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TOTALLY RANDOM

Davey Johnson is desperately seeking A-Rod

Steroids cloud over Alex Rodriguez or not, Manager Davey Johnson was hoping the New York Yankees third baseman would play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

March 04, 2009|Mike Penner

Steroids cloud over Alex Rodriguez or not, Manager Davey Johnson was hoping the New York Yankees third baseman would play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

Rodriguez played for the U.S. in the inaugural tournament three years ago but this year, under the WBCs rather lenient eligibility rules, opted instead to represent the Dominican Republic.

"The only thing is, I was upset about Alex not, you know, being on my club," Johnson told the Associated Press. Then, referencing tabloid reports about Rodriguez's social life, he added, "I'm Madonna's fan. I was hoping she'd show up."

As it turns out, the Dominican Republic might not have him either. Rodriguez will see a Colorado doctor today after a cyst was discovered on his right hip, putting in jeopardy his chances of playing in the WBC.

Trivia time

How many major league teams has Johnson managed?

No golden boot

Soccer promoters in Auckland, New Zealand, now know what MLS and the Galaxy have learned: Not everything David Beckham turns to gold.

A friendly match between the Galaxy and a team of Oceania All-Stars in December drew a crowd of 16,600, about half the capacity of taxpayer-owned Mt. Smart Stadium, causing a loss of $1.79 million.

Government Minister Rodney Hide called the revelation "truly appalling," telling the New Zealand Herald that the big loss "shows a cavalier attitude to ratepayers money, and the ease which local authorities undertake expenditure outside their core job."

Auckland Regional Council chief executive Peter Winder said the event made half the sum needed to break even, attributing the subpar turnout to the expensive tickets, ineffective marketing, competition from other local events and "an Oceania All Stars team the public did not rate."

"This is a very disappointing outcome and it has been a disaster for the ARC," Winder said.

In the fake headlines

The satirical website SportsPickle.com ran a feature titled "Today In Revisionist Sports History." A few excerpts:

"Feb. 25, 1964 -- Cassius Clay, a 7-to-1 underdog, stops champion Sonny Liston in the seventh round to win the world heavyweight title. Clay would later lose his title to Muhammad Ali."

"March 2, 1951 -- The NBA holds its first NBA All-Star Game as the West defeats the East, 111-94. The game was preceded by the league's first-ever Sensible, Conservative Layup Contest, a staple at All-Star Games in the 1950s."

Trivia answer

Four. Johnson managed the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and the Dodgers.

And finally

Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press, on the possibility of the hapless Detroit Lions taking Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with the first pick in the NFL draft: "For him, that would be like going from the Wake to the funeral."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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