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JERRY CROWE

A freeway series is farther away than it appears

Text message from press row . . .

October 06, 2009|JERRY CROWE

While a Freeway World Series has never appeared so tantalizingly close, it still seems a long way off. . . .

Tempering the optimism: Manny Ramirez's post-suspension slippage, questions about the Dodgers' starting rotation and the Angels' sorry October history against the Boston Red Sox. . . .

Within months of former Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Chris Weinke's winning the Heisman Trophy in 2000, Florida State signed another gifted quarterback and multi-sport star. . . .

Unlike Weinke, however, Joe Mauer stuck with baseball. . . .

Tonight, the three-time batting champion and probable American League most valuable player leads the Minnesota Twins against the Detroit Tigers. . . .

Reader Richard Turnage of Burbank, echoing others in lamenting the excessive spitting in baseball, e-mails to suggest, "The worst offender, by far, is Boston Manager Terry 'The Human Lawn Sprinkler' Francona. That man cannot go more than five seconds without spewing, drooling or slobbering." . . .

Angels fans only hope he won't rain on their parade. . . .

USC's domination of California was a fitting tribute to Stafon Johnson, the Trojans' ailing but not forgotten comrade. . . .

Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, popping up on Heisman Trophy "watch lists" after the Cardinal's victory Saturday against UCLA, is not shy about contact: In three seasons with the Stanford baseball team, he has been hit 25 times by pitches . . . .

Notre Dame was 4-1 last year too -- before finishing 7-6. . . .

Headline in the New York Daily News after Mark Sanchez had three passes intercepted and lost for the first time as quarterback of the New York Jets: "Saints Ground the San-chise." . . .

The St. Louis Rams, known not so long ago for their "Greatest Show on Turf," are on pace to score 96 points, which would be an NFL record for futility in a 16-game season. . . .

The Oakland Raiders, who've never retired a number, aren't about to start now by honoring anyone on their current roster. . . .

Doesn't Mark Cuban, seemingly preoccupied with the Lakers, have enough to worry about with his own team? . . .

Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, asked this summer which job he'd like to have if he weren't an NFL quarterback, told Sports Illustrated, "I'm going to go with Luke Walton's job. Play eight minutes a game, win an NBA ring. He's got it going on." . . .

The Lakers reserve forward actually averaged almost 18 minutes a game last season, but you get the idea. . . .

Wilt Chamberlain, who died 10 years ago next week, scored 4,000 points in a season before anyone else scored 3,000. . . .

By the way, in the three games before Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks at Hershey, Pa., in March 1962, he scored 67, 65 and 61. . . .

His record night gave him a 73.25 average in four games. . . .

Who would have guessed last November that President Obama wouldn't even get Chicago to the Olympic medal stand? . . .

According to odds posted at bodog.com before their inauspicious weekend debuts, Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks are 15-to-1 shots to win the Stanley Cup while the Kings are 55-to-1 shots. . . .

The over-under on the number of points expected to be scored by Getzlaf is 89.5; for the Kings' Anze Kopitar, it is 70.5. . . .

A free screening of "5:04 p.m.," Jon Leonoudakis' documentary commemorating the 20th anniversary of the earthquake-delayed Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, is scheduled for Friday at 9 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library. . . .

Attention Apollonia, who graced the Coliseum sidelines as Patty Kotero before changing her name and costarring with Prince in the 1984 film "Purple Rain": David Mirisch, who organized the first Los Angeles Rams cheerleading squad in 1978, is putting together a reunion of the 30 original "Embraceable Ewes." . . .

Contact: david@dmirisch.com. . . .

Comedian Jerry Wolski, noting that ESPN's Chris Berman mistakenly told viewers this week that NFL players were wearing pink to celebrate "breast awareness Sunday," e-mails to suggest, "Thankfully, we all know NFL cheerleaders celebrate breast awareness all season long."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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