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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS: ANGELS VS. BOSTON

Text messages from press row . . .

October 01, 2008|JERRY CROWE

Statistical analysis, financial-impact reports and questions about the slugger's age and fielding indifference aside, Frank McCourt will have a hard time showing his face in Dodger Stadium next season if he fails to re-sign Manny Ramirez. . . .

The much-maligned Dodgers owner, his franchise reenergized, needs to show he's committed to something other than the bottom line. . . .

Of the six players who've had their numbers retired by the Boston Red Sox -- Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr and, as of Sunday, Johnny Pesky -- none helped them win a World Series, as Ramirez did twice before being traded to the Dodgers in July. . . .

It's almost unimaginable now considering the acrimony that accompanied his exit from Boston, but will Manny's No. 24 one day hang in Fenway Park too? . . .

The Dodgers, should they win the World Series, might retire No. 99 on the spot. . . .

Henry Ford's first Model T, generally regarded as the first affordable automobile and credited with transforming the car into a staple of American society, was introduced in Detroit 100 years ago today with a price tag of $850. . . .

Thirteen days later, Orval Overall pitched a three-hitter and the Chicago Cubs scored a 2-0 Game 5 victory over Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers to wrap up their second consecutive World Series title -- and their most recent. . . .

Current Cubs Manager Lou Piniella, born 35 years later, was not among the 6,210 fans at Detroit, the smallest crowd in World Series history. . . .

Vladimir Guerrero and the Angels are listed by BodogLife.com as co-favorites with the Tampa Bay Rays to win the American League pennant, with Angels-Cubs listed as the most probable World Series pairing. . . .

The Cubs are favored to win the World Series, with the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers listed as co-third picks to advance from the National League. . . .

Noting that home runs in the majors dropped to their lowest level since 1993, Torii Hunter of the Angels says steroid testing has something to do with it. . . .

No kidding. . . .

Fear of embarrassing oneself in front of Congress may have played a part too. . . .

Thanks for that, Roger Clemens. . . .

Remember the Big Red Machine? . . .

The Cincinnati Reds, who once spread fear throughout the National League with a lineup featuring Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, etc., just wrapped up their eighth consecutive losing season. . . .

It's worse for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who've had 16 consecutive losing seasons, and the Baltimore Orioles, who've finished below .500 11 years in a row. . . .

Not even the Clippers can match the Pirates' run of futility, which ties the 1933-48 Philadelphia Phillies for the longest in any major professional sport. . . .

Noting that the New York Mets are trying to sell their Shea Stadium dugout for $100,000 as they prepare to move into a new stadium next season, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., e-mails to suggest, "The inflated price is for the extra steel in it so it won't collapse." . . .

Don Drysdale was good enough to make the Hall of Fame but not the all-time L.A. Dodgers team as voted upon by fans during the club's 50th-anniversary season? . . .

You cannot be serious. . . .

Maury Wills, who did make the all-time L.A. Dodgers team, will be among those honored this month with a plaque on the Sportswalk to the Waterfront, San Pedro's answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. . . .

Sometimes, apparently, stealing does pay.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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