Kreuter's Power Over Dodgers Knows No Limits

You have probably heard of Anthony Robbins, or Tony Robbins, motivational speaker and author of "Awaken the Giant Within," who according to some is the "nation's expert in the psychology of peak performance."

He received some acclaim for helping the Kings back in '93, and now for $1,295 you can join him for an "Unlimited Power Weekend." Or, for $15 he'll send you an inspirational T-shirt, or a cap for $17.50.

Here's a cheaper idea: Call Chad Kreuter and have him chew you out.

Now he might not give you the cap off his head without a tussle, but we're talking about L.A.'s very own motivational redneck, the person most responsible for turning the Dodgers' season around.

He not only gets credit for awakening the giant within Chan Ho Park, but ever since he became the self-appointed critic-without-portfolio, the team has won four of five games on a grueling trip that figured to put the Dodgers out of business for the rest of the season.

I think it's pretty obvious now no one on the Dodgers wants to be criticized by a .218 hitter, which accounts for everyone's improved play.

Now if I'm Manager Jim Tracy, I'm not sending a smiling Jim Colburn out to the mound when one of the hurlers is struggling, I'm sending Kreuter.

I wouldn't go so far as to actually play the guy, but I don't believe baseball rules prohibit one visit an inning to the mound by the team's designated motivational speaker.

The way the Angels are playing, I suggested to Manager Mike Scioscia it might be time for a Kreuter visit.

"If Chan Ho comes with him," said Scioscia, as if that would help more than just having Kreuter.

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LET'S FACE it, Tracy isn't the Dodgers' motivational speaker.

On Friday he went to the mound and told reporters later he stared directly into Park's eyes and, "My question to him was, 'Do you have enough left to get this guy right here?' He definitely told me, 'Yes.' "

Park, meanwhile, said, "He didn't ask me anything."

I'm guessing Tracy is no Knute Rockne as far as Park is concerned, and for that matter I'm guessing Park has no idea who Knute Rockne is or what Tracy is talking about most of the time. But he knows who Kreuter is, and although everyone else thought it odd that his very own caddy-catcher would bite the only pitcher that's feeding him, Park tried to please Kreuter.

I know what it's like to be criticized by Kreuter and the desire to make him happy. My second day on the job he shoved the newspaper--with my first column--in my face and asked if I was the bleep who wrote the bleeping bleep article, and if I was the bleep, I was going to have to write a lot bleeping better if I was ever going to want to come into the bleeping clubhouse again.

Kreuter, of course, deserves all the credit for the way I write. And if he can have that kind of impact on me after one heart-to-heartwarming chat, I wish he'd sit down with Eric Karros.

He gets Karros to hit, and pretty soon there's going to be a demand for Kreuter audio tapes, seminars and $1,295 Ultimate Power Weekends with baseball's No. 1 motivational stiff.

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HOW POPULAR would quarterback Peyton Manning be in Los Angeles?

There has been talk among some NFL owners that the Indianapolis Colts are the leading contenders to move to L.A., beating the Saints and Chargers, who have escape clauses in stadium leases following the 2003 season.

Although the Colts reworked their lease with Indianapolis, the team still lacks the financial wherewithal to compete with the teams who have secured new stadiums. Speculation in inner NFL circles has owner Jim Irsay selling the team to someone who would bring it to L.A.

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IMAGINE BEING stranded on an island with Barry Bonds.

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I TAKE exception with Tamecka Dixon's assertion in Diane Pucin's column that after watching the Sparks' Lisa Leslie at work, "there is not a more beautiful sight than to see a 6-5 woman nailing a three-pointer."

Sports editor Bill Dwyre waving goodbye as he begins a two-week vacation--now that's a beautiful sight.

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AFTER WHAT Hollywood did with "The Replacements," depicting the 1987 strike that led to the NFL playing games with scrubs, I would think the NFL referees would want to settle as quickly as possible to avoid having one of them being portrayed by Keanu Reeves.

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ANGEL CATCHER Bengie Molina has 11 hits in his last 12 at-bats, so Scioscia started George Fabregas, a .217 hitter, against the Yankees and Roger Clemens. Scioscia is probably trying to keep Molina fresh for the playoffs--so he doesn't fall asleep on the couch while watching them.

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SEATTLE'S Arthur Rhodes was ejected after getting upset when Cleveland's Omar Vizquel said sunlight was reflecting off Rhodes' earring. What's sports coming to when a guy can't even look pretty anymore while pitching?

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COWBOY COACH Jerry Jones--I mean, Cowboy owner Jerry Jones--said his team will definitely return to Ventura County to conduct training camp next year--most likely in Oxnard, although other sites might be considered.

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HOW Big is Shaquille O'Neal? It's going to take two doctors to do surgery on his little toe.

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DEREK JETER and I have something in common: Wherever we go, women like to yell at us. Now you know why I can't go to a Spark game.

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TODAY'S LAST word comes in an e-mail from Adolfo:

"What advice would you give a college graduate like me who wants to become a sportswriter?"

Be nice to people or they won't call you back.

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T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com

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