Vin Scully will be behind the mic for the first game televised on SportsNet LA, scheduled for noon Pacific Time on Feb. 26.
“It is an incredible honor to have the remarkable opportunity to call the very first game on the Dodger network,” Scully said in a statement released by the team. “The Dodgers’ new ownership group has done a wonderful job assembling a team to make SportsNet LA what every Dodger fan deserves, a television network just for them. I’m humbled to be a part of it.”
It’s official. SportsNetLA exists.
The network has a website but it doesn’t have an actual studio yet — that’s under construction in El Segundo as I type. The network doesn’t even have a live channel; the official launch date is Feb. 25, one day before the Dodgers’ first Cactus League game. By then, Time Warner and its 2-plus million subscribers in Southern California are guaranteed to not miss a game. AT&T, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon FiOS customers don’t have that luxury yet.
The message splashed across the top of the website, in all caps — “DEMAND YOUR DODGERS NOW” — seems to anticipate a conflict. When the Lakers broke off their relationship with Fox in 2012 to launch their own channel (TWC SportsNet), non-TWC customers were unable to watch games well into the season. The millions of Laker fans who didn’t subscribe to Time Warner became a group of angry nomads, left to seek out homes, bars, restaurants and pirate internet feeds that carried the games until their provider agreed to pay for the new channel.
Dodger fans, this could be you soon. We don’t know.
Here’s what we do know:
1. Vin Scully will broadcast all the Dodgers’ games in California and Arizona for the third straight year. Charley Steiner (who moves over from the radio play-by-play chair) and analyst Orel Hershiser (who moves over from eight years with ESPN) will call the games that Scully does not.
3. Garciaparra and Jerry Hairston Jr. will contribute to SportsNet LA’s pre- and post-game coverage, both live from the stadium and from the SportsNet LA studio.
4. Hershiser will also be a part of the pregame broadcasts from the SportsNet LA studio on occasion.
5. Alanna Rizzo, late of the MLB Network, will be the in-game reporter during games called by Steiner and Hershiser.
6. John Hartung will be the studio host for SportsNet LA, anchoring the network’s live shows. He joins the network from KABC-TV in Los Angeles, where he spent the past 11 years as a sports and news anchor.
7. Fox’s pre- and post-game studio was set up behind the center-field fence at Dodger Stadium. That’s gone. Expect something in the area of the home dugout.
Here’s a fairly uneventful video of Yasiel Puig‘s arrest on Dec. 28 in Florida. You won’t see much outside of the 4:00 to 10:00 range:
From the Associated Press:
According to Major League Baseball calculations Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team [other than the Yankees] that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million.
Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits.
The Yankees finished with the highest regular payroll for the 15th consecutive year, winding up at a record $237,018,889. The Dodgers were just $146,647 behind.
The Dodgers should be able to afford it. Forbes.com reported today that MLB is closer to approving the Dodgers’ new television deal, which could pay $7 billion or more. The team’s new flagship network, SportsNet LA, has already begun hiring personnel and is set to debut in 2014.
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, died Thursday after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. He was 51.
According to a statement released by the MLBPA, Weiner passed away quietly at home in New Jersey surrounded by his loving wife, Diane, and three daughters.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Michael Weiner, with whom I had the pleasure of working for many years,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement. “I had so much respect for him and admired his leadership of the players and Players Association. He was truly a great individual, a brilliant lawyer and a thoroughly decent person. All of baseball, labor and management, has suffered a great loss. Michael was always viewed as the path to a reasonable resolution. He will be missed. The Dodgers and I send our deepest condolences to Michael’s family.”
Many from around the baseball world expressed their condolences.
The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America was founded here, in the awards capital of the world, so naturally the IBWAA gives out awards at the end of the season. This year there are “finalists” too, just like the BBWAA has “finalists” who really represent the top vote-getters in each category.
The IBWAA has more categories, and more Dodgers, than the BBWAA awards. Clayton Kershaw (National League Cy Young), Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu (NL rookie of the year), Don Mattingly (NL manager of the year), and Kenley Jansen (best NL reliever) are all in the running for the virtual awards.
Jose Fernandez and Adam Wainwright are the other Cy Young finalists, same as the BBWAA awards. Fernandez is the other rookie of the year finalist. Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel are the other finalists for best reliever. Fredi Gonzalez and Clint Hurdle are other manager of the year finalists, (same as the BBWAA.
Winners will be announced as follows:
This was just reported today on Bloomberg.com:
Major League Baseball is close to approving the Los Angeles Dodgers’ planned regional sports network in time for next season, preserving a major part of the record purchase of the club.
“That process is at a point where it’s pretty clear there will be approval of the Dodgers’ arrangement well before the 2014 season starts,” baseball’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred said during an interview at the league’s New York headquarters.
Manfred wouldn’t give details on what remained to be cleared by MLB before the network could begin operation.
Nothing earth-shattering here; the league’s approval has been deemed a formality for some time. We know that the Dodgers are well along in the hiring process for the new network, called SportsNet LA. But it’s always worth checking in with the man who is performing the day-to-day duties of MLB commissioner.
During Friday’s Game 2 in Atlanta, he interviewed former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and asked him about his 53 years as part of the organization.
“Sixty three,” Lasorda growled at him to correct the mistake.
After Sunday’s Game 3, Sager interviewed the Dodgers’ Carl Crawford and asked him about his “two-run homer in the second inning that gave them a lead they kept building on and building on.”
Crawford actually hit a three-run homer in the second to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. In the top of the third, the Braves tied the game at 4-4.
–reporting by colleague Tom Hoffarth
Ernie Johnson will provide play-by-play, while retired players Ron Darling and Cal Ripken will provide the color commentary, for the TBS broadcasts of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.
TBS is broadcasting every game in the best-of-five series. Craig Sager, more famous for his suit choices than his in-game reporting, will be the in-game reporter.
The radio plan is as follows: On 570-AM, Vin Scully will call innings 1-3, followed by Rick Monday and Charley Steiner in innings 4-6, followed by Scully again in innings 7-9. Orel Hershiser and Dan Shulman will call the first-round series on ESPN Radio (710-AM in Los Angeles).
Here’s the first-round schedule again, in case you missed it. Start times for Games 3, 4 and 5 have yet to be announced:
Game 1 Thu Oct. 3, 5:37 p.m. Dodgers at Braves
Game 2 Fri Oct. 4, 3:07 p.m. Dodgers at Braves
Game 3 Sun Oct. 6, (TBA) Braves at Dodgers
Game 4 Mon Oct. 7*, (TBA) Braves at Dodgers
Game 5 Wed Oct. 9*, (TBA) Dodgers at Braves