It’s Lima Time again, now in Long Beach


Long Beach has such a forward-thinking recycling program going on. But it never seems to work.

Like the time when Dennis Rodman thought he could make another comeback, in 2003, and there was an ABA team that thought it would help him out. It was based in Long Beach (linked here). Called the Jam. It was right at the time he was taping that TV reality show, “The Mole.”

We’ve already remembered too much of that.

Now, it’s one-time Los Angeles singing sensation/Dodgers pitcher Jose Lima who has found a team that will take him. And, again, it’s Long Beach putting a tent on the circus.

The Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League announced Friday that the 36-year-old signed a player contract for the upcoming season. He will do more than sing for his supper. He’ll have to impress Garry Templeton that he’s less crazy than him.

“I’m excited to have Jose Lima pitching for us this year,” said Templeton, the Long Beach Armada manager. “His experience, skill, and leadership will be a great benefit to us. I’m glad that we have the opportunity to showcase his skills and give him the chance to rejoin a major league club.”

Lima’s career in the big leagues, as you may recall, started in Detroit in 1994 and included a 21-win season with Houston, a stop with the Dodgers in 2004, throwing for the Mets in 2006, then the Mexican League in 2007 and the Korean pro leagues in 2008.

Somehow, he didn’t make it into the Korean WBC rotation.

“It will be a lot of fun for our fans to experience the passion and joy that Jose brings to the game,” said Long Beach Armada GM Tony Soares. “We will definitely have special promotions and fan activities on the nights he pitches and give the Armada faithful lots of “Lima Time!”

The Armada (official site linked here) actually have an open tryout Saturday in Irvine (it costs $75, so don’t do it on a whim) leading into the May 21 season opener.

Somehow, the Orange County Flyers, and manager Gary Carter, took a pass on this. Oh, wait. The Flyers took a pass on Carter as well. Their skipper this season: Phil Nevin (team site here).

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More on sports and spirituality


When we attended this Religious Education Conference in Anaheim last month, inspired to write about the “Amazing Grace” of sports based on information we assmiliated from a Catholic thelogian’s point of view about sports and spirituality (story linked here, with a blog post linked here), we also ran into a priest from USC who wanted the session’s lecturer, Dr. Richard Gaillardetz, to contact him.

“I’d like to pass this onto Pete Carroll,” the priest said.

He also mentioned an upcoming “Sports and Spiritualty” night that the USC Catholic Center was going to sponsor.

That’s happening Wednesday, from the information we’ve found on the USC Catholic Trojan website (linked here).

Olympian John Naber, two-time Olympic silver medalist and USC alum who also works for ABC Sports, will moderate a panel that includes fellow Olympians Dwight Stones, Brian Goodell and Mark Crear to share their stories about “being in the zone”; virtues of sports; discipline – “forcing your body”; and praying and meditating before competition.

Sounds very uplifting.

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The Media Learning Curve: March 20-27

Skating through some more media stuff we’ve learned along the way, mostly through Google searches, and without Dick Button’s analysis:

== “Gosh, we’re gonna say a prayer there …” and that would be USC volleyball director of operations Nikki Allen spiking herself in this TV interview (from

== A new DirecTV deal with the NFL, who appease the cable companies by throwing them the Red Zone channel … plus the network games to start the ’09 season (linked here).

== Keith Olbermann , baseball nerd, now blogs for MLB Network (linked here). At least it’s a subject he knows about. He offered up this one recently after a trip to Glendale, Ariz.:

“It’s not like the Dodgers managed to turn the wind off as (Randy) Wolf shut down a Texas lineup that included Josh Hamilton on two hits over six (six strikeouts). The positioning of the otherwise splendid new park the Blue share with the White Sox appears to have been done in the dark. The sun will not let up on the batters; the batters’ eye in centerfield is about half standard size, and the Dodgers’ bullpen is uncovered and does not see shade until nearly sunset. The players have less of a chance of being grilled than do Dodger Dogs.”

== Bill Raftery ain’t such a weird guy (linked here and linked here).

== Write what you will about drinkin’ ‘n’ smokin’ ‘n’ partyin’ John Daly … as long as it’s true (linked here)

== How the “Dancing With The Stars” reality show almost got too real for one athlete (not Lawrence Taylor) (linked here)

== No wonder we haven’t seen any more blogs from Gilbert Arenas … he’s moved to a new arena, or at least out of one he considers could get him killed (linked here)

== The MLB Network has Thursday night games, to go with ESPN’s Monday and Wednesday games, and Fox’s Saturday games, and ESPN’s and TBS’ Sunday games, and then all the local games you’d see from the Dodgers and Angels on FSN West and Prime. (linked here) At least Tuesday’s are horsehide free. Maybe.

== If the Houston Chronicle didn’t cover sports in 1968, would anyone have known that the University of Houston beat UCLA at the Astrodome in that big game? (linked here)

== Find your favorite sports pub on your iPhone, fratboy (linked here)

== A boner by former KCOP Channel 13 (when they had a sportscast) sportscaster Michelle Bonner, calling A-Rod … well, see for yourself:

== Even you can spot the flaw in this ESPN “SportsCenter” graphic on Curt Schilling’s retirement quote (from Deadspin):


A comment from someone named WhoWantsaWanstacheRide: “As an explanation, I’ll bet the next sportscenter commercial features the A’s mascot running the graphics department.”


== A bad audio connection, and pointing Tommy Lasorda into the setting sun at Dodger Stadium, makes for an awkward interview that sounds more like when you’re trying to talk to your grandfather on his birthday and he’s having trouble figuring out who’s on the phone:

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Beyond Scully, beyond baseball


A new program on the MLB Network, “This Is Beyond Baseball”, which are a 30-minute set of vignettes that feature current and former players tol discuss the role of baseball beyond the field, starts Sunday at 5 p.m. … win Vin Scully narrating.

The documentary-style program created by MLB Productions is about … heck, we’ll let Vin explain it:

“Baseball reaches us all in places far beyond the playing field,” said Scully in the MLB press release. “I am honored to lend my support to this endeavor and help celebrate the game I have loved for my entire life.”

Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., Curtis Granderson, Derek Lee and Terry Francona, as well as a special profile of the Upton family – father Manny and sons B.J. and Justin – are included.

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Our Daily Dread: Manny may be the new health tonic for L.A., or hazzardous to our well being

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The man on the newest cover of ESPN The Magazine looks happy. And healthy (it shows no hamstring wear and tear).

His smile is infectious. And that’s good for you.

We’ve come across this item on the Wall Street Journal (linked here) that both disturbs us, yet distinguises Southern California sports fan as not so laid back when it comes to how our local sports team affect our laid-back nature.

Here’s the theory:

L.A. has obsessed sports fans, apparently, who don’t know how to handle their rooting interest. We’ve become the guinea pigs for a study that’s cited here, going back to when this fine city had NFL teams in its perpherial vision.

The story says, in relation to how those can die from rooting too hard:

The latest evidence comes from a report showing that deaths, including heart-related deaths, increased in Los Angeles County during the two weeks following the 1980 Super Bowl. The underdog Los Angeles Rams lost that battle to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game in which the lead changed seven times. By contrast, four years later, when the L.A. Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins by a lopsided score, deaths in L.A. fell.

Getting really emotionally involved in your team “can result in emotional stressors,” says Robert A. Kloner, director of research at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, and an expert in heart-attack triggers. “That isn’t always good for the heart.” Dr. Kloner is presenting the research this weekend at an American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Doc, you got our attention.


But now, how do we draw any conclusions from this? We’re not sure.

First … The NFL was actually in L.A.? My kids kid me about that.

Maybe it’s good that it hasn’t been around here for the last 15 years. We don’t have that unhealthy barometer around to keep us on the edge of our seats, or on the ledge of our office buildings.

This may apply closer to the rise and fall of the Dodgers and/or Lakers. The Dodgers’ fans — or any fan of baseball — seems to be more laid back, wouldn’t you say? A World Series celebration hasn’t been seen around here since 1981, so there’s no way to gauge evidence they cause harm to our bodies.

Last year’s trip to the NL Championship Series could have been a good test case. Did the city really fall into a depression after that loss to the Phillies? Maybe not, because it wasn’t a one-or-nothing proposition.

Same for the Lakers. In a series to the Celtics, there are times to inflate or deflate your blood pressure and accept victory or defeat at different levels.

A Super Bowl scenario makes a lot more sense on how to judge someone’s obsessive allegiance. You can’t really gauge it on a college football championship game, especially one involving USC in the last five years, because there are probably too many indifferent fans watching. Those who consider themselves “die-hards” are more likely to take a defeat in the NCAA title game to Texas personally, just as they celebrated victories over Michigan or Oklahoma as a euphoric tonics to keep life looking rosy.

It’s more food for thought, but that’s another issue. Don’t most people you know living in L.A. eat better than fans in other parts of the country? Obesity is a nation-wide problem, but we seem to be far more health conscious and that could contribute to whether we collapse into a La-Z-Boy with a heart attack or not, even after an episode of “American Idol.”

Meanwhile, we look forward to the days ahead when we can cram a Dodger Dog down our throat, chase it down with a high-calorie Coke and watch Man-Ham-Ram circle the bases without killing himself.

Let us know what you think here or at

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