The Boston Celtics took off this week for Spain, where they will face top European teams in a tournament at Madrid.
Will there be time for culture?
Said Peter May of the Hartford Courant: “The Celtics don’t expect to be making a whole lot of visits to the Prado to check out the Velasquez and Goya paintings.” Said Kevin McHale: “Time for culture? A lot of guys on this team think culture is going to McDonald’s for lunch.”
John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun passes along this joke told by Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda: “Guy wins $20 million in the lottery, so he runs home and tells his wife, ‘Pack your bags.’ She says, ‘Great, where we going, to Europe?’ He says to her, ‘I don’t give a damn where you go. I just want you out of the house by 8 o’clock.’ ”
Did you catch Joe Garagiola line on Mickey Hatcher the other night after the Dodger utilityman made a tumbling catch of a blooper by Jose Canseco?
“He’s the ultimate blowout patch,” Garagiola said.
Trivia Time: Who has the best career batting average on the Dodgers? (Answer below.)
The misadventures of Oakland’s Luis Polonia in the outfield Tuesday night recalled this line from Times staffer Mike Penner: “He was best described last season by a teammate who provided a scouting report in the form of a Jeopardy question. A. Catch-22. Q. What do you get when you hit 100 fly balls to Luis Polonia?”
Rick Dempsey of the Dodgers, on the postseason: “It’s a heck of a lot better than ending the season in Cleveland.”
Dempsey’s worst moment with the Indians last year came when he tagged out Kansas City’s Bo Jackson at the plate.
Jackson almost put him in the stands, and Dempsey went out with a broken thumb.
Said Dempsey: “He went through me like I was whipped cream.”
15 Years Ago Today: On Oct. 20, 1973, Reggie Jackson had run-scoring doubles in the first and third innings, leading the Oakland A’s to a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets and evening the World Series at 3 games apiece.
On this date in 1981, Bob Watson hit a 3-run homer in his first World Series at-bat to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers in the opening game.
Trivia Answer: Steve Sax. But it’s close. Sax’s average is .2825; Mickey Hatcher’s is .2820.
Add Hatcher: He told Joe Gergen of Newsday: “When I got released by the Minnesota Twins last year, I went home to Arizona. Five days went by and I was thinking, ‘Oh, my God, is this the end?’ I’d get up early every morning to run and then pick up the paper in front of my friend’s house, sit in the rocker on the porch and read the sports pages. After the fifth day, I saw that the Dodgers were 0-5 and that Bill Madlock was on the disabled list. I called my agent at 7:30 in the morning and said, ‘Willie, can you call the Dodgers and see if I can go to triple-A for a couple of weeks at my own expense?’ He said the last time he called them, they weren’t interested. But I told him to try again.
“Well, he calls me back a couple of hours later and says, ‘How does it feel to be a Dodger?’ I said, ‘Great. I’m on my way to Albuquerque.’ He said, ‘Wait. They want you in Los Angeles.’ ”
It was Fred Claire’s first deal.
Reggie Jackson, after the Oakland A’s beat the New York Mets in the 1973 World Series: “I feel I’ll be here the rest of my life. I’ll always be identified with Oakland and Oakland with me.”