The Media Learning Curve II: Above all else, when X marks other spots


AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Fans cheer for Sam Querrey during his match against Ryan Sweeting at the L.A. Tennis Open at UCLA on Thursday.

Even more sports media stuff to look over, X Games aside (after today’s column, linked here):

== ESPN2’s schedule for the ATP L.A. Open, with Cliff Drysdale, Darren Cahill and Pam Shriver, includes tonight and Saturday (8 to 10 p.m.) before Sunday’s final (2 p.m.), which follows live coverage of the WTA’s Stanford event (noon). The L.A.-based Tennis Channel, with Lief Shiras and Justin Gimelstob, has coverage today (noon to 4 and 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.) and Saturday (1 to 3 p.m.) before a wrapup of the doubles Sunday at 5 p.m.


== If something that looks like news doesn’t already travel fast enough, says it will soon launch something called RapidReports, a “Twitter-style reporting deployment” where writers assigned to every NFL team will file “steady, immediate streams of short reports, usually two to three sentences each” and have it integrated with the network website. Senior VP and GM Jason Kint says in a statement that this isn’t a direct comparison to Twitter, but tries to clarify: “We’re looking to come up with a faster way to report on teams out in the field without letting go of editorial principles. We see this as something really transformative that will make us even more a must-read destination.”

Because, if you can’t take a couple extra seconds to get whatever smells like news doublechecked, someone else will report on it anyway and you’ll be a full minute behind the news curve. This system will use several former beat writers who’ve been purged from their previous newspaper employers, so at least many are considered more properly trained journalists who just happen to be on the wrong side of the economic scales.

For now, CBS says there’s no plan to use any of this content on its Sunday “NFL Today” studio show as it fails miserable to make any headway against Fox, ESPN or NBC, but that’s probably only a matter of time – and trouble.

See how it plays in Rapid City, South Dakota, and get back to us.


== Derek Lowe’s appearance for the Braves against the Dodgers on Saturday (and Randy Wolf) is the Fox regional game of the week going to Southern California (and 36 percent of the country, with Kenny Albert and Mark Grace (1 p.m.) More than half the country gets the Yankees’ game at the Chicago White Sox. ESPN also has the Dodgers and Braves on Sunday at 5 p.m. TBS has a special 1 p.m. start Sunday when it carries Philadellphia at San Francisco (with Chip Caray and Dennis Eckersley).

== ESPNEWS has its own MLB trade deadline special from 9 to 10 a.m. this morning, while the MLB Networks goes all hands on deck with plans to devote about seven hours of live coverage today, starting at 8 a.m., from its Secaucus, N.J., studio, with rotating hosts Greg Amsinger, Victor Rojas and Matt Vasgersian along with analysts John Hart, Jon Heyman, Joe Magrane, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci and Mitch Williams. MLB Scouting Bureau Director Frank Marcos and senior writer Jonathan Mayo will also throw in their opinions. MLB Network reporter Hazel Mae is traveling with the Toronto Blue Jays tracking updates on pitcher Roy Halladay . And Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal, now working as well as an “MLB Network Baseball Insider,” will check in with his offerings.

Maybe more entertaining, Bob Costas will narrate six editions of “MLB Network Remembers,” looking back at interesting trades in MLB history — including Hall of Famer Lou Brock’s trade to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964, Mark McGwire’s trade from Oakland to St. Louis, and the Boston Red Sox trading for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek in 1997.

== What’s up on the Fox Soccer Channel: The live and exclusive coverage of the Galaxy’s friendly against Barcelona at the Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., with Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan.

== What else is up: Fox Soccer Channel has hired Eric Wynalda as the new co-host of “Fox Fone-In” with Nick Webster. The sixth season of the show starts Monday, Aug. 10, from 4-6 p.m. You know Wynalda, right? Former Westlake High star, U.S. National Team player, went overseas with Germany, made the MLS splash, ’94 and ’98 World Cups, retiring in ’00 as the all-time leading goal scorer in American history, went to ESPN to do some stuff before he was uncermoniously bounced from the network. Still probably hates Jim Rome for his kickball bashing.

“As a former player and passionate soccer fan myself, I tuned in weekly to enjoy the lively debate on Fox Football Fone-In, and I couldn’t be happier to now be sitting alongside Nick as a co-host,” said Wynalda in a release. “If there’s one thing I’ve hung my hat on throughout my broadcasting career, it’s that I refuse to bite my tongue. Fox Football Fone-In viewers can expect Nick and me to always tell it like it is, even if that means disagreeing with each other – and our callers!”

== And what was up: Fox Soccer Channel says it scored its highest-rated telecast since becoming a Nielsen rated network in October 2008 with Sunday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final between the U.S. and Mexico — an 0.8 household rating (267,000 homes nationwide). They say it bested top sports and male-oriented cable channels in the same time slot including ESPN2, NFL Network, Spike TV and ESPN News.

== Mark Rolfing , with Gary Koch, Bob Murphy, Roger Maltbie and Dottie Pepper, follow the every stroke of Greg Norman and Tom Watson at the USGA U.S. Senior Open in Carmel, Ind., on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. (Channel 4).

== Bill Macatee and Nick Faldo are the main voices for the PGA’s Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich., this weekend for CBS (Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., Channel 2) with Peter Oosterhuis, Gary McCord, Ian Baker-Finch, David Feherty and Peter Kostis.



== Saturday, 10 p.m., HBO debuts its latest sports documentary, “Assault In The Ring,” about the Billy Collins Jr.-Luis Resto junior middleweight fight that is “one of boxing’s saddest days,” says HBO Sports executive producer Rick Bernstein. On June 16, 1983, Collins went to Madison Square Garden to fight Luis Resto of the Bronx. Resto won in an upset, but it was discovered that the padding had been illegally removed from Resto’s gloves by his trainer, Panama Lewis, before the fight. Resto was banned from the sport and sent to jail; Collins, brutally beaten up, went into a tragic downward spiral (this was his post-fight photo).

Lewis is interviewed for the piece, as well as New York state athletic commissioners, prosecutors and jury members of the 1985 trial. This story will undoubtely provide some context to the ongoing debate about the Staples Center outcome last January (linked here) about Antonio Margarito’s team trying to artificially load his gloves before facing Shane Mosley (another link here).

Says Resto in the piece, interviewed from jail: “You know, I think about that fight almost every day. When I work in the gym, I work with the other guys. I don’t see your face, I see Collins’ face.”

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