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DODGER REPORT

Comment Raises Eyebrows

May 28, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

DENVER — It was just a little blurb in agate type on USA Today's baseball page Tuesday, but it sure raised the ire of some in the Dodger clubhouse.

An item in the Arizona portion of the daily National League notes claimed that although San Francisco and Los Angeles were tied for the NL lead before Tuesday's games, Diamondback left fielder Luis Gonzalez was solely concerned about the Giants.

"We don't worry about the Dodgers," Gonzalez said. "We never have."

Dodger left fielder Brian Jordan did a double take after reading that.

"I saw it, and I was like, 'Wow,' " Jordan said. "Of course, it was a slap in the face. I was really surprised a veteran like that would say something like that. Hopefully it will throw fuel on our fire.

"I can understand him feeling that way because we haven't won in a number of years, and down the stretch we haven't come through. I can see feeling it, but not saying it. You'd think he'd know better than that."

Added Dodger pitcher Odalis Perez: "You don't have to be saying that in the paper. Keep that inside."

When informed of the stir he created among the Dodgers, Gonzalez moved to clarify his remarks before Arizona's game against the Giants.

"I've got everybody asking me about the Giants, and all of a sudden one [television reporter] asks about the Dodgers," Gonzalez said. "We don't play them for a month, so I don't worry about those guys until we play them. That's basically what I meant. I have all the respect in the world for those guys, and I think they know what kind of guy I am. I've never been the type to provide bulletin-board material."

*

Manager Jim Tracy flopped starters in his rotation this week, moving Perez, who was scheduled to start tonight against the Rockies, to Thursday's game and Darren Dreifort to tonight.

That will enable Tracy to split up left-handers Perez and Kazuhisa Ishii in the rotation, to start Dreifort on five days rest instead of six, and give Perez an extra day of rest before his next start.

With Dreifort returning from elbow reconstruction surgery and knee surgery, the Dodgers have tried to give the right-hander extra rest -- since his first start, Dreifort has started only three of eight games on the normal four days' rest.

But with Dreifort showing no ill effects from his injuries in recent starts, the Dodgers will try to keep him on a more regular schedule.

*

Dave Roberts, on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring, will fly to Las Vegas tonight for a two-day minor league rehabilitation assignment.

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