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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

If Seeing Is Believing, Then There Are Some Doubts

July 25, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

Sunday was the first day of the rest of my positive life, newly dedicated to embracing our local sports stiffs. So I called the Dodger ticket office to buy tickets.

The Dodgers said I could have three $17 tickets for $19 each.

I knew the guys had won five of their last nine home games, which is really good for them, but I'd never heard of a team scalping its own tickets.

I was informed there is a $2 handling charge for each ticket, although I made the toll call, paid for gas, paid for parking, and drove to the stadium. After showing ID, I watched the Dodger employee punch in "sim" on a computer, then "enter," prompting a ticket to pop up. And then, for the first time, the guy "handled" my ticket with his index finger and thumb, passing it through the window. And you think Kevin Brown is overpaid for what he does.

Sorry, got off the positive track there. . . .

I brought a nephew to the game, and he brought his baseball glove, thinking he was going to catch a ball. Childhood innocence is so sweet, but I never had the chance to knock the little tyke out of the way and catch a ball myself because by the time the Dodgers opened the gates, the Giants were in the final 10 minutes of batting practice.

The Dodgers obviously like to bat behind closed gates, not wanting anyone to see Eric Karros strike out any more than is necessary, and neither team took infield practice because it must have been too sunny. So for the next 80 minutes, fans were left watching the grounds crew water the infield dirt and a bunch of kids compete in a cookie-stacking contest near home plate.

Sitting more than 340 feet down the right-field line in field-level seats 9-10-11, Row X, shoulder nestled against the visiting team's bullpen, it was a little hard to follow the cookie-stacking contest. You would have at least liked the chance to boo some 6-year-old whose stack fell over.

As a warning to suckers buying $19 seats in the $17 section, there is a hole in the blue metal fence surrounding the visitors' bullpen, and every one who walks by, pokes his head in and screams, "Giants suck." I didn't think it appropriate to join the crowd, but I can't say I know where my wife was every second of the game.

As we leaned back in our $19 seats, the Dodgers eventually came to bat in the first inning and, best I could tell, Todd Hollandsworth and Shawn Green hit the ball a long way. Leaning back, sitting forward or standing in our $19 obstructed seats, we could not see baseballs hit deep to center or right field.

So here I was, all geared up to write something positive about Hollandsworth, Green and Co., and I couldn't even tell what happened.

*

HIS COLLEGE RESUME includes six run-ins with the police, which means that, unlike other youngsters who do not apply themselves in school, Sebastian Janikowski was diligently preparing himself to play for the Raiders.

It's not easy to find first-rate trouble in Oakland, but everyone knows what a den of iniquity San Francisco can be, so the Raiders gave the 17th player selected in the first round of the draft a $2-million signing bonus to handle the Bay Bridge tolls.

The 17th player taken in last year's draft, a center, received a $3.75-million signing bonus. So it would appear that the Raiders showed great restraint, pulling back because Janikowski is free on bond, awaiting arraignment in Florida on charges of possession of the date-rape drug. Had he been awaiting arraignment on attempted-murder charges, he might have gotten only a $1-million signing bonus.

Bay Area bail bondsmen will also be interested to know that Janikowski will earn an additional $25,000 if he kicks a field goal beyond 55 yards.

*

THE BEST SPOT for watching Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia in the Aug. 28 "Battle at Big Horn" in Palm Desert is still available. The $2.5-million lot overlooks the par-three, 220-yard 17th hole on The Canyons at Big Horn and is ready for immediate construction.

That's petty cash for Woods, who will be playing for first-place money of $1 million, Garcia getting $400,000 for being the loser.

The 5 p.m. match will fill the last non-football Monday night TV slot and will have Al Michaels broadcasting on ABC. Look for an announcement that Dennis Miller will be caddying for Woods in an effort to boost ratings.

*

IT'S JUST A rumor, but there is talk circulating that Dodger chairman Bob Daly, a former Warner Bros. film studio executive, might fill a similar role at Fox.

Leaving the Dodgers at this time could be a public-relations fiasco, so as the rumor goes, he may just lend his movie expertise to Fox while still calling the baseball shots.

That might explain why Kevin Malone earned a vote of confidence. If Daly's off making movies, someone's going to have to fire Davey Johnson.

*

THE STAPLES CENTER bookers believe they will be awarded the 2002 NHL All-Star game sometime in the next 30 days, matching North America against the World, which will be a tuneup for the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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