Notes on a Scorecard

Jim Neidlinger throws strikes, works fast, stays calm and should be 3-0. The question is, why did the Dodgers bring up Terry Wells from Albuquerque before Neidlinger? . . .

CBS deserves something for its money, but the rule that prohibited the televising of other games such as the Dodgers-Atlanta on Channel 11 and TBS and the Mets-Cubs on WWOR and WGN during the network's Oakland-Yankee telecast Sunday is unfair to the Living Room AC. . . .

Suddenly, the Dodgers have a bullpen that can be trusted. Jim Gott is beginning to look like his old self. So is Jay Howell. And Mike Hartley has filled the underrated role of long reliever successfully. . . .

The Angels probably will have two 20-game left-handers this season--20-game winner Chuck Finley and 20-game loser Mark Langston. . . .

Another bad outing by Frank Viola Sunday has helped Ramon Martinez's chances to win the Cy Young Award. . . .

News item: Eric Davis leads off for Cincinnati. Reaction: It's about time Lou Piniella did something to shake up the Reds' lineup. . . .

Former Northwestern pitcher Marty Clary is 1-10 with Atlanta. Must have picked up some tips from the Wildcat football team. . . .

Pittsburgh gave up too much for Zane Smith. . . .

Joe Torre is making a difference with St. Louis. . . .

Look for the Lakers to make at least one more move after Jerry West returns from vacation next week. Vinnie Johnson would give them an outside shooting threat, but Detroit probably will match any offer made to the free agent guard. . . .

Sam Perkins is solid, but $3 million a year? . . .

UCLA, which will be formidable after the addition of Ed O'Bannon and Shon Tarver, may be a big man away from becoming a true power. And that could be Cherokee Parks, who has another year left at Marina High. . . .

USC football Coach Larry Smith could write a book about the power of positive thinking. Instead of crying about all the starters the Trojans lost on defense, he is talking about an eager, quick defense that could become a strength of the team. . . .

From the day he signed, Smith has been aware of the USC football tradition. Inspired by it, not overwhelmed. . . .

Smith is opposed to a national playoff system, but says everything points to it in three to five years. . . .

Trojan freshman Curtis Conway could be the next Raghib (Rocket) Ismail--a speedster who can score returning kicks, catching passes, or running from scrimmage. . . .

From Todd Marinovich: "I wanted to be the best high school quarterback in the nation. I reached that goal. Now I want to be the best college quarterback before I graduate." . . .

Smith hopes Marinovich will be at USC long enough to graduate. This will be his sophomore season, but already there is speculation that he will leave early for the NFL. Shucks, Al Davis, long a family friend, could use him this year. . . .

Nothing in the first two exhibition games has dispelled the feeling that the Raiders need better quarterbacking to become a Super Bowl contender. . . .

George Allen usually provides the motivation, but Sunday his Cal State Long Beach team listened to a talk by former Washington Redskin wide receiver Danny Buggs. . . .

Things will become complicated at tailback for the Rams, who also have Cleveland Gary and Curt Warner, if Gaston Green ever matches his foreign form at home. . . .

The Detroit Lions would be more eager to sign their No. 1 draft pick, quarterback Andre Ware, if Rodney Peete hadn't been looking so good. . . .

Thumbs up to Wayne Lukas, who plans to run Criminal Type as a six-year-old in an era when most handicap stars are put out to stud after their four-year-old season. . . .

I'm still not convinced Pernell Whitaker, the undisputed lightweight champion, is a puncher despite his first-round destruction of Juan Nazario Saturday. . . .

Meldrick Taylor would have the advantage if he fought his rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez at 147 pounds, instead of 140. . . .

Nadav Henefeld, who succumbed to pressure and signed with an Israeli pro basketball team after starring at Connecticut last season, probably will return to the United States to play in the NBA in a couple of years. . . .

How come it takes twosomes as long as four hours to play a round in the PGA Championship?. . . .

The pros say they love a challenge, but give them one like Shoal Creek and they call it a cow pasture. . . .

USC assistant coach John Matsko on how the Trojans recruit offensive linemen: "We look for coconut crushers."

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