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In 12th Inning, It Was Almost Sudden Death

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post asked Tom Lasorda what he was thinking Sunday night when his last pitcher, Orel Hershiser, was trying to get the last out in the 12th inning at Shea Stadium.

Lasorda: “I told the guys on the bench that if Hershiser walked in the tying run and we had to keep playing, that they could just wear black armbands during the next game.”

Why?

“ ‘Cause I’d have killed myself.”

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Kevin McReynolds of the New York Mets, on Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers: “He really showed people his guts. At 50, 60, 70%, he’s better than most guys at 100%.”

McReynolds wasn’t surprised by Gibson’s heroics. He was on the San Diego team that lost to Detroit in the 1984 World Series. Gibson homered twice and batted in 7 runs for the Tigers.

Trivia Time: What do New York Mets pitcher David Cone and Dodger General Manager Fred Claire have in common? (Answer to follow.)

Calling Oakland Manager Tony La Russa a master psychologist, William D. Murray of UPI wrote: “Take for example, his handling of superstar Jose Canseco, who reported late to spring training because he had to fulfill a commitment for an autograph session in Miami.

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“When Canseco did show up, he was greeted by a card table with a sign that said: ‘Welcome to Jose Canseco Autograph Day--Appearing for the first time, Jose Canseco. Evening lecture “Concepts of Team Play” with guest lecturer Jose “Card Show” Canseco.’

“The table and sign had been set up by La Russa and after a few nervous laughs the matter passed. But the point had been made. In typical LaRussa fashion, a confrontation had been avoided, but the lesson had been learned.”

Add Canseco: Steve Wilstein of the Associated Press, on Oakland’s Wednesday workout: “Jose Canseco hit another 500-foot batting-practice homer that bounced over a tall wall more than 150 feet beyond the left field fence. Then he frowned when asked if he couldn’t just hit it a little harder and get it over the wall on a fly.

“ ‘It’s humanly impossible to hit it over that wall,’ he said. ‘That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.’ ”

When Mike Tyson returned to the embrace of Don King, trainer Kevin Rooney told the New York Times: “Don King is worse than Robin Givens and Ruth Roper. They’re bad. He’s worse. King got $2 1/2 million when Mike fought Tony Tubbs in Japan, and he didn’t do nothing. He got $3 million for the Spinks fight, and he didn’t do nothing.

“Don King doesn’t bring money in, he takes money out. I’ve told this to Mike. He hears, but he doesn’t believe it.”

Trivia Answer: Both are former sportswriters.

Quotebook

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Defensive back Darrell Green of the Washington Redskins, after getting beat in successive games for touchdowns by Pittsburgh’s Louis Lipps, Philadelphia’s Mike Quick and Phoenix’s Roy Green: “Either I’m going to be in a lot of highlight films when they make the Hall of Fame or they’re going to be in a lot of highlight films when I make the Hall of Fame.”


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