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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Right Now, Dodger Show Belongs Strictly to Russell

July 08, 1996|Allan Malamud

The phone conversations between Tom Lasorda and Bill Russell in recent days have not been about baseball. . . .

"I'm running the show," said an appreciative Russell. . . .

In other words, no first or second guessing from his mentor. . . .

If Lasorda returns to work as expected, the wins and losses during his absence would count as part of his record. . . .

If Lasorda cannot return, a determination would be made by the Elias Sports Bureau, one of the official keeper of statistics, and major league baseball as to how many games would count under Lasorda's name and how many under Russell's. . . .

Russell is being described as the next Walter Alston. . . .

But Russell broke into a big grin in the dugout one night in San Diego after a Dodger home run, something I can't remember ever seeing Alston do. . . .

Among bunters who have pleased Reggie Smith this season are Ismael Valdes, Hideo Nomo, Ramon Martinez and Tom Candiotti. . . .

"I think our pitchers and Atlanta's do the best jobs of bunting in the league," said the Dodger hitting coach. . . .

"Our pitchers bunt 15 or 20 times before every game," Smith said. "I was surprised how well Nomo bunted when he came here. Valdes is our most-improved bunter and Candiotti probably our best." . . .

Smith said all bunters, who take quarter turns and face the ball, must overcome fear to become successful. . . .

If the game-winning hit statistic was still kept, you can be sure Mike Piazza would be right up there among the National League leaders. . . .

Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar and Cal Ripken Jr. each got more All-Star votes than the entire roster of the host team, the Philadelphia Phillies. . . .

Phillie reliever Ricky Bottalico has the highest batting average of any All-Star, .500. He is one for two. . . .

When a batter gets hit by ball four, it counts as a hit by pitch rather than a walk. It happened to Todd Hollandsworth in the fifth inning on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. . . .

"It's ruled an HBP because the ball immediately becomes dead and the runners can't advance an extra base," official scorer Terry Bales said. . . .

The Angels are 0-1 in games in which they trailed by 10 runs after one inning. . . .

Marcel Lachemann often takes the blame for Angel defeats, but never the credit for wins. . . .

I hope the new Disney management doesn't panic and make Marcel the second manager named Lachemann to be fired this year. . . .

Mark McGwire is only a trade to the Colorado Rockies and an injury-free year away from hitting 80 home runs in a season. . . .

The San Francisco Giant pitching staff belongs in the American League. . . .

Rob Deer, who was called up by the San Diego Padres this week, is wearing the number of his former Las Vegas Star teammate, the late Mike Sharperson, on his cap. . . .

John Smoltz and the Galaxy, who seemed nearly unbeatable, both are on three-game losing streaks. . . .

New York Met rookie Alex Ochoa wasn't the only pro baseball player to go five for five and hit for the cycle in a game last week. David Newhan, son of Times' sportswriter Ross Newhan, did the same thing in Modesto's 6-4 victory over San Jose in the California League on Tuesday. . . .

*

Breakfast at Wimbledon was not gourmet quality. . . .

The tennis, a serving exhibition by Richard Krajicek, was about as exciting as the rain delays. . . .

One of Mexico's top boxing prospects, featherweight Juan Manuel Marquez, will try for his 16th consecutive victory tonight at the Forum against Freddy Cruz. Marquez's only loss was in his first fight on an accidental head butt. . . .

Shea Seals, the Tulsa guard who scored 20 points for the U.S. 22-and-under team against the Dream Team on Saturday, will play against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 20 in the first round of the preseason National Invitation Tournament. . . .

Former Lakers James Worthy and Happy Hairston have been conducting clinics to help raise money to send a team of 10-year-olds from L.A. to a basketball tournament in Orlando, where they will play against teams from several states, China and Brazil. . . .

Where They Aren't Now: Former L.A. Ram quarterback Dieter Brock was fired as offensive coordinator of the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League last week.

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