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His New Dodger Strategy Is Abstinence, Not Malice

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I received a copy of an article Tuesday that had run in the Sun, which is called the United Kingdom’s biggest selling newspaper, and which indicated Lennox Lewis, the heavyweight champion of the world, has decided to refrain from sex during the six weeks or so leading up to Saturday night’s fight in Staples Center.

This might not sound unusual to some folks who are married, and while it often does result in a fight, apparently in this case it’s Lewis’ decision to save himself because he believes it will improve his athletic performance.

Well, you’ve seen how the Dodgers have hit this season, and you know my interest in always wanting to help them improve, so I stopped by the clubhouse before the game with the Giants, and asked the guys if they’ve given any thought to following the champ’s lead.

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“I’m afraid a lot of guys would be retiring pretty young if that was the deal,” Shawn Green said. Green grounded out to second base a short time later.

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I PRESSED the issue with other players, which might account for the Dodgers replying with four runs by the end of the third inning, and when’s the last time that happened this season?

I’ve always wondered why Kevin Brown is so grumpy, but he was going to pitch, and it’s customary not to bother the starting pitcher before a game.

Paul Lo Duca had put together a 23-game hitting streak, and so for all I knew he was way ahead of me. “I know some guys who would do almost anything for a win,” he said. Lo Duca homered in his first at-bat.

But he added, “I wouldn’t do that.” Lo Duca only doubled his next time up.

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A SHORT time later Lewis showed up at Dodger Stadium, but before he went to the clubhouse for a pregame chat with the Dodgers, I took him aside.

I wanted to verify the accuracy of the Sun story, and he said, “Yes, it’s true, it’s been a long, long time. I don’t want to say how long, but a long time.”

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Do you think this could help the Dodger hitters perform better?

“Absolutely,” said Lewis, while striking the pose of a batter and then shaking in place. “It would get them on edge.

“I’d keep the entire group away from their wives,” the champ added, “and I think they’d show unbelievable improvement.” I offered no comment, of course.

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LEWIS LEFT to visit with the Dodgers, and I presume to tell them the same thing. I figured at the very least, his pregame speech would be a tad more inspirational than anything the Micro-Manager had to offer.

Then he threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the way things have been going this season, the Dodgers probably would be batting a collective Adrian Beltre against ceremonial first pitches if given the opportunity to take a rip.

But here’s something to keep in mind: If the season ended today, the hitless Dodgers would be in the playoffs, and with any improvement in their performance on offense, who knows?

“I think it is a good sacrifice,” Lewis had told the Sun, and in what could become the Dodgers’ rallying cry. “When you refrain ... it’s something you look forward to like a reward.”

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The Dodgers would only have to sacrifice until October -- following through with a World Series triumph, which I’m sure would be more than enough reward for the guys. Nothing else has worked since 1988, and talk about your long waits.

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THE ORIGINAL schedule for Lewis’ visit to Dodger Stadium had called for Lewis to show up at 5:15 and throw batting practice to Barry Bonds. I was pretty excited about that, hoping the champ might let loose with a wild one and plunk Bonds. Then I would have liked to have seen Bonds charge the mound.

But Lewis was a no-show at 5:15, and so when we finally got together about 6:30 after his arrival, I told him I was really disappointed to learn the heavyweight champion of the world was a chicken. I think the way I carefully and diplomatically worded it to the big guy was: “Why were you such a chicken in avoiding Bonds?”

I wish I could’ve stayed around to hear his answer, but I was in a hurry to leave.

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THE TRIAL pitting the Raiders against the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum continues in Sacramento with the team’s chief executive, Amy Trask, on the witness stand. According to the Raiders’ Web site, “Trask has spent six days on the witness stand with courtroom observers describing her testimony as ‘totally credible.’ ” I presume these observers include Al Davis, GM Bruce Allen, the Violator and the Skull Patrol.

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WHILE RICK Neuheisel tried to get their attention, most of the University of Washington’s athletic staff, including Athletic Director Barbara Hedges, was playing in a booster golf event Monday. I’m guessing there was no $2 Nassau at stake.

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SAMMY SOSA’S suspension has come to an end, although I think it might be more accurate to say his “vacation” is over -- because he was still paid his full salary, approximately $500,000, while sitting out seven games.

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READER STEVE Abrams e-mailed to say: “If the Dodgers can shut out their opponents the next 94 games, I believe with their offense they should be able to win most of those games.” I just don’t understand why people have to be so sarcastic.

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TODAY’S LAST word comes in e-mail from Mike LaRocca:

“In regards to your June 15th column, you obviously know nothing about golf. This was the dumbest column I have ever read in the Times.”

You must have missed my column on March 26. Or Feb. 25. Or Jan. 29. And then there’s last year ...

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

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