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Morning briefing

May 30, 2008|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Theory just doesn't add up

Steve Sax and Ken Landreaux are two of Tom Lasorda's all-time favorite players, so naturally they are the butt of some of his jokes.

Lasorda, on his blog, writes about one time when the Dodgers were playing in San Francisco and Sax came up to him to say he had finally figured out what the manager was trying to tell him.

"I had been harping on Sax to stop hitting the ball in the air because he was a line-drive hitter," Lasorda said, "and to use all parts of the field."

According to Lasorda, this is what Sax said after approaching him that day: "Eighty percent of the time I try to hit the ball up the middle, 20% of the time I try to hit to left and the other 20% I try to hit it to right."

Lasorda said he then asked Landreaux, who was standing next to him: "Did you just hear what he said?"

Lasorda claims this was Landreaux's response: "Skip, I've been in the big leagues for 13 years and that's the best hitting theory I've heard yet."

Trivia time

This one is courtesy of reader Corey Henderson: Who was the Hall of Fame manager, appearing on a TV series in 1965, who recruited an "unnaturally enhanced" power hitter to play for the Dodgers?

Heavy-handed

Cody Unser, the 21-year-old daughter of Al Unser Jr., drives a car equipped with special hand controls because she has been a paraplegic the last nine years -- a condition brought on by a degenerative spinal-cord disease. But that doesn't mean she is a slow driver.

"I always tell the officer when he pulls me over that it's in my blood," she told the Indianapolis Star.

"The only difference is, I don't have a lead foot. I have a lead hand."

Name game

Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, who used to be known as "Phantom," explained where the nickname came from by telling Fox Sports Radio, "When I had to show up for media stuff, I would never be there."

His nickname these days is "The Ice Man." He says he doesn't know where that came from, but it's cool.

An unusual life

Mike Tyson makes for an interesting documentary subject because he is so, well, different.

Steve Michaels and his uncle, David Michaels, did a two-hour "Beyond the Glory" special on Tyson in 2003. Now James Toback has made a film on the former heavyweight champion that was shown at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

Here's how Tyson summed up his life to reporters there: "I used drugs. I had altercations with dangerous people. I slept with guys' wives that wanted to kill me. I'm just happy to be here. It's just a miracle."

In the film, Tyson, looking straight into the camera, says: "I'm not an animal anymore."

Bloody bad

Of the Tyson documentary, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald wrote: "Not all critics liked the movie. I heard that instead of 'two thumbs up,' Ebert and Roeper gave it 'two ears bitten off.' "

Fish line

From reader Bill Littlejohn: "If Jason Taylor ends up pursuing an acting career in Hollywood, don't look for him to be interviewed by K-Earth 101's Charlie Tuna."

Trivia answer

When Leo Durocher, guest-starring on "The Munsters," was hit in the head by a fly ball and learned the nearest ballpark was blocks away, he set out to find the batter and discovered it was Herman Munster.

And finally

Maxim reported New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has dated six women on the magazine's "Hot 100 of 2008" list. The New York Post reported it was actually seven.

Commented Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: "Elias Sports Bureau statisticians immediately proclaimed it the most impressive .070 batting average in baseball history."

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larry.stewart@latimes.com

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