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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Outlook for Dodgers Is Highly Questionable

August 27, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Ten questions about the Dodgers' bid to repeat as National League West champions:

How much of an emotional lift will the return of Brett Butler to the clubhouse, if not the field, give them? . . .

Will Todd Worrell, who has saved four consecutive games, get an occasional day off? . . .

Can Mike Piazza, who is aching all over, keep going without an occasional day off? . . .

Will Eric Karros continue to embarrass managers who instruct their pitchers to walk Piazza? . . .

Will Ismael Valdes ever finish what he starts? . . .

Will Bill Russell show enough confidence in rookie-of-the-year candidate Todd Hollandsworth to put him in the lineup against left-handed pitchers? . . .

Can Raul Mondesi regain a measure of consistency at the plate and in the field? . . .

Will Delino DeShields, in a summer-long slump, repeat his productive September of 1995? . . .

Will Greg Vaughn, who has missed American League pitching, supply the power to put the San Diego Padres over the top? . . .

Will the Dodgers and Padres get any help from visiting teams at Williamsport, a.k.a. Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies are nearly as tough to defeat as the Taiwan Little Leaguers? . . .

*

You can usually count on the Angels to lose or win by at least five runs. . . .

Every time I watch the Houston Astros, it occurs to me that they should be comfortably ahead in the National League Central race. . . .

Jeff Bagwell is starting to put up Jeff Bagwell-like numbers. . . .

Only a couple of his Colorado Rockies teammates might keep Ellis Burks from winning the triple crown. . . .

With the Atlanta Braves running away with the National League East title and the Boston Red Sox suddenly involved in the American League wild-card race, Mike Maddux will be a more important pitcher the rest of the regular season than his more accomplished brother Greg. . . .

Wonder if those TV commercials will have Alex Rodriguez, instead of Ken Griffey Jr., running for president in 2000. . . .

Asked to name his favorite Dodger teammates, Jerry Reuss said, "Jay Johnstone, because we were so much alike, and Steve Garvey, because we weren't." . . .

I'm having a tough time trying to remember the last time USC stopped a big-time running back. . . .

In the Penn State game, Keyshawn Johnson was missed the most on third down. . . .

Johnson could smell the first-down marker. . . .

It's premature to be talking about a rematch with Penn State after the way USC stumbled around Giants Stadium on Sunday, but the Trojans can take heart from the 1965 UCLA Bruins, who lost to Michigan State in the opener at East Lansing, 13-3, then upset the top-ranked Spartans in the Rose Bowl game, 14-12. . . .

Five Big Ten teams are ranked in the Associated Press poll, but you can't say that half the teams in the conference are. . . .

Rocket Ismail ranks as one of the biggest NFL disappointments of the decade. . . .

Maybe the Raiders should have known better after Ismail failed to tear up the Canadian Football League during his stint with Toronto. . . .

In preparation for his bout against Mike Tyson on Sept. 7 at the MGM Grand, Bruce Seldon is sparring with former heavyweight contender Bert Cooper, among others. . . .

Pernell Whitaker will give Wilfredo Rivera a rematch Sept. 20 at Miami Beach on HBO. . . .

Bond is the name of the trainer whose horses won two stakes races at Saratoga over the weekend, James Bond. . . .

Tiger Woods might not be the only future PGA tour star to emerge from the championship match of the U.S. Amateur. Runner-up Steve Scott, 19, is a year younger than Woods. . . .

Let's hope the U.S. Open tennis competition is as eventful as the seedings. . . .

I can't remember a Major League Soccer team ever falling apart the way the Galaxy has this season. . . .

If Shaquille O'Neal had not signed with the Lakers, Dennis Rodman would have.

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