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JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row ...

October 02, 2008|Jerry Crowe

There's only one October. . . .

Which is fortunate for Vladimir Guerrero and the Angels. . . .

The Angels have never won the opening game of an American League division series, a losing streak that reached five games Wednesday night, and the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox own them in the 10th month. . . .

On a brighter note for Southland baseball fans, we've never been closer to a Freeway World Series -- thanks to the Dodgers. . . .

In 2004, the only other year the Dodgers and Angels both made the playoffs, the Dodgers managed only a Game 3 victory in a four-game first-round loss to the St. Louis Cardinals while the Angels were swept by the Red Sox. . . .

So, we've matched that -- and both teams are still alive. . . .

On Wednesday, with one Game 1 swing of James Loney's bat, the Dodgers had scored more runs at Wrigley Field during the playoffs than they did in three regular-season games at the North Side Chicago landmark. . . .

In late May, Russell Martin and the Dodgers scored three runs in three games at Wrigley, batted .223 with no home runs and were swept by the Cubs. . . .

Loney went two for 10. . . .

Jose Lima, meet Derek Lowe. . . .

If Manny Ramirez continues hitting one-armed home runs, as he did Wednesday night to expand the Dodgers' lead, the Cubs are in serious trouble. . . .

Speaking of Ramirez, John Lackey probably didn't mind facing a Red Sox lineup devoid of the dreadlocked Dominican, who in 28 at-bats against the Angels ace has batted .429 with five home runs and 12 runs batted in. . . .

Lackey didn't, at least, until Ramirez's replacement in the Red Sox lineup, Jason Bay, belted a two-run, sixth-inning home run into the left-field seats. . . .

Great play by Kevin Youkilis, but what was Guerrero thinking? . . .

Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs might not mean much to Mike Scioscia and the Angels, who were 50-31 at Angel Stadium and 50-31 on the road during the regular season and were one of only two American League teams with winning records at home and on the road. . . .

The other was the now-vacationing New York Yankees. . . .

The sporting interests of New Englanders and Southern Californians have intertwined over the last 12 months. . . .

The Angels and the Red Sox met in the playoffs a year ago, the Dodgers and Red Sox drew a record crowd to a Coliseum exhibition, the Lakers and Celtics met in the NBA Finals, the Red Sox traded Ramirez to the Dodgers, former USC quarterback Matt Cassel replaced injured New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the Angels and Red Sox, of course, are locking horns again. . . .

Isn't it time the Angels took something positive from this back-and-forth? . . .

The Lakers can wait. . . .

The Dodgers under Joe Torre in 2008 were only two games better than the Dodgers under Grady Little in 2007, but they jumped three places in the National League West standings, leapfrogging from fourth to first. . . .

Reader Chris Gullotti of Sudbury, Mass., noting that Dodgers fans have not yet experienced the full Manny, e-mails to suggest that advocates of the club's re-signing of the mercurial slugger are "like the guy who had his first amazing night with [a] buddy's super hot ex-girlfriend," and also warns, "Just wait." . . .

If the Red Sox retire No. 24, reader Joanne Fugere of Cranston, R.I., notes, it should not be in honor of Ramirez but rather ex-Chatsworth High star Dwight Evans, "an awesome player who never quit on the Red Sox or their fans." . . .

While Southland temperatures soared into the 90s on Wednesday, it rained in Boston. . . .

Temperatures in the 50s are expected Sunday and Monday in Beantown. . . .

Every time you look up, it seems Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox -- or one of his teammates -- is hitting a monster home run. . . .

The White Sox have scored 48% of their runs on home runs. . . .

Not to be outdone, the Dodgers on Wednesday scored six of seven on homers.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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