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DODGER REPORT

Jordan Talks His Way In

May 03, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers can only hope Brian Jordan is as productive upon his return from flu as he was persuasive in talking his way back into the lineup.

The outfielder was not scheduled to start Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium until his late-afternoon meeting with Jim Tracy and athletic trainer Stan Johnston convinced the Dodger manager to revamp the lineup card.

"After [Jordan] and Stanley came to me and said, 'Hey, he's ready to go,' then let's go," Tracy said.

"I don't have to be overly careful because the line of communication between us is very strong, and if there's something going on that he's uncomfortable with that may infringe on the success or failure of the club, Brian will be the first one to let me know."

Jordan, who had two hits, including a run-scoring double, said he felt energized after being lethargic the previous few days.

He also acknowledged he still was not 100%.

"I know I'm not going to be out there flying around the field, hopping around and very energetic," he said. "I just want to hopefully catch the ball, throw the ball, get some base hits and work my way back into shape."

Jordan, who had missed seven consecutive starts, said the only time he ever felt worse than during his recent sickness was when he had four wisdom teeth pulled while battling flu.

That combination caused him to lose 17 pounds.

This time, he lost only a couple of pounds.

"My mom kept calling me, making me eat," Jordan said. "I was forcing myself to eat so I wouldn't lose weight and I could bounce back a little quicker.

"I just want to get in the lineup, start seeing some pitches and get back in a groove."

*

Tracy delayed the return of center fielder Dave Roberts another day as a precaution. Tracy said Roberts, who has missed six consecutive starts because of a strained right hamstring, would return to the lineup tonight "in all likelihood." Mike Kinkade, recovering from a sprained right wrist, entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement for Jordan. He grounded out in his only at bat.... Tracy originally had Paul Lo Duca penciled in to play left field, which would have been his first start at the position since August of last year. Tracy said he has confidence in Lo Duca's ability to play either corner outfield position or first base in addition to his catching duties.

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