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JERRY CROWE

Angels make last trip to Metrodome a memorable one

Text messages from press row . . .

August 03, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Kendry Morales and the surging Angels made their final trip to the Metrodome a visit to remember. . . .

These guys can rake. . . .

The Minnesota Twins will move into a new stadium next year and vacate the Metrodome, the only venue that has played host to a World Series, All-Star game, Super Bowl and Final Four. . . .

Jason Schmidt's stellar performance in his last start was all the more striking in that, as Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves told reporters afterward, "There's just not that much difference between his changeup and his fastball right now." . . .

Jones, by the way, owns the second-highest all-time batting average among switch-hitters behind Frankie Frisch, the first switch-hitter elected to the Hall of Fame. . . .

No. 3 is Pete Rose. . . .

Rose, still not in the Hall of Fame, was part of the last National League team to win consecutive World Series championships: the 1975 and '76 "Big Red Machine" Cincinnati Reds of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Tony Perez, etc. . . .

Suggests comedian Bill Maher, "From now on, to save valuable airtime, news outlets must only report when a ballplayer is discovered to be not on steroids." . . .

Tiger Woods is a virtual lock when leading after 54 holes. . . .

Football's back: The NFL exhibition season starts Sunday, with the Tennessee Titans favored by three points over Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame game. . . .

Former USC linebacker Rey Maualuga of the Cincinnati Bengals, stung when he dropped into the second round of the NFL draft in April, is nicknamed "Sting Rey." . . .

This spring, he had a stingray tattooed onto his back. . . .

Noting that Coach Eric Mangini says the Cleveland Browns are not interested in signing disgraced quarterback Michael Vick, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., e-mails to suggest, "That's good news for the Dawg Pound." . . .

Joining Vick, Owens, Manny Ramirez and Kobe Bryant on a list of the 10 most disliked persons in sports, according to a survey by market research firm E-Poll published in Forbes magazine: Alex Rodriguez, Allen Iverson, Isiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, Nick Saban and John McEnroe. . . .

Though Michelle Kwan might be remembered for not winning Olympic gold, she won nine U.S. figure skating championships, one more than Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill combined. . . .

No other player in NBA history has made a higher percentage of three-point shots than former UCLA and Lakewood Artesia High forward Jason Kapono, who nevertheless will join his fifth team in seven seasons this fall after being traded this summer from the Toronto Raptors to the Philadelphia 76ers. . . .

Brian Bosworth might disagree, of course, but Matt Hayes of the Sporting News calls UCLA's home uniforms the most attractive in college football, noting that "the true blue and gold are magnificent against the clear, bright skies of Pasadena, with the sweet backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains." . . .

Look-alikes: Rafael Nadal and Sasha Vujacic. . . .

CoCo Vandeweghe, the reigning U.S. Open girls' champion and a wild-card entrant in this week's WTA L.A. Women's Tennis Championship at the Home Depot Center, is a niece of former UCLA and NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe and granddaughter of ex-NBA player Ernie Vandeweghe. . . .

Her mother, Tauna, was an Olympic swimmer and her grandmother, the former Colleen Hutchins, was Miss America in 1952. . . .

Greg LeMond is playing host to a fundraising ride in Montecito on Saturday to benefit 1in6, an organization co-founded by the three-time Tour de France winner to help men who have endured unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood. . . .

Information: 1in6.org. . . .

Of the 14 teams that missed the NHL playoffs last season, Craig Custance of the Sporting News writes, "the Kings are best poised to make a successful postseason run" next season. . . .

That should encourage long-suffering Kings fans, who have endured a club-record seven-year playoff drought. . . .

Noting that hockey beat writer Kevin Provencher of the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader was charged last week with running a prostitution ring, reader Andy Macmin of El Segundo wonders, "Shouldn't he have received two minutes for hooking?"

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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