Tommy Lasorda ambles into the executive dining room of the Dodger Stadium press box, and no one’s there.
How does he play to an empty room?
It’s only for a split second. A staff employee pops in. Lasorda asks about the soup of the day.
“Split pea,” is the response.
“Sweet pea?” repeats Lasorda. “Bueno, muy caliente. Muchos gracias, Jesus.”
With a Sprite, please. No ice.
Warbling at times on two replaced knees, depending on a ticker that may pump Dodger blue blood into his veins but has been under surveillance for the last two decades, the 85-year-old Hall of Fame manager insists he’s under absolutely no restrictions on what he can eat these days.
Well, sorta, as only Lasorda can explain.
“I’m losing weight because, that’s what the doctor told me,” he says, tucking the white napkin into the front of his shirt and begins the process of spooning up as much of the murky green soup as he can get.
“He didn’t say how. He just said to cut down.”
“I was told to stay away from pasta and bread for two weeks.”
“Not eating pasta? That’ll kill me. Anything else, but why pasta?”
Soon would arrive a side of cottage cheese, a scoop of tuna and a bowl of fresh peaches. That which doesn’t kill you will supposedly make you stronger.
Lasorda needs the strength to keep up with a still-demanding schedule that could grind up someone much younger and less willing to travel.
He admits his life has been full of blessings, and plenty of cursing. During a break in his calendar, we fed Lasorda a bread-basket full of questions during a 3-hour-plus sitdown.
What follows from here are a lot of the crumbs: