Fred Claire and Eric Karros are prepared for the questions that will inevitably hit them like a stiff Long Island wind when they arrive at Shea Stadium today for the start of the three-game series against the New York Mets.
How can they replace Eddie Murray?
"I look at Eddie's time with the Dodgers with very positive feelings . . . he had three tremendous years with the Dodgers," Claire said Thursday. "But there comes a time when young players have to emerge. If we had given Eddie a two- or three-year contract, we would be saying good-by to Eric Karros."
Murray leads the Mets with 22 runs batted in and 44 total bases. Karros is batting .286 with three home runs and seven runs batted in.
"I am not trying to replace Eddie Murray," Karros said. "What Eddie did here, he did. I'm just trying to establish myself, and not compare myself to anybody. I'm not trying to live up to any expectations."
Karros said he is using some of Murray's advice to help him through his transition.
"One thing Eddie always told me that stuck was, don't worry about anything else but what goes next to your name in the box score, because that's the only thing you can control," Karros said.