Some unsolicited advice to Peter O'Malley and Fred Claire:
--Retain Tom Lasorda as Dodger manager. . . .
There is no more loyal nor enthusiastic employee in baseball than Lasorda. His team won a division title this season and finished second in the National League in home attendance. Anything more would have been an upset. He deserves a 20th year on the job. . . .
--Sign Kansas City shortstop Greg Gagne, who is eligible for free agency. . . .
Oh, wouldn't it be a nice change of pace to have a slick-fielding shortstop in Dodger blue? Chad Fonville doesn't have a strong arm. Gagne does. . . .
--Make Fonville the everyday second baseman. . . .
The little guy with the enormous heart gave the Dodgers a lift the last half of the season and his best position is second. . . .
--Let Delino DeShields, Roberto Kelly and Kevin Tapani go. . . .
The toughest decision concerns DeShields, who finished strongly, but there's not much sense keeping him around if Fonville is going to be the second baseman. . . .
--Re-sign Brett Butler. . . .
Butler will be 39 next June, but, as he showed during his second stint with the Dodgers, is improving with age. He is one of the best leadoff hitters in the league and can still play center field better than anyone else in the organization. . . .
--Trade Jose Offerman. . . .
This is a no-brainer. Offerman wore out his welcome long ago. . . .
--Re-sign Todd Worrell. . . .
Worrell had a great season. Antonio Osuna might be an outstanding closer some day, but it's apparent that he isn't ready for that role yet. . . .
Tim Wallach has had a distinguished career, but it is time to give the job to a younger player. . . .
--Give Pedro Astacio a chance to rejoin the starting rotation. . . .
After a demotion to the bullpen, he could regain his form of 1993 when he was 14-9 with a 3.57 earned-run-average. . . .
--Make Ramon Martinez and Hideo Nomo offers they can't refuse. . . .
Why not?. . . .
USC played its worst game of the year Saturday at Berkeley, but is 5-0 for only the second time since 1980. . . .
With all those stupid penalties during their 26-16 win over California, the Trojans reminded me of the way their former co-tenant at the Coliseum, the Raiders, used to perform. . . .
However, USC didn't commit a turnover for the fourth time in five games and its only one this season remains an interception thrown by a third-string quarterback late in the San Jose State game. . . .
Kyle Wachholtz executes the play-action fake better than any college quarterback I've ever seen. . . .
Northwestern (4-1) has won as many as four games in a season for the second time since 1973. In 1986, the Wildcats finished 4-7. . . .
No longer are Northwestern and Kansas State known as the Mildkittens. . . .
Is it just my imagination or are pro and college officials holding more conferences than ever before announcing penalties?. . . .
The Jacksonville Jaguars' wins the past two weeks and the Carolina Panthers' near-miss at Chicago show that free agency has made it easier for an expansion team to be competitive during its first season. . . .
The surest thing in the NFL is that a Philadelphia-Washington game will go down to the wire. . . .
Whatever happened to the Cleveland Browns?. . . .
Colorado Manager Don Baylor on Atlanta pitcher Greg Maddux after Game 4: "He wasn't his normal self because he was normal.". . . .
During his sixth-round win over Tommy Morrison Saturday night, Lennox Lewis showed that he has been paying attention to his new trainer, Emanuel Steward. . . .
Steward has gotten Lewis to relax and use his jab more often. . . .
A difficult southpaw such as George Scott was a lousy choice as Rafael Ruelas' first opponent since his loss to Oscar De La Hoya. Ruleas never could figure out Scott, who won a 12-round unanimous decision. . . .
The Phoenix Suns were willing to send Dan Majerle--plus Antonio Lang and a future first-round draft choice--to the Cleveland Cavaliers for John (Hot Dog) Williams because Majerle's play has been declining and he is eligible for free agency after this season. . . .
Has any rookie NHL coach ever gotten off to a faster start than Larry Robinson, who saw Pat Conacher score on the Kings' first shot Saturday night against Colorado?