Albert Pujols bruises opponents in a variety of ways, but a stolen base is not usually his weapon of choice. . . .
As he showed Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, the National League's most valuable player is full of surprises. . . .
The linchpin of the .300 Club has never finished higher than 14th in MVP voting but seems a lock for the top 10 this year. . . .
What's become of those helmet-shaped golf carts that used to deliver relief pitchers from the bullpen to the mound? . . .
It looks as if Pete Carroll, unfazed by the idea of perhaps deeding the offense to true freshman Matt Barkley, might just have a budding quarterback controversy on his hands. . . .
Unless, of course, the grass is patrolled by the Pirates . . .
Cliff Lee, unbeaten in four starts since joining the Philadelphia Phillies, joined an exclusive, obscure club last year. . . .
Winner of the 2008 American League Cy Young Award, Lee became only the third player with a three-letter surname to win an MVP or Cy Young award, the others being Nellie Fox (MVP with the Chicago White Sox in 1959) and Vern Law (Cy Young Award winner with the Pirates in 1960). . . .
The Minnesota Vikings' odds of winning the Super Bowl dropped from 20-1 to 14-1 after the signing of Brett Favre and the Philadelphia Eagles' odds fell from 16-1 to 12-1 after the addition of Michael Vick, according to BetUS.com. . . .
One sure bet, notes colleague Chris Foster, is that "Who Let the Dogs Out?" will not be played over the PA system this season at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field. . . .
Speaking of songs, Owen Kearns of Bakersfield e-mails to note that one of his sports-themed favorites was released this year: Todd Snider's "America's Favorite Pastime," which tells the tale of Dock Ellis' pitching a no-hitter while tripping on LSD. . . .
Sample lyric: "Hallucinating Halloween scenes/each new swing of the bat/His sinker looked like it was falling off a table/but nobody was hallucinating that." . . .
The Baseball Project, a rock band that last year released an album of baseball-themed songs titled "Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails," plays the Troubadour on Aug. 29. . . .
Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck called Y.E. Yang's victory over Tiger Woods on Sunday at the PGA Championship "the biggest golf upset since a 20-year-old caddie named Francis Ouimet beat Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open." . . .
We all remember that. . . .
In 2016, when golf is expected to make its Olympic return, Woods will be 40 years old and Lorena Ochoa 34. . . .
Regarding Rick Pitino's late-night table-top sex romp, reader Jerry Sondler of Warwick, R.I., e-mails to suggest, "Pitino has brought new meaning to the term 'Midnight Madness.' " . . .
Brian Burke, general manager of the U.S. hockey team and former boss of the Ducks, told reporters this week that Kings defenseman Dustin Brown "plays with a high level of belligerence, which I like." . . .
As do the Kings. . . .
The Triple Crown Line of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor will reunite at Hockey Fest '09, a three-day celebration of the Kings and the sport Aug. 28 to 30 at Nokia Theatre. . . .
Anna Kournikova and actress Felicity Huffman are among the celebrities expected to compete Sept. 13 in the 23rd annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon at Zuma Beach, a fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Research Program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. . . .
Police brutality victim Rodney King has signed on for a celebrity boxing match Sept. 12 at Boothwyn, Pa. -- against a former cop. . . .
King, training in San Bernardino, says in a news release hyping his bout with Simon Aouad, "I know people will see the irony here. But I would have fought anyone who was worthy." . . .