SAN DIEGO – Los Angeles Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda was beloved by most in baseball, but not everyone saw eye-to-eye with the Hall-of-Fame skipper.
“There was never hate, at least on my part but distain maybe,” said Kurt Bevacqua, former San Diego Padre infielder.
The two getting into a famous back-and-forth confrontation in 1982 after the Padres rallied to beat the Dodgers. Bevacqua said the Dodger pitcher subsequently hit a Padres player with an intentional pitch. Bevacqua believed Dodgers Manager Lasorda was to blame.
“They ought to fine that fat little [expletive] too, he ordered it,” Bevacqua said to reporters at the time.
Lasorda famously denied the allegation, said they had no need to intentionally hit Padres players because “They couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat.”
“Yeah, that was a good one,” laughed Bevacqua. “He’s the kind of guy you can’t stand when he’s on the opposite side of the field, but when he’s on the same side, you love him.”
Lasorda famously mixed it up with a handful of mascots too. Eventually, Lasorda and Bevacqua walked away from the game, occasionally staying in touch.
“I said, ‘Mrs. Lasorda, it’s Kurt Bevacqua. Is Tommy available? And she short of muffles the phone and says what’s he doing calling here?’” Bevacqua said of the call.
“That’s the best because evidently, he brought some of that distain home,” Bevacqua added. “Tommy was a good man, and he’s going to be missed. Lasorda is an icon. The world of baseball lost a great ambassador today.”