Beaten Worrell Reacts : Dodgers: After giving up four runs in ninth to give Rockies a 7-6 victory, he derides reporters.
Todd Worrell ended his silence Monday, lashing out at reporters in the clubhouse after he blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning and the Dodgers lost, 7-6, to the Colorado Rockies at Mile High Stadium.
When approached at his locker, Worrell, who hasn’t talked to the media in a month, at first said nicely: “It’s not that I don’t like you guys, I have nothing against you personally.”
For the record:
12:00 a.m. Aug. 10, 1994 BASEBALL DAILY REPORT DODGERS By MARYANN HUDSON
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 10, 1994 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 10 Column 2 Sports Desk 2 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
For the record: A quote attributed to a reporter in Tuesday’s report on Monday’s game was reported incorrectly in some editions of The Times. In response to Todd Worrell’s telling reporters, “You guys don’t know . . . about the game and how it’s played,” the reporter replied, “Obviously, you don’t know anything about journalism.”
But when asked if he wanted to say anything on his behalf, Worrell snapped, “I don’t need to say anything, you’ve taken care of that.”
Then, things got personal.
“If you knew anything about baseball, you wouldn’t have to hide behind players’ quotes,” Worrell continued.
When asked by a reporter what that meant, he replied:
“You guys don’t know . . . . about the game and how it’s played,” Worrell retorted.
To that, a reporter replied: “Obviously, you don’t know anything about journalism.”
But earlier, in the office of Manager Tom Lasorda, there were different questions asked. With his team ahead by three runs, after rallying for five runs in the eighth inning to take the lead, why did he make Worrell pitch for a fourth consecutive game? Rudy Seanez, who relieved Pedro Astacio after seven innings, was pitching well.
And why had Lasorda pitched Worrell the day before, when the Dodgers had a five-run lead? At least Monday’s game was a save situation.
Lasorda, drinking a non-alchoholic beer and eating rice and chicken, made the decision sound simple.
“We wanted to put Worrell in in the ninth inning, that’s his responsibility, that’s his job,” Lasorda said. Any ninth inning? Even with a five-run lead? Even when Worrell was hit hard the day before?
“How did we do in that game? We won,” Lasorda said, pointing out that Worrell had an off day during the four-game span. “We put him in there whenever we want to put him in there. If I would have left Rudy out there (Monday), and he would have given up three runs, you would have asked me why I hadn’t put Worrell in, since that is his job. The easy thing is to second guess. You know what a second guesser is, someone who doesn’t know the first guess and needs two to get it right.
” . . . (Worrell) didn’t do the job, so that makes me make the wrong decision. I can’t tell you after, I can only tell you before.”
Worrell quit talking to reporters shortly after he questioned Lasorda’s use of the bullpen about a month ago. It’s not a new subject, but it was unusual for a Dodger player to speak on the record about it. Sources say that Dodger management was not happy that Worrell spoke to the media, with Fred Claire, executive vice president, saying that the line of communication leads to the manager and the coaches. But the difference in pitching philosophy between Lasorda and Worrell is not a secret.
Lasorda doesn’t believe in roles, choosing instead to go with the pitcher he believes can do the job. Worrell, and most relievers, believe roles help define the bullpen and helps keep the relievers fresh and confident. Before Worrell came to the Dodgers, though, he had only pitched in back-to-back games three times the season before.
Recently, Worrell had been doing his job. Until Sunday’s game, when he gave up a run in the ninth inning, Worrell had given up no runs and only three hits in his last five outings. Before Monday, he was 3-0 with three saves in four opportunities in his last 10 appearances.
“You ride a guy as long as you can in baseball,” said Jim Gott, who relieved Worrell and gave up a single to Charlie Hayes, which scored the winning run.
The play of the game for the Dodgers came in the seventh inning, when Eric Karros dived and smothered a sharp grounder by Walt Weiss down the first base line with the bases loaded and two out, and tossed to Astacio for the out.
After tagging the base, Astacio whirled around and spiked the ball as he ran into the dugout. With the Dodgers trailing by 3-1, Karros’ play--his second exceptional defensive play in two games--kept the Dodgers in the game and sent them on to a five-run eighth inning. But it would all be for naught.
“This was not about anything other than we have got to win that game, that’s all,” Gott said.