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Reuss Adds Piniella to His Collection

There have been rumors all spring that Jerry Reuss was headed for the New York Yankees. Reuss, No. 1 prankster of the Dodgers now that Jay Johnstone has retired, decided to have some fun with the rumor.

On Tuesday night, Reuss, Rick Honeycutt, bullpen catcher Todd Maulding and two Dodger batboys went to Comiskey Park to see the Yankees play the Chicago White Sox. They only had four tickets, so Reuss stuffed an equipment bag with towels.

“New player for the Yankees,” he announced to a security guard. “What’s the easiest way to the clubhouse? I’ve just been traded.”

The guard led Reuss to the clubhouse, and Ruess went directly to Piniella’s office and threw his bag on top of Piniella’s desk.

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“Lou, it’s a pleasure to meet you after all these years,” Reuss said. “I haven’t pitched since last Friday, so I can start or relieve for you.”

When Piniella looked puzzled, Reuss said: “Didn’t George call you?”

Piniella: “George didn’t call me. Is this on the level?”

Reuss: “We straightened everything out this afternoon.”

Piniella: “Are you serious? Close the door, let’s talk about this.”

Reuss then opened his bag, showed the towels to Piniella, and smiled. “Hi, Lou,” he said.

Said Reuss Wednesday: “This may have been my best prank ever.”

Trivia Time: What player batted over .300 only once in his career and won a batting championship? (Answer below.)

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Pitcher Rich Yett, back with the Cleveland Indians after being called up from the minors, recalls when Manager Pat Corrales told him during spring training that he was being sent down: “I asked him if he meant, ‘You’re not ready yet’ or, ‘You’re not ready, Yett.’ ”

Pat Riley, please note: Said Bob Hansen of the Utah Jazz, after holding Dallas Mavericks guard Rolando Blackman scoreless in the second game of their first-round series: “The only thing I did different was eat a double-hamburger with onions. That’s what probably bothered him the most in the first quarter.”

How-times-have-changed dept.: Looking ahead to the draft, Milwaukee Bucks scout George Karl, former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, said of Ohio State’s Brad Sellers: “A lot of teams see him as a small forward.”

Sellers is 7-1.

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Would-you-believe-it dept.: Last season, with Pedro Guerrero in the lineup, the Dodgers hit 23 home runs in their first 29 games. This season, without Guerrero, the Dodgers have hit 25 in 29 games.

Said Doc Rivers of the Atlanta Hawks when asked if he had ever experienced anything like that 36-6 third-quarter blowout by the Boston Celtics Wednesday night: “Maybe in high school, but always the other way around. I’ve never been beaten up like that. It made me feel like the little kid in grade school, the worst one on the team, the one nobody picks. They were awesome.”

Add Celtics: Larry Bird has been using his left hand more on shots around the basket, but Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe bet him $5 he couldn’t make a three-pointer with his left hand in practice.

On his second try, Bird collected.

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Trivia Answer: Norm Cash of the Detroit Tigers in 1961 with a .361 average. His next best average was .286 and his 17-year career average was .271.

Quotebook

John Lloyd, husband of Chris Evert Lloyd, on why he was wearing tape on the first three fingers of his right hand during the Tournament of Champions in New York: “My hands are very soft because of all the dishes I have to wash.”


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