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Text messages from press row ...

When Michael Phelps overtook Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Larysa Latynina and Paavo Nurmi to become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, it would have been nice to see it unfold as it was happening rather than three hours later. . . .

Thanks for nothing, NBC. . . .

Comedian Stephen Colbert notes that symptoms of Olympic fever include “chills, dizziness and the need to be carried to work by Bela Karolyi.” . . .

Manny being Manny has been a kick in the fanny. . . .

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His every at-bat is electric. . . .

Dodgers fans hope that Manny Ramirez is still supplying the power in Chavez Ravine next season instead of, say, the South Bronx, where the New York Yankees are expected to make a strong push for the soon-to-be free agent to help them fill the $2,500-a-game premium seats in their new $1.3-billion stadium. . . .

Ramirez, by the way, attended George Washington High in Manhattan, as did Henry Kissinger, Harry Belafonte, Alan Greenspan and Hall of Fame member and former Angels hitting machine Rod Carew. . . .

Wayne Gretzky, still the most famous athlete to wear No. 99, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, appropriately enough, in 1999. . . .

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Newcomer Mark Teixeira and the Angels -- owners of the best record in the majors, runaway leaders in the American League West and on pace for the first 100-win season in franchise history -- seem to be flying under the radar. . . .

While the Dodgers have not been more than two games above .500 since Memorial Day weekend, Vladimir Guerrero and the Angels are World Series favorites. . . .

The Angels haven’t lost a series against an AL opponent since early May, when they were swept in three games at Tampa Bay. . . .

Now that Andrew Bynum is free to run and jump -- the Lakers center still has not been cleared for contact -- USC quarterback Mark Sanchez’s knee injury is probably the most worrisome for Southland sports fans. . . .

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It is, at least, for those who do not bleed blue and gold. . . .

Ben Olson: Inordinately fragile, or inordinately unlucky? . . .

We won’t know until January who’s playing in the Super Bowl, but the halftime headliner apparently is set, the New York Post reporting this week that Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will hit the stage Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla. . . .

It’s about time. . . .

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Reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., e-mails to note that Padraig Harrington, winner of the British Open and the PGA Championship while Tiger Woods was recuperating from knee surgery, is on a “Dream” run. . . .

As in, the Irishman is following in the footsteps of Hakeem “the Dream” Olajuwon, who led the Houston Rockets to NBA championships in 1994 and 1995, when Michael Jordan was mostly absent from the league. . . .

The difference: Harrington, winner of three of the last six majors, also won the British Open last year -- with Woods in the field. . . .

NASCAR’s Kyle Busch, who has clinched the No. 1 seeding in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, has been referred to as “Shrub,” as has President Bush. . . .

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Friends gathered Wednesday at Rancho Park Golf Club to memorialize Gene Crouch, a longtime caddy, instructor and mentor to African American golf stars such as Lee Elder, Charlie Sifford and Calvin Peete. . . .

Howdy Kabrins, founder of the La Salsa restaurant chain, says of his longtime friend, a caddy for years at Hillcrest Country Club before his death last week at age 94, “Gene was kind of an unspoken part of golf history.” . . .

Reader and former University of San Francisco basketball player Carl Boldt of Arcadia wonders whether any other high school can match the baseball-football-basketball Hall of Fame triumvirate produced by Galileo High in San Francisco, which counts among its alumni Joe DiMaggio, O.J. Simpson and Stanford basketball All-American Hank Luisetti, who pioneered the one-handed shot in the 1930s. . . .

Any nominations? . . .

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By the way, the football field at what is now known as the Galileo Academy of Science and Technology had been named for Simpson before school officials renamed it after Simpson’s double-murder trial in 1995. . . .

They claimed it had nothing to do with his notoriety, but if the explanation doesn’t fit . . .

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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