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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Dodgers Let the Wheels of Mediocrity Spin On

July 23, 1996|Allan Malamud

Every day the Dodgers don't make a trade is a day wasted. . . .

They are spinning their wheels, having broken even during a 22-game stretch against National League West rivals that was supposed to start separating them from the pack. . . .

Bill Russell's strategy has been sound, but he is 11-13 since taking charge of a group that must never have taken chemistry. . . .

The biggest need at the moment is at third base, where Mike Blowers' replacement, Mike Busch, is batting .225. . . .

A Milwaukee Brewer whose position is third base and reportedly is available, Kevin Seitzer, was batting .337 with 10 home runs and 50 runs batted in before Monday's game . . . .

If all Seitzer is going to cost the Dodgers is fifth starter Pedro Astacio and maybe a minor-leaguer, Fred Claire should pull the switch. . . .

Chan Ho Park would be an adequate replacement for Astacio in the rotation. . . .

Other third base possibilities are Florida's Terry Pendleton and Pittsburgh's Charlie Hayes. . . .

Then there is the center-field leadoff hitter spot. . . .

Wayne Kirby was on fire in San Francisco and he's a great story, but how much more is someone who spent eight years in the Dodger minor league system before leaving the organization, and who was just put on waivers by the Cleveland Indians going to be able to contribute? . . .

Consideration should be given to a deal for the Chicago Cubs' Brian McRae. . . .

At least the Dodgers are in the thick of their division race, something that cannot be said about the most disappointing team in the American League, the Angels. . . .

By not making a trade for a starting pitcher, the new Disney management is throwing in the towel on the 1996 season. . . .

The move that returned Jim Abbott to the rotation from the bullpen is not my idea of a problem solver. . . .

Jose Offerman must have felt sorry for Greg Gagne. . . .

A couple of days after Gagne made two errors that led to a Dodger defeat in San Francisco, Offerman moved back to shortstop from first base and made an error that led to a Kansas City defeat at Chicago. . . .

It's frightening to think that the Oakland Athletics are on a pace to break the major league home run record of 240 set by the New York Yankees in 1961, the year that Roger Maris hit 61 and Mickey Mantle 54. . . .

With Harry Caray doing the Cub games and Ken Harrelson the White Sox, it's root, root, root for the home team on Chicago superstation WGN. . . .

It's time to start thinking about the wild-card races, which are shaping up better than most of the division races. . . .

Look-alikes: New York Yankee pitcher Kenny Rogers and actor George Clooney. . . .

*

The fourth annual Maury Wills charity golf tournament will be Thursday at the Montebello Golf Course. . . .

Last of the major golf tournaments this year is the PGA Championship on Aug. 8-11 at Louisville, Ky. . . .

Busy Marco Antonio Barrera will make the eighth defense of his World Boxing Organization super-bantamweight championship in 17 months when he faces Jesse Magana at the Forum on Sept. 14. . . .

Promoter Bob Arum soon will be in Atlanta scouting talent. . . .

Ready for college football? Freshmen will report to USC for the opening of practice July 31, which is 26 days before the Kickoff Classic against Penn State at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. . . .

In the heat and humidity of Florida, they're saying that you can lose 10 pounds by watching one of Jimmy Johnson's Miami Dolphin practice sessions. . . .

Cornerback Tim McKyer, who signed for a second tour of duty with the Atlanta Falcons, has played for six franchises in 10 years in the NFL. . . .

I wonder how all those Atlanta Olympic organizers who ripped the commercialism of the Los Angeles Games and promised that everything was going to run smoothly in Georgia this summer are feeling now. . . .

There are so many glitches in Atlanta that an IOC executive board member from L.A., Anita DeFrantz, has been tapped by Juan Antonio Samaranch to oversee the local committee's efforts to find solutions. . . .

Every four years, I'm reminded what repechage means. . . .

Many of the feature pieces on NBC are overly dramatic. . . .

Just once, I'd like to hear an athlete say that money was the most important factor in the decision to sign an eight- or nine-figure contract with a new team.

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