Colorado right fielder Larry Walker, who homered twice on Tuesday night, says he looks no further than Dodger third baseman Tim Wallach for his inspiration.
In fact, Walker said, Wallach is responsible in helping make him the player he has become from their days together with the Montreal Expos.
"When I came up to the big leagues," Walker said, "he was the one who I tried to emulate on the field and in life. He's had a tremendous impact in my life. . . .
"When I first heard about his knee injury [a torn knee ligament], and heard that he could be out the rest of the season, I told these guys that's impossible. I said, 'For Tim Wallach to miss the rest of the season would mean that his knee has to be severed right in half.'
"That's how tough Tim is. Nothing surprises me about him."
Said Wallach: "When [Walker] came up, he was confident in his ability, but he had a lot of respect for the game. That's why I took to him right away.
"He plays hard all of the time, that's why I like him and respect him."
The Dodgers were grateful to see that Colorado shortstop Walt Weiss and the rest of his teammates were critical of the Dodger Stadium infield, perhaps helping justify some of their own troubles.
"It's not an easy infield to play," said Dodger second baseman Delino DeShields, who made a first-inning error Tuesday. "You get some crazy hops."
Said shortstop Jose Offerman, who has made a major-league leading 35 errors this season--13 that have been fielding errors at Dodger Stadium: "I don't want to use it as an excuse, but I think it's one of he worst in the league."
Said Wallach: "I think it's improved tremendously. The one thing about any natural grass and dirt infield is that you have to be aggressive. If you lay back here, you're going to have some bad hops. It took some time for me to learn that."
Weiss, in fact, says he can now understand why the Dodgers lead the league in errors.
"I don't want to get into it," Dodger first baseman Eric Karros said. "You ask other clubs what they think of it. But I will say that Walt Weiss doesn't make three errors too often. All I know is that if you can field here, you can field anywhere."