Green Ready to Prove Value With Karros as Role Model

It's fitting Shawn Green's first season with the Dodgers starts in Canada because he had unfinished business here.

Green said goodbye to his former Toronto teammates during the two-game exhibition series at SkyDome, and he's eager to open the second chapter of his career.

It begins tonight.

Green is scheduled to start in right field for the Dodgers against the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium.

"It was a heavier experience than I thought it would be," Green said. "I mean, it's just a tough thing after you've been in an organization for eight years to leave a lot of your friends.

"It's part of the game and you understand that, it's just still sort of weird to go through. But it's time to build new relationships now."

Green is doing that with first baseman Eric Karros.

Green and Karros, represented by the same agent, were raised in the Southland, Green in Tustin and Karros in San Diego. Green figures to face pressure in his key role for the Dodgers after returning home and signing a six-year, $84-million contract, and he said he will turn to Karros for advice during difficult times.

"He's a great model of how to handle the whole L.A. scenario," Green said. "It's good to have a smart guy like that who knows what he's doing to turn to when things get a little bit tumultuous."

ON DECK

* Opponent--Montreal Expos, four games.

* Site--Olympic Stadium.

* Tonight--4 p.m. PDT

* TV--Channel 5 tonight, Fox Sports Net 2 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

* Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* 1999 records--Dodgers 77-85, Montreal 68-94.

* 1999 record vs. Expos--5-4.

TONIGHT

DODGERS'

KEVIN BROWN

(18-9, 3.00 ERA)

vs.

EXPOS'

DUSTIN HERMANSON

(9-14, 4.20 ERA)

* Update--The Dodgers begin their third season under Fox after undergoing another major makeover. New Chairman Bob Daly is running the franchise, and the longtime Hollywood power broker enjoys making deals. Daly showed he's in this to win immediately after taking control, acquiring Green and giving him a big contract. The Dodgers hope Green closes the door on the Mike Piazza era. This marks the first game of a 10-game, 11-day trip. Manager Davey Johnson is concerned about his starting rotation after staff ace Brown, so the club is carrying 12 pitchers, instead of the customary 11, at least during the trip. What does $90 million buy these days? The Dodgers will know soon enough.

* Tuesday, 4 p.m.--Chan Ho Park (13-11, 5.23) vs. Hideki Irabu (11-7, 4.84).

* Wednesday, 4 p.m.--Orel Hershiser (13-12, 4.58) vs. Javier Vazquez (9-8, 5.00).

* Thursday, 4 p.m.--Carlos Perez (2-10, 7.43) vs. Carl Pavano (6-8, 5.63).

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