When television producers initially came up with the idea of sticking a mircrophone on players and coaches, one of the first guys to get miked was Tommy Lasorda -- because, simply, he never shut up.
That was roughly 40 years ago, and things haven't changed.
Lasorda was cornered at the Baseball Assistance Team charity event in Manhattan recently and asked about Alex Rodriguez's legal woes ... and the former Dodgers manager nearly spoke longer than A-Rod's suspension.
Here are the highlights via ESPN:
• On the 162-game suspension: "He should have gotten more. What he's done? He's trying to ruin the game. You can't do that."
• On A-Rod's one-time clean image: "I was thinking, 'At least this guy is doing it legitimately,' and then find out he wasn't. That really turned my opinion of him."
• On players, like godson Mike Piazza, not making the Hall of Fame because of suspicion: "You know there's one word that's beginning to be big in the voting, and that word is 'suspicion.' A lot of people get suspicious, and that's it. But they don't know for sure. They're doing it on suspicion. How do you fix that? I don't know how you fix it.
"That's the only thing they've got to go on is what they hear, what they feel, what they see, what they believe. That's the only way to do it.
"For someone who has gotten by then, it's like a guy robbing the bank and walking out and walking down the street and nobody bothered him.
"When someone breaks the rules, they don't belong in (the Hall of Fame). Would you have your son get A-Rod's autograph? Would you like to have that?
• On the state of baseball: "I'm disappointed in this game of ours, which is so great, that somebody has to do things to cheat. That's not right. How about those pitchers that they hit all those home runs off of them? Nobody thinks about those guys. So, consequently, we've got to have this game where everybody is on the same level. We need that. Even my wife said, 'Well, they had to hit the ball.' I said, 'Sure, they hit the ball. But those balls that were caught on the warning track are now in the seats.' And that's the thing that makes the difference. …
• On how to handle cheaters: "If I'm pitching and I know that guy up there is using that stuff, I'd hit him right in the mouth. I'd say, 'Go in and take another shot of it.' Why should they be allowed to do that and others not allowed? It's not right. We've got to get this baseball game to where the fans can understand everything is on the same level -- each guy has the same opportunities. That's the way it should be. That's the way it used to be. We never heard of steroids. Half the guys couldn't even spell it."
Tommy Lasorda on cheaters, like Alex Rodriguez: If I'm pitching ... I'd hit 'em right in the mouth
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 9