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Tommy Lasorda is the best

Jan 20, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

Tommy Lasorda.jpgI was never a big Tommy Lasorda fan back when he was a manager, but I kind of like retired old man Tommy Lasorda. He was a hoot working the room and telling war stories at the Winter Meetings. Reminded me of my late father-in-law, who also happened to be a large and jolly Italian man with a zillion stories of dubious provenance. Once he got past, oh, 65 we just let him be him and happily went along for the ride.

Same goes for Lasorda.  The latest: Tommy tweetsI’m teaching our young pitcher Kenley Jensen my curveball.”  Here’s the pic to prove it.  Then he tweetsIt’s the same curveball I used to strike out Stan ‘The Man’ Musial and ‘Say Hey’ Willie Mays.”

And he did strike out Musial once.  It happened on May 5, 1955.  In the first inning. Lasorda got the start, and dadgummit, Stan the Man went down swinging.  Of course, it may have been in self defense. Lasorda walked two guys and threw three wild pitches that inning, allowing a run to score without allowing a hit. He was removed to start the second.

Sadly, however, Lasorda’s memory may be failing him — or his whimsy running away with him — when it comes to Willie Mays.  Lasorda never faced him, let alone struck him out. At least not in a major league, regular season game.

But just like I used to let my father-in-law tell the story about how the Beatles once tipped him with an autographed photo when he was delivering pizzas in Hamburg, Germany, I’ll let Tommy Lasorda tell people he struck out Willie Mays once.

  1. Phil - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    There are a number of reasons to dislike Tommy Lasorda, but at the top of the list is his homophobia. Google Tommy Lasorda, Jr. I’ve no use for a man who turns his back on his own son.

  2. Steve - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    If Tommy Lasorda is tweeting, then…. Dang!

  3. BC - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Check out #3 on this list:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/scorecard/08/05/interviews/
    There’s another one out there somewhere of the text of him calling up to request a lady-of-the-evening, but I can’t find it and it probably is not suitable for anything without an R rating.
    Best line from Fletch: “I hate Tommy Lasorda.” Couldn’t agree more.

  4. Ice Berg - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Too long; didn’t read.

  5. Lawrence From Plattekill - Jan 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    He struck out Mickey Mantle twice!

  6. Bob R. - Jan 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    When he was managing, and we were subjected to his press conferences and such, I thought him the most boring man in baseball. There was never a pungent or original thought or comment in anything he said, nor anything humorous either. The one exception is a clip often rebroadcast of him stalling for time on the mound and then asking the umpire what he thinks he should do. That was clever.
    Maybe now he can be tolerated, but while active he was truly a pill.

  7. Andy L - Jan 20, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    Was gonna say what Phil said. Tommy Lasorda disowned his gay son. Never forget that.

  8. Chris Simonds - Jan 21, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    But Craig, if you post on a fairly widely read blog that Lasorda never stuck out Mays, then you aren’t really letting him tell people that he did, are you? I don’t think you’ve grown to like him at all, you just think for some reason that maybe you should.

  9. online stock trading - Feb 16, 2010 at 6:49 PM

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