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The man himself shows no signs of slowing down, other than limiting himself to home games and occasional road trips in the west. He still weaves his stories between pitches in a conversational tone that makes it feel as if he’s in your living room, still keeps you entertained even if the game is no longer entertaining.

After thousands of games and seeing some of the great baseball moments of all time, he still gets excited when someone makes a great play or a team makes a great comeback. He loves the Dodgers, but the only thing he roots for his good play by both teams.

And when he makes a rare mistake, he admits it on air. On the drive home afterward, he’s harder on himself than anyone listening or watching on TV.

“I get in the car and start thinking, `I wish I said this, why didn’t I say that? How could I have messed up a name?’” Scully said. “What do you do? It’s like skywriting. You can’t get it back.”

The analogy, as they usually do when uttered by Scully, fits perfectly. I would have liked to hear more, but by now it was just a few minutes before the game and time to get to work. Scully excused himself, then settled into his familiar seat in the corner of the booth, leaning toward the microphone to deliver a greeting Dodger fans can recite along with him.

“Hi everybody, and a very pleasant evening to you, wherever you may be.”

By the end of the night it had become increasingly clear this may not be a wonder team after all. Too many holes in the lineup, too many marginal players, too many puzzles for Mattingly to solve.

Dodger fans may just have to be satisfied with having a wonder in the booth.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg