July 17, 2003 |
One day after the most celebrated meltdown of a Dodger closer in 18 years, you'll never guess who showed up at Dodger Stadium. Yeah. Him. Tom Niedenfuer sighed. "I drove into the parking lot and the guard said, 'Every time I see Jack Clark drive past, I think of you,' " he said. The juxtaposition was eerie, the symbolism startling. Eric Gagne blowing the All-Star game in Chicago on Tuesday night. Tom Niedenfuer standing behind the batting cage at Chavez Ravine on Wednesday afternoon.
August 9, 1997
If the Dodgers continue to play the way they've been playing lately, I am sure they will make the playoffs. If Bill Russell continues to manage the way he's been managing lately, I am sure he will turn to Todd Worrell to save some of the postseason games. If Todd Worrell then pitches the same way he has been pitching lately, I am sure that Bill Russell and the rest of the Dodgers will be watching the World Series on TV. Maybe then Russell can also catch up on some old Dodger highlight reels--and learn about a fellow named Tom Niedenfuer.
February 24, 1996
With the exception of a few oblique references to Tommy Lasorda's weaknesses, Bob Nightengale's piece on the Dodger manager [Feb. 18] could easily be inserted into the Dodger yearbook. Such one-sided praise should be unworthy of a Times reporter, particularly when Lasorda's managerial flaws are so glaring. As for Nightengale's reference to Lasorda outmanaging Davey Johnson in 1988, who can forget Johnson's comment at the time that he would never have used his young pitchers the way Lasorda had, even if it cost him the championship--a reference to Orel Hershiser's overuse during the playoffs and World Series.
April 1, 1992 |
The Dodgers make no apologies for their previous decade, during which they won two World Series championships, kept stadium turnstiles whirling and promoted the manias--Fernando, Orel and Gibson. It is interesting to wonder, though, what more there might have been had it not been for the Dodger bullpen, scarred by trauma and long overshadowed by the team's starters.
April 26, 1990 |
Tom Niedenfuer appreciates the irony but is more appreciative of the opportunity. Released by the Seattle Mariners just before the 1990 season, Niedenfuer has been thrust into a pivotal role in the St. Louis Cardinal bullpen, helping replace injured Todd Worrell. He was promoted from Louisville Monday and accompanied the Cardinals to Los Angeles Tuesday. His presence in the visitors' clubhouse at Dodger Stadium is a strange twist, indeed.
April 11, 1990
The St. Louis Cardinals signed free-agent pitcher Tom Niedenfuer to a triple-A contract.