Nobody will outpoint Albert Pujols in balloting for the National League most-valuable-player award, but Andre Ethier probably should finish among the top five vote-getters. . . .
Milton Bradley, dumped by the Dodgers in a trade for Ethier, has never finished higher than 17th in the voting. . . .
Torii Hunter, dismissing talk of a September series being a playoff preview, told reporters this week, "The playoffs are totally different. Some guys show up and some guys don't." . . .
As Angels fans are well aware. . . .
Mike Scioscia looked as if he could have used a TUMS on Wednesday night -- or a different umpiring crew. . . .
Reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., after tests allegedly indicated that a world-class athlete was both male and female: "Are they talking about Caster Semenya or Manny Ramirez?" . . .
Here's one critically acclaimed movie with a title that probably stirs painful memories of 2008 for quarterback Jake Locker and the Washington football team: "The Hurt Locker." . . .
Riveting film, though. . . .
Locker, twice an Angels draft pick, might be more valuable to his team than any other player in college football. . . .
In Kansas State, UCLA might be playing the worst team in the Big 12 this week, but a year from today Kevin Prince and the Bruins are scheduled to play at Texas. . . .
In 2011, the Bruins face the Longhorns at the Rose Bowl. . . .
Be true to your school: Tennessee's interim president, Jan Simek, said of last week's result in Knoxville, "When we lost to UCLA, we lost to a better academic institution too." . . .
Maybe they can add that line to "Rocky Top": Only two strangers climbed old Rocky Top/Looking for a moonshine still/And when we lost to U-C-L-A/We lost to a better school too. . . .
In line with the Clippers' silly "playing to win" advertising push, reader and Kings fan Grace Croydon of Westchester e-mails to suggest a possible slogan for a like-minded AEG campaign: "Using the Kings as a corporate write-off since 1995." . . .
Or, "Playoffs are overrated." . . .
A made-for-ESPN 9 p.m. tipoff for UCLA's Nov. 16 game against Cal State Fullerton might inconvenience a few basketball fans, but consider this: As part of a 24-hour hoops marathon, St. Mary's and Monmouth will tip the next day at 6 a.m. in New Jersey. . . .
On a Tuesday. . . .
Funnyman Stephen Colbert, disputing President Obama's message to schoolchildren that the odds of making a living through rapping, playing basketball or starring in a reality TV series are long, "Oh, really, Mr. President? Tell that to rapper, basketball player and reality TV star Shaquille O'Neal." . . .
There are, of course, 7-foot-1, 325-pound exceptions. . . .
The Jacksonville Jaguars, facing the possibility of TV blackouts for each of their home games after reportedly losing 17,000 season-ticket holders after last season, already are talking about drafting Tim Tebow, who grew up in the city. . . .
By the time the New York Yankees get around to retiring Derek Jeter's No. 2 and (probably) Joe Torre's No. 6, they would have retired every single-digit number other than 0. . . .
Already retired: No. 1 (Billy Martin); No. 3 (Babe Ruth); No. 4 (Lou Gehrig); No. 5 (Joe DiMaggio); No. 7 (Mickey Mantle); No. 8 (Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey); and No. 9 (Roger Maris). . . .
No. 10 also is retired -- in honor of Phil Rizzuto. . . .
An audio collection of Tom Lasorda's most colorful tirades would nicely complement a portrait of the former Dodgers manager that soon will hang in the Smithsonian. . . .
Museum-goers could then ponder: Who is Kurt Bevacqua? . . .
Former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter and author Arnold Hano are scheduled to participate in a "Love to Hate" panel discussion of the Dodgers-San Francisco Giants rivalry Monday at 7 p.m. at the Burbank Central Library. . . .
Says Jerry West, whose autobiography is due in stores next spring, "Unfortunately, the greatest lessons in my life were learned through losing. Humility . . . is the best trait somebody can have and, believe me, I've been humbled a lot in my life." . . .
Thank you, Boston Celtics. . . .
A steakhouse featuring memorabilia from West's career, PRIME 44 West, is set to open Oct. 1 at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. . . .
A similar establishment would fit nicely in L.A.