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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Dodgers Going Nowhere, but Daly Is on the Move

August 18, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

Dodger Chairman Bob Daly is vacationing on a boat, and while no one is suggesting it should be a slow boat to China, team officials say he's somewhere in the vicinity of Italy.

Maybe he's looking for another Italian to manage the Dodgers.

If not, what an odd time to take off, although I guess the same could be said about his team.

A Dodger spokesman said there is no good time to take a vacation anymore, what with the regular season and all the personnel moves that have to be made in the off-season.

Well, not true. Daly could have taken his vacation during the World Series. The Dodgers aren't going to be there, and the commissioner prohibits teams from conducting personnel transactions during that time.

"What would that tell our team--Bob Daly making plans to go to Italy during the World Series?" a team official asked.

That's why they have priceline.com, to allow the chairman and CEO of the Dodgers to wait until his team has been eliminated, and still get the cheap fare. Now before Daly has to ask--no, there's no handling charge.

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WHAT ABOUT BOB? The rumors were so bad recently that Dodger executives went to Daly and confronted him with them, asking if he was going to start making movies again for Fox or some other studio. Given his recent Dodger experiences, he certainly could have made "Kings of Comedy," and there's no doubt he could have pulled off "Hollow Man," using his very own players to talk about Ismael Valdes, or "What Lies Beneath" a grumpy Kevin Brown.

But Dodger officials say that Daly told each of them he is not going anywhere. Then he went to Italy.

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THERE'S NO QUESTION Daly needed a vacation--that became apparent when he endorsed Kevin Malone, but it's the timing--less than 10 months since being hired as chairman. Most newly hired employees earn about one vacation day for every five weeks worked, which means Daly's very close to owing the company a day or two.

Daly is supposed to be back in Los Angeles on Saturday and at the ballpark Sunday, and by then the Dodgers could be nine games out. When he left town they were 2 1/2 back, and in the hands of Malone and Davey Johnson.

Dodger officials, though, said he has been in constant contact via satellite telephone and fax machine, and wouldn't you if you were leaving the team in the hands of Malone and Johnson?

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ONCE THE DODGERS rested Eric Karros, Mark Grudzielanek and Adrian Beltre, the team won. They still look a little tired to me.

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GABE KAPLER, BEST known previously for his work on "Welcome Back Kotter," had his hitting streak stopped at 28 games by the New York Yankees.

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YOU ARE SITTING on an airplane, dreading the cross-country flight from Florida to L.A., but you discover you are sitting next to a big league ballplayer, a starting pitcher for the Dodgers, and things are looking up: At the very least you're probably going to go home with an autograph.

Then you happen to glance at USA Today, which reports that Chan Ho Park is being sent home early after complaining of nausea and a serious case of flu, and you realize an autograph is not the only thing you will be taking home.

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THERE ARE DRUGS, racial slurs, a tattle-tale nanny, lie detector test and indicted relatives, but if you missed the first name of Bill Romanowski's attorney, do not jump to conclusions when you hear his last name is Springer.

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ONE MAN'S OPINION: Until swimming becomes a little more splashy, like auto racing with at least the chance of someone plowing head-on into the wall or drowning, it's just a bunch of swimming caps going back and forth in the froth.

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THE CAROLINA PANTHERS have lost three potential starters so far.

As defender Eric Davis noted, Carolina has a "black cat" for a mascot.

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THE CINCINNATI BENGALS are losers, and here's why. In games that running back Corey Dillon has carried the ball at least 22 times, Cincinnati has won 10 of 12.

Knowing that, wouldn't you hire a coach with an accounting background who could add to 22, and start handing the ball to Dillon?

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JUST GOT A "Soy" press release announcing the Chicago White Sox are selling veggie dogs because actress Johanna McCloy couldn't find anything to eat at a Dodger game, and contacted baseball teams asking for something out of this world.

McCloy, of course, appears in "Star Trek--The Next Generation."

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EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT "The Little Engine That Could," and that's what is so wonderful about sports, allowing a parent to point out more contemporary Little Engines scaling the mountain, like the Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton. Imagine putting your cute kid to bed and reading out loud what Helton's has to say about his quest to become the first hitter since Ted Williams in 1941 to hit .400.

"I believe it's not going to happen," said Helton, who is hitting .396.

Now tuck the little one in, so he can dream about all the other things that can never possibly be accomplished.

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

"Most UCLA fans are really appalled that you would give such a blatant disregard for an objective viewpoint in writing about the Bruins."

I'm saving my objective viewpoint for the Trojans because I like them better.

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

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