Los Angeles Dodgers manager Davey Johnson was hospitalized Sunday after experiencing dizziness caused by an irregular heart rhythm.
Johnson, 57, was in stable condition at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood. Dr. Michael Mellman, one of the Dodgers' team physicians, said Johnson wasn't in danger and will remain at the hospital for tests. This is the second such episode involving Johnson within five years.
"Things like this happen in individuals who have had this problem before, so I wouldn't read anything into this at all," Mellman said. "Right now there is no major problem. I'm very comfortable with his status at this point."
Johnson was driven to Verdugo Hills hospital in the morning by his wife Susan and evaluated in the emergency room, where the his problem was diagnosed. Several hours later, he was transported by ambulance, at Mellman's request, to Centinela Hospital.
"He's very unhappy about being in the hospital," Mellman said. "And he's not very happy with me, because I told him to go to the hospital instead of coming to the game tonight. That's Davey Johnson."
Melman, who is treating Johnson until he selects a cardiologist for the manager, wouldn't estimate the time until all the tests are back. But he said he'd know more in a day or two.
"We're still gathering all the information," general manager Kevin Malone said about two hours before the Dodgers played Pittsburgh. "I think the health of Davey is much more important than anything else right now. We just hope we get him back as soon as possible, and that he's feeling better."
Johnson, who played 13 seasons in the majors and helped Baltimore win two World Series, reportedly has been in danger of losing his job because of the Dodgers' 45-44 record heading into Sunday night's game against Pittsburgh.
"I went through this for six years in New York," Johnson was quoted as saying in Saturday's Los Angeles Times. "It didn't kill me, and it didn't make me age 20 years in one year - which it can do. After the number of years I've been managing, I'm not going to let it happen to me in LA. Believe me, it's not going to happen."
Johnson, in his second season as Dodgers manager, also managed Baltimore for two seasons, Cincinnati for three and the New York Mets for seven. In 1986, he guided the Mets to the World Series title.
"He lives and dies with this," said catcher Todd Hundley, who was called up to the majors for the first time by the Mets a week before Johnson's firing in 1990. "This year has taken a toll on all of us, physically."
Jim Tracy, in his econd season as the Dodgers' bench coach, will run the team in Johnson's absence. Tracy's last managerial experience was in 1994, with Montreal's Triple-A Ottawa farm club, when Malone was in his first season as the Expos general manager.
"I received a phone call this morning alerting me to the fact that Davey had been put in the hospital," said Tracy, who held a closed-door clubhouse meeting that Malone attended. "I made the players aware of Davey's situation, and that's about it."
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