Lasorda said he found out why there are so many Tony’s in New York, most of whom are Italian like Lasorda. “When they shipped them over from the old country, they stamped on their forehead: TO New York,” he said. Lasorda also explained why he looks so old. It’s because of his former players, some of whom weren’t that intelligent, he said. For example, there was second baseman Steve Sax. “Steve played baseball like my wife shopped — all day long. He only had one problem: his intelligence,” he said. “It never reached the same level as his ability.” For example, Lasorda used to advise Sax to use the whole field when batting. “He came to me and said, I’ve got this hitting theory down pat now,” Lasorda said. “I said, ‘Good son, what is it?’ He said, ‘Now when I go to the plate, 80 percent of the time I’ll try to hit the ball through the middle, 20 percent I’ll go to the right and another 20 percent I will try to go to left.’ “ Lasorda also talked about a time when the Dodgers had problems defensively. Sax had problems making the throw from second to first base and Pete Guerrero also had problems, he said. Guerrero was a converted outfielder who was placed at third base. “In the first month of the season he couldn’t catch a cold down there,” Lasorda said. Lasorda said he remembers calling Guerrero into his office and asking him if he was concentrating. A good infielder will want the ball to be hit to him. But not Guerrero. “He said, ‘Before the pitcher throws the ball, I looked up to the heavens and say, Dear God, don’t let them hit the ball to me,’ ” Lasorda said. “Then he said, ‘And don’t let them hit it to Sax either.’ “ — Mike Sprague can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA FE SPRINGS — Former Los Angeles Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda defended Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s Saturday firing of team General Manager Paul DePodesta at a speaking appearance Tuesday at the city’s first Business VIP luncheon. Lasorda, a special adviser to McCourt, said the criticism of McCourt for the Dodger woes last season when they failed to make the playoffs was unwarranted. “There’s a lot of people who have been kind of critical about Frank McCourt. I’ve been around this guy. I know him. His utmost goal is to get a championship here.” About 150 people attended the lunch sponsored by the city and Chamber of Commerce and Industrial League at Town Center Hall. After his speech, 75 businesses were honored for their contribution to Santa Fe Springs. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Lasorda commented only briefly on McCourt’s decision to fire DePodesta, who had been in the position for only two years. “He found out he made a mistake with the general manager and he had to change,” Lasorda said. “If he wasn’t concerned and he felt like he did and he let the guy continue, then he’s hurting himself and the team.” Lasorda said it is apparent that McCourt is putting the fans first. “He’s going to take every seat out and put a new seat in,” Lasorda said. “He wants it where the fans can be comfortable watching the game.” The colorful former Dodger manager drew some heavy laughter with his jokes about former players and even Italians.