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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Baylor vs. Dodgers: Nothing Personal

September 20, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

Colorado Rocky Manager Don Baylor would like to get one thing straight: He does not hate the Dodgers.

Not any more than any other team. Certainly not like they say he does in the Dodger clubhouse, where there is talk of a personal vendetta against the Dodgers for reasons that are never spelled out.

Baylor insists his feelings don't extend beyond the white lines.

"They make me competitive," he said. "When you play [against the Yankees], when you play against the Dodgers, it always keeps the adrenaline going. With other teams, you don't have that."

But Baylor says he doesn't want to beat the Dodgers in the seven games he has left with them any more than he wants to beat the San Francisco Giants in the two games remaining against them.

"When we go home Tuesday and Wednesday [to play San Francisco], I will feel the same about the Giants," Baylor said.

He's just glad his team is in the middle of a pennant race, even if it probably is only as a spoiler.

"In the last week of the season," he said, "it means something to have something to play for. The worst thing is when the guys in the clubhouse in the last week of the season are talking about hunting and fishing trips and going on vacation."

*

Dodger second baseman Eric Young, who joined the team on Aug. 18 when the Rockies traded him for pitcher Pedro Astacio, has complained about a lack of appreciation in Colorado.

"I'm a player who performs if appreciated," Young said. "I've been knocked over, kicked around and battled back all by myself."

But he conceded, "I was appreciated over there by some people."

Baylor said to count him as one of those people.

"I hated to lose him in every way," the manager said. "He was the catalyst for us for a long time."

Baylor said that if Young felt unappreciated when he looked at his paycheck, there was nothing he could do about that as the manager.

Said Baylor: "I didn't have the checkbook."

*

Dodger reliever Darren Hall hopes to be available today after sitting out several games because of a strain in his lower back.

Hall suffered the strain while warming up on the mound in St. Louis.

"I felt warm and loose once I started pitching," he said, "but the next day, it stiffened up real bad."

*

At San Francisco's 3Com Park, where 350 media members were credentialed, Dodger third baseman Todd Zeile walked into the clubhouse, looked around at the mob and said, "Are there any players in here?"

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