The voice of the Big Dodger in the Sky:

Here is the story that would have aired during last night’s broadcast on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers.  Too bad the game was rained out:

I was managing the Spokane Indians of the Pacific Coast League and we were playing in Tucson.  We were leading 2-1, bottom of the eighth inning, Tucson had the bases loaded and there were two outs. 

I had a little left-hander on the mound named Bobby O’Brien.  I thought this would be a good time to go out to the mound and fire this guy up; I had to make him believe he could get the batter out.

So I run out to the mound.

“Bobby,” I said.  “If the heavens could come apart, and you could hear the voice of the Big Dodger in the Sky, and he says to you, ‘Bobby, this is the last hitter you are going to face on earth, and you are going to come to me.’”

So I asked bobby, “What are you going to do?  Are you going to go facing the lord giving up a base hit or getting this guy out?”

“Skipper,” he said.  “I want to go facing the lord getting this guy out.”

“Then how do you know when you make that next pitch that you’re not going to die, Bobby?”

“And if you are going to die, son, I want you to die getting this guy out!”

I ran of the field.  Before I got to the dugout the batter got a base hit, two runs scored, and I had to go back out to the mound to take O’Brien out.

“What happened, bobby?”

“Skipper,” he said.  “You had me so afraid of dying I could concentrate on the hitter.”

Now that is motivation.  If I can get a guy to believe he is going to die I sure as heck can get hi to believe he can play better.

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