Think of 2011 as the Summer of Beavers … Triple-A ball style

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The San Diego Padres’ Triple-A Portland Beavers, a team that’s soon without a place to play, will likely move its 2011 home to Lake Elsinore and share the stadium with the Padres’ Single-A Storm, according to Baseball America (linked here).

Meanwhile, Padres CEO Jeff Moorad has formed a group that includes former UCLA and NFL quarterback Troy Aikman in hopes of buying the Pacific Coast League franchise from current owner Merritt Paulson and move it closer to San Diego — with San Marcos, Escondito or Tuscon, Ariz., as possible landing spots.

The Beavers will be without a home after this season — their long-time ballpark will be converted into a soccer-only facility to house the Major League Soccer’s expansion Portland Timbers, which are owned by Paulson.

The city of Portland turned down proposals to build the Beavers a new stadium. So, at Lake Elsinore, the 7,866-seat park awaits.

The Baseball American story says that Minor League Baseball has said the park sharing between the Beavers and Storm in Lake Elsinore can only last one season.

PCL president Branch Rickey, the grandson of late baseball executive Branch Rickey, is quoted: “The situation is something the California League and Pacific Coast League would not consider a long-term solution, but a one-year interim is a possibility.”

Moorad told Baseball America he wants his team’s Triple-A franchise in California, at a yet-to-be built stadium.

“We’ve had talks with several municipalities, including Escondido,” he said.

Now, just keep the name, and get Jerry Mathers to throw out the first pitch (linked here).

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A Kahn jobbing the media, to protect himself from himself

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In light of having to pay a $50,000 fine for comments he made about one of his players’ past drug use, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn has changed his media policy.

According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kahn says that all interview requests will go through the team’s media-relations department and “no longer are reporters allowed to call or text him directly on his cell phone.”

You’d think someone like Kahn, who once covered basketball and other sports for the (Portland) Oregonian upon his graduation from UCLA where he was a sports editor at the Daily Bruin would have figured out media protocol by this point in his career.

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They’re already talking about a Pat Haden replacement

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Not as the USC AD. As the Notre Dame analyst.

Joe Theismann, Steve Beuerlein, Mike Golic, Rocket Ismail and Aaron Taylor might be the South Bend favorites, but James Lofton, Dan Fouts and former Irish coach Bob Davie are also in the conversation to replace Haden as the game analyst on NBC’s Irish football package.

This, according to those throwing out names on sports-talk shows and blogs because there’s not much else to talk about this time of year.

Cris Collinsworth, who once did this package in the early ’90s, may also be asked to take on the seven-game package in addition to his NFL duties at the network.

Taking it further, some even speculate that Tom Hammonds will take the opportunity to step away after 14 seasons as the play-by-play over the last 17 years, which could open an opportunity for Ted Robinson (Notre Dame Class of ’78) to take it.

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The tale of the ginormous Dodger ticket scan (not scam)

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From SBNation’s baseball link (linked here), via VinScullyIsMyHomeboy.com (linked here) is the story of a big Dodger fan named Jimmy Chang who got creative with how he would enter Dodger Stadium the other day.

You know how when you buy a ticket online, then print it out to use for your entrance pass? Jimmy had bigger plans when he went to the Dodgers-Mets game last Friday.

“What would happen if my ticket was 3 by 5 feet,” Jimmy wrote to Roberto Baly, who runs the VinScullyIsMyHomeboy site from his home in San Dimas. “Will they accept it?! If they do, will it scan?!?”

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The answer: Yes, they’ll scan it. Then security will confiscate it.

The ticket-taker thought Jimmy was carrying in a banner, which is prohibited by stadium rules. But it wasn’t.

Jimmy explained that he works at a printing company that does movie banners. He took his Ticketmaster printout, gave it to a press man and had him blow it up real good.

“Next time, I might go bigger — maybe 5 by 8,” Jimmy added. “I guess it doesn’t matter how bit it is as long as the coder reads it right.”

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Ari Gold best curb his enthusiasm for the NFL in L.A.

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There remains a surreal reality-meets-Hollywood aspect to L.A.’s ongoing stumbling pursuit of an NFL team, one that lately could confuse even those of us who know the difference between right, wrong and broken dreams.

Hopefully, no one at the NFL watches HBO until “Hard Knocks” starts in August. It might cloud their decision to actually bring a team back here — the first since both the Raiders and Rams changed their addresses after the 1994 season.

Enter the latest episode of “Entourage,” where agent-gone-crazy Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is money-hungry to bring himself fame as he figures out a way to form an NFL ownership group fo L.A. that includes two very real candidates: Casey Wasserman and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Weren’t they already involved in ….

“Billionaire boys club day. I love it!” says Gold in the HBO series’ episode “Tequila Sunrise” that debuted Sunday (with several more replays this week).

So Gold has his meeting, with Wasserman making an appearance as well as San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman.

Says Gold: “I want, and everyone in this town wants, an NFL team playing in a brand-new state-of-the-art facility within five years, all right? I think with the power and the money at this table, we can get it done in three. Now is the time for L.A. to have an NFL team and I am the right guy to lead the charge to make this happen.”

When asked how Gold would run the team with their money — he’s trying to milk at least $20 million per investor — he said: “Like I do here at the world’s largest talent agency. I bring in the best, I attract the best. I’ve always done that … Sign checks — big ones. And if not, regret not being a part of this for the rest of your lives.”

Now match that up to the quotes that appeared in Saturday’s Whittier Daily News (linked here), where Ed Roski says he’s still committed to building his City of Industry stadium, even if there’s a second stadium proposal for downtown in the works.

“It will happen,” said the Majestic Reality CEO, even though he says the NFL’s labor problems coming up has slowed progress on his proposed $800 million, 75,000-seat stadium, which is fully approved for construction.

“Our expectation was to be further along than we are right now,” the 71-year-old said. “Unfortunately for us, the labor contract right after the Super Bowl became a focus for the NFL. So it definitely has slowed the process down.”

Is Ari aware of this?

(Does it matter? Ari once had a quote in the series: “Call me Helen Keller because I’m a f—ing miracle worker!”)

In real life, Wasserman has said he’d join Tim Leiweke in trying to get a $1 billion NFL stadium built near Staples Center.

Roski declined to talk specifically about the downtown stadium concept, of which few details have been released.

“We are just focusing on our deal,” he said. “We think we have the location that services all of Southern California.”

In 2003, Roski was working to bring an NFL team to the Coliseum, a similar venture in Carson was revealed — that was the pet project of agent Michael Ovitz.

Which seems to be the character that Gold is now portraying. We think.

Unless Larry David, as George Steinbrenner, wants to step in and add his two cents.

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