“That’s no graveyard, that’s an oil well, and they just hit a bonanza.”
Here are Vin Scully’s opening words to the Dodgers broadcast on September 17, 2001:
It’s not often that we get to see Chris Perez warm up on the mound anymore. He’s only pitched twice in September, so get a good look at this video.
As you watch closely, Vin Scully tells a story about meeting someone when he was 13 years old. Some lady named … Ruth. Baby Ruth.
In an interview set to air tonight on KNBC’s “Going Roggin,” Dodgers broadcaster Charley Steiner recalled the time Vin Scully called him prior to the 2005 season, his first with the Dodgers. “Everybody should have a moment like that in their lives,” Steiner says.
Check it out:
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will miss today’s and tomorrow’s games due to a chest cold. Charley Steiner, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra will have the call on SportsNet LA. Rick Monday and Kevin Kennedy will be heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles.
Scully, 86, has been broadcasting Dodgers games for 65 years.
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.”
Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully was named the Chick Hearn Radio Play-By-Play award winner for the 16th time at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters awards luncheon Monday.
Scully also won the SCSB Best Television Play-By-Play Announcer award for the 12th time. The 86-year-old has been part of the Dodgers’ broadcast team since 1950. Scully will broadcast all Dodgers games in California and Arizona in 2014.
The 2013 Special Achievement Award was bestowed upon Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. In November, Kershaw won the Branch Rickey Award from the Rotary Club of Denver for his off-field humanitarian work, and the National League Cy Young award for his pitching exploits.
Earlier this month, Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million contract, the largest ever given a pitcher.
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.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kevin Towers waded into those waters Tuesday. Pun intended. And it had nothing to do with the Dodgers’ celebration in the Chase Field swimming pool after they clinched a playoff berth on Sept. 19.
“I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag,” Towers told Arizona Sports 620′s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate.
“That’s not who we are as Diamondbacks, that’s not how — I mean, it’s a reflection on Gibby, on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around and we took it.”
Towers said that has to stop, and following the game he had “a few choice words for the (coaching) staff.”
“You’d think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently,” he said. “Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.’ Not that I don’t take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if Goldy’s getting hit, it’s an eye for an eye, somebody’s going down or somebody’s going to get jackknifed.”
No word yet on whether Towers made those moves before or after researching this stat:
BTW: DBacks pitchers hit 60 batters this year. They were plunked 43 times. By Towers’ logic opposing pitchers missed 17 free shots at Goldy.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) October 9, 2013
Some bullet points for a World Post Day:
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