Sports

Some solutions to Santana's woes

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Angels catcher Jose Molina said it on the eve of Ervin Santana's sixth road start of the season. After his first five, Ervin-No-Road-Magic was 0-4 with a 7.86 earned-run average.

"If he doesn't panic," Molina said of Santana, "he'll be OK."

Santana had an afternoon start in Detroit on Thursday, so at least it was over early.

He pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up eight earned runs.

The Angels lost, 12-0.

OK, everybody. It is now all right to panic.

What happens next?

a) The Angels trade Santana. Reportedly the team would request "a big bat" in return. Hmm. I know Santana's gone south on the road, but you'd think he'd bring more than just a large piece of baseball equipment.

b) The Angels hold a new fan contest. Grand prize is the chance to take Santana's place in his next scheduled road start.

c) The Angels start marketing "Santana World Tour 2007" T-shirts. The design features a map of the United States dotted with every port-of-stall Santana has made so far. Marking the location of each defeat is the ERA Santana posted in that town:

Cleveland (Rocked!): 12.47.

Boston (More Than a Reeling): 11.25.

Chicago (25 or 6 to 4 Is Not The Final Score): 6.25

(I'm Going to Lose in) Kansas City: 4.27.

Arlington (Blues): 7.50.

(Panic in) Detroit: 19.62.

Rather than losing their shirts every time Santana pitches away from home, the Angels might as well start selling some.

What would Kobe do?More about Kobe (there's always something, right?): The Detroit Pistons held off the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals after LeBron James' infamous pass-up-the-shot-and-pass-for-the-defeat — a moment crying out for some Johnny Most commentary.

"LeBRON PASSED THE BALL!!! LeBRON PASSED THE BALL!!!" No one at this paper, I swear, was going to bring Kobe Bryant's name into the discussion, but then I received this e-mail from reader Kelvin D. Filer: "Hmm. Let's see. LeBron James takes three (3) shots in the 4th quarter of a crucial playoff game — he's lauded for 'doing the right thing.' If Kobe Bryant passes the ball in a similar situation, one of our local writers claims that he 'tanked?' Doesn't sound fair or objective to me."

Is that true? Really?

Where has James been lauded for doing the right thing?

In Detroit?

In a few hours, the Cavaliers and Pistons reconvene for Game 2. Three time zones away, you can feel the tension, you can ponder more questions.

What will LeBron do this time?What would Kobe do?

A (mis)match made in HeavenFor the love of money, can you believe this? Roger Federer and Pete Sampras have agreed to play three exhibition matches throughout Asia in November.

Says Sampras, who practiced with Federer at his L.A. home in March, in a statement: "Obviously he's a great player, but I felt like I didn't embarrass myself out there. I feel like I can hold my own."

I have a therapist who would have a field day with this one.

That matchup, again:

Sampras, 35, out of the game since 2002.

Versus (no plug intended) …

Federer, 25, out to break every record Sampras owns.

Soon to follow after this set of mismatches:

Old Schooled In The Pool: Mark Spitz swims laps against Michael Phelps!

Aging Bear, Crouching Tiger: Jack Nicklaus takes on Tiger Woods in Age-Spotted Skins Game!

No Senior Passes: Michael Jordan goes one-on-one with Kobe Bryant! A dream matchup, at least for Kobe — no need to ever pass the ball!

Mixed bag for Dodgers, AngelsBaseball Overnight. …

Dodgers: Defeat Milwaukee, 5-1. … On the fifth anniversary of their record-tying nine home runs against the Brewers, the Dodgers have to give one back. Russell Martin clears the fence, rounds the bases, stomps on home plate, high-fives teammates. Inspired by success of "American Idol," umpires conduct a panel, decide, "Nah, more foul than fish," and take a run off the board. In a display of appreciation, Brewers reliever Carlos Villanueva uses his next pitch to buzz Martin's helmet. Benches empty, players mingle, use bad language, waste time. In an homage to the Brewers' offense, incident produces no punches.

Angels: Lose at Detroit, 8-7. … Tigers snap Angels' six-game winning streak on home runs by Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, Ordonez one more time, and Curtis Granderson. Detroit fans go berserk, euphoric to celebrate any kind of victory over Anaheim. Ducks, not Red Wings, still advance to Stanley Cup finals.


christine.daniels@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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