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JERRY CROWE

Baseball brings memories both good and bad

Text messages from press row ...

August 13, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Watching the elastic Tim Lincecum on the mound brings to mind the old Spinners hit "Rubberband Man." . . .

Vin Scully, spotting Willie Mays on the field before Tuesday night's Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game, called the Hall of Fame center fielder "the greatest player I ever saw." . . .

Who's to argue? . . .

Former Dodgers reliever Tom Niedenfuer turns 50 today. . . .

Jack Clark should send a card. . . .

Ozzie Smith too. . . .

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of how many of Vladimir Guerrero's 400 home runs have been hit on pitches that were outside the strike zone. . . .

It's still sounds odd to say, even more so after this week's sweep by Gary Matthews Jr. and the Angels: Tampa Bay Rays, defending American League champions. . . .

For the U.S. men's soccer team, it's still Mexic-0. . . .

College football for the first time in its history has gone three consecutive seasons without an unbeaten national champion. . . .

Listening to Pete Carroll gush about freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, it's easy to forget that last season at Santa Ana Mater Dei High, Barkley had 18 passes intercepted. . . .

That won't do at USC. . . .

Former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, optimistic that the Irish will be better this season, tells USA Today, "They will be favored in every game except possibly Southern California." . . .

Possibly? . . .

Vince Young, a distant second to Kerry Collins on the Tennessee Titans' depth chart, picked an odd time to tell Esquire magazine that he would be "the next black quarterback to win the Super Bowl" and is headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. . . .

He's a lock for the College Football Hall of Fame. . . .

Noting that the copy in a Wednesday newspaper ad for the KTLA-TV Channel 5 telecast of the Oakland Raiders' exhibition opener read, "Tonight is Game 1," above a line reading "Live Tomorrow 7 p.m.," reader Alex Thapar of Culver City e-mails to suggest, "They can't even get their own ad right. They are hopeless." . . .

The game is tonight. . . .

Tiger Woods, a winner for the seventh time Sunday at Firestone, has won eight times at Torrey Pines: the Buick Invitational six times, the U.S. Open last year and the Junior World Championship in 1991, when he was 15. . . .

Kurt Rambis, long associated with the Lakers, was drafted by the New York Knicks but never played for them. . . .

James Worthy may have been the last No. 1 pick whose team reached the NBA Finals in his rookie season, reader James Doss of Agoura Hills e-mails to remind, but the Lakers forward sat out the playoffs that season because of a broken leg. . . .

It was 1983, and Moses Malone, Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers swept the Lakers in the NBA Finals. . . .

Buyer beware: It has been four years since LaDainian Tomlinson last carried the ball in an exhibition game. . . .

Marveling at the fitness of Kim Clijsters, who returned to the WTA Tour this week after a 28-month "retirement" in which the former world No. 1 gave birth to a daughter, Serena Williams said this week, "I look like I had a kid more than she does." . . .

Singer-songwriter Terry Cashman, whose "Willie, Mickey & 'The Duke' (Talkin' Baseball)" has become sort of an unofficial baseball anthem, lists his favorite sports-themed songs: Dan Fogelberg's "Run for the Roses," John Fogerty's "Centerfield" and Frank Sinatra's "There Used to Be a Ballpark." . . .

Reader John Freeman of San Diego opts for Dave Frishberg's "Van Lingle Mungo"; Bill Harper of Playa del Rey suggests, "Probably the best talkin' blues song about baseball is Steve Goodman's 'A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request.' " . . .

A small plane that buzzed Southland beaches last weekend pulling a sign reading "Reggie Miller Stop Pursuing Married Women," TMZ.com reports, was hired by designer Diane von Furstenberg's son, Alex von Furstenberg, who accuses the former Indiana Pacers star of chasing his fiancee, Ali Kay. . . .

Only in L.A. . . .

Noting a report that Rick Pitino told police that he was drinking, had sex and paid for an abortion for the woman accused of trying to extort $10 million from him, comedian Jerry Wolski e-mails to suggest, "In other words, preparing his players for the NBA."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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