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Text messages from press row ...

Text messages from press row.

March 31, 2011|JERRY CROWE

The halfhearted rallying cry among Dodgers fans seems to be: Maybe it's not as bad as everybody says. ...

Perhaps a few well-chosen words from a self-described team leader such as Andre Ethier would raise hopes. ...

Oh, wait. ...

It would be easier to believe in the Angels' chances if Kendrys Morales were not opening the season on the shelf. ...

Jered Weaver and the Angels are 25-1 shots to win the World Series, according to odds listed at bodog.com, while Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are 35-1 shots. ...

The Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox are favorites. ...

Chasing the San Antonio Spurs has kept Kobe Bryant and the Lakers focused on building toward the playoffs. ...

It probably won't help Lamar Odom's sixth-man-of-the-year candidacy that he has started in 34 games, but Bobby Jackson started in nearly half his appearances in 2003, when he won the award with the Sacramento Kings. ...

The Clippers' gloating over their victory in Elgin Baylor's age-discrimination lawsuit was tawdry but not surprising. ...

When it came to the Clippers, Baylor just couldn't win. ...

Butler's again reaching the Final Four makes it all the more puzzling that USC has been shut out since making the most recent of its two Final Four appearances in 1954. ...

Before his team played North Carolina, Kentucky Coach John Calipari told reporters, "[This] may be a game [in which] we're trying to outscore them and they're trying to outscore us." ...

How novel. ...

Jalen Rose's recent actions may help explain why Mike Krzyzewski declined to recruit him way back

when. ...

If the Fiesta Bowl is replaced in the four-bowl Bowl Championship Series rotation, the Holiday Bowl probably won't merit consideration as an alternative even though San Diego has proven to be a popular Super Bowl host. ...

Perhaps it should be. ...

Five quarterbacks were listed ahead of USC's Matt Barkley in the Sporting News' spring ranking of the top 25 players in college football: Kellen Moore of Boise State; Andrew Luck of Stanford; LandryJones of Oklahoma; Denard Robinson of Michigan; and Robert Griffin of Baylor. ...

New York Jets backup quarterback Erik Ainge, revealing to ESPN his longtime battle with drug addiction: "I would've made Charlie Sheen look like Miss Daisy." ...

Ainge's uncle is Danny Ainge. ...

Noting that a prosthetic ear worn by Leonard Nimoy as Spock on "Star Trek" is set to be auctioned Saturday, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., emails to suggest, "The leading bidder is expected to be Evander Holyfield." ...

Teemu Selanne of the Ducks, joining a list that had included only Gordie Howe and Johnny Bucyk, is the third 40-year-old to score as many as 75 points in an NHL season. ...

An 11th 200-hit season for Ichiro Suzuki would break a major league record he shares with Pete Rose. ...

Memorylane.com has digitized every issue of Sport magazine, which published from 1946 to 2000, and put them online. ...

Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin's list of nine favorite baseball books, featured in Thursday's Calendar section, includes neither Roger Kahn's celebrated "The Boys of Summer" nor Jim Bouton's controversial "Ball Four" -- works "whose reputation," Ulin writes, "outstrips them." ...

Regarding the Milwaukee Brewers' new high-definition scoreboard, comedian Jerry Wolski emails to suggest, "Fans will now be able to read all those 'Ls' a lot easier." ...

On the day that Elizabeth Taylor died last week, an 8-1 shot named Burton's Angel won the sixth race at Santa Anita. ...

With Placido Domingo set to sing the national anthem Thursday at Dodger Stadium, it reminds that before Frank Sinatra did the honors in 1977, then-Dodgers executive Fred Claire told the Chairman of the Board that he wouldn't be able to set up at home plate, as he had hoped. ...

When an aide to the singer brusquely asked why not -- it was because of the stadium's acoustics -- Claire calmly defused the tension by noting, "Let's put it this way: Nobody's ever done it."

Sinatra followed protocol and lined up in center field.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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