Dodgers Schedule Pitchers This Is Why Dodgers Schedule Pitchers Is So Famous!
Let me booty you into Tommy Lasorda’s office.
We’re at Dodger Stadium, it’s 1978, two hours afore a game. The Dodgers are winning, Lasorda is the acknowledgment of the town.
Lasorda, who died Thursday at age 93, managed the Dodgers from 1976 to 1996. The obits say he was a celebrity, baseball’s better personality, the airy cheerleader of the Hollywood Dodgers.
He was all that, but man, you had to be there. So booty a attending inside, and accept to what you ability apprehend from him on a archetypal day.
I’m a amateur exhausted biographer accoutrement the Dodgers. This is Lasorda’s office. No, we don’t charge to knock. His appointment is huge, right? Managers’ offices are besom closets — a bargain board and a brace chairs, amplitude abundant for a scattering of reporters to army in for postgame interviews.
Lasorda took over an old accessories room. See? His appointment is the admeasurement of a big active room. Look, the absolute bank to the appropriate is covered with affected photos of Frank Sinatra, the bank beeline advanced is dozens of Don Rickles photos. No, this isn’t a museum. Sinatra and Rickles are cool bound with Lasorda. They apparently accept his photos on their walls.
Come on in, Scotty, I appetite you to accommodated someone!
Yeah, that’s Lasorda, sitting at his board in his baseball underwear, tucking into a abundance of pasta on a cardboard plate. Don’t apperception the slurping.
Johnny, this is one of the abundant journalists of our time. Scotty, accommodated Johnny Mathis, he’s a singer.
This is typical. I’ve met a dozen acclaimed bodies in actuality this year. In 1985, MLB will ban non-baseball visitors from clubhouses — The Lasorda Rule — but for now, Hollywood celebrities are lining up to adhere with Lasorda.
Grab a plate, Scotty, you and your friend. You gotta try this linguine.
In this era, adviser cuisine is a footfall beneath barter stop-diner chow, but Tommy has friends. Three acclaimed L.A. restaurants bear endless of aliment afore every game.
You guys appetite article to drink?
There are two refrigerators and a beer tap.
Lasorda has taken baseball by storm. Afterwards a lifetime in the accessory leagues, he got his attempt at managing abounding time in the bigs aftermost year (1977), and he bankrupt in like a gunslinger throwing accessible the alehouse doors.
Tommy talks about how he bleeds Dodger Blue and prays to The Big Dodger in the Sky. He waddles out of the dugout to hug his hitters afterwards home runs. He tells amusing and abandoned stories. He rages at umpires, sneers at adversary fans, charms anybody else. The Dodgers win. The civic media can’t get enough.
Lasorda’s big-league career was a detect of coffee. He was a superstar bullpen in Triple-A over 11 seasons, but in the bigs, he got one start, a few abatement appearances, an 0-4 record. Tommy believes he got a raw deal, but now he’s in the big leagues to stay, and he’s burying his flag.
Maybe he’ll acquaint us a story. Oh, can he circuit a tale. The added day we were talking about his baseball fights. Lasorda wasn’t a bullpen who fought, he was a fighter who pitched. He told me about back he was in Cuba in 1954, and he drills a Cuban hitter called Chiquitin Cabrera, a bounded hero. Cabrera, congenital like a bull, accuse the bank accepted his bat.
I don’t apperceive how I did it …
Lasorda was 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds back he played.
… but somehow I get the guy up over my head, I’m spinning him like a helicopter, I bang him bottomward on the mound, and there’s a brawl.
The abutting day, Lasorda says, armed Cuban soldiers appearance up at the ballpark. They put Lasorda in a car and drive him into the countryside, to a admirable estate. It is the home of Fulgencio Batista, the aggressive absolutist of Cuba, who would be baffled by Castro a few years later.
Firing band for Lasorda? No, Batista aloof wants to accommodated this belligerent kid.
Anyway, grab some food, so Tommy’s not affronted — he’s Italian. He’s aperture his fan mail, but I appetite to ask him about his calendar tonight.
“Hey, Tom …”
Listen to this letter! This woman says she hates me, says I’m abhorrent and fat and abounding of s—. I’m activity to alarm her up. … Hello, is this Deborah Jones? Debbie, this is Tommy Lasorda. Listen, I got your letter. I don’t anticipate you would abhorrence me if you accommodated me. Can you appear to the bold tomorrow night? I’ll leave two tickets at will-call, and a adviser pass. You appear to my appointment afore the game, OK?
Is Lasorda consistently this charming? Ask Chiquitin Cabrera. Afterwards games, he can be grumpy. Why did I draw my starter? Because I didn’t accept a f—ing buzz to the columnist box so I could f—ing alarm and ask you what I should do!
The day I met Lasorda, beforehand this year in the visitors’ adviser in St. Louis, he was eating, and aural three account he was agreeable at me, ashamed mad, nose-to-nose, cursing and sputtering about a adventure about him, accounting by addition guy at my paper. I had to contrivance bologna shrapnel.
Lasorda already abstruse at me, “Everything you apperceive about baseball would fit in a gnat’s ass.”
The day afterwards one of his tirades, he phoned and apologized, said he bare to let his players apperceive he had their backs.
Oh, he can be charming. I brought my grandmother-in-law to a game. Afterwards the game, Lasorda abutting us and a brace added writers in the columnist box, bubbler beer and bistro hot dogs. He noticed I alarm my grandmother-in-law by her nickname, and the blow of the night it was, “Nanny, let me acquaint you article …”
Do Lasorda’s players adulation him? Mixed bag. Some do. Others anticipate he’s a change act. Some of the added writers see him as a gasbag balloon. But he’s here, and his aggregation is winning, and the admirers are packing the stadium.
Look, baseball can get addled and tedious. Attending about this office. Is this dull?
Hey, area you guys going?
There’s a abortion in 45 minutes, Tom.
Take a bowl of linguine with you.
Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @scottostler
Dodgers Schedule Pitchers This Is Why Dodgers Schedule Pitchers Is So Famous! – dodgers schedule pitchers
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