GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tommy Lasorda may be 87 years old, but he still enjoys mixing it up with the players, who often give it right back.
The Hall of Fame former manager, who has been all over Camelback Ranch this spring, nearly got stranded in his golf cart on one of the side fields to interrupt batting practice Thursday morning. Then, he did get stranded on the field and briefly interrupted practice.
Juan Uribe helped load up Lasorda’s cart with baseballs, then admonished Lasorda to give the balls away to autograph seekers.
“Don’t take them home, Tommy!” Uribe yelled. "They're for the kids."
Yasiel Puig also visited Lasorda in his cart. Then, as Puig and Uribe walked away, Lasorda yelled, “Hey! Who’s got my key?
A minute later, Uribe pulled it out of his back pocket and coach Davey Lopes said, “See that? Magic.”
Then, the battery in Lasorda’s golf cart died and manager Don Mattingly, coach Tim Wallach and infielder Howie Kendrick got in back and pushed it off the field. A grounds crew guy picked up Lasorda in a utility cart and drove him off to his morning autograph session, where a line of about 100 people waited for their meet-and-greet with Lasorda.
Lasorda has been around the practice fields all spring. Sometimes, he stands behind the batting cage and exchanges banter with the hitters and coaches throwing batting practice. A frequent target for his jokes is Jose Vizcaino, an infielder for Lasorda in the early 1990s who now coaches in the Dodgers' system. He also took time this spring to make a video in which he sings and dances to the DJ Snake and Lil Jon song, "Turn Down for What?" That is recommended viewing on YouTube.
Lasorda has been with the Dodgers since 1954, first as a pitcher and later as a coach and manager. He managed the Dodgers for 20 years, concluding in 1996. He is now a special adviser to the chairman.