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THE INSIDE TRACK | T.J. SIMERS

Haven't Dodgers Already Made Enough Bobbles?

March 07, 2001|T.J. SIMERS

I wasn't looking forward to this baseball season--what with everything that has been going on with Gary Sheffield--until I heard about the Tommy Lasorda Bobble Head ceramic doll to be given away at a Dodger game April 4.

I know this, I have to get me one of those for my living room. You should see the way my wife has decorated the living room--we're talking about a significant upgrade here.

I think it would be fun to bop old Tommy on the noggin every time I came into the room, then watch him jiggle without being able to talk to or swear at me. Too bad they don't make editor Bobble Heads--I'd have one in every room.

"I've seen the doll and it's a beautiful thing," Lasorda said, and if that's the case, I imagine they've done some serious airbrushing, you know, like they do with those Playboy centerfolds.

"Before Slim Fast, or after?" I wanted to know, and I should have guessed it was after because that's a lot of ceramic to glaze if you're going to make 55,000 Tommy Lasorda dolls before Slim Fast.

"I'm doing some TV commercials where I talk to the doll," Lasorda said, and I would imagine an audience of Bobble Heads is the kind Lasorda has been looking for all his life--an audience that will keep nodding as if it believes everything he says.

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A TEAM OFFICIAL said a Kirk Gibson Bobble Head will be given out at the game June 9, and I know this: If the Dodgers are going to give out Steve Garvey and Don Sutton dolls, I'm not going to keep them in the same room.

They tell me, however, a Fernando Valenzuela Bobble Head will be the only other doll giveaway--July 29, when the Dodgers are expected to be officially eliminated from postseason play. It will be a nice memento.

There was some talk about producing a Vin Scully Bobble Head, with the head bobbing in time to classical music, but someone said you'd probably have to come out with a Ross Porter Bobble Head too. And have Ross telling us every night how many times his doll has bobbed between pitches when Kevin Brown is on the mound as opposed to when Darren Dreifort throws?

I will say this: No one is suggesting a Dodger Boy Bobble Head, because you know how impressionable kids are, and any Bobble Head featuring the Dodgers' GM is probably going to shake so badly it's going to lose its head.

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LASORDA SAYS THESE dolls are collectibles, and I would presume that's because this is the end of the line, as far as memorable Dodgers go.

I mean look at the Dodger roster today--tell me what player is going to be worthy of a 55,000-ceramic-Bobble Head giveaway in the next few years?

I think a Chad Kreuter Bobble Head minus a baseball cap has potential. Or maybe giving fans a generic Bobble Head and telling them it's Manager Jim Tracy, as if anyone is going to know what he really looks like, might work. I might want an F.P. Santangelo Bobble Head, but what are they going to do with the other 54,999?

A Sheffield Bobble Head would fall on its face--on purpose.

Maybe when the season starts and Tom Goodwin has struck out for the first time or Eric Karros has popped up with the bases loaded, I'll catch the baseball bug again and enjoy a night at Dodger Stadium.

But right now, Lasorda, Gibson and Valenzuela Bobble Heads have me more excited about the coming season than any of the present-day Dodgers, and that's how far baseball has slipped in this town.

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WHY DID TAMPA BAY sign quarterback Brad Johnson? They already had Ryan Leaf. Did Leaf do something on his honeymoon I don't know about?

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FOLKS IN SAN DIEGO believe the signing of quarterback Doug Flutie would be a good thing, because he could tutor Michael Vick after the Chargers use the No. 1 pick on him in the NFL draft. Someone should check with Rob Johnson about Flutie's skills as a mentor.

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THE RAIDERS WILL call NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to the stand as their first witness in the L.A. trial to begin with jury selection today. It will be a novel experience, listening to Tagliabue talk under oath.

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THE RAIDERS USED a second-round draft pick on defensive lineman Leon Bender of Washington State in the 1998 draft, but he died suddenly of a seizure-related disorder shortly after signing. Bender was a standout football and basketball player at Santana High, the scene of Monday's shooting in Santee.

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IT WAS REPORTED elsewhere after UCLA's loss to Stanford that Jason Kapono was very upset. I know Kapono might be just preparing himself for the NBA, complaining like some spoiled child that he's not getting the ball enough, but I hope he doesn't think that makes him ready to play in the NBA.

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PORTLAND, LOOKING TOWARD the Lakers and the playoffs, has filled an obvious need with the signing of Rod Strickland. By all accounts, Strickland can show up as late for a game as Isaiah "J.R." Rider any day of the week.

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THE DUCKS TRADED Teemu Selanne--I feel I never got to know him.

I could have gone to a Ducks' game, I suppose, but that seemed rather drastic.

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THE ANGELS HAVE been so quiet it's as if no one knows they are in the middle of spring training. I guess that's what they are working on, preparing themselves for an uneventful season.

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I KNOW PEOPLE are down on Sheffield, but I think it's refreshing to have a Dodger warn us ahead of time that he's not always going to give it his all.

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

"If you ever stop trying to be funny (because you are not), you might have the potential to be a legitimate writer."

I'd like to respond, but I'd only try to be funny.

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

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