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JERRY CROWE

Last fall provides the reason for Dodgers' acquisition of Thome

Text messages from press row.

September 03, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Fans wondering why the Dodgers traded for a designated hitter this week might think back to last October. . . .

Matt Stairs, in his only plate appearance of the National League championship series, hit a pinch-hit two-run home run against Jonathan Broxton that helped the Philadelphia Phillies to a Game 4 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. . . .

Maybe Jim Thome can do the same for Joe Torre & Co. . . .

Told this week that 42,000 people who hate the Dodgers will be on hand when he pitches against his former team Sept. 13 at AT&T Park, newly acquired right-hander Brad Penny of the San Francisco Giants smiled and said, "42,001." . . .

A Penny recently waived is a Penny feeling spurned. . . .

Chone Figgins' batting average is about 50 points lower than Ichiro Suzuki's, but Figgins has a higher on-base percentage and has scored more runs than any other American League player. . . .

Pete Carroll might be right about Matt Barkley, but he appears to have been wrong about Mark Sanchez. . . .

A Rivals.com ranking of the top 100 players in college football includes three from USC (safety Taylor Mays, wide receiver Damian Williams and offensive lineman Jeff Byers) and three from UCLA (defensive tackle Brian Price, linebacker Reggie Carter and cornerback Alterraun Verner). . . .

Michigan practiced too much? . . .

Edward M. Kennedy and his three brothers all played football at Harvard, all at end and three on the varsity, but the recently deceased senator was said to be the best of the bunch, scoring the Crimson's only touchdown in a 21-7 loss to Yale in 1955. . . .

This may come as a surprise to those among the fairer sex, but based on facial symmetry, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is not the NFL's handsomest quarterback. . . .

That distinction, researchers said, goes to Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, whose face is almost perfectly symmetrical -- "a trait that shows a strong correlation to a person's perceived attractiveness," according to the Wall Street Journal. . . .

Brady checks in at No. 8, while Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Hasselbeck and Kerry Collins round out the top five. . . .

In his autobiography, "Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat," Red Barber revealed that he and Vin Scully, his successor as voice of the Dodgers, had only one dispute in four years of working together -- over Scully's drinking a beer with his pregame meal. . . .

Wrote Barber, who threatened to ban Scully from the booth, "Vinnie didn't like me very much for a month or so after that. But neither did he have a glass of beer again before a broadcast, at least not while I was still there. I don't think it hurt him." . . .

Not in the least. . . .

Speaking of adult beverages, reader Larry Yells of Hermosa Beach e-mails to suggest the NFL issue a mandate requiring the Dallas Cowboys to sell beer for $1 each time a punt hits the video board at their new stadium, adding, "I have a hunch that board would be raised to 150 feet above the field before sunrise." . . .

It's only September, but a panel of ESPN experts already has predicted that Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will win an NBA-high 62 games next season, while the Clippers will win 33. . . .

Blake Griffin, it predicts, will be the rookie of the year. . . .

Gail Goodrich debunks Stu Lantz's contention that the late Pete Newell swung the deal that sent the former Lakers guard to the then-New Orleans Jazz for draft picks, one of which was used by the Lakers to select Magic Johnson. . . .

"I signed as a free agent," Goodrich says, "and the Jazz, with a lot of pressure from Jack Kent Cooke, was forced by the NBA to give the Lakers two first-round draft choices." . . .

Dave Taylor joked during the Kings' inaugural Hockey Fest last weekend that the Triple Crown line of Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer should have been dubbed the "Bread Line" because the three made a lot of dough. . . .

Forty percent of sports reporters gamble on sports, according to a survey of 285 sports journalists conducted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. . . .

It hasn't helped Pete Rose.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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