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Ted Green: Of Tiger, Phil, L.O., Baron and Starbury

February 24, 2009 |  5:12 pm

Tiger Woods hits a practice shot off the tee on Tuesday.

The President Is Right, Change IS in the Air:  First Kobe and Shaq. Now Tiger and Phil. BFF ... Best Friends Forever.  Ain't love grand?  The French call it raison d'etre. Reason for being.  Golf now has its raison d'etre back again. His name is Tiger. Without him, golf is as relevant as full-contact karate.

Liar's Poker:  The Dodgers called Scott Boras' bluff. Gotta know when to fold 'em, Scotty. If the Dodgers want Manny, now it's up to them to help him save face.  Give him a three-year deal, with Year 3 heavily laden with incentives.

Pool Party:  Michael Phelps returns to competition in May. But in Charlotte, N.C.? Isn't that awfully close to the scene of the crime in Columbia, S.C.?  Perfect, I suppose, for a career heading south.  Should make for some interesting toking points.

Contract Drive: Did Lamar Odom's agent call the Lakers forward around Feb. 1, wake him from his long, lazy stupor and remind him this is a contract year? Have you ever seen a more stunning transformation? From Houdini in sneakers, the king of unexplainable disappearances, to possible player of the month in February. Now the Lakers HAVE to pay him, especially with Andrew Bynum's health really a perpetual question.

Wake-Up Call: What does it say about an athlete's professionalism when it takes a critical newspaper column to light a fire under Baron Davis so he could actually give the Clippers one good night's work?  I saw Baron Davis play at Golden State, and you, sir, are not Baron Davis.

Check's in the Mail, Too:  But everything's fine and Baron LOVES being a Clipper.

Tower of Babble or Please Pass the Earplugs: All the endless talk about who used and who didn't, who's clean and who isn't, when they started and when they supposedly stopped. With HGH undetectable except by blood testing, best to assume EVERYONE in the drug culture of baseball is juicing until every single one of them is blood tested, so they can prove otherwise and clear their names.

Stop the Presses or This CAN'T Be What Dr. King Meant by "Free at Last":  Stephon Marbury became a free agent today.

-- Ted Green

Ted Green used to cover sports for the L.A. Times.  He is now senior sports producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: Tiger Woods plays his tee shot during practice Tuesday at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. Credit: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images