Monday, August 20, 2007

Rats gone wild; HBO falls flat; Dodgers have a Little problem; Scioscia to move up

Now that my bet — that Mike Vick will shed his leash in time for the 2008 NFL season — looks shaky, let’s leave football alone.

Batter up.

Rats: Three weeks into this scummy revelation, and the Los Angeles Angels still have a stomach turner worse than their phantom power hitting. This nausea involves vermin.

Yes, rats are running around Angel Stadium faster than Chone Figgins. Particularly amid the snack bars. A yummy thought for fans in line for hot dogs.

How to deal with it? Turn it into a rallying cry. Kill the creatures and wag Rally Rats. Time to toss those kiddie Rally Monkeys and root on the home team with home cookin’.

You can see the stadium’s megascreen already: Angels losing in the eighth. Up pops the Rally Rat. No more pet show. This rodent is sure to take a bite out of the enemy’s lead.

Brooklyn bore: Finally saw “The Ghosts of Flatbush.” You know, the documentary fans are talking about. All two of them, since it’s on HBO.

The show focuses on the Dodgers’ flight from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. Oh, the tragedy. Right. A team in a rotting borough should have dodged the ticket to utopia: palm trees, beaches and multimillion attendance figures.

Brooklynites, wake up: OF COURSE the Dodgers made the right move westward. Los Angeles loves them — to the tune of 47,000 fans per game this year. And New York fans love their replacement — the Mets, drawing 46,000 a game.

The only people obsessed as much as HBO are old New York sportswriters. Message to them: It’s been half a century. Get over it.

This Dodger desertion creation is simply a fabrication.

Are St. Louis fans still ment over their Browns' move to Baltimore in 1954? Are Kansas Citians still bummed that their A's escaped to Oakland in ’68? No.

Somehow HBO missed those stories.

Little Trouble: The way the Dodgers are sinking, not to mention stinking, maybe L.A. should ship them back to Brooklyn after all.

When I caught their act in June, they messed up my Mets and looked like World Series champions waiting to happen. I predicted a reversal of 1916, with the Dodgers this time beating Boston.

Speaking of reversal, the Dodgers are headed for the depths of the National League West. The big reason is their hitting. Or missing. To cure that slump, the team brilliantly traded young power hitter Wilson Betemit to the Yankees. What did L.A. receive? A reliever it didn’t need.

I still see the Dodgers awakening in time to make the playoffs. If they don’t, goodbye Grady Little.

Scioscia To Soar: When Little leaves, the Dodgers will bring back the man they should have hired in 1999: Mike Scioscia. He’ll be available when his Angels don’t reach the World Series — Rally Rat or no.

Scioscia has been terrific since he landed in Anaheim in 2000. With him providing the fiber, the Angels are producing the finest era in team history.

Still, Scioscia stands for Dodgers. He caught for them from 1980 to 1992, helping them to two world titles. He coached their minor league catchers two seasons, then in 1998 and ’99 was their bench coach at Dodger Stadium — near where he lives today.

And like the Dodgers, the Angels don’t have the lumber to make it far enough. As popular as Scioscia is in Anaheim, fans will let him feel their frustration of failing to win the world title, which he did in 2002.

So get ready for Iron Mike moving his office up the highway and making the Dodgers win at once in 2008.

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