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The Inside Track | T.J. Simers

Stadium Banishment Is Almost a Blessing

July 23, 2003|T.J. Simers

It slipped by me last week, but as soon as I heard the judge's ruling, I called the office of Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and asked what he was going to do when the fans started storming the field at Dodger Stadium.

A couple of months ago a factory worker ran onto the field, and as part of his sentence he was ordered to stay away from Dodger Stadium for three years.

I wish there was some way we could get General Manager Dan Evans to run onto the field.

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IT'S DELGADILLO'S job to prosecute people who wander onto the field at Dodger Stadium, and he has some explaining to do. The first thing I'd like to know is why does he allow Jim Gott out there most every night? His playing days ended eight years ago.

I wouldn't be surprised if Gott's responsible for an enraged fan running onto the field someday. Gott takes obvious delight in stumping a fan at every game while directing the Coca-Cola quiz, thereby depriving an entire row of thirsty fans of free sodas. I give fans credit for not jumping over the railing and running after Gott.

Now no one wants crazy fans running wild on the field, and there have been some pretty scary incidents, which is why I don't understand why Delgadillo didn't throw a fit when the judge rewarded the factory worker with the three-year ban on attending Dodger games. We could have something to rival the running of the bulls at Pamplona if the Dodgers continue to hover about 10 games back of the San Francisco Giants, and make it 15 consecutive years without winning a playoff game.

On the bright side, you could go away for three years, and by the time you came back, Andy Ashby could be gone. What more incentive does someone need?

I placed an urgent call to Rocky. Eric Moses returned the call. If I wanted an Eric Moses, I would have called an Eric Moses.

"Rocky says with the addition of Jeromy Burnitz and Rickey Henderson, it will keep fans in their seats," Moses said, and Sports Editor Bill Dwyre said, "Rocky is nuts," and if Moses can just make up things that his boss might or might not say, so can I.

(I don't know what a city attorney can do to someone for calling him "nuts," but if it involves throwing away the key, and I would urge him to do what he must, that's D-w-y-r-e.)

As for the city attorney's view on making Dodger Stadium a safer place, if I understand Moses correctly, we've got to hope Henderson and Burnitz play well.

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DODGER MICRO Manager Jim Tracy was talking about some guy named Fred before the game and how he was improving, and I had to stop him and ask who was he talking about.

"Fred McGriff," Tracy said. I forgot the guy was still on the team.

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I TRIED handing a cell phone to Shawn Green before the game so he could talk to the Grocery Store Bagger about his hitting woes. The Bagger had spotted a problem, and he's a pretty good Whiffle ball player, so I thought he might be able to help since nothing else has worked.

Green rejected the offer of help, and since it's come to this: Getting batting tips from the Grocery Store Bagger, you could see how it motivated a chagrined Green, the slugger going out and slamming three hits, including a pair of doubles. I wish I had thought of holding the Bagger over his head before this.

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ATE LUNCH beside Evander Holyfield at Arnie Morton's Steakhouse in Burbank. A high-class place. Surprised Warren Butler, maitre d'-GM, let me in, too. Noticed the old boxer had long, skinny girlie fingers as he ate, and told him so. I said he wasn't very scary. I'd take Warren Butler in three rounds against the guy right now. "You've got the hands of a piano player," I said. He said, "I play the piano," and then made like he was playing the piano. That was better than him showing me he was a boxer.

Watched him nibble at a steak. Asked him if he does most of his cooking on the George Foreman grill. He said he's never bought one, but his family did. He said his children used their allowances to buy the grill. "My kids aren't poor," he said. Any more stupid questions?

I thought the conversation was going very well. I learned he has nine kids. I figured he had more hitters in his lineup than the Dodgers. "All of my kids can hit," Holyfield said, and I don't think he had any idea we were talking about baseball.

Holyfield will fight James Toney on Oct. 4 at Mandalay Bay, if you care. I don't.

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A FEW minutes after inviting his 1540-AM radio listeners to talk about Kobe Bryant in 10 words or less, an irreverent, raucous bit that at times deserved to be bleeped, Fred Roggin tried to soothe those who thought he had gone too far in making light of a serious subject. He said in the "day and a half'" he had been back from vacation the show had dealt with the Bryant situation appropriately, and I guess you can't expect much more from sports talk radio than a day and a half.

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THERE'S CONCERN now that Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, ended up as pet food. I don't know if this is true, but I've had no luck lately trying to catch my dog.

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TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Jay Walker:

"You know [darn] well what to write about the Kobe situation. You don't have the guts or integrity to do it. Kobe sez, 'I sit here before you guys embarrassed and ashamed for committing adultery.' CASE CLOSED. You don't admit to adultery on national TV [trashing your marriage and lucrative endorsement contracts] unless you are desperate to keep your [butt] out of slammer by dodging a rape conviction."

I wrote about having an open mind. Thanks for the opposing view.

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T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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