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JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row . . .

August 22, 2008|JERRY CROWE

First-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin says he reached out this summer to John Wooden and Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, seeking advice on how best to prepare a team to defend a title. . . .

Torre, whose New York Yankees teams won three consecutive World Series championships and four in five years, says he told the New York Giants coach, "You basically have to get better to stay the same, but the whole mental thing is, when you win you have a tendency to exhale and say, 'Aw, we did it.' " . . .

Dodgers fans have been waiting to exhale for 20 years. . . .

Manny Ramirez, who singled and walked in three plate appearances Thursday against Jorge De La Rosa of the Colorado Rockies, has hit only one of his 26 home runs this season against left-handers. . . .

Even when he's not struggling, Derek Lowe looks overheated. . . .

We keep hearing that Pete Carroll can't resist the siren song of the NFL forever, but the beach-loving former New York Jets and New England Patriots coach next week will kick off his eighth season at USC. . . .

That's the longest uninterrupted tenure for a Trojans coach since John McKay spent 16 years at the helm before bolting to Tampa Bay in 1975. . . .

John Robinson's USC tenures lasted seven and five years. . . .

Speaking of coaches, Georgia's Mark Richt faces eight this season who between them have won seven major college and three Division II national titles. . . .

Usain Bolt is the type of outsized talent and engaging personality that could lead a track and field revival in the United States, but it's probably too late. . . .

Two-time gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh might be finished with the Olympics -- they plan to start families -- but they're still expected to finish out the AVP season, including a Sept. 19-21 stop in Manhattan Beach. . . .

Rafael Nadal added an Olympic gold medal to the French Open and Wimbledon titles he won earlier this year and is rightfully seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, but the Spaniard has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals in Flushing Meadows and lost in the fourth round to David Ferrer a year ago. . . .

Roger Federer, not seeded No. 1 at a Grand Slam event for the first time since the 2004 Australian Open, has won four consecutive U.S. Open titles. . . .

Charles Barkley reportedly will have his colonoscopy televised as part of next month's "Stand Up to Cancer" special, but here's something that might really make viewers squirm: Barkley tells USA Today that Golf Channel cameras will be rolling when Hank Haney, Tiger Woods' swing coach, tries to fix Barkley's unsightly mechanics. . . .

A turnaround by the Round Mound would astound. . . .

Reader Tyler Parker of Redondo Beach e-mails to ask, tongue in cheek, "I know you're pinched for space, but how about listing all the free agents the Kings have signed this summer to justify their off-season ticket-price increase?" . . .

When they sign one, Tyler, we'll be sure to note it. . . .

The Kings, by the way, have dedicated their 2008-09 media guide to longtime Southland sportscaster Stu Nahan, who died in December, and longtime Southland sportswriter Matt McHale, who died last month. . . .

As if your iPod was not already nearing its capacity, the NFL announces that season previews of each of the league's 32 teams are available as free downloads through Tuesday at iTunes.com and that highlights from each game this season will be available for $1.99 a game and $24.99 for a season pass. . . .

Vince Young, meet Neil Young. . . .

Reader Rick Smith of St. Louis e-mails to note that Joe DiMaggio, part of the San Francisco Galileo High baseball-football-basketball Hall of Fame trio that also includes O.J. Simpson and Hank Luisetti, did not attend high school. . . .

Actually, he did, but he didn't last long before dropping out, according to Richard Ben Creamer's excellent biography, "Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life." . . .

Noting that NBC's Rowdy Gaines last week called Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima "the greatest breaststroker of all-time," comedian Jerry Wolski says Hugh Hefner then announced that he was "not yet willing to give up the title." . . .

Reader Richard Turnage of Burbank e-mails to note that if fellow reader Robert Ostrove believes the term "walk-off homer" is a "sign of the meanness of our times," as noted this week, "he must really be upset about sudden-death overtime."

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jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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