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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

'Dodger Boy' Malone Drives Him to Distraction

March 04, 2001|T.J. SIMERS

I just survived one of the most harrowing experiences of my life, driving a car on the freeway while listening to a Kevin Malone interview on the radio.

Malone told Stu Nahan on KXTA (1150) Saturday, "My new nickname, I want you to know, is Dodger Boy."

I'd like to apologize at this time to the woman in the green Ford Escort that I nearly sideswiped. You laugh that hard, you cry and you can't see.

To say Dodger Boy cracks me up--is not far from the I-5 truth.

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IT USUALLY TAKES a blackout to silence Nahan, but he stumbled, while I was trying to regain control of my car and ignore the hand gestures from the lady in the Escort. I must say she bore a striking resemblance to my wife--especially the way she was shaking her hand at me.

"If you had to live your life over," Nahan said, and I believe it was more a question than a suggestion, "what would you have done for a living?"

The slapstick artist formerly known as "the Sheriff," said, "I'd probably be an actor."

Nahan suddenly became Stone Phillips: "A good one or a bad one?"

Dodger Boy said, "I'd probably be a very good actor, Stu."

Let me just say, I think it's almost impossible to stay on the road while listening to this guy. Throw in Nahan, too. And speaking on behalf of anyone who has to drive L.A.'s freeways, I say, "Stop, you're killing us."

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SO WE HAVE a wannabe actor working for a Movie Guy, who runs the Dodgers, and an epic disaster in the making with Gary Sheffield coming across every day like a cranky Roger Ebert, who has just been told the concession stand is closed, but he'll still have to watch "Monkey Bone."

Now Shawn Green and Dave Hansen are out because they don't know how to slide, and now you know why Davey Johnson didn't have these guys running. And Adrian Beltre may be too weak to start the season at third base.

If it was Survivor III, it might be interesting, but instead it's just becoming one of those unwatchable Fox shows. And we haven't even made it to Jerry Springer Tuesday, when Sheffield is going to embarrass the team.

Personally, I can't imagine anything more embarrassing than the Movie Guy's decision to have Dodger Boy as his general manager.

I checked, however, and he was responsible for "The Postman," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and "Sphere," which means even F.P. Santangelo has had more hits recently.

There is something funny going on. Sheffield says the Movie Guy lied to Dodger fans, and what do you know, the Movie Guy is involved in a "Pinocchio" court case dating back to when he was co-chairman of Warner Bros.

A California appeals court began hearing arguments Friday involving Francis Ford Coppola with accusations the Movie Guy had "personal animus" for Coppola and tried to stop a Pinocchio project. I can't imagine anything worse than "personal animus."

I called the Movie Guy to ask about his animus, to see if his own nose has grown, and to chat about Coppola, Sheffield, Nahan and Dodger Boy, but didn't hear back. For all I know, he was out watching "Monkey Bone."

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SHEFFIELD IS NO longer the issue here. He's been written off in L.A. as the worst kind of athlete, and while I would still advocate subjecting him to the fans' wrath and make him honor his contract, the Dodgers lack the stomach to play hardball. It's a foregone conclusion he will be dealt.

It's on Dodger management, and Dodger Boy, who comes across more like the Big Goof as he says things no one believes. There's just no leadership.

Now you have Dodger players begging management to do something, and the Movie Guy is acting as if he has a role in a silent movie.

It's time for the Movie Guy to act like a Baseball Owner.

I have Peter O'Malley's number if he needs it.

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THE KINGS HAVEN'T lost in the five games since they traded Rob Blake and Times columnist Bill Plaschke called them the worst franchise in L.A.

It's time for Plaschke to go after the Ducks in Orange County.

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A SELLOUT STAPLES Center crowd reacted as if they were watching the Lakers Friday night, but it was Showtime for a pair of Clippers with Lamar Odom throwing the ball behind his back and over his head on a fastbreak and Darius Miles jumping, catching it with two hands and dunking.

"The best play I've seen since I came into the NBA," Coach Alvin Gentry said. "Our players ran into the locker room, got the tape and fast- forwarded it to the play. They were all jumping around like they were in high school."

The Clippers have been likened to a high school team before, but for a change, it's a compliment.

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AL DAVIS WAS shaking hands with prospective jurors at the Clipper game in preparation for this week's Raider-NFL trial in L.A. There's no worry about Raider fans filling the jury box--most are in custody at this time.

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I THINK TAMPA is the perfect place for Ryan Leaf. This is a city that is used to not having its citizens get within six feet of a stripper and its quarterbacks getting the ball within six feet of its receivers.

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

"I have discovered if I belt down a couple of Jack Daniel's before reading your column, it makes a lot more sense than if I don't."

Sandy, how do you think I get through my e-mail every day?

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

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