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JERRY CROWE

Hideki Matsui plays Godzilla and champions featured at Staples Center

Text messages from press row . . .

November 05, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Godzilla lives in the Bronx. . . .

Hideki Matsui terrorized Pedro Martinez and the Philadelphia Phillies in a style reminiscent to the monster whose coarse complexion, according to a 2002 story in the Daily Yomiuri, prompted Matsui's nickname as a youngster in Japan. . . .

This time, Alex Rodriguez was not the centaur of attention. . . .

The incredible thing about Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees' King of Late Night, is that he's able to dominate major league batters with one pitch. . . .

Before Kobe Bryant and the Lakers take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins face the Kings tonight. . . .

It's not scheduled to happen again anywhere else this season: the defending Stanley Cup and NBA champions playing in the same building on consecutive nights. . . .

At least Allen Iverson waited until after making his Grizzlies debut Monday to start complaining about his sixth-man role. . . .

Noting that the Lakers' roster last season included players from Spain, Slovenia, China, Congo and "some Mamba guy who spent a good portion of his childhood in Italy," reader Larry Loza of Annandale, Va., e-mails to suggest, " 'World champions' fits just fine. This is without question a 'World' league." . . .

World B. Free would agree. . . .

The New York Post reported that the Yankees won 80% of their games when Kate Hudson was in attendance, so Lakers fans probably won't mind if Khloe Kardashian and Maria Sharapova are spotted frequently at Staples Center this season. . . .

Nor will paparazzi. . . .

USC's struggles this season probably will bring an end to its school-record run of seven consecutive top-four finishes. . . .

Florida State, remarkably, once strung together 14 in a row. . . .

UCLA would settle for one. . . .

Tight end Spencer Havner of the Green Bay Packers, on the receiving end of three touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers in the last two weeks, did not make a single reception at UCLA, where he was a four-year starter at outside linebacker. . . .

Havner did, however, return three of his 11 interceptions for touchdowns, matching a school record. . . .

"Cowboy" Chip Woolley, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner and Breeders' Cup Classic contender Mine That Bird, met the horse's co-owner, Mark Allen, several years ago when he jumped in to aid Allen during a bar fight in Raton, N.M. . . .

Says Allen, noting that he was outnumbered five to one, "I was running a bad second until Chip joined in. We turned it around, though, and we've been good friends ever since." . . .

Maybe Tim Floyd will tell a similar story someday after the former USC basketball coach recently helped break up a fight in a Cabazon casino, a potentially dangerous act that was caught on video, of course, and uploaded onto YouTube. . . .

Floyd is lucky he wasn't bopped over the head with a chair. . . .

Cheetahs such as the one adopted by Usain Bolt this week reportedly can cover 100 yards in about six seconds, making even the world's fastest human look like a shot putter. . . .

Three teams that fired their offensive coordinators right before the season -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs -- rank 28th, 29th and 30th in total offense. . . .

Only the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders are worse. . . .

Isn't it ironic that the NFL's most punchless team -- 25th in rushing, 31st in passing -- is coached by Tom Cable? . . .

Mark Sanchez's chomping a hot dog on the sideline probably reminded Los Angeles Rams fans of Wendell Tyler, who vomited on the Coliseum sideline in 1979 after eating a pregame chili dog -- and then repeated the cycle a week later at New Orleans. . . .

Vin Scully sits for a question-and-answer session moderated by filmmaker Ron Shelton and sponsored by the Hollywood Radio & Television Society on Tuesday at the Beverly Wilshire. . . .

Information: (818) 789-1182 or www.hrts.org. . . .

Frank Robinson and fellow Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Eddie Murray are scheduled to play Friday in the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy celebrity golf tournament at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort in City of Industry. . . .

Information: (310) 763-3479. . . .

Sugar Ray Leonard, former Dodgers infielder Todd Zeile and actress Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame are among the 15,000 walkers expected to participate in Sunday's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk at Dodger Stadium. . . .

Information: (213) 233-9901. . . .

What was Vicente Padilla doing with Dick Cheney?

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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