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JERRY CROWE

Manny Ramirez can do no wrong

Text messages from press row . . .

July 24, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Manny Ramirez probably couldn't diminish his immense popularity at this point even if he agreed to appear in a television commercial hawking female fertility drugs. . . .

He might even enhance it. . . .

When Cincinnati Reds reliever Nick Masset tried to sneak a first-pitch fastball past Ramirez on Wednesday, Vin Scully noted, it was "like trying to throw a lamb chop by a wolf. No way." . . .

Not all teams are equally adept at dealing with adversity, as noted this week in a USA Today headline that cut to the chase: "Angels game, Mets lame in face of injuries." . . .

Speaking of which, Mike Scioscia would make an excellent choice as American League manager of the year. . . .

He won the award in 2002. . . .

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have been all but unbeatable for a month now -- except in Anaheim. . . .

Mark Buehrle faced only the minimum 27 batters in his other no-hitter too, walking Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007, before picking him off at first base. . . .

Jerry Buss knows it, Lamar Odom knows it and Lakers fans know it: If Odom is re-signed, the Lakers begin the season as favorites to win another NBA championship. . . .

The Clippers' excitement over Blake Griffin is understandable, but for seven seasons they employed another No. 1 overall draft pick, Elton Brand, and reached the playoffs only once. . . .

Mel Kiper Jr. and the NFL draft were ready for prime time. . . .

The first round of this year's draft in April, when Matthew Stafford was taken first, drew more viewers than all NBA, NHL and major league baseball games played the same weekend. . . .

Adding Michael Vick surely will be a PR nightmare for whatever team signs him, but the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback was a three-time Pro Bowl selection before his imprisonment. . . .

The Miami Dolphins should never again be pressed to find a national-anthem singer, what with Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan having signed on as minority owners and Jimmy Buffett mulling an invitation to do the same. . . .

Tim Tebow and defending BCS champion Florida are 2-1 favorites to repeat as national champions, according to odds listed in the Sporting News, with newcomer Aaron Corp and USC the No. 4 pick at 6-1 and UCLA a 75-1 longshot. . . .

Florida, which plays Charleston Southern this fall in perhaps the least anticipated matchup of the season, has not traveled west of the Mississippi for a regular-season game since 1983, when the Gators and USC played to a tie at the Coliseum. . . .

D.J. Morgan, a Woodland Hills Taft High senior running back who has made an oral commitment to play football at USC, won the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles this month at the World Youth Track and Field Championships at Bressanone, Italy. . . .

Kudos to UCLA's Christian Yount, the first long snapper named to Playboy's preseason All-American team. . . .

After ill-advisedly confronting fans Sunday in an ugly incident at the Home Depot Center, David Beckham was back among the masses Monday, enjoying the day with his sons -- and bodyguards -- at Magic Mountain. . . .

Longtime Montreal Canadiens captain and cancer survivor Saku Koivu, signed by the Ducks this month, was revered in Montreal, where Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette wrote of the Finn's departure, "Anaheim doesn't yet realize the quality of man [it] just signed. Montreal knows full well what it has lost." . . .

The life of NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is a reality show waiting to happen. . . .

Walter Cronkite, in 1937, was the first play-by-play voice of Oklahoma football, a position he held for one season. . . .

A SportsBusiness Journal survey of 50 North American daily newspapers revealed that sports departments cut the equivalent of 303 full-time jobs during an 18-month period ending in May, a staff reduction of about 20%. . . .

It felt even worse. . . .

Satirist Stephen Colbert, revealing his apparent distaste for a popular sport, "Ultimate Fighting has it all, from the occasional moment of action to the 40 minutes of awkward spooning."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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