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Text messages from press row...

September 17, 2008|JERRY CROWE

Considering all the hand-wringing over his dreadlocks, it's ironic that Manny Ramirez is following in the footsteps of Sal "the Barber" Maglie. . . .

Like Ramirez this season, Maglie was an in-season pickup from an American League team who helped push the Dodgers over the top during the 1956 pennant race while also positioning himself for consideration for postseason honors. . . .

The right-hander finished second in the most valuable player and Cy Young Award voting to teammate Don Newcombe, coming closer to being an MVP than any other in-season pickup in major league history, according to STATS LLC. . . .

The electrifying Ramirez deserves similar consideration. . . .

So nonchalant was Juan Pierre on Monday night that you might guess he'd been practicing that home run trot for, oh, about two years. . . .

You know things are going well when Pierre is going yard. . . .

Angels right-hander Ervin Santana might have been excused for feeling a bit insecure when he took the mound for a start last week supported by a lineup that included four players batting under .200: Reggie Willits (hitting .163 at the time), Brandon Wood (.176), Jeff Mathis (.191) and Sean Rodriguez (.188). . . .

The foursome went 0 for 13 and the Angels lost, 7-1. . . .

Watching USC's Mark Sanchez riddle the Ohio State defense, you had a better understanding of why John David Booty wouldn't sit himself down against Stanford last October after suffering a broken finger. . . .

Why his coaches kept Booty in the game is still a mystery. . . .

The margin of defeat in Rick Neuheisel's first loss as UCLA's coach, you may have heard, was 59 points. . . .

Pete Carroll's 14 losses at USC have been by a combined 59 points. . . .

Ohio State and its sweater vest-wearing coach, Jim Tressel, aren't usually undressed as they were Saturday in games played before January. . . .

E-mails Mike Casey of Temecula: "I wonder just how many Buckeye helmet stickers will be distributed this week in Columbus." . . .

Ryan Pretorious deserves one for kicking a field goal. . . .

Jay Cutler, meet Garo Yepremian. . . .

From Seth Meyers, on "Saturday Night Live": "Injured New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be replaced by Matt Cassel, an untested, inexperienced backup, earning Cassel the nickname 'Sarah Palin.' " . . .

Sarah is 1-0 as an NFL starter. . . .

By the way, Cassel's wife, Lauren Killian, was captain of the 2002 NCAA-champion USC women's volleyball team. . . .

The best man at their wedding was Carson Palmer. . . .

Cassel's mother, Barbara Brennan-Cassel, is a set decorator who won an Emmy last year for helping to stage the TV special "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," and has worked extensively on the CBS hit "Without a Trace." . . .

A CBSSports.com ranking of the fantasy-league worthiness of NBA centers ranks Andrew Bynum of the Lakers third behind Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets. . . .

No. 4 is Shaquille O'Neal. . . .

Before Milt Stegall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers overtook Allen Pitts last weekend to become the all-time leading receiver in Canadian Football League history, the CFL's all-time leaders in passing (Damon Allen), rushing (Mike Pringle) and receiving (Pitts) all were from Cal State Fullerton, which dropped football in 1992 but has met with a group that is hoping to bring it back. . . .

Allen, younger brother of former USC and Raiders running back Marcus Allen, passed for more than 72,000 yards before retiring in May at age 44. . . .

Can't you just picture carefree DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles rushing out of the house without his wallet and keys? . . .

Hey DeSean, aren't you forgetting something? . . .

Coinciding with the start of football season, Cars.com released its rankings of the "top automobiles for tailgating," a list topped by the Chrysler Town & Country and followed by the Honda Element and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. . . .

Personal favorite: The one carrying the best food.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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