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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Dodgers Desperately Need Knight in Shining Armor

September 12, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

Traveling with the Dodgers these days can't be much fun, so even though he didn't seem like a man who wanted to be noticed at the Coliseum on Saturday, Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone was on the field for the USC-Colorado football game.

This could be part of the Dodgers' problem--looking for talent in all the wrong places--so maybe it's time to bring in Knight as an advisor.

Sorry, that's Mr. Bob Knight, Sir.

He's out of work, can kick butt, and it's not like the Dodgers would be breaking new ground here.

Fox has already put the team in the hands of a movie-making guy, who got the job because he watched a lot of baseball games and was willing to pay millions for the role, while taking on the stage name, L.A. Steinbrenner.

And for all Davey Johnson knows about bunting, hit-and-running and manufacturing runs, Mr. Bob Knight, Sir, could even be manager. Then you'd have to watch the Dodger pregame show just to make sure the manager didn't haul off and whack Rick Monday.

On a bright note, even though the team stinks, fans would come to watch the manager introduce himself to the umpires.

Just imagine the first time Mr. Bob Knight, Sir, goes to the mound to take the ball from Ismael Valdes. I don't know, do you think a player could leap the outfield fence with a running start?

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IT'S PROBABLY TRUE that Knight needs counseling, but it's not like he would leap up on a table in the middle of the Dodger clubhouse and start screaming incoherently while throwing and kicking things around the room.

What he does do is throw people in garbage cans, but that shouldn't be a big concern to anyone other than Carlos Perez.

There's going to be lots of profanity, but I can't imagine him teaching Tom Lasorda any new words, and as for choking someone, if it's a Dodger infielder, I would think he would deserve it.

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WHAT A THOUGHT: How would Knight have dealt with the Dodgers after Gary Sheffield singled out Shawn Green for struggling, and told The Times on Monday that too many players have bad attitudes? I'm guessing Sheffield excluded himself.

"[Management] is going to have to address that because you can't win with selfish players, that's the bottom line," Sheffield said.

Sheffield didn't say who was selfish, or maybe he wasn't asked. I'm guessing Eric Karros, because that's what happens when you say something like that and then don't come clean with the names. I could be right, I could be wrong.

We know this, "the Sheriff" is in town--but he's watching football games, which leaves the movie guy and the fired manager to root out the malcontents.

I'm not sure the movie guy knows where the clubhouse is.

You know what "the General" would do if he was on the payroll? He'd tell Sheffield to shut his trap and just hit home runs, something he hasn't been doing much in the last month. Then he'd send Tom Goodwin to the plate, and tell him not to come back if he struck out.

By the bottom of the first, of course, Knight would have been thrown out of the game. Well, it seemed like a good idea.

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BEFORE HE DOES another interview with Knight, would someone please tell Roy Firestone what just happened.

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INDIANA BASKETBALL PLAYER Dane Fife said, "I idolize Bob Knight."

You were expecting Dick Vitale?

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THE INDIANA PLAYERS say if the school doesn't promote the coach of their choice they are leaving.

Who trained these guys?

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WEEK 2 IN THE NFL:

* The San Jose Mercury News' report on the Raiders' win began this way: "The Raiders didn't just come from behind. They came back from the dead."

I wonder, though, if they saw a white light at the end of a tunnel, or the depths of hell.

* Last week, Raider defender Regan Upshaw delivered a late hit to San Diego quarterback Ryan Leaf. The league fined him $7,500. This week he hit Colt quarterback Peyton Manning late--and knowing how the league felt about him hitting a lug like Leaf, it might very well demand his firstborn for hitting Manning.

* "We're not going to start off 0-4 or 0-5--I promise you that," said Bengal Willie Anderson after the Bengals opened at home and lost to Cleveland.

The Bengals next play Jacksonville, Baltimore, Miami and Tennessee--which should make them 0-5.

* The 49ers can't decide between Rick Mirer and Jeff Garcia. The 49ers have a history of this: Joe Montana or Steve Young?

* New Orleans quarterback Jeff Blake connected with an uncovered Joe Horn for the Saints' winning touchdown. As a positive aside, the Chargers had the Saints' other receiver covered very well, what with 12 defenders on the field.

* The Bears were shut out for the first time since 1989. They had to wait for Cade McNown to come into his own.

* The Redskins have lost receiver Michael Westbrook (knee) for the season. After one loss, some thought it might be Coach Norv Turner.

* Detroit threw 11 times at Washington cornerback Deion Sanders, and he never touched the ball. "I got my butt handed to me," he said. That's two things until now that I thought were impossible.

* I think James Brown does an outstanding job on Fox's pregame show--it's not easy to laugh when nothing is funny. And there are only so many times you can bring out the pickle juice, although I don't think Fox is there yet.

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

"So you don't like the way Paul Hackett wears his baseball cap, well I don't like your column either. The Times loses one subscriber."

Let's see if I have this right. You take The Times, read the front page, Metro, Calendar, Business, Living, Sports and then you notice I don't think Hackett looks too spiffy in a baseball cap. And that's all she wrote?

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

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