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The baseball playoffs are awash with local hooks, from all those ex-Modesto Nuts in Colorado to Modesto-raised Diamondbacks CEO Jeffrey Moorad.
So far, the local connections (4-0) are smiling.
On the other side: the Yankees' Luis Vizcaino (an ex-Modesto Athletic), who gave up the decisive hit Friday night.
Didn't they watch "Major League"? The Indians lead the Yankees 2-0 without Willie Mays Hayes and Pedro Cerrano.
Note to the Cavaliers' LeBron James: Wearing the Yankee cap in Cleveland was not one of your finest moves.
The longer the 49ers' ineptness on offense continues, the more coordinator Jim Hostler squirms.
Dare we say it: The Raiders (2-2) off the mat and swinging under Lane Kiffin.
Those in the know aren't shocked: Marion Jones.
She hung with ex-husband C.J. Hunter, Charlie Francis, Trevor Graham, Victor Conte and Tim Montgomery, all dope-related. We can connect the dots.
Not sure what's worse: Jones copping to "flaxseed oil" or the fact she lied about it for seven years.
Conte is grouped with Jose Canseco -- unpleasant, bothersome and, unfortunately, dead right about those who used steroids.
Jones had the smile, the talent and the savvy. Conclusion, one more time during this cheat-filled year: Trust no one.
Just a gentle reminder to Relays official: How about testing Modesto Junior College's new baby-blue track next May with Allyson Felix or Tyson Gay?
Regardless who wins the Heisman Trophy: The best, and certainly the most exciting, college football player is Cal's DeSean Jackson.
The biggest reason, besides Jackson, why the No. 3 Golden Bears survived at Oregon -- zero turnovers.
At Escalon High, Nick Aprile hands off to Josh May.
Jim Harbaugh's conversation with Pete Carroll before today's Stanford-USC game: "Remember all that nasty stuff I said about you and the Trojans? I didn't mean it. Never mind."
Unless Carroll has a short memory, USC will cover the 40½.
The football team is so-so, but: Gary P. Gilroy (ex-Beyer) has built a first-class marching band at Fresno State.
Knee injuries to both Shareef Abdur-Rahim and draft pick Spencer Hawes are not good preseason news for the Kings.
Harvard's 16-4 water polo loss to No. 3-ranked Cal on Friday night normally wouldn't be news here, except: The Crimson's co-captain is Modesto High graduate Michael Byrd.
The last word on goalkeeper Hope Solo: She wouldn't have thrown Briana Scurry under the bus if coach Greg Ryan hadn't plundered the whole team with his bad decision.
Boston College, South Florida and Kentucky (before Thursday night's loss) all are ranked in the top 8. Just like we figured, right?
About the Knicks' Isiah Thomas: If I just cost my company $11.6 million in court, I soon would not be employed by that company.
A thought after watching the Rockies and the Diamondbacks: The post-Barry Bonds Giants have major catching-up to do in the NL West.
Ted Lilly spiked his glove football-style after giving up a home run, reason No. 3,551 why the Cubs are cursed.
The playoffs are mixing some of the new (Diamondbacks and Rockies) with some of the old (Alex Rodriguez 0-for-6).
Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2302.