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TopicLasorda returns to Dodgers' bench on 84th birthday

  • Wed 27th Dec 2017 - 7:40am

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    But one thing hasn't changed: Lasorda's desire to win another game.
    "I want to manage," he said. "I got 1,599 wins. Win this one and we'll be 1,600. It's very, very important to me."
    Actually, he was back on the bench Thursday night as an honorary coach under rookie manager Don Mattingly in a game against the San Francisco Giants, a gesture extended by the team on Lasorda's 84th birthday. The Dodgers won 8 2.
    "They played hard, they played great," Lasorda said afterward. "It was a great night. It was fun."
    Lasorda delivered the lineup card to the umpires and then spent much of the game standing next to Mattingly along the dugout railing.

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    "He was telling me stories all night," Mattingly said. "He was into the game the whole night."
    Organist Nancy Bea Hefley led the crowd in a singalong of "Happy Birthday."
    "It feels great," Lasorda said. "This is something I never thought, never dreamed it would happen and it happened. I'm so grateful. My family's enthused about it. All my friends are calling me from all over the country. I didn't think I was that much missed."
    Lasorda retired in Cheap Jerseys 1996 as one of NHL wholesale jerseys just five major league managers to guide the same team for 20 years or more. His tenure included two World Series titles, four National League pennants and eight division titles. The Dodgers haven't been back to the World Series since their 1988 title under Lasorda, whose office used to overflow with pasta and red sauce after games.
    He's is in his 62nd season with the franchise and currently serves as special adviser to team owner and chairman Frank McCourt.

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    Lasorda got dressed at his own locker between Juan Uribe and Jerry Sands in a corner of the clubhouse. Standing nearby, slugger Matt Kemp took one look at Lasorda in full regalia.
    "I got to swag you out," Kemp said, reaching over to unbutton the top of Lasorda's white jersey.
    During batting practice, Lasorda and Mattingly leaned on the cage talking. Occasionally they were interrupted by a member of the Giants organization who embraced Lasorda.
    "(Giants manager Bruce) Bochy said, 'Yeah, let him manage. I'll outsmart him,'" Lasorda said. "Tell Bochy I'm in the Hall of Fame."
    Afterward, Bochy said he had flashbacks while seeing Lasorda in uniform.
    "He was excited about being back in the dugout," he said. "It was a big night for him."
    Asked what Lasorda's duties would be, Mattingly said, "Tommy's going to do whatever he wants. He's always talking, cheering and rooting on guys."
    Mattingly, however, said he had already made out the lineup.
    "I got it done before he got here so he couldn't change it," he said, smiling. "He wanted (Clayton) Kershaw to go again."
    Lasorda's return Youth NFL Jerseys & Buy Cheap Kids Color Rush Uniforms to the dugout came nearly 35 years to the day that he took over as jerseys free shipping manager from Walter Alston on Sept. 29, 1976.
    Heading into the Dodgers' last home game of a rocky season for the franchise that declared bankruptcy in June, Mattingly had guided the team to a 77 77 record.
    "I'm impressed with his patience," Lasorda said. "If I were in the same situation, I would have meetings where they could hear me in Long Beach.
    "He's going through a tough, tough year. My first year we were in the World Series. My second year we were in the World Series again."

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