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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Demanding Rodriguez Perfect Fit for Dodgers

November 15, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

I don't know all the perks that Alex Rodriguez is demanding, but I have a pretty good idea what they might be and I'm sure the Dodgers can meet them, although I admit I'm concerned.

What do you tell F.P. Santangelo when he says, "What about me?"

The New York Mets dropped out of the Rodriguez sweepstakes for this very reason with General Manager Steve Phillips saying, "I have serious reservations about a structure in which you have a 24-plus-one-man roster."

This makes the Dodgers the most eligible team for Rodriguez, of course, because they already have a 24-plus-one-prima-donna roster with Kevin Brown.

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FIRST OF ALL, I don't think salary is going to be an issue here. Rodriguez is going to get $20 million to $25 million a year and Santangelo will probably have to pay the Dodgers a fee to be with the team--that money going to Rodriguez.

A-Rod's demand for a charter jet to use at his leisure might cause a rift among players on another team, but the Dodgers did a jet deal with Brown, and all he had to do was glare menacingly at his teammates and none of the wimps mentioned it again.

It's also pretty well understood that Santangelo will fly standby.

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I DON'T THINK it's going to be any problem giving A-Rod a concession stand to sell his own brand of merchandise either. In fact, I think it would be a good idea to give all 25 players on the roster their own concession stands. This would solve the problem of long lines at Dodger Stadium--let's see how many people line up at Carlos Perez's concession stand.

And consider the marketing possibilities of tailoring each concession stand to the trademark tendency of each player.

Like one of those steakhouses where they cut the tie off unsuspecting customers, imagine taking your son to Chad Kreuter's concession stand and seeing the look on the youngster's face when an attendant swipes his baseball cap.

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RODRIGUEZ IS ALSO insisting on having more billboards than any other athlete in the city. I'm sure the Dodgers can put up one.

He also wants unlimited use of the team logo and his uniform--shoot, give him Santangelo's uniform too, if that seals the deal. He also wants his own marketing staff--shoot, give him Derrick Hall and throw in Bob Graziano too, if that seals the deal. He's demanding a luxury suite at home and away games, which is understandable because a guy needs somewhere to go between innings, and he also wants his own office.

If I'm Fox I give him Bob Daly's office, but that's just me.

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NOW SOME PEOPLE think this is all outlandish. The New York Daily News quoted one baseball official as saying, "All these ridiculous extras for A-Rod have Hollywood written all over them."

That's exactly the point, and with just a little extra effort, the Dodgers can get him. In addition to replacing the Hollywood sign with big letters spelling out "A-Rod," and having him make cameo appearances on Fox's TV shows, which no one watches anyway, the Dodgers can offer him something no other team in baseball can offer--a chance to meet future UCLA basketball players.

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PITTSBURGH STEELER COACH Bill Cowher has sent wide receiver Plaxico Burress to the bench, which puts him in a better position to catch Kordell Stewart's passes.

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GOING INTO TUESDAY's game against the Denver Nuggets, Kobe Bryant was taking a shot every 3.4 seconds, I believe, which I would think is a good thing, because that keeps so many other Lakers from hoisting the ball in the general direction of Santa Monica.

At age 22, he's not only playing Michael Jordan's position, but Tuesday night--for the second game in a row--he gave everyone that kind of a performance.

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I KNOW THE CLIPPERS would like to emulate the Lakers, but connecting on 13 of 33 free throws isn't even up to Shaquille O'Neal's standards.

After the Clippers lost to the Dallas Mavericks, Coach Alvin Gentry had a 45-minute meeting to remind them they were starting to play like, well, the Clippers.

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I HAVE NO problem with Fox Sports Net 2--by the way, is there a Fox Sports Net 1?--joining the USC-UCLA game in progress after the conclusion of the Colorado Avalanche-King game. UCLA never scores first at home, so USC will be leading. And USC can't keep a lead, so UCLA will come back to jump ahead.

No one is going to miss anything.

Now if the football game goes long, Fox Sports Net 2 will join the Mighty Ducks' game in progress.

And believe me, no one is going to miss anything.

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INDIANA 80, PEPPERDINE 68.

Bobby who?

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THAT LITTLE PIECE of leftover beard below Phil Jackson's lip that until now you had to figure he just missed while shaving, well, according to an exclusive story on the front page of the Daily News, it's a "soul patch," which means it's been left there on purpose.

The newspaper, apparently tiring of the presidential debate, also posed this as its question of the day: "Do you think Jackson's new look will inspire the Lakers to win another championship?"

If that's what it will take to make him shave it off.

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

"The primary problem at USC is now clearly not Paul Hackett or Mike Garrett, but Steven Sample. A winning football team is not even on Samples' Top 100 list of things to accomplish at SC. Sample must go."

I know one other thing that's not on his Top 100 list of things to do.

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

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