Lasorda Exits Stage Right

Some years ago, we've forgotten if it was Tommy Lasorda was in the Hall of Fame or Robert E. Lee had gotten off Traveler at the Appomattox Court House, Prince Charles decided to come to Vero Beach. We were invited to a soiree at the Windsor Polo Club on the ocean to meet this swell fellow.

As it so happened, we had ducats to hear country music singer George Strait in concert in Orlando that night and sent our regrets.

And with the annotation that the prince would NOT be the first royalty in Vero, since we have long had the Duke of Snider, the very royal House of Hershiser and other notables.

Including our own Falstaff in the person of Thomas of Lasorda (for you dummies, Falstaff is the comic Shakespearean fellow, one of the best roles ever).

(Tommy, who may or may not have ever been acquainted with Mr. Shakspeare other than by name, read the page one piece and was complimentary).

The other day, when the Dodgers broght down the curtain after a long run of 60 years in Vero Beach, the players formed an arch with their bats as Lasorda exited down the right field line.

It was fitting for Falstaff, we mean Tommy, to have this choice role. The stars, that Boston parking lot guy and his wife were long gone. Newcomer Joe Torre, not knowing the Vero Beach stage, preferred China.

Now Tommy has frequently been given roles to play and Monday we was up to he task, hitting every cue.

Forget that the honorable, very Christian and very humble Carl Erskine got a better hand when he did the Star Spangled Banner on his mouth organ.

The thing is that like a Chinese meal, 20 minutes after you have heard Tommy Lasorda emote, you are hungry all over again. And for those east coast bums who've followed the Dodgers these past 50 years, there isn't going to be any second time through the chow line anymore.

There will be no encores.

The curtain has dropped. To be fair, for us east coast fogies, the seats in our section has have some openings in recent years, and theater seats, like unfilled parking spaces are loathe to the owners.

In the process of filling his role,Tommy Lasorda may have hit on another career,that is bringing comic relief to very sad or bad situations.

He even invoked the eternal one,saying God would not give salvation UNLESS one rooted for the Dodgers.

Silly as it is, and has been well, forever, it still is a notch up from a certain Democratic candidate in the market today for new spiritual guidance.

Tommy was there to put a good face on a bad situation, and there are a couple of norteastern ex-governors who could used a diversionary spokesman of late.

We could not confirm that Lasorda has been invited to act as he new personnel manage at Bear Sterns, but as Episcopalean Happy Chandler once said when learning of a vacancy for the papacy, "I'm open to all offers."

The thing about the Lasorda Vero Beach swan song is this: he was offering light comedy when there was a sense or hunger for drama in the house.

Tomorrow morning, the house will be empty.

And unlike other years, the Dodgers aren't coming back, having scratched the venue from their schedules of the future.

Those of us who are of religious bent can look forward to going to a better place.

Whether the place the Dodgers are going is a better place depends on who you are and where you are from.

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