Even when losing, Tommy Lasorda was never at a loss for words.
The Dodgers Hall of Famer — who died of a heart attack at age 93 on Thursday — cut his managerial teeth with a powerhouse Triple-A team in Spokane in 1970 that featured his future big-league stars yet once dropped seven games in a row.
“I’m proud of you,” he said he told them, according to The New York Times. “All the sportswriters in the country just voted the 1927 New York Yankees the greatest team in major-league history. Do you know the 1927 Yankees lost nine in a row? You guys have lost only seven.
“I go out to the car and tell my wife what I said. She said, ‘Did the ’27 Yankees really lose nine in a row?’ I said: ‘Hell, I don’t know. That was the year I was born.’ But it sounded good to those kids. We won nine in a row.”
• In The Washington Post, after the Eagles pulled starting QB Jalen Hurts in the final quarter, cementing a win and playoff berth for WFT: “Tanks for everything.”
• At Fark.com, on the two Browns arrested for drag-racing: “Surprisingly, they weren’t trying to leave Cleveland.”
Running a go route
Wide receiver Rashard Higgins was one of two Browns cited for drag racing in Westlake, Ohio, last week.
Probably not what his coaches had in mind when they urged him to “go long.”
Win For Losing Dept.
The 6-10 Giants think they got hosed by missing out on an NFL playoff berth?
“Cry us a river,” said the 10-6 Miami Dolphins.
Here comes Omaha
QB Peyton Manning, a first-time finalist, would seem a shoo-in for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.
Pundits predict a record number of audibles in his induction speech.
Cameras caught wideout Stefon Diggs flossing on the sideline in the Bills’ regular-season finale.
Forget All-Pro — he’s an ADA first-stringer!
Five more years
Jim Harbaugh has reached an incentive-laced contract extension to coach Michigan football through the 2025 season.
No truth to the rumor that Ohio State boosters bankrolled the whole thing.
The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the Astros’ Justin Verlander, the Nats’ Max Scherzer and other big-name pitchers have long doctored baseballs, according to a lawsuit filed by fired Angels clubhouse attendant Bubba Harkins.
And you just know that Gaylord Perry is out there muttering, “Amateurs!”
This just in: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) demands a recount of the Ohio State-Clemson score.
ACC football teams went 0-6 in bowl games this season.
“Thanks — we needed that,” said the 0-2 Pac-12.
Hurts so good
Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron got vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia on Tuesday, hoping to send a message to Black Americans that the shots are safe.
Hey, after getting drilled countless times by Gibson and Drysdale, what’s one more?
Talking the talk
• Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, to the Pat McAfee Show, on why he probably won’t be watching the NFL wild-card games: “As a football player, it’d be like a cop coming home watching ’COPS’.”
• Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, via Twitter, after the team acquired star shortstop Francisco Lindor: “Must be a glitch in the Matrix (rubs eyes).”
• Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune, on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers saying he can squat 405 pounds: “Last time I squatted 405 pounds, I kneeled in church.”
Both teams wore masks last week when Holy Cross beat Boston U 68-66 in men’s basketball.
That’s what you call setting screens.
• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, on rumors the moribund Lions might be looking to trade QB Matthew Stafford: “I do not know if (Detroit) fans should be thrilled about that or not, but I think Matthew Stafford should be elated.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “The world would be a quieter place if fewer people pretended to be NFL draft experts.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, after Chargers coach Anthony Lynn got fired after a 7-9 season: “Clearly Lynn’s biggest mistake: not figuring out a way to move the team to the NFC East.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on why Chiefs players seem to lead the league in signaling first downs: “Mind you, they’ve had more practice than the other NFL teams.”
• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, after skier Lindsey Vonn and P.K. Subban called off their engagement: “Hard to figure. After all, P.K. is one of the NHL’s most notorious divers. And now he’s not willing to take the plunge?”