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Russell to Let Team Do the Talking

May 03, 1997|CHRIS BAKER

Dodger Manager Bill Russell, who has met with reporters about 2 1/2 hours before games since succeeding Tom Lasorda, says he plans to discontinue the practice because he feels the focus should be on the players.

"I'm just not doing this anymore," Russell said before Friday night's game against the Cubs. "I think you guys ought to talk to the players. I don't think all the information should be coming from me. That's the way I feel.

"I don't think the way things are right now that you need to hear from me. You need to hear from the players. So many things are going on here that I don't feel I need to talk to you that much.

"You guy are searching too much and too much is going on that doesn't need my clarification. I'll do that for a while until we straighten out things on this end.

"I don't mind talking when we're losing, but I don't think right now is a good time because we're talking about the same things. It's the guys' show. I can't help you."


Dodger center fielder Brett Butler missed his second consecutive game because of tendinitis in his left shoulder. Wayne Kirby started in place of Butler.

"It's day by day," Butler said. "If it feels better, I'll play, if it doesn't I won't."

It was one year ago Friday that Butler went on the disabled list after he was found to have cancer.


Dodger Executive Vice President Fred Claire said he's not concerned about the club's 3-4 trip.

"I didn't like the start, but I liked the end of it," Claire said. "This is a game with a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Clubs are going to lose two, three or four game in a row. The real key is how you respond to it.

"If you lose four games you're going to get more of the focus on you, particularly our club. We've got a good club, the pitching is going to keep us in games and we've got the offense. "




Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m.

* Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330)

* Update--Valdes, who was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday in Philadelphia because of a swollen lymph node in his abdominal area, has given up only four earned runs in 15.1 innings in his last three starts. But Valdes, who has lost three consecutive starts, hasn't received much support, getting only four runs in during his losing streak. Valdes lasted only 3.1 innings in his last start, giving up three runs on eight hits in an 8-3 loss at Florida last Saturday. Valdes registered a career-high 11 strikeouts against the Cubs on Aug 16, 1995. Mulholland, who signed as a free agent last December, recorded the first victory by a Cub starting left-hander since Sept. 29, 1993, in his last start. Mulholland is 7-5 with a 2-2 ERA in 16 games against the Dodgers.

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