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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Dodger Victory Should Lead to Some Relaxation

August 15, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

I was under the impression there would be no Page Two column today. I'm not happy about the fact there is, and I can imagine how you feel.

I just took for granted Monday was a holiday.

The Dodgers won a game Sunday--didn't they?

They beat the Braves, which is reason enough to stop the presses.

I checked with employee benefits and was told the Tribune Co. allows four personal days a year for these out-of-the-blue kind of events, and theoretically, had I wanted to take a personal day off every time the Dodgers beat the Braves the past three years, I'd still have five free days remaining, which would be more than enough to celebrate each Clipper win this season.

With one day left for the Sparks' victory parade.

But here's the problem. What if Jeanie and Phil want to get married, and the bachelor party is at Dennis Rodman's pad, and I'm scheduled to work, but out of personal days? You think the Tribune Co., which owns the Cubs, who despise the Dodgers, inspiring their drunks to steal Chad Kreuter's cap, are going to cut me a break because L.A. won?

So I have to hang on to one, which leaves me typing on a day that should have been declared a companywide holiday after the Dodgers beat the Braves and kept Davey Johnson from being fired.

Dodger President Bob Graziano called Johnson after the gigantic win--I would think because Johnson wouldn't accept General Manager Kevin Malone's call--and told him he won't be fired before the end of the season.

I'm sure it's quite a relief to Johnson to know that he won't be fired until after the season.

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MALONE, MEANWHILE, CALLED each reporter who covers the team, telling them, "I want to put an end to all the rumors and speculation right now."

The circle is complete. The guy who started all the rumors and speculation at the All-Star break with the pronouncement he had given Johnson all the talent he needed to win is now ending all the rumors and speculation.

I noticed, however, that he waited until after Sunday's win over the Braves before going to the telephone and before having Graziano deliver Johnson the organization's vote of confidence. That's how big this win was for the Dodgers and Johnson, and yet the Tribune Co. treats it just like any other day.

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ATLANTA PITCHING COACH Leo Mazzone, who directs one of the best pitching staffs in the league and so he should know, told the Orange County Register the reason the Dodgers beat the Braves was because Darren "Dreifort had a horseshoe up his [butt Sunday]."

I hope Carlos Perez and Ismael Valdes take note.

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WHAT GOOD ARE tennis rankings when Venus Williams is ranked No. 5 and Serena Williams is No. 8?

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NFL OWNERS HAVE discussed how to divide profits from an expected Internet windfall. They don't seem as interested in quality control: NFL.com's depth chart for Carolina--updated Aug. 7--has Fred Lane listed as a backup tailback.

Lane had not only been traded to Indianapolis during the off-season, but then had been shot and killed.

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YOU HAVE TO give credit to CBS' Jim Hill, who flew from L.A. to Morgantown, W.Va., Monday to be on hand for the naming of Jerry West Boulevard. You never know when West might make a U-turn.

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ANGEL PITCHER Kent Mercker was the fifth pick in the 1986 amateur draft by Atlanta and Gary Sheffield was the sixth selection by Milwaukee.

Texas took some grump named Kevin Brown with the fourth choice.

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I HADN'T PAID attention to all the fuss about these new skintight swimsuits for the Olympics until I noticed U.S. swimmer Jenny Thompson appearing in Sports Illustrated apparently without a top to go along with her U.S. bottoms.

After studying the picture at length, if this is what she thinks will make her swim faster for her country, I'm behind her 100%.

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DRINKING, HAVING SEX, doing drugs and shoplifting, while always against the BYU Honor Code, will now be considered a violation of the football team's rules even for players who are not members of the LDS Church. Opponents on BYU's schedule are now concerned that no one will show up to play them.

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NEW ORLEANS SAFETY Darren Perry was arrested for drunk driving "two hours after" his team's plane landed at the airport after an exhibition game loss to Indianapolis.

The Saints' plane landed in New Orleans a little after 3 a.m.

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AS CHRIS PERRY prepared to putt on the 18th green at the Buick Open, trying to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate, CBS announcer Jim Nantz said, "He needs some clear eyes and clear thinking to make this one." Perry missed and presumably lambasted his caddie later for not handing him Visine.

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THE THREE-GAME series with the Yankees drew an Edison Field record 129,974 fans. A similar three-game weekend set with the Dodgers earlier this season brought 118,688 to Anaheim. Selling tickets is another thing that Joe Torre does better than Johnson.

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TODAY'S LAST WORD comes in an e-mail from Clipsn2000@aol.com:

"No 1 seems 2 give the Clips credit. All u have 2 say is bad things, which is not fair 2 the players. Coach Alvin Gentry will take my MIGHTY CLIPS 2 the promise land--u can bet on that. Why don't u go write for sum newspaper company in Maine where nobody can read u cus it stinks."

2 bad u make no .

P.S. I didn't know it stinks in Maine.

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

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