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MORNING BRIEFING

Manny is contagious, but in a good way

September 14, 2008|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

With baseball's regular season nearing its end, debate over who should win the National League most valuable player award is heating up.

The Phillies' Ryan Howard and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols, who won in 2006 and 2005, respectively, again top many lists. The Astros' Lance Berkman and the Mets' Carlos Delgado also are mentioned.

But two other names keep cropping up -- the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez and Brewers pitcher CC Sabathia -- on grounds that both played key roles in putting their teams in playoff contention after arriving in midseason trades.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic wrote: "Manny's line since joining the Dodgers at the trade deadline: 38 games, .396 batting average, 14 home runs, 40 RBI, 25 walks (14 intentional), a .776 slugging percentage and a .488 on-base percentage.

"That's sick."

Trivia time

Who was the last Dodger to win the MVP award?

Not so fast

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards thought he caught a break when a suburban police officer stopped him for speeding but did not write him a ticket.

But Edwards has since been served with the ticket after WOIO-TV in Cleveland asked about the matter.

Edwards was stopped Aug. 29 in Avon, Ohio, after police said he was driving 120 mph in his Bentley along Interstate 90, the Associated Press reported. The officer who stopped Edwards apparently was star-struck, Avon Police Chief Paul Romond said.

"Because of [WOIO], it got brought back up, got resurfaced and there it was. I got a ticket," Edwards said Friday. "But I'm not the first person to get a speeding ticket."

English spin

The American pastime might actually have British roots in the mid-18th Century, according to a diary uncovered in England, AP reported.

Julian Pooley, manager of Surrey History Centre, said he authenticated a reference to baseball in a diary by English lawyer William Bray dating to 1755 -- about 50 years before what was previously believed to have been the first known reference to the game.

Pooley estimated that Bray was about 18 or 19 when he wrote that he played the game with a group of men and women on Easter. After that they had tea, of course.

Trivia answer

Kirk Gibson in 1988.

And finally

Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship today in New Hampshire. Asked about living up to fans' expectations, NASCAR's most popular driver said:

"You can never live up to those. I wouldn't expect to."

--

james.peltz@latimes.com

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