Giants show their solar flair

Times Staff Writer

Everyone’s NCAA tournament brackets are messed up at this point, with so many top teams winning that the lowest-seeded team to get a sniff at the Final Four was Oregon, which was a mere No. 3 -- not exactly a Cinderella.

So as March Madness morphs into April Apathy, Briefing takes a break from America’s unofficial national pastime (gambling) to see what’s been going in the traditional national pastimes (baseball and football)....

... Like the San Francisco Giants, who are doing what they can to help out Al Gore by installing 590 solar panels at AT&T; Park.


“We will showcase solar power in one of the most visible locations on the waterfront,” Giants President Peter Magowan said on the club’s website. “In turn, we hope to send a message to our fans, television viewers and the greater community about the importance of using energy wisely and efficiently.”

Of course, the panels won’t provide any energy at the park; whatever is generated will power only a few homes ... or maybe Barry Bonds’ Jacuzzi?

Maybe to boost the power, some sort of performance enhancing science could be tapped. Hmmm, where would the Giants find any kind of performance enhancing science around their ballpark?

Trivia time

Who is the only player to win NCAA Division I basketball and World Series championship rings?

Meanwhile, back at the tournament

Florida, Ohio State, Georgetown and UCLA, two No. 1-seeded teams and two No. 2s, advanced. Looks like the only ones doing well in the bracket pools are those on the selection committee.

The four will play in Atlanta on Saturday, which means it was probably a good thing Oregon was eliminated. Ducks guard Tajuan Porter has had enough geography lessons, admitting last week that he “didn’t even know Oregon was a state” until his sophomore year in high school.


Note to Porter: Georgia is more than just a Ray Charles song or the name of a carpetbagger-like NFL owner.

Getting skewered

A gas grill allegedly belonging to Manny Ramirez was removed from EBay last week after it could not be verified that the Boston Red Sox star was the actual owner.

EBay officials became suspicious when they called a phone number in the contact information and spoke several times with someone other than Ramirez.

“We have requested additional verification,” EBay spokeswoman Nichola Sharpe told the Associated Press. “If it’s not officially from him it would disappoint his many fans.”

Ramirez has told reporters the grill actually belonged to one of his neighbors. So it was either Manny being Manny, or Manny trying to be George Foreman.

Manning being Manning

Peyton Manning dragged his family into his monologue while hosting “Saturday Night Live,” introducing Archie, his father, and Eli, his brother, then saying of his mother, Olivia, “She never made it to the NFL. Didn’t have what it took. Got cut by the Dolphins, tried Canada for a bit. She’s a real disappointment for all of us.”


Maybe Olivia’s day has come. Word is the Dolphins are looking at acquiring David Carr after seeing Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Gus Frerotte and A.J. Feeley bomb.

Olivia might have a shot with them now.

Carrie Underwood, the show’s musical guest, also has NFL ties. She has been romantically linked to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, meaning Saturday night was probably her best chance to see a Super Bowl championship ring up close.

Trivia answer

Tim Stoddard, who was a starting forward on North Carolina State’s 1974 title team and a relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles’ 1983 World Series championship team, though he did not pitch in a World Series game.

And finally

Call it a Schilling for your thoughts: Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling answers questions on his blog, including one that asked what he would do if the team signed Roger Clemens.

“Would I move to the bullpen to make room for the Rocket? I’d sell ice cream to make room for the Rocket,” Schilling wrote.

Opponents might find that a rocky road.