Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti joins the chorus calling for SportsNet LA in more homes.

From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti chided Time Warner Cable at an industry gathering Tuesday for not reaching deals with other TV providers so all fans of the Dodgers could watch the team’s games.

The Dodgers are more than a month into their regular season and so far only customers of Time Warner Cable Inc., its partner Bright House Networks, and a small operator called Champion Broadband have been able to see them.

That leaves out subscribers of major providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T.

The contract to broadcast Dodgers games, which had long been with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket regional sports network, was snatched up Time Warner Cable Inc. last year in a deal estimated to be worth $7 billion over the next two decades.

Garcetti used a keynote speech at the Cable Show industry conference to press for a deal.

“I hope that we can resolve the fact that our home town baseball team, the Dodgers, is not currently seen on all of our boxes around the city,” he said.

Daily Distractions: The Dodgers won’t play today and Zack Greinke shouldn’t mind.

Zack  Greinke

Zack Greinke was scheduled to pitch in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. (Associated Press photo)

Attention, Target Field shoppers: It’s raining in Minnesota.

It’s raining so much, that the Dodgers won’t play the Minnesota Twins today. The game has been postponed until Thursday at 4 p.m. (PST) as part of a day-night doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 10 a.m.

It couldn’t happen to a better pitcher.

While some hurlers are such creatures of habit that anything more or less than regular rest throws their performance off-kilter, Zack Greinke doesn’t seem to mind the occasional extra day. Tonight’s scheduled starter will presumably take the ball tomorrow night on six days’ rest. Here are Greinke’s career numbers on six days’ rest, via Baseball-Reference.com:

   W-L  ERA  IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB SO  HBP WP BF  WHIP   SO9 SO/W
   11-6 2.72 149.0 144 56 45  12  38 116  6  6  620 1.221  7.0 3.05

Greinke is also in the midst of a ridiculous hot streak that’s seen him pitch at least five innings without allowing more than two runs in 20 consecutive starts, including the 2013 postseason. That’s the longest such streak in the modern era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

His numbers since last July 4: Greinke has a 1.76 ERA, averaging 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings against 8.5 baserunners, and five strikeouts for every walk. So the Twins have that to look forward to.

Some bullet points for a World Wish Day:
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Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig officially hits Hollywood: Film rights reportedly sold to Brett Ratner.

Yasiel PuigThe story of Yasiel Puig‘s journey from Cuba to Los Angeles could be coming to the big screen.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film rights to a Los Angeles Magazine story about Puig have been sold to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner’s firm, RatPac. From THR.com:

Ratner will produce the big-screen take with Beau Flynn, who will produce via his FlynnPictureCo. banner.

Scott Sheldon, who just joined FPC as a creative executive, will oversee development with RatPac’s Agustine Calderon. A search for writers is underway.

Daily Distractions: Alexander Guerrero’s short practice window opens now.

Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero said he already feels comfortable playing second base. (Associated Press photo)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Different players have told me on different occasions that only pitchers and catchers need a good four weeks-plus of spring training. Hitters don’t need nearly as much time to prepare for a season — maybe a week or two, as a general rule, if they’re in shape.

There are exceptions to the rule. Alex Guerrero is one.

Guerrero only played 12 games in the Dominican Winter League because of a nagging hamstring injury. That’s simply not enough games to expect the 27-year-old to transform into the Dodgers’ Opening Day second baseman after playing shortstop his entire career. Even Superman doesn’t change capes that fast.

Guerrero will take the field today as the Dodgers’ starting second baseman against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the first Cactus League game for both clubs. (Most other clubs begin playing games no sooner than Friday, since most clubs don’t start the season in the Southern Hemisphere.) Second base is the only Opening Day position remotely up for grabs — unless you count the starting pitcher — so it will be a primary focus on the field, starting today.

In an intrasquad game Sunday, Guerrero flawlessly charged a ground ball, picked it up on the run, and threw across his body to retire the runner at first base. He looked like a second baseman. If Guerrero looks that smooth in today’s game, it will be in large part because of the four lonely weeks he spent fielding ground balls at Camelback Ranch before pitchers and catchers reported to spring training.

“I’ve practiced enough that it comes naturally to me,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “Training’s always going to be different than the game, but I feel comfortable.”

The Dodgers have 19 days’ worth of games — 21 in all — before leaving for Australia. Guerrero said it will be “very important” for him to see game action over the next three weeks at second base. But it’s not as if he’s picking up where he left off Dec. 12, his final Dominican Winter League game.

After receiving his United States work visa and entering the country on Jan. 13, Guerrero came to Camelback Ranch and got to work.

“I feel so much more comfortable at second now … than I did in the Dominican,” he said. “I feel like it’s natural to me now.”

Some bullet points for a National Pistachio Day:
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Fans outside of Los Angeles, Phoenix markets can watch Sydney games on MLB Network.

Sydney Cricket Ground

The Sydney Morning Herald published this photo of what the Sydney Cricket Ground might look like converted for baseball. The Dodgers open the 2014 season with two games here against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Local fans bent on watching the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia on Opening Day have an option besides flying to Sydney, or watching the game on SportsNet LA: Drive.

MLB Network will televise the Dodgers’ regular season-opening games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia on March 22 and 23. A local blackout will be effect in the greater Los Angeles and Phoenix markets. Time Warner Cable and SportNet LA also consider Las Vegas, the Coachella Valley and Hawaii to be Dodgers territory, and therefore subject to the blackout rule. ¡Viva Mexico!

The games will be simulcast on ESPN in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. Nine Network, the highest-rated Australian network, will also carry the two games in Australia.

The first game will air live at 1 a.m. Pacific Time on March 22, and MLB Network will replay the game at 4 a.m. The second game airs at 7 p.m. that night.

In Australia, ESPN will also exclusively broadcast the exhibition games that the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will play against Team Australia prior to the two regular-season games.

MLB Network is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

SportsNet LA releases details about its initial night of programming.

Vin Scully

Vin Scully will work the first Dodgers spring training telecast on SportsNet LA. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers announced the programming lineup for launch night of SportsNet LA, the team-owned network set to debut next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The evening will begin with “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” followed by the inaugural episode of “Backstage: Dodgers,” back-to-back “Connected With…” interview shows featuring Clayton Kershaw and Don Mattingly and a one-hour retrospective special about last year’s season.

Among the other “prominent Dodger personalities” that will be featured that night are co-owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson, broadcaster Vin Scully, and special advisor Tommy Lasorda.

SportsNet LA is still attempting to find carriers in addition to Time Warner. As of right now, only Time Warner subscribers will be able to tune in when the network goes live. A spokesperson for the network said that the channel number still hasn’t been announced.

Here are some more details, provided by the team, about SportsNet LA’s debut-night programs:

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SportsNet LA announces its full slate of non-game programs.

SportsNet LA announced its full slate of programming to fill in the hours between Dodger games and replays of Dodger games.

“Access SportsNet: Dodgers” is the signature evening program; details about the show were released 10 days ago.

“Leadoff LA,” “Dodgers Clubhouse,” “Connected With,” “Talkin’ Blue,” “Dodgermentary,” “Timeless Dodgers” and “Dodgers Squeeze Play” will fill out the network’s lineup. All are set to air starting Feb. 25. DodgerInsider.com has a brief description of each show.

Team president Stan Kasten is proud of the fact that the network is a Dodgers-only affair, but how long will that be the case?

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Vin Scully will call first game on SportsNet LA, which will televise spring training games every day.

Vin Scully

Vin Scully will work the first Dodgers spring training telecast on SportsNet LA. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ new network will have games every day of spring training, beginning with its inaugural telecast of the Cactus League opener between the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

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.”
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