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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Jo Lasorda Rips Replacement Talk

Manager Tom Lasorda, out of his hospital bed and walking Saturday, is scheduled to be released from Centinela Hospital Medical Center today.

It’s the best he has felt since being admitted a week ago when he underwent an angioplasty to clear a clogged artery, said Jo Lasorda, his wife. He still hopes to return to his job July 4 against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium but is awaiting clearance, as well as advice, from his doctors.

“He feels great, and he’s going to be stronger than ever,” Jo Lasorda said. “That’s what makes me so mad having people talk about him not coming back or who will replace Tommy. How can people do that? He’s just getting well. Can’t they leave him alone?.

“Look at how many people he has helped. How can anybody fault this man for doing everything asked of him? And now, people kick him while he’s down.

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“It would be like someone dying and writing things while the grave is still warm. It’s unreal. I can’t believe anybody would give him anything more than encouragement.”

“Don’t make things worse.”

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Mel Didier, longtime Dodger scout, telephoned Lasorda to offer inspiration and advice.

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“Tommy told me he wants to come back this week,” Didier said, “but I told him, ‘Tommy, man, don’t come back so fast and try to be a hero. Wait until after the All-Star break [July 11]. We don’t want to be burying you and playing taps on your grave. Mr. O [Dodger owner Peter O’Malley] ain’t going to run you off.

“You’re going to come back stronger than ever.”

Didier, 68, who underwent surgery for prostate cancer Jan. 7, 1992, said he offered himself as inspiration to Lasorda. The cancer has not returned.

“They told me to exercise, watch my diet and keep my weight down,” Didier said. “Now look at me. I walk every day for 45 minutes, and the last three years have got stronger and stronger. That’s all Tommy has to do. He eats right, gets some exercise and he could be managing for a long time.

“I told Tommy if an ugly guy like me can do it, you can do it.”

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Lasorda has a tear in his stomach lining largely because of the anti-inflammatory medication he has been taking for his arthritic knees, Jo Lasorda said, but it is expected to heal in two or three weeks. . . . Outfielder Wayne Kirby’s fly ball to center field in the sixth inning was the first ball hit out of the infield by Kirby and his predecessor, Milt Thompson, in 20 at-bats.


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