BASEBALL : DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : They Are Losing Their Eye in the Sky

The Dodgers' tactical forces were dealt a blow Wednesday by the National League, which banned the use of radio communications between the press box and the dugout beginning Monday.

The Dodgers were one of a couple of National League teams that employed a coach, in this case Joe Ferguson, to sit in the press box and position the outfielders through communication with a coach on the bench, Bill Russell.

"We were only allowing this communication as a courtesy, but when we received some complaints about abuses with it, we decided to stop it," said the league's Katy Feeney.

The Dodgers were not thrilled.

"Frankly, I'm not pleased at all with this," said Fred Claire, Dodger vice president. "(Radio communication) was something we had planned for, and staffed for. I see it as part of the competitive technology of baseball."

Said Manager Tom Lasorda: "We were using it legally, we were not cheating with it. . . . Football teams do it, why can't baseball teams do it?"

Ferguson used to perform his duties from the dugout, but baseball ruled last season that each team could have only five uniformed coaches. Ferguson was moved to the press box.

When the American League banned radio communication earlier this season, allowance was made for a sixth coach in the dugout.

"If they allow us to have another guy in the dugout, then everything will be fine," Lasorda said.

The Dodgers are excited about what they consider an important schedule advantage. Beginning today, they will play their next 21 games on grass.

"Every guy on this team who has some kind of physical ailment is happy about this," said Charlie Strasser, assistant trainer. "It is safe to assume that because we have a veteran team, we have a harder time on (artificial) turf."

Most notable among those players is Kal Daniels, who missed Thursday's game because his arthritic knees were sore after he played four of the past eight games on turf. The Dodgers are 9-8 on turf, and 25-16 on grass.

Counting a scoreless inning in Pittsburgh Thursday, John Candelaria has not given up a run in his past 22 appearances, since April 14. He has given up two hits since May 13. . . . Sunday is Old-Timers' Day at Dodger Stadium, featuring Duke Snider, Steve Garvey, Don Drysdale and others. Introductions are at 12:15 p.m.

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