Updated U.S. Open TV schedule

With Thursday’s rain delay and catching up on the first round today, the U.S. Open looks this way (barring more rain):

Saturday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., NBC (previous schedule had an 11 a.m. PDT start on Channel 4)
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., NBC (but could start earlier pending Saturday’s weather)

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The Media Learning Curve: June 12-19

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Summer schooling begins at the Media Learning Center, despite funding cutbacks and the lure of the beach.

So we’ll keep the lessons clean and crisp. No extra credit. Just do the work, turn it in on time, and we’ll sign your probation officer’s paperwork as required by law.

This week, we educated ourselves by finding out:

== Chris Berman will have something in common with Peter Graves, Jimmy Kimmel, Bryan Adams , Ringo Starr and the Funk Brothers (linked here). It’s our guess that they’ll arrange for the ceremony sometime near the 2010 ESPY Awards, since he’s in town anyway (it’s his turn to wear the Lone Ranger outfit and hang outside the Kodak Theatre to take pictures with tourists).

== Even Mike Breen had a tough time doing his job at the NBA Finals looking at a sulking Jeff Van Gundy at his side (linked here).

== We thought Mark Jackson would make a fine USC basketball coach, but now apparently the Minnesota TimberWolves enjoyed his ABC/ESPN NBA analysis even more (linked here) And if Kevin Love knows anything we’ll await his tweets. FYI: The Twolves GM, David Kahn, is a former sportswriter who started on the UCLA Daily Bruin and worked at the Oregonian.

== A willing reporter at the “Joe Buck Live” show has first-hand thoughts about what wrong when commedians attack (linked here). And for what it’s worth — and plenty, if your paying bills for HBO, Buck’s show was a much better draw than anything Bob Costas did for the network in his later years (linked here). And even more aftermath (linked here).

== What if Don Ohlmeyer is ESPN.com’s next ombudsman? (linked here)

== The MLB.com iPhone app has the kids all a twitter (linked here)

== Check out how Johnny Miller did some old-school prep work for the U.S. Open (linked here)

== Buzz Bissinger is still creating blogger buzz (linked here)

== Hey, not to forget about this but the MLB Network is covering the latest Civil Rights Game (Chicago White Sox at Cincinnati Reds) on Saturday at 4 p.m. with Victor Rojas and Harold Reynolds.

AND FINALLY:

== One last look at the blondes in blue from ABC’s coverage of Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Orlando:

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The Media Learning Curve: Grappling with pleasing Pop

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Don’t wrestle with this idea too much or you’ll put yourself in a sleeper hold.

If on Sunday, Dad wants to watch water-logged U.S. Open golf, so be it. Or even tape-delayed fishing (see below). Relent. You can’t change his mind. get him a cold beverage (or a Vodka popsicle) and suck it up. Just know that later in the day, you’ll get to see the Angels host the Dodgers, and things may be better.

Since more media notes are the result of perspiration rather than precipitation (here’s a link to today’s media column while we dread more Chris Berman commentary … or reading more about it), we also sweat through these:

== More reaction and Buck response from “Joe Buck Live” debut (linked here)

== ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball will feature the Dodgers — again — against the Angels at 5 p.m., with Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips. Saturday’s Jered Weaver vs. Jeff Weaver matchup isn’t on the Fox regional coverage — Channel 11 has Tampa Bay-New York Mets instead at 1 p.m. — leaving KCOP-Channel 13 (with Angels guys) and Prime Ticket (with Vin Scully) on the call at 6 p.m. TBS has Atlanta at Boston (Sunday, 10:30 a.m.)

== ESPN Classic (and ESPN360.com) has Saturday’s Wladimir Klitschko/Ruslan Chagaev fight from Gelsenkirchen, Germany at 2 p.m. — the second time in three months that ESPN networks have aired a heavyweight championship boxing match (after doing Vitali Klitschko’s WBC title defense against Juan Carlos Gomez.). Although, the winner of this bout receives the title of Ring Magazine Heavyweight Championship, which has been vacant since Vitali Klitschko retired in 2005.

== NBCSports.com announced this week that it will host, sell and promote David Florio’s ProFootballTalk.com, giving NBC’s Sports team something to go to during its “Sunday Night Football” coverage during the fall. The deal allows NBCSports.com’s Tom Curran and Gregg Rosenthal to write for the site, which will be renamed ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com.

== “Monday Night Football” will be the first sports franchise to be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame at its awards dinner in New York on Oct. 20.

== NBC claims that 8 million watched Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals between Pittsburgh and Detroit last Friday, making it the most-watched NHL game in 36 years (going back to the Montreal-Chicago Game 6 on NBC in 1973). Friday’s game did a 4.3 rating and 8 share, the best for a series-ending game in six years (Game 7, Anaheim-New Jersey, 4.6/8 in 2003).

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AND FINALLY:

== If it’s not live fishing, do we watch? Of course. Dad says we have to.

This note from ESPN public relations scribes:

“Tapping into his extensive knowledge of river fishing, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Short of Mayflower, Ark., mastered the mighty Mississippi River at the Genuity River Rumble, posting a four-day total of 43 pounds, 3 ounces, which was enough to edge out hard-charging Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas, by 10 ounces. Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action on The BassMasters.”

Well, now that you’ve ruined it for us …

That’s Saturday, 6 a.m., ESPN2, if you need to tape-delay it even further for Sunday viewing.

By the way, how does a true Bassmaster master a comeback victory? (fake story linked here)

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Collateral for the next Laker parade: There’s $3,500 in the bank … just for the latest trophy

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Look closely again at the Larry O’Brien Trophy that the Laker players were carting around town Wednesday.

What would, say, Cash4Gold give up for all that heavy metal?

Try $3,500. Give or take a nickel.

By examining photographs of the trophy, the company issued a press release today saying that “certified appraisers” estimate the trophy “might contain as much as $3,500 worth of precious metals.” The trophy weighs about 16 pounds, stands about two feet tall, and is composed of sterling silver overlaid with 24 karat gold.

Yes, that’s Jeanie Buss heading over to the UPS station, stuffing the trophy into a large envelope, and waiting for a return check.

Now, about Kobe’s MVP trophy …

A spokesman for Cash4Gold said the company “unfortunately is not able to provide an estimate on the value of Kobe’s NBA Finals MVP trophy without knowing the quality of its metal content and weight. … Kobe could mail in his MVP trophy for an appraisal, but he also has an open invitation to visit our new facility whenever he likes. We would be glad to give him a tour and use our state-of-the-art assaying equipment to provide him with a detailed assessment of his new trophy.”

That would only be necessary if he needed some quick, “my bad” jewelry purchases in the future.

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Our Daily Dread: Jones’ first hit was ugly, in a couple of ways

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Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press
The Dodgers’ Mitch Jones breaks his bat as he hits a bloop single to right for his first big-league hit in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium.

Mitch Jones’ new Dodger teammates retrieved the ball that became his first big-league hit in Wednesday’s game, a bloop single just past the reach of Oakland second baseman Adam Kennedy.

They could have retrieved pieces of Jones’ bat as well.

The barrel snapped off and sailed about 10 rows behind the Dodgers dugout, into the crowd, sending the spectators into a panicked scramble.

On the radio broadcast, Charley Steiner admitted that he followed the flight of the bat into the stands rather than the arch of the ball.

On the TV broadcast, Vin Scully followed the camera shot of the ball going to right field and described it, but there was no immediate. Only on a replay from a camera along the first-base line did we see how dangerous a situation it was, as the jagged end of the barrel seemed to hit the leg of a man in short pants as he tried to turn away, then bounce up into the row behind him. These people were sitting in what used to be the first row of seats before the expanded dugout club section behind home plate. The replay was also shown on ESPN “SportsCenter” last night and earlier today, with the anchor adding that “no one was hurt.”

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch: “We have been monitoring the study that Major League Baseball is doing on broken bats and share our fans’ concerns on the occasions that one reaches the stands.”

That said, there seems to be fewer bats broken this year because of new regulations and policies. But the fact it still happens will be a cause for concern. Do we need nets around the lower stands as they do in Japanese Leagues? Does MLB react with netting like is done in the NHL to protect fans from flying pucks? What’s the compromise?

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