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JERRY CROWE

Joe Torre will toast to that

Text messages from press row...

October 14, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Joe Torre is so successful and baseball players so enthralled with champagne celebrations that the Dodgers manager might soon qualify as a sommelier. . . .

Mike Scioscia too. . . .

As if Sunday's flameout in Fenway Park wasn't bad enough, here's another possible nightmare scenario for Boston Red Sox fans: Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in the World Series against the Red Sox's hated rivals, the New York Yankees. . . .

If the Dodgers and Angels meet in the Fall Classic, the series would open Oct. 28 at Angel Stadium and, according to sportsbook.com, the Angels probably would be favored. . . .

Neither the Dodgers nor Angels are favored to make it through the league Championship Series. . . .

Does TBS, which ran a graphic showing Vladimir Guerrero in dreadlocks during the division series, realize that the Angels' slugger cut his hair short several months ago? . . .

While Andre Ethier and the Dodgers enjoyed a 12% gain in their average television rating this year, Sports Business Journal reports, the Angels experienced a 10.3% decline. . . .

Two words: Vin Scully. . . .

Reader Walt Englert of Silver Lake, noting baseball's divisional round was televised exclusively on TBS, e-mails to complain, "Once again the poor, infirm and cheap are robbed of seeing the playoffs on regular TV. How can MLB do this to what used to be called the national pastime?" . . .

M-O-N-E-Y. . . .

USC, expecting cold weather but no rain for Saturday's football game at Notre Dame, has not played in snow since November 1957, when the Trojans lost to the Irish at South Bend, Ind. . . .

Four years later, USC started making its annual trip to Notre Dame in October, a tradition that endures. . . .

When Rick Neuheisel says of this week's UCLA opponent, "All I know about Cal is that [it's] a proud program," Bruins fans hope that's not really all he knows. . . .

It wasn't only UCLA that stunk last Saturday at the Rose Bowl: A skunk hiding in Section 2 had to be removed, forcing dozens of fans to find other seats for most of the first half. . . .

Russ Lande, a former NFL scout, ranks his top five quarterback prospects for the Sporting News in this order: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Cincinnati's Tony Pike, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, Texas' Colt McCoy and Florida's Tim Tebow. . . .

CBS' Verne Lundquist, on the preponderance of dive plays run by top-ranked Florida in its victory over Louisiana State: "Greg Louganis is going to show up here pretty soon." . . .

The NFL's five most overrated players, according to a Sports Illustrated poll of 239 NFL players: Brett Favre, Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. . . .

The top vote-getter among running backs: Reggie Bush. . . .

The Washington Redskins' last four opponents are a combined 2-17, the only victories coming against the Redskins. . . .

The Redskins' coach, ex-Cal Poly Pomona star Jim Zorn, is on the hot seat. . . .

Michael Phelps ranks second behind "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson among Americans' most likable celebrities, according to an HCD Research study. . . .

Michael Vick, surprisingly, is not the least likable, that dubious distinction going to Jackson 5 patriarch Joe Jackson. . . .

Wilt Chamberlain, who died 10 years ago this week, left more than 90% of his estate to charity, according to his lawyer and longtime friend, Sy Goldberg. . . .

The most generous gift went to Operation Smile, which has treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, its website notes. . . .

Chamberlain's next-door neighbor when he lived in a hilltop hideaway in Bel-Air was Farrah Fawcett. . . .

Mariah Carey recently moved in down the street. . . .

Chiding reporters who usually ignore women's basketball, new USC Coach Michael Cooper said Tuesday, "I'll bet you we play better basketball than the Los Angeles Clippers." . . .

In the 2004-05 season, when he was 4-10 as interim coach of the Denver Nuggets, Cooper was 0-1 against the Clippers. . . .

The last time the Kings were 4-1 was in the 1992-93 season, when they reached the Stanley Cup finals. . . .

Comedian Stephen Colbert, in an interview with two-time U.S. Open quarterfinalist James Blake: "Why do people continue to play tennis while Roger Federer is still alive?" . . .

Blake: "We're wishful thinkers?" . . .

If the Dodgers and Angels meet in a Freeway World Series, reader Joe Kevany of Mt. Washington e-mails to note, "the silly Southland moniker 'La-La Land' will finally have meaning." . . .

Only 365 days until John Wooden's 100th birthday.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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