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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Expect a Lot of Nothing From the 49ers and Roski

August 03, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

We begin the day with a brain teaser, and although that might leave out our pro wrestling readers, I ask: Which will happen first in our lifetimes?

1. The post-Steve Young 49ers scoring a touchdown in an exhibition or regular-season game, keeping in mind that the team's brass still wants to give Rick Mirer time playing quarterback.

2. Ed Roski's work as intermediary paying off, bringing the Arizona Cardinals to L.A. to play in the Coliseum, keeping in mind that if you put Billy Bidwill alongside Donald Sterling, Sterling looks like a Hall of Famer.

3. Hell freezes over.

Of course, it's a trick question, because anyone who has spent any time in Green Bay knows that hell has already frozen over.

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THE 49ERS PROBABLY won't score this year. They have already been shut out in an exhibition game for the first time since 1993, and when they get flattened in the season opener, it will be the first time since Oct. 9, 1977--a span of 354 games--that they have failed to score in a regular-season contest.

It all starts at the top, and according to the San Jose Mercury News, before Monday's game in Canton, 49er owner Denise DeBartolo York ran into Al Michaels. After Michaels put out his hand, she said, "And who might you be?"

Now if you don't know Al Michaels, currently the most famous man in the entire game of pro football--if you don't count Dennis Miller--you are probably not going to notice much difference between Young and Jeff Garcia.

But some of the NFL's defensive coordinators have a sharper eye. People used to say the 49ers were dead, once Young got hurt. Now, if Garcia goes down, you have Giovanni Carmazzi, who's obviously playing for the DeBartolos because he's a friend of the family. If you know what I mean.

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THERE HAS BEEN talk the 49ers might be sold, even moved to L.A. because their stadium deal is a shambles. But because of tax ramifications, the word is, Eddie DeBartolo's sister is on hold for five years.

In the meantime, I was going to suggest calling Ram owner Georgia Frontiere for advice, but DeBartolo York told the Mercury News she bought her blouse from Express, so she already knows where to shop.

Can't say the same for Roski, who seems intent on bargaining for a hand-me-down loser for L.A.

Voters in Arizona this November will determine if Bidwill's team is going to get a new stadium. If the referendum goes against the Cardinals, the team is expected to move--again--and if you had the chance to vote Bidwill out of town, wouldn't you?

Roski, thinking just like you, said he's prepared to bring together the Cardinals, the Coliseum Commission, the state of California, the L.A. Conservancy, USC and the Exposition Park stakeholders. Knowing that Roski just bought the Las Vegas Hilton, you have to ask if it's merely a scam to fill his hotel rooms.

Whatever, there's no chance of Bidwill and the Cardinals striking a deal in L.A. Even so, I'd still like to tell Roski to go to hell, but I believe he's already been in Green Bay.

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MARK AUG. 12 on your calendar, and take your money to Dodger Stadium to bid on the autographed ball--the 18th home run in Mark McGwire's string of 70 in 1998--to benefit Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation. The live auction will also include Muhammad Ali's shoes from his first fight with Joe Frazier and Mickey Mantle's signed center fielder's glove from 1965-1966.

If the ball Tiger Bobby Higginson hit for a home run off Angel pitcher Ken Hill on Wednesday ever lands, it should also be available for auction.

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IN A COLUMN by Mark Heisler on May 28 in The Times, Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley vowed to keep his team together, and said, "The next time this team is stripped down and rebuilt, I won't be coaching it."

On Tuesday, Riley sent five of his players to Charlotte for four new ones. No word on when he will make his retirement speech.

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AS PREDICTED HERE weeks ago, the Dodgers are thick into the division race, having braved the Rockies, Phillies and Pirates in recent succession. It's not easy beating teams that are a combined 32 games below .500. Watch how tough the Brewers are to beat when they arrive Friday--18 games below .500.

Manager Davey Johnson has flipped the switch, however. He has decided to insert Matt Herges into his starting pitching rotation. The sheer genius of this move is the concurrent demotion of Carlos Perez to the bullpen. Imagine the incentive this gives each starting pitcher, knowing that if he leaves the game early, he leaves it in Perez's hands. Look for a sudden rash of complete games.

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SOMEONE KILL THE monkey--it has become a 900-pound gorilla. The Angels have Rally Monkeys hanging on their lockers in the clubhouse, and what kind of message does that send?

It says fall behind early, and while the team's pitching staff is set up nicely now to make that happen, some of the Angels are waiting until the eighth or ninth inning to hit. I do not include Troy Glaus in this group, as I believe he's waiting for September to hit, having gone 19 for 102 since July 1.

I also don't believe Angel management is party to this late-inning nonsense, because it traded for Ron Gant, and there is no rally in someone who has gone 0 for 8 since arriving.

But it makes you wonder if some of the Angels are getting a piece of the Rally Monkey action, the way they refuse to swing effectively early in the game. I believe it's time for Mike Scioscia to end this monkey business. I feel very strongly about this, and I'm sure you do too.

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TODAY'S LAST WORD comes in an e-mail from Noozdan:

"You get to write about the Clippers. Bill Dwyre assigns himself to go see Anna Kournikova. It's good to be sports editor."

Bill Dwyre and Anna Kournikova--until you mentioned it, I just never put the two of them together.

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T.J. Simers can be reached at his e-mail address: t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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