The Angels' recent success against the New York Yankees would be more encouraging if Torii Hunter & Co. didn't have to go through Boston to get to the Bronx Bombers next month. . . .
Or if the Yankees hadn't just won two of three in Anaheim. . . .
Even when temperatures are approaching triple digits, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are cool customers. . . .
Bobby Abreu is the rare major league slugger who actually believes the axiom, a walk is as good as a hit. . . .
How apropos that on the same day Andre Ethier slugged his 31st home run and passed the century mark in runs batted in, Milton Bradley was suspended Sunday for the rest of the season. . . .
Chad Billingsley looked like his old self Wednesday night before hanging a curveball in the sixth inning. . . .
Why the quick hook? . . .
By the way, the only time the Lakers and Dodgers won titles in the same year was 1988, which also was the last time Kirk Gibson and the Dodgers won the World Series. . . .
The Lakers and Angels both won titles in 2002, when the Orange County club still was known as the Anaheim Angels. . . .
When it came to running for the late Edward M. Kennedy's vacant U.S. Senate seat, Curt Schilling balked. . . .
Why do baseball announcers often say there's "no score"? . . .
Isn't 0-0 a score? . . .
Jay Leno, with his new, windblown hairstyle, looks a little like Pete Carroll, reader Dave Ferris of Tustin e-mails to note. . . .
Neither Leno nor Carroll has garnered rave reviews of late. . . .
Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, taking issue with Carroll's castigating of Aaron Corp after Saturday's loss at Washington: "The guy who makes $4 million a year to coach takes the criticism, not the guy playing for his scholarship." . . .
Whatever your allegiance, you're only human if you felt empathy for Corp and joy for Kevin Craft last Saturday. . . .
Inexplicable: USC, a loser against unranked opponents five times in the last three-plus seasons, has won 30 of its last 32 games against ranked opponents. . . .
The Urban Meyer-Lane Kiffin rivalry would be far more compelling if the attention-craving Kiffin had actually accomplished anything as a head coach. . . .
Benoit Benjamin would not approve: After Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots, Coach Rex Ryan awarded a game ball to the Jets' fans. . . .
Benoit did not care for fans. . . .
Plaxico Burress' hoped-for return to the NFL after a two-year imprisonment might be a shot in the dark. . . .
Peyton Manning's 15 minutes Monday brought more fame. . . .
Officials working the Monday night game probably feel lucky they weren't threatened by Miami Dolphins limited partner Serena Williams, whose epic U.S. Open meltdown might still be ringing in the ears of the unsuspecting lineswoman she targeted. . . .
Bad omen: Lamar Odom's summer negotiations with the Lakers lasted longer than his courtship of Khloe Kardashian. . . .
Wilt Chamberlain, who died 10 years ago next month, is the only former NBA most valuable player not still living. . . .
The late George Mikan was never the MVP, which was first awarded in 1956. . . .
Bob Cousy, the league's oldest former MVP, is 81. . . .
An anonymous "courtside wag" e-mails to ask, "Any truth to the rumor that during Ben Howland's appendectomy he called time out three times to admonish the doctor to assume a better defensive surgical stance?" . . .
John Radcliffe, a former Torrance High baseball coach who died this week, was the official scorer at Lakers home games at the Sports Arena, Forum and Staples Center for 48 years. . . .
Former Kings goaltender Jamie Storr, retired and living in El Segundo after playing in Germany the last three years, is writing a Kings blog for theplayerspoint.com this season. . . .
Several readers e-mailed to note Kurt Bevacqua, though no favorite of Tom Lasorda's, helped the San Diego Padres to the only World Series victory in their history, hitting a three-run home run in Game 2 against the Detroit Tigers in 1984. . . .
Lasorda, in a memorable outburst, once said that Bevacqua "couldn't hit water if he fell out of a . . . boat." . . .
Kate Hudson is always welcome at Angel Stadium. . . .
Quipped colleague Gary Fong after Delonte West of the Cleveland Cavaliers was arrested last week in Maryland on suspicion of possessing two handguns and a shotgun while riding a motorcycle: "He was working on his shooting touch."