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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Webster Starts in Place of Daniels

Left fielder Kal Daniels, who has been slumping throughout August, was replaced in the starting lineup Thursday by Mitch Webster in an attempt by Manager Tom Lasorda to add a little life to the lineup.

Said Daniels: “I’m not happy about it, but I know I’m not playing well. I’m not swinging the bat that well at all. So if they are going to offer me the day off, I’ll take it.”

Daniels got into Thursday’s game, pinch-hitting for Gary Carter with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth inning. He grounded into a double play.

Since July 25, Daniels is batting .212 with one double and two home runs. Although he is playing on painful knees, including a left knee that contains bone chips, he refuses to use that as an excuse.

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“I’m just not hitting,” Daniels said.

Although Brett Butler denies that it has anything to do with his recent batting surge, Butler revealed that he and the San Francisco Giants’ Will Clark have made a bet. The man with the highest batting average at the end of the season buys dinner.

Before Thursday, Clark was batting .314 and Butler was hitting .312.

“Will and I were always making little bets like that when we played together, so I just went up to him the last time they were in town and said, ‘OK, highest average wins?’ He went for it.”

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Fred Claire, Dodger vice president, said he did not expect to make a deal before Saturday’s deadline for acquiring players who can be eligible for the postseason. “The club that brought us to this point is the club that will have to take us from this point,” Claire said. “Trades are not where my interest is right now.”

Referring to reports that the Dodgers might have been interesting in acquiring Cub shortstop Shawon Dunston before the end of the season, Claire said, “If somebody thinks we will trade a couple of our players for a shortstop who will be with us for one month, that’s just not going to happen.”

Eddie Murray missed batting practice and pregame infield work because of what trainers are calling a mild sprained ankle. . . . Although Claire will not discuss waiver transactions, there were probably two reasons the Dodgers did not attempt to block Wednesday’s trade of the New York Mets’ Alejandro Pena to the Atlanta Braves by claiming Pena off waivers. Pena is not considered an impact player, and if the Dodgers claimed him, there is the remote chance that the Mets would not have taken him off waivers, as is customary. Then the Dodgers would have been stuck with him.


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