Daily Distractions: Monster cable bills, and a “Monster” lands in L.A.

Get ready for a higher cable bill.

That was one of many takeaways from yesterday’s news that the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable are on the verge of striking a local-cable rights pact that could be in the neighborhood of $8 billion.

Time Warner Cable SportsUnder the deal, colleague Tom Hoffarth reports, “TWC would be the anchor of this new Dodger channel and provide plenty of cross promotion with its own TWC SportsNet and Deportes channels created specifically for the Lakers. But as TWC found out, there was plenty of pushback from distributors when it launched its two-channel package in October leading up to the start of the Lakers season – mostly because of the high-end $3.95 price tag per subscriber per month. DirecTV, for example, didn’t get on board with it until the middle of November. Dish Network has yet to sign on.”

Even if you don’t care for the Lakers, you probably know someone who does and had to sweat through the TWC SportsNet launch last fall. If that was you, are you ready for the same song-and-dance with the Dodgers next year?

Would you rather see the $8 billion price tag come down? Or are you happy that your owners might turn an approximate $6 billion profit less than one year after buying the team, knowing that might mean more flexibility to add payroll and upgrade Dodger Stadium?

Onto the links:

• Hyun-Jin Ryu just landed in L.A. That link comes courtesy of @MyKBO, who’s been graciously tracking the swarm of attention Ryu’s journey has garnered in South Korea. “But now I am in a position to produce the result, so that makes me nervous,” Ryu told reporters at a press conference in a Korean airport before boarding his plane. “What matters now is how quickly I can take the pressure off my chest. If I try to adjust, doing as I usually do in Korea, it will be fine, I guess.”

• One thing we learned yesterday: Ryu’s nickname is “Monster.” Works in any language apparently.

• Longtime Dodgers third base coach Joey Amalfitano turns 79 today.

• There’s a hidden incentive for large-market teams to set their internal budgets high. Per FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal: “Under the labor agreement, the 15 clubs in the largest markets will forfeit an increasing percentage of their revenue-sharing proceeds starting in 2013, and become ineligible for any such money by ’16. The revenue-sharing funds that would have gone to those clubs then would be redistributed to payors such as the Yankees [and the Dodgers]. The idea is to motivate certain big-market clubs … to increase their revenues, knowing that they no longer would qualify for revenue-sharing money.” Did the Dodgers grasp this bullet point and the Yankees, who seem determined to reduce payroll, miss it?

Dee Gordon: Not dogging it. B-list actor Alex Ho: Dogging it. That’s your summary of this Verizon commercial.

A.J. Ellis, toastmaster.

• The Indians are reportedly considering signing Juan Rivera, Jim Thome and/or Travis Hafner. Maybe Carlos Baerga and Albert Belle while they’re at it?

Wayne Gretzky’s house in Sherman Oaks is for sale. If 30 of us chip in $500,000 each, we’re good.

• I’ve been on a Nirvana kick lately. Here’s a recent cover of “Undertow”:

And here’s David Bowie’s original version of “The Man Who Sold The World”: