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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Next Stop for Lasorda Should Be Cooperstown

July 29, 1996|Allan Malamud

No. 2 long has been No. 1 in the hearts of Dodger fans. . . .

Managers generally are about as popular as politicians, but Tom Lasorda received a standing ovation upon his return to Dodger Stadium a couple of weeks ago that even surpassed that given to Brett Butler. . . .

Let's play word association. . . .

Los Angeles Dodgers. . . .

Tom Lasorda. . . .

Motivator? In a league of his own. Nothing like a hug from Lasorda, or a tongue lashing, depending on which got the most out of the player. . . .

Strategist? Underrated. Nobody has ever pushed buttons more correctly in a World Series than Lasorda during the five games it took the Dodgers to upset the Oakland Athletics in 1988. . . .

Good with youngsters? The last four National League rookies of the year have been Dodgers. . . .

Loyal? Over the years, he turned down lucrative offers from Baltimore, Atlanta, the New York Yankees and probably others to remain with the Dodgers for less money. . . .

Caring? After my father died several years ago, Lasorda called my mother, talked to her for half an hour, and was able to do what nobody else could do, put a smile on her face. . . .

Salesman? No other team in baseball has drawn more than 3 million fans to home games 10 times, and the Dodgers are headed for an 11th. . . .

Medical marvel? For the past 47 years, he has bled Dodger blue. . . .

Next stop? Cooperstown, N.Y. . . .

*

The announcement that George Foreman will fight the famed Crawford Grimsley on Sept. 15 at Tokyo means the former heavyweight champion and promoter Bob Arum have ended their mutually profitable association. . . .

Plans are for Foreman to oppose three or four tomato cans and then face Mike Tyson or Riddick Bowe. . . .

The guys who do the punch stats on HBO telecasts would do a lot better job scoring Olympic Games fights than the judges at Atlanta. . . .

A half-minute highlight segment on Channel 4 clearly showed that Fernando Vargas landed three heavy jabs in the second round of his defeat, but the judge from Puerto Rico didn't give Vargas credit for landing a single punch the entire round. . . .

Isn't it anticlimactic to have the individual apparatus finals in the gymnastics competition after the all-around? . . .

Charles Austin's win might give a big lift to the high jump in the U.S. Little attention has been paid in recent years to an event that used to feature such high-profile performers as Charlie Dumas, Dick Fosbury, and Dwight Stones. . . .

Five members of U.S. Olympic volleyball teams attended Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach: Mike Dodd, class of '75; Barbara Fontana Harris, class of '83; and Carl Henkel, Holly McPeak and Bryan Ivie, all class of '87. . . .

Former UCLA sprinters have won the last four Olympic women's 100-meter dashes, Evelyn Ashford in 1984, Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988, and Gail Devers in 1992 and 1996. . . .

Call me sentimental, but I loved it when Devers and longtime rival Gwen Torrence embraced after Devers won the gold medal and Torrence the bronze. . . .

Last Thursday was a big day for Bruin basketball Coach Jim Harrick, who celebrated his birthday for the 58th time and became a grandfather for the second time. . . .

NBC should have shown more of the Cuba-U.S. baseball game Sunday. Assume it will have more than occasional updates if the Big Red and Big Red, White and Blue machines meet in a rematch for the championship. . . .

Pictured on the cover of the USC football media guide are Coach John Robinson, quarterback Brad Otton, running back Delon Washington, defensive tackle Darrell Russell and linebacker Sammy Knight. . . .

The third annual Jackie Robinson Foundation Invitational Golf Classic will be today at the Riviera Country Club. An estimated $125,000 in net proceeds will benefit the foundation, which provides college scholarships. . . .

Best comeback story of the year in thoroughbred racing might be written by Larry The Legend, who was impressive Saturday at Del Mar while finishing second in his first race since the Santa Anita Derby more than 15 months ago. . . .

I was shocked that Mark McGwire didn't hit a home run Sunday until I read that he didn't play because of back spasms. . . .

Coors Field is the perfect spot to film a sequel to the old home run derby TV show, which was shot at old Wrigley Field in L.A. . . .

Most underrated Olympic sport: Volleyball. Second most underrated: Beach volleyball.

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