Friday, May 04, 2007

Behind the Bats: A Peek Inside the Dodger Clubhouse

From "What happens in clubhouse, stays there" by Bill Plaschke at the L.A. Times (registration, sometimes):

LAS VEGAS — When the star Dodger routinely showed up for day games still drunk from the previous night, the clubhouse guy knew his role.

"It was my job to protect the team," Dave Dickenson said. "That's what I did."

Dickenson said he would pour a cup of beer and place it in the dugout bathroom. The star player would sneak there between innings for a drink, and continue drinking throughout the game.

"The guy couldn't play with a hangover, so we had to keep him going," Dickenson said. "Hey, he played great, and nobody complained."

Such is the motto of baseball's minimum-wage, major-impact clubhouse attendants.

Keep them going, and nobody will complain.

Make the players look good, and management will look the other way.

Wash their cars. Walk their dogs. Bring them women.

And, in at least one case in New York, give them drugs.

Amid news that former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski pleaded guilty to distributing steroids, Major League Baseball is considering examining the unusual relationship between players and the handful of guys in every clubhouse who ostensibly only order their bats and wash their jocks.

"It's not about doing the laundry, it's about keeping the player happy," said Dickenson, a former longtime beloved Dodgers clubhouse attendant and manager. "And you'll do anything to keep the player happy."

So who was the drunk Dodger? Place your bets!


John G said...

The Straw.

Anonymous said...

Raul Mondesi

Steve said...

I can definitely see Straw and Eric Davis having a few drinks, but I'm thinking a pitcher. Hitting and fielding would be too tricky drunk. Just 'cause we can play beer league softball after having a few doesn't mean it can be done at the major league level.

My money's on Kevin Brown.

Steve Sax said...

I'm thinking it's James Baldwin, which explains why he always had to walk so slowly from the mound to the dugout between innings.