Lasorda would be the last manager to say that the ball has been doctored in favor of the hitters, but . . .

"I think the balls are being wound tighter," he said. "Too many light hitters are hitting too many long homers. Ask Greg Maddux." . . .

When Ramon Martinez of the Dominican Republic was taken off the disabled list and replaced Chan Ho Park of Korea in the rotation Tuesday night, the Dodgers no longer had five starters from five countries. Pedro Astacio is also from the Dominican. . . .

However, the Expos can boast of a five-nation rotation now that Ugueth Urbina of Venezuela has been called up from the minors to join Rheal Cormier of Canada, Tavo Alvarez of Mexico, Jeff Fassero of the United States, and Pedro Martinez of the Dominican. . . .

Montreal came to town with the best record in baseball, but drew the smallest crowd of the year at Dodger Stadium on Monday night, 25,600. . . .

Lasorda is proudly showing office visitors color photographs of his granddaughter, 7-month-old Emily Tess Goldberg. . . .

Among the official scorers at Dodger Stadium this year is Irv Kaze, the KIEV sports talk-show host who has been a publicist for the National League, Angels, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the old Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. . . .

Calvin Hill, the former Yale and NFL running back who is the father of Detroit Piston star Grant Hill, is putting together a group that will try to bring major league baseball back to Washington, D.C. . . .

If the Oakland Raiders can get Lincoln Kennedy into shape, their acquisition of the offensive tackle from the Atlanta Falcons may be a good one. Kennedy, the ninth draft pick overall in 1993 from the University of Washington, was listed at 325 pounds last season, but reportedly never was that light. . . .

The sign on Hollywood Park property proclaiming it as the future home of a stadium has illustrations of football and soccer players. . . .

Brice Blanc, 23, the native of France who leads the Hollywood Park rider standings, will lose his five-pound apprentice allowance next week. . . .

Remember when Seve Ballesteros was supposed to be the next dominant player in golf? . . .

Hector Quiroz hails from Julio Cesar Chavez's hometown of Culican, Mexico, but has been sparring with Oscar De La Hoya at Big Bear. . . .

"Some people are mad because I'm helping Oscar get ready," said Quiroz, who will fight Ameth Aranda in a 12-round super-lightweight bout Monday at the Forum. "But it's a great opportunity and it's getting me in top shape. Besides, I'm getting paid for it." . . .

Angelo Dundee called to say that he has a gym full of good prospects in Pembroke Pines, Fla. . . .

Reader Raymond Hill, reacting to an item about Chris Evert, then 15, shocking Margaret Court, who had just won the Grand Slam, in 1970 at Charlotte, N.C.: "I was there and will never forget it. Chris must have been 10 inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than Court, but won both sets in tiebreakers. She was unbelievably cool. That set the tone for her career. Tennis crowds were supposed to be polite then, but everyone fell in love with Evert and even cheered Court's double faults." . . .

If the Galaxy wins the Major League Soccer championship, it will be following a rich Los Angeles tradition. . . .

In their initial seasons, the Wolves won the United Soccer Assn. title in 1967, the Aztecs the North American Soccer League title in 1974, and the Skyhawks the American Soccer League title in 1976. . . .

Look-alikes: Edwin Moses and Christopher Darden.

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