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Text messages from press row...

October 15, 2008|JERRY CROWE

Say goodbye to Mannywood? . . .

With the Dodgers teetering on the brink of elimination against the Philadelphia Phillies, Manny Ramirez should be greeted with a deafening roar tonight when he plays what could be his final game at Dodger Stadium in a home uniform. . . .

This October, Ramirez might not make it back to Boston. . . .

Or Philadelphia. . . .

Is it only a coincidence that Charlie Manuel, the chunky manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, is built like the Phillie Phanatic? . . .

Michela Alioto-Pier, the busybody San Francisco supervisor who called Tom Lasorda "enemy No. 1" and threatened to introduce a resolution calling for his ouster as grand marshal of the city's Italian Heritage Day parade, should be informed that the Dodgers once played host to a Willie McCovey Night at Dodger Stadium. . . .

It's only a game, ma'am. . . .

If trouble's out there, Adam "Pacman" Jones will find it. . . .

Derek Anderson and the Cleveland Browns, lopsided winners Monday night over Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, never punted, gave up no sacks and committed no turnovers. . . .

That should quiet fans clamoring for Brady Quinn. . . .

Led by Kobe Bryant, listed as a co-favorite with LeBron James to repeat as most valuable player, the Lakers are listed by BetUS.com as the No. 2 choice to win the NBA championship, with Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics listed as 3-1 picks to add another championship banner to their collection. . . .

Michael Beasley of the Miami Heat is listed as a slight favorite over Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers to emerge as rookie of the year. . . .

Here's a college football prospect with name recognition: Jerry Rice Jr., a 5-foot-10, 180-pound receiver at Menlo-Atherton (Calif.) High, says he has been offered a scholarship to Air Force, made visits to Connecticut and Yale and spoken to recruiters from Stanford, California and UCLA. . . .

Mississippi Valley State (1-4) could probably use him. . . .

Noting that Penn State has introduced trading cards that highlight academicians rather than athletes, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., e-mails to suggest, "The Holy Grail for collectors is the Albert Einstein rookie card." . . .

Football players, notes colleague Chris Foster, are the only athletes at Stanford who are considered overachievers when they succeed. . . .

They have not been hyped as breathlessly as Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo, but don't be surprised if UCLA's Jrue Holiday and USC's DeMar DeRozan make as great an impact as freshmen as their lottery-pick predecessors did a season ago. . . .

And then watch them bolt for the NBA next spring. . . .

Just as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were part of the initial group of inductees in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Vin Scully should have been included among last year's group of inaugural honorees at the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, but at least the golden-throated Dodgers announcer made it this year. . . .

Speaking of familiar voices, the late Gil Stratton declined the role of the ringside announcer played by Stu Nahan in the "Rocky" movies, opting instead for a part as a television reporter in a scene that was cut. . . .

Stratton, who recommended Nahan for the ringside role, still got residual checks from the first "Rocky" because his name was on the original cast sheet. . . .

Saturday night's outdoor NBA exhibition in the desert, played in bitingly cold winds at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, elicited a few not totally unexpected complaints from the participants, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns telling reporters afterward, "It felt like Edmonton, Alberta . . . not Palm Springs." . . .

The Suns and Denver Nuggets should be grateful they weren't around in 1936, when the first Olympic basketball tournament was played outdoors in Berlin on courts of clay and sand, the championship game contested in a pouring rain that turned the court into mud and made dribbling virtually impossible. . . .

The United States defeated Canada, 19-8, to win the gold. . . .

Reader Maxine Trevethen of Torrance e-mails with a question that has vexed civilized society for years: "Why do baseball players have to spit constantly while they are playing? It's disgusting to watch." . . .

It is, indeed.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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