Garciaparra calls his shots

Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nomar Garciaparra discovered firsthand the headaches of being a manager.

Garciaparra managed the Dodgers in their 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T; Park on Sunday, taking part in Manager Joe Torre’s tradition of turning his team over to a veteran player on the final day of the regular season.

Garciaparra, who had Mark Sweeney as his bench coach and Tanyon Sturtze as his pitching coach, was late to his pregame chat with reporters.

“I had an issue with one of my players,” Garciaparra said, explaining that he had to find a pair of socks for catcher Russell Martin.


He was also forced to rewrite his lineup, which initially had Rafael Furcal batting leadoff.

Torre on Saturday night had given Garciaparra a list of players he couldn’t use, which included Manny Ramirez and Jeff Kent. Furcal had asked Torre for a day off Sunday, but word didn’t reach Garciaparra until the day of the game.

Garciaparra acknowledged that the task made him nervous.

“I made three lineups last night,” he said. “You think I’m kidding?”


Asked whether he feared having to protest a controversial call, he said, “That’s probably what kept me up last night.”

Garciaparra joked that he had worked on how he’d talk to reporters.

“If I had shown you the three lineups, right below them were all the cliches,” he said.

Sturtze made two trips to the mound, visiting Clayton Kershaw in the sixth inning and Cory Wade in the eighth. Garciaparra made two pitching changes.

Kuo out for division series

Hong-Chih Kuo was ruled out by Torre for the first round of the playoffs again -- and this time, Torre is certain.

Kuo was warming up in the bullpen Saturday night when he informed the Dodgers’ training staff that his fingers were numb and the skin on his arm had turned bright red. Trainer Stan Conte and Dr. Neal ElAttrache feared that he might have a blood clot and took him to the emergency room, where he underwent a Doppler ultrasound exam. The test was negative and showed Kuo’s blood was circulating normally.

Kuo will undergo more exams today in Los Angeles and, if nothing wrong is found, will go to the instructional league in Arizona to prepare for a potential National League Championship Series appearance.


“It’s sad, but I just have to get better,” Kuo said. “What can I do?”

Kuo, who has undergone four elbow surgeries, hasn’t pitched in three weeks because of elbow problems.

Furcal to start?

Furcal could be the Dodgers’ starting shortstop when they open the NL division series in Chicago on Wednesday.

“I was pretty comfortable with Furcal,” Torre said. “He just seemed to be getting his timing yesterday.”

Furcal played in four games over the final week of the season, starting three. He played seven innings Saturday night and went two for four, his first hits since being activated from the 60-day disabled list. Furcal missed about 3 1/2 months because of a back injury.