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JERRY CROWE

At least Manny Ramirez paid a penalty

Text messages from press row . . .

July 03, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Maybe Manny Ramirez deserves a break. . . .

None of the other stars caught up in baseball's steroids scandal -- Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, etc. -- ever served a 50-game suspension. . . .

With Ramirez returning tonight, the Dodgers are a slight favorite over the Lakers to bring California its next pro sports championship, according to odds posted at BetUS.com, with LaDainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers the No. 3 pick. . . .

The Clippers, naturally, were assigned the longest odds of delivering the state its next title, but Mike Dunleavy is listed among the favorites to be the next coach fired. . . .

Has Ron Artest had a Lakers logo cut into his hair yet? . . .Kobe Bryant might have some thoughts about President Obama's opinion that Michael Jordan still reigns supreme. . . .

The hoops-loving commander in chief, perhaps showing his Chicago bias, noted Thursday in an interview with the Associated Press, "I mean, Kobe's terrific. Don't get me wrong. But I haven't seen anybody match up with Jordan yet." . . .

Forget the Lake Show: Clippers fan Johnny Dunn of North Hollywood, excited about No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin, is selling "The Blake Show" T-shirts at theblakeshow.com. . . .

Newest Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi was nicknamed "The Piece" by his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates after misspeaking during the team's run to the Stanley Cup championship and calling himself the piece to the puzzle rather than a piece. . . .

Since the NHL lockout ended in 2005, the Ducks have consistently ranked higher than any other NHL team in ESPN's annual survey of sports' most fan-friendly franchises. . . .

In baseball, no team has scored higher than the Angels. . . .

On the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's famous "luckiest man" speech, his moving words will be read aloud during the seventh-inning stretch of every major league game Saturday to help raise funds and awareness of ALS. . . .

The good news for the Pacific 10 Conference is, 13 players from the conference were taken in the first round of the last two NBA drafts, among them UCLA's Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison and USC's O.J. Mayo, DeMar DeRozan and Taj Gibson. . . .

The bad news is, no surefire first-round picks are left, though NBA scouts next season will closely monitor UCLA sophomore Malcolm Lee and incoming freshmen Michael Dunnigan of Oregon and Abdul Gaddy of Washington. . . .

Does Tim Floyd ever plan to explain himself? . . .

Pete Carroll is the greatest football coach in the history of the Pac-10, at least according to BusterSports.com, which ranks John McKay No. 2 and John Robinson No. 6. . . .

Former UCLA coaches Tommy Prothro and Terry Donahue are Nos. 4 and 5, Washington's Don James No. 3. . . .

Recently retired NFL quarterback Trent Green, writing for SI.com, speculated this week that "at least 10" NFL quarterbacks would pass for 4,000 yards this season and "guaranteed" that Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers would be among them. . . .

Ed O'Bannon, star of UCLA's 1995 NCAA championship-winning basketball team, tops a list of the greatest college players who produced the worst NBA careers -- as compiled by the Dagger, a college basketball blog. . . .

Also landing in the top 10: the Lakers' Adam Morrison. . . .

Darren Dreifort's induction at the College Baseball Hall of Fame, scheduled for tonight, was deferred to next July because the oft-injured former Dodgers right-hander was unable to make the trip to Lubbock, Texas, after hip surgery last week. . . .

"Cardboard Fetish," a Baseball Reliquary exhibition celebrating baseball trading cards, opens Monday at the Pasadena Central Library and runs through the end of the month. . . .

Men's Health magazine ranks Los Angeles among the country's least "sports-obsessed" cities, which probably comes as no surprise to Roger Goodell and the NFL. . . .

Colleague Sam Farmer, preparing to join Goodell, Seattle Seahawks Coach Jim Mora and climbing legend Ed Viesturs at base camp next week before they ascend Mt. Rainier, has been busy coming up with anagrams for Mount Rainier. . . .

After he lost 14 pounds, Farmer notes, last weekend's gathering of fellow La Canada High graduates made for "a trim reunion," while friend Steve Vanderpool, warning that Farmer had better enjoy the daylight hours, suggested, "Mora ruin nite." . . .

Another friend, Steve Rushin, took it a step further, configuring an anagram for Sam Farmer on Mount Rainier that may reflect his opinion of the trek, "I, S. Farmer, am moron in nature."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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