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JERRY CROWE

Y.E. Yang belongs with the greats in talk of upsets

Text messages from press row.

August 19, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Give Y.E. Yang his due. . . .

His taming of Tiger Woods ranks alongside the Miracle on Ice, Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson, Eli Manning and the New York Giants over the New England Patriots and Villanova over Georgetown among sports' greatest upsets. . . .

On the links, it rivals Jack Fleck's playoff victory over Ben Hogan at the 1955 U.S. Open as golf's biggest stunner. . . .

Woods eased off the gas in the last two rounds and Yang took advantage. . . .

If the world's fastest sprinters can't stay close to Usain Bolt, NFL cornerbacks wouldn't stand a chance. . . .

Can he catch? . . .

One good thing about Bolt's world record in the 100 meters was that, unlike at the World Swimming Championships, nobody suggested it was a function of what he was wearing. . . .

Swimming records are all wet. . . .

Former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire e-mails to note that, according to statistical analysis that he and Caltech graduate Ari Kaplan provide to three major league teams, Vladimir Guerrero in the last two-plus seasons has hit about 25% of his home runs off pitches outside the strike zone. . . .

This season, according to the analysis, all 10 of Guerrero's home runs have been off pitches inside the zone. . . .

Vlad's turning selective? . . .

Tom Lasorda, inducted Sunday into the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame, was 0-0 with a 7.62 earned-run average in eight appearances with Dem Bums in 1954 and '55. . . .

As a batter, he was 0 for 1. . . .

Attention, Minnesota Vikings: The oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl was John Elway, who was 38 when he led the Denver Broncos past the Atlanta Falcons in January 1999. . . .

Brett Favre turns 40 in October. . . .

Vikings backup and former USC quarterback John David Booty, wearing No. 4 before Tuesday, now wears No. 9. . . .

Colt Brennan of the Washington Redskins, denying rumors that he is dating Jessica Simpson, tells the Washington Post the story might be a prank started by Simpson's ex and notes, "If it's Tony Romo who did that, it's absolutely hilarious." . . .

Is this high school or the NFL? . . .

Baron Davis' recent comment to Times reporter Mark Medina -- "The way I see it, we're the worst team" -- might be a call to action for his teammates, but the Clippers probably won't adopt it as a marketing slogan to peddle season tickets. . . .

Longtime Lakers publicist John Black, debunking the thought that globe-trotting Shaquille O'Neal might not be spending much time in the gym this summer, e-mails to note, "I ran into him the other day at the Sports Club/LA and he looks great." . . .

Noting that Lou Holtz recently suggested that Notre Dame might be favored against all its opponents this season except "possibly" USC, reader John Ris of Irvine e-mails to inform that the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas already is taking bets on the Oct. 17 game at South Bend, Ind. -- and USC is favored by 10 points. . . .

Former Times pop music writer Richard Cromelin e-mails to nominate a favorite sports-themed song: "St. Louis Browns," written by Skip Battin and Kim Fowley and recorded by Battin, formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. . . .

Also worth a listen, Cromelin notes, is "The Baseball Project, Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails," an album of jangly folk-pop by the Baseball Project, whose members include R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and whose songs shine a light on seminal figures such as Mark McGwire, Curt Flood and Fernando Valenzuela. . . .

Perhaps the worst sports-themed music video, reader David Stern e-mails to suggest, featured Orel Hershiser, Mike Scioscia and other members of the 1986 Dodgers performing a forgettable disco ditty titled "The Baseball Boogie." . . .

If for nothing more than a peek at the performers' glistening satin jackets, it's worth checking out on YouTube. . . .

John Branca, an administrator of Michael Jackson's estate, is a nephew of former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, who gave up the famous Bobby Thomson home run that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants. . . .

The Oakland Raiders already are in midseason form.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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