As soon as he got home from last Sunday's victory over the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Manager Tommy Lasorda, as is his custom, went jogging. "Pretty soon I looked down and two small Mexican boys, maybe 6 and 7, were running alongside me," Lasorda said. "I know they recognized me because the older one said: "Mr. Lasorda, my daddy is going to buy a radio tomorrow so we can all listen to Fernando pitch.
"Valenzuela has given the Mexican-American community someone they can identify with -- and who is a hero to them.
"Sometime soon the Dodgers will bring Fernando's parents up from Mexico to watch him pitch," Tommy added. "I can't wait to meet them and tell them what a wonderful job they have done raising their son. He has a great attitude, and his teammates like him so much they watch over him like he was their kid brother."
Later, joking with reporters, Lasorda said: "You know, Valenzuela still thinks the Dodgers are playing exhibition games because that's what we've told him. My guess is he's pitching so well because he thinks there is a higher league somewhere and he wants to be promoted!
"A reporter aksed me the other day if this kid was a flash in the pan -- if maybe the second time around the league rival teams would begin to catch on to what he was throwing," Tommy said. "Well, between last year and this he's pitched five times against the Astros and they haven't scored on him yet. I think he'l l do."