Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda said Wednesday that he’s feeling ”really good” while recovering from a mild heart attack he had last week in New York.
Lasorda has been resting at home since flying back to California after being released from the hospital last Thursday, three days after he fell ill while representing the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Major League Baseball Draft.
”I’m fine, really good,” the energetic and enthusiastic 84-year-old told The Associated Press by phone.
Lasorda said the episode began when someone at the draft asked how he was feeling.
”Well, a little woozy,” he replied. ”That’s all I had to say and about the next 30 minutes every guy in the place was worried about me.”
Paramedics were called and they advised Lasorda to go to the hospital, but Lasorda refused. He said baseball commissioner Bud Selig got involved and told Lasorda he was going to the hospital, as did former Dodgers and Yankees manager Joe Torre, now an MLB executive.
”So I said, ‘I guess I’m going to the hospital’ and I went,” he said. ”The doctors were great. They even had a guard at my room for 24 hours.”
After a few days, Lasorda was released and told to take it easy for a while. He was given no restrictions on his diet.
”People asked me if they told me to lose weight,” said the portly former Dodgers manager known for his love of Italian food. ”I knew that before anybody told me, just when I put my pants on. I’d be really mad if I died thin, I’d miss all that great spaghetti. I don’t want to lose too much weight or my nose would look too big.”
Lasorda’s recovery caused him to miss bobble head night for former Dodgers star Mike Scioscia on Wednesday. A recording of Lasorda recalling Scioscia’s career with the team played while a photo of Lasorda appeared on the stadium video board.
”I wanted to be there real bad,” he said.
Lasorda said he plans to make his first public appearance since the heart attack on Thursday night at a fundraiser for Joe Torre’s foundation. He will join Torre, current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, retired St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, Los Angeles Angels manager Scioscia, and broadcaster Vin Scully at the event.
”It’s going to great,” he said, adding that he hopes to be back at Dodger Stadium this weekend for the team’s series against the Chicago White Sox.
Lasorda added that he wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and support, noting that more than 300 calls came in expressing concern for him.
He is in his sixth decade working for the Dodgers organization, starting out as a pitcher when the team was still in Brooklyn. He guided the Dodgers to 1,599 victories and World Series titles in 1981 and 1988 during his 20-year career.
Lasorda has worked in the team’s front office since his retirement in 1996.