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Fans Still 'Sticking It to Hated Rivals

September 18, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

The first pitch in Wednesday night's game at 3Com Park was thrown at 7:35.

The first fan was thrown out at 6:35, a teenager wearing a Dodger cap who was escorted out by police for rowdy behavior.

He didn't figure to be the last.

You can change the name, from Candlestick to 3Com, but you can't change the crowds.

Before the game, veteran Dodgers swapped stories about wild fans in the stands in past years.

Trainer Charlie Strasser remembered a grapefruit being hurled at him.

Former manager Tommy Lasorda, who had everything but the left-field scoreboard thrown at him when he walked from the clubhouse to the dugout, didn't attend Wednesday's game because he knew he couldn't watch it in peace.

"Where would I sit?" he asked.

"They'll boo me," Manager Bill Russell said, "but it's not the same. I won't throw them kisses."

That was a favorite Lasorda tactic to infuriate the fans even more.


Wednesday night, the fans even got on Dodger first baseman/third baseman Paul Konerko, who was called up this month from triple-A Albuquerque for an occasional pinch-hitting role.

"And I'm not even playing," said Konerko, 21, wide-eyed at his first exposure to the Dodger-Giant rivalry, complete with 350 media members huddled around the batting cage or roaming through the dugout or cramming the press box. "I'm getting pumped up. I can't imagine what it would be like to be playing. I'd hate to see what a World Series is like."


Although the Giants began this series trailing the Dodgers by two games with 11 to play, San Francisco second baseman Jeff Kent told the Oakland Tribune he'd be satisfied with a split.

"I think a split would be ideal. . . . Going into the series, our goal is to split," Kent said. "At least that's what my goal would be."

When a reporter asked Otis Nixon if he'd be satisfied with a split, the Dodger center fielder responded as if he'd been asked if he would satisfied sitting home for the playoffs.

Told what Kent had said, Nixon replied, "I'm not Jeff Kent."


Russell, a teammate of Giant Manager Dusty Baker in his playing days with the Dodgers, went into the Giant clubhouse before the game to wish Baker luck.



3Com Park, 12:30 p.m.

TV--Channel 5. Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Update--This is where it all started anew for Candiotti. Sent to the bullpen when he couldn't win one of the starting spots, Candiotti was reborn as a starter in June when Ramon Martinez went on the disabled list because of a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. Candiotti responded with seven shutout innings in an 11-0 Dodger victory at 3Com. He has been in the rotation ever since, but this is his biggest start yet, especially since he is coming off a bad outing last weekend in Houston, where his trademark knuckleball was so wild he hit four batters to tie a National League record in a game the Astros won, 5-1. Mulholland, claimed on waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 8, has a 2.07 earned-run average against the Dodgers in 126 1/3 innings spread over 19 appearances.

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