Local Congressman clarifies proposal for ‘binding baseball-style arbitration’ over SportsNet LA.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) sent a letter today to the chairmen of Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and the Federal Communications Commission spelling out his earlier proposal for a binding arbitration process. It’s the third letter sent by a local member of Congress to the FCC concerning the ongoing dispute over SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ home channel.

Here is the full text of the letter signed by Sherman. It’s a fairly dry read, but the level of specificity emphasizes the level of thought put into the proposal. Proposing binding arbitration becomes more than a two-word soundbite:

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Jerry Reuss will autograph book Friday in Pasadena.

Jerry Reuss bookFormer Dodgers pitcher Jerry Reuss will be conducting a talk and book signing this Friday at 7 p.m. at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. Reuss will be signing his book “Bring In the Right-Hander!” The book is also available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble bookstores and University of Nebraska Press.

In a 22-year Major League career, Reuss pitched for eight teams, including the Dodgers from 1979-87. A two-time All-Star, he was a member of the Dodgers’ 1981 world championship team and he pitched a no-hitter at San Francisco on June 27, 1980.

Blacked-out Dodger fans plan protest for 3 p.m. Sunday.

Dodgers fans are taking their complaints to the streets.

A public protest of the Dodgers’ television deal has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday outside The Short Stop bar. The protest will follow a route to the corner of Sunset and Elysian Park, then up the hill to the intersection of Stadium Way and Elysian Park.

According to a press release from FansRising.com, the various cable and satellite providers around Los Angeles not carrying SportsNet LA have left an estimated seven in 10 viewers unable to watch games.

The campaign has 3,039 fan signatures. FansRising.com says that hundreds have RSVP’d for the protest.

The news comes as former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports Radio on Friday, called the Time Warner standoff a “tipping point” from a business standpoint.

Claire, who teaches a Sports Business course at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, called the lack of traction for Time Warner “a major, major problem for the business of sports. … There is always the assumption that the fan will pay.”

650 high school baseball players to attend Sunday’s Dodgers-Pirates game.

Six hundred fifty local high school baseball players and their coaches have been sponsored by Dennis Gilbert to attend Sunday’s game between the Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The players, who hail from 24 Los Angeles-area schools, participated in the fifth annual Dennis Gilbert Spring Baseball Classic April 5-19 at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton. Gilbert, Urban Youth Academy Director (and 10-year major-league veteran) Don Buford will be introduced on the field Sunday.

Gilbert is a special assistant to Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and an UYA board member.

Jr. RBI Classic Showcase coming to Compton on Saturday.

The inaugural Los Angeles Jr. RBI Classic Showcase will take place Sunday through Monday at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

Hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and MLB, it’s the first competitive element of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program’s younger Jr. RBI playing divisions.

The Jr. RBI playing divisions (ages 5 to 12), which are designed to focus on teaching the fundamentals and highlighting the fun of playing baseball and softball, serve as feeder programs for the age 13-18 baseball and softball divisions of the overall RBI program.

The participating teams are Dodgers RBI (consisting of three separate teams from the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Boys & Girls Club of Venice and Los Angeles Recreation and Parks), Angels RBI (Anaheim) and San Diego Padres RBI (San Diego).

Dodgers collecting donations to benefit San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

The Dodgers are leading an online donation effort through May 19, and collecting items at Dodger Stadium Thursday, in support of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

The Mission experienced a devastating fire May 3. Fans can donate monetary gifts now online. All donations received this week will go directly to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. Fans are also invited to drive through Dodger Stadium on Thursday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Lot 1 to drop off donations.

Additionally, more than 15 families affected by the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission fire will attend Wednesday’s game (7 p.m. vs. Miami) courtesy of the Dodgers. One of the young children affected by the fire lost his favorite Dodger blanket. The club will be providing him, along with all families in attendance, with new Dodger blankets. Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department will also be collecting monetary donations during Wednesday’s game and at Thursday’s collection event.

“The Dodger community spans far and wide and we feel strongly about the unfortunate circumstances affecting our neighbors at the San Fernando Valley Mission,” Renata Simril, the Dodgers’ senior vice president external affairs, said in a statement. “We invite all Dodger fans to lend a helping hand to the Mission while they attend any of our games against Miami or by stopping by this Thursday.”

Suggested donations include new or gently-worn clothing and shoes, new or used blankets, bedding and towels, toiletries, baby items and canned and dry food items.

How former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda introduced the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Tommy Lasorda

Dodgers advisor Tommy Lasorda needed divine intervention to introduce San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Saturday. (Getty Images)

Tommy Lasorda was in rare form Saturday night. He publicly introduced a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Lasorda has spent 64 seasons in the Dodgers organization in some capacity or another — pitcher, manager, general manager and advisor, his current title. “If you don’t root for the Dodgers, you might not get into heaven,” is among his oft-repeated quotes. He’s embraced — even embodied — half of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry for his public persona. Lasorda has some oft-repeated quotes about the Giants too, but this is a family blog.

So it was interesting to see Lasorda on Saturday night at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation dinner in Beverly Hills, introducing the latest recipient of the award named in his honor: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

“It’s very unusual,” Lasorda said. “When I said my prayers last night, first of all I asked God for forgiveness. I said: Dear Lord, I’m going to have to give a trophy to a Giant. The good Lord said, ‘Tommy, the guy you’re going to honor is great. Outstanding manager. A manager that has been so successful, well-liked, nice, easy-going guy. For me to allow him to receive the Tommy Lasorda award, you know there’s something wrong in his dinner tonight.’

Lasorda continued: “It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce the man who has led the Giants to two World Series in the last five years. Ladies and gentleman, my good friend” — the 86-year-old paused, pointing toward heaven and sending the packed room into laughter in one motion — “Mr. Bochy.”

If Lasorda hadn’t totally brought down the crowd, Bochy knocked ‘em over with the last word.

Turning toward Lasorda, Bochy said, “you were my great-great-great grandmother’s favorite manager, you know.”

Steve Yeager, Maury Wills kick off Dodgers Holiday Tour with autograph session Saturday.

Dear reader,

If you know of Dodgers players or coaches signing autographs in the area, please email me (jp.hoornstra@langnews.com) or hit me up on Twitter @jphoornstra. I’ll pass along the information here. On that note …

Dodgers coaches Maury Wills and Steve Yeager are in Culver City tomorrow. Details from the Dodgers:
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Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has his own line of bubble gum.

Matt KempDodgers center fielder Matt Kemp will be on hand at 11 a.m. Friday at the North Venice Little League Baseball fields (map) to introduce his own line of Big League Chew Bubble Gum.

Kemp is currently on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left AC joint.

The 2.12-ounce version of the bubble gum line, called “True Blue Original,” will be available for a limited time at select Los Angeles area retailers including Ralph’s, Food 4 Less, Jetro, Circle K, Dylan’s Candy Bar and Sports Chalet and online at www.plbsports.com.

Kemp will donate a portion of his proceeds from the Big League Chew to his charitable cause, Kemp’s Kids. The charity benefits inner city and underprivileged youth in Southern California.