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TOTALLY RANDOM

It's been a bittersweet playoffs for Lakers' Lamar Odom

A doctor theorizes that the Lakers forward's fondness for candy is hindering his play.

June 01, 2009|Mike Penner

Sportswriters and fans have proposed numerous theories for Lamar Odom's up-and-down play, but here is a new one: Odom's fondness for candy.

In an essay titled "Lamar Odom, Sweet Tooth and Erratic Play," Dr. Daniel Amen writes that Odom's massive consumption of candy leads to a sugar high and then a crash, evidence of which can be seen on the basketball court.

Writes Amen: "Odom freely confesses that he just can't help himself when it comes to the sweet stuff and always keeps a stash on hand of Gummi Bears, Honey Buns, Lifesavers, Hershey's white chocolate, Snickers bars, cookies and more. He eats the sugary snacks morning, noon and night, and even says he sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, chows down on some treats, then falls back asleep.

"This is bad news for the Lakers. I've been telling my patients for years that sugar acts like a drug in the brain. It causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling tired, irritable, foggy and stupid. Eating too much sugar impairs cognitive function, which may explain why Odom doesn't always make the smartest decisions on the court. . . .

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, July 01, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball trivia: The trivia answer in Totally Random in the June 1 Sports section said that Herb Washington was the only player in the major league register to have had no at-bats and never played an inning in the field. In fact, Mickey Harrington played one game for the Phillies in 1963 as a pinch-runner, with no plate appearances and without playing in the field.

"As a fan and a physician, it concerns me that our professional sports organizations and players are not more concerned about brain health, which includes nutrition. My advice to Odom and to all sugar addicts is to get your sugar consumption under control. You'll feel so much better and your brain will function better too. And, maybe the Lakers can get their 15th championship and Odom can get his first."

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Trivia time

Who is the only person in the Major League Baseball Player Register to have had no at-bats and never to have played an inning in the field?

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They played on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

Saturday at the NCAA baseball tournament's Austin regional turned out to be a great day to play three. Or close to it.

Texas and Boston College played a record 25 innings before Travis Tucker, in his 12th at-bat of the game, singled home Connor Rowe to finally end the marathon.

The game was the longest in college baseball history, eclipsing the previous mark of 23 innings, set by Louisiana Lafayette and McNeese State in 1971.

How long a game was it?

Texas closer Austin Wood entered the 2-2 game in the seventh inning and wound up pitching 13 innings. Wood threw 169 pitches, yielded only two hits and struck out 14 before giving way to Austin Dicharry, who worked the final 5 2/3 innings.

The game was so long -- 7 hours 3 minutes -- that it ended early Sunday and forced Boston College to make a quick turnaround and play Army in a Sunday elimination game. There Boston College lost, 4-3, and presumably staggered away to finally get some sleep.

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Browns could use him

LeBron James, NFL star receiver? It could have happened, says Mark Murphy, a former Green Bay Packers safety who served as an assistant coach on James' high school football team.

"I've been around a lot of great receivers," Murphy told ESPN.com. "I tell people that I rate my top receivers coaching, playing or watching as James Lofton, Jerry Rice, Steve Largent and LeBron James. People laugh at me, but it's true.

"I felt like that was one kid who could've gone from high school to the NFL and played."

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Trivia answer

Herb Washington. He was a pinch-runner for the Oakland Athletics in 1974-75. (Question and answer provided by reader David Goodman.)

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And finally

From Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times: "The scouting report on Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder says his eyes light up when it's right in the middle of the plate. But enough about his eating habits."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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