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Woo-Woo a Real No-No in La-La

This weekend’s series, Dancing With Braves, should pretty much determine whether the Dodgers will be going to the playoffs or the layoffs.

The Atlanta Braves, most of whom remain drug-free, will be at Dodger Stadium for “Three Big Games!” as those promotional announcements say.

Otis Nixon, who evidently brought more to the ballclub than speed, will not be accompanying the Braves this trip. I don’t know if Andy and Barney locked Otis up in the Mayberry jail or what.

The leading base-stealer in baseball, Otis just drew a 60-day suspended sentence either for using dope or being one. This made him a two-time loser--or, seeing as how he plays for Atlanta, a three-time loser.

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This is no time to be losing your leadoff man, but the Dodgers have no such worries, unless maybe Brett Butler overdoses on his peanut butter and jelly. Brett Butler makes Dale Murphy look like a Hell’s Angel.

Although Nixon won’t be coming along, I gather that Atlanta will be bringing some of its faithful fans to Dodger Stadium for the series.

Perhaps you saw them on TV last week. They were the ones who made a baseball stadium look like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

I know most Dodger fans would prefer to live among people whose idea of a good time is waving foam-rubber tomahawks and making fun of American Indians.

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In future seasons, perhaps Atlantans can demean other ethnic groups. Maybe they can rename their team the Atlanta Italians, or the Atlanta Hebrews, or the Atlanta Kurds. Maybe they can call themselves the Atlanta Africans and pound on little foam-rubber drums.

They can joke all they want down there about Dodger fans arriving late and leaving early, but at least we don’t pretend that we are Indians and sit around going woo-woo-woo.

Foam-rubber tomahawks. I am proud to live in a city where no one waves foam-rubber tomahawks, although at times I wish our cops would.

The fans were a definite help to the Braves in last weekend’s series, chanting “Darryl! Darryl!” until Strawberry’s fourth hit of the first night, after which they attempted to memorize the names of the other eight players.

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The Braves came back to win Game 2 because Ron Gant, the most Atlantean of Atlantans--look it up--pounded a ball off the wall. They also won Game 3 because Sid Bream, a Dodger useta-be, grand-slammed a ball with his bat, which obviously was made of sturdier foam-rubber.

In a new Brave world, this was enough to convince Atlanta’s fans that the Dodgers were, you know, dog meat.

But a couple of things have happened to assist the Dodgers since then.

One is that Otis (Off-Base) Nixon has been given the rest of the season off, a time he probably will put to good use by visiting the Otis Nixon Memorial Library in Yorba Linda.

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Another is that Otis has been replaced in the outfield by Lonnie (Skates) Smith, whose nickname stems from the fact that during a performance, Lonnie spins like Dorothy Hamill. He circles a fly ball the way a fly circles a garbage can.

More good news for the Dodgers is their resiliency. Two Los Angeles losses at Atlanta could have destroyed some teams, but when the Dodgers scored three times in the 12th inning Monday to defeat the Cincinnati Reds, they displayed unusual courage and character, and did so without tomahawks.

They also got a game-winning hit from Jeff Hamilton, whose last one came in, like, 1492. This was the way the Dodgers won in 1988, with a different hero every day. Maybe Hamilton can be their new Mickey Hatcher.

What does worry our true-blue Dodger lovers who come to the stadium empty-handed is the pitching. At some point when nobody was looking, Ramon Martinez lost the fast on his fastball. Ramon used to throw heat. Now he throws warmth.

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Some also are becoming anxious about Tom Lasorda’s quick hook. I ordinarily find that anybody who questions a manager’s use of pitchers suffers from the distinct disadvantage of never having been a manager.

The Dodgers are definitely looking forward this weekend to Dancing With Braves.

Butler, Strawberry and some of the others act as though they are sorry that Dodger fans don’t go woo-woo-woo all day, the way the Braves’ do. Brett and Darryl say they really enjoyed all that noise everybody was making in Atlanta.

Maybe we could all go woo-woo-woo whenever a Brave comes to bat. How would that be?

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