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L.A. Papers Excoriate World Champion Dodgers

June 29, 1964 - The Dodgers, last year’s champions, returned from a road trip in ninth place today to read this headline: “4 in Row to Giants — a Civic Disgrace.”

“Dodgers are Bust of the Year.”

The story under the banner in the Herald-Examiner said the team’s play this year has been about as interesting as a peanut butter sandwich. It added:

“The citizenry won’t tolerate the kind of baseball the Dodgers have been dispensing. In fact, comparing them to peanut butter sandwiches is giving peanut butter the worst of it.”

Herald-Examiner sports editor Melvin Durslag wrote: “Indisputably, the Dodgers have been a dog team, sheltered by its general manager who has told critics repeatedly that he doesn’t wish to put the knock on the boys because they are enduring pain privately.

“If they are, they deserve it. In spades. They are the principals in America’s greatest farce which began with the sale of more than $4 million worth of tickets before the season even began — the greatest advance sale in the history of baseball.”

The L.A. Times’ Frank Finch, noting that it was the first time the club had lost a four-game series since 1958, called them the “punchless Dodgers.”

Dodger general manager Buzzie Bavasi told newsmen he is disturbed over the club’s play.

“I think the managing, the coaching, the players, the general manager — we’ve all been off the beam,” he said. “I think we’ve all gone sour.”

Bavasi said he is going to change the team’s plan of attack. “We’re going to have to stop patting them on the back and start kicking their pants.”

Manager Walter Alston threatened the Dodgers with heavy fines for failure to hustle.

“They can pay or play,” Alston said.

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