Citizens of Los Angeles v. McCourt, Frank and Jamie … Game over

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In honor of Fan Appreciation Weekend at Dodger Stadium, the final homestand, Joe Torre’s going-away party and another page turned in the Dodgers’ team chapter, we’ve taken up a collection and have something to present to the owners of the team.

Frank and Jamie McCourt: You’ve been served.

By the powers vested in us, the citizens of Los Angeles, we hereby declare a class-action divorce from the McCourts and demand full custody of the Dodgers.

Ipso facto, E pluribus unum, carpe diem and, considering how much the two of them have been spending on their hairstylists, coiffure interruptus.

Divorcing ourselves from the courtroom circus that has become McCourt v. McCourt over the last few months, culminating in a charade that ended with closing arguments this week, has been a very difficult task.

Frank and Jamie each contend they own the Dodgers in one bad shape or another. They don’t want to play nice about it as they attempt to split up their leveraged fortunes and actually stop believin’.

An otherwise wise judge now has to waste his time going over the testimony and has until around Christmas to rule on their marital unbliss. But then, with appeals, new trials and just plain stubbornness, Frank could use millions of more borrowed dollars that perhaps could be better spent on a hypnotist for Jonathan Broxton to drag this out.

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We can’t wait’ll next year. Because, in all seriousness, who really owns the Dodgers?

Isn’t it community property that’s property of the community?

Shouldn’t the fans take ownership of this situation?

Maybe we’re treading on Chavez Ravine ground that has already seen enough abuse, but we propose a new legal measure of revenge.

Don’t worry, Silverstein. We’re not even messing with typos here. Exclusive, inclusive or reclusive, we’ll make this as plain and painless as possible.

Now, in California, petitions for the dissolution of marriage are based only on a) irreconcilable differences or b) incurable insanity. We intend to hit for the cycle on this. Sign us up for both.

And irregardless of whether that’s an actual word or not, we add irrational behavior unbecoming of a O’Malley successor, irrevocable trust, irreversible damage, irregular heartbeat, irreplaceable left fielders with dreadlocks, illogical thinking and, not to get too graphic, but irritable towel syndrome (have you tried to pull off one of those sheets of sandpaper in the restrooms at Dodger Stadium)?

You may try to rephrase this as a case of “emancipation.” We will stick with the big D-word, without the help of anyone from LegalDoom.com.

Despite having watched plenty of episodes of “Family Court with Judge Penny,” we’re not about to squeeze every nickel out of you in this, although we know payback can be bitchin’.

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In the division of assets, our demands are simple.

We get:

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== Vin Scully.
== Nancy Bea Hefley.
== Roger Owens, the peanut man.
== Dodger Stadium.
== The land surrounding Dodger Stadium.
== The promise never to “enhance” the land surrounding Dodger Stadium with a shopping mall, Indian casino or rifle range.
== The Dodger Stadium naming rights (which we vow to never use).
== The annual Jackie Robinson night promotion.
== Hollywood Stars Night (can’t believe that was so botched this season that it didn’t even happen).
== All remaining light-blue paint left.
== All future prospects in the farm system under the age of 21.
== Andre Either’s bat.
== James Loney’s glove.
== Clayton Kershaw arm.
== Larry Bowa’s attitude.
== The four seats next to the dugout where the McCourts currently have reserved, but will be used on a rotating basis, given away to four fans each game who originally buy a ticket to the left-field pavilion.

As such, we also propose the McCourts can have:

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== Continued liabilities of all deferred salary payments, including but not limited to Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, Darren Dreifort, Don Stanhouse and Vladimir Shpunt.
== All concession stand workers, especially those who act as if punching the order into the cash register pad is the first time they’ve seen it in their lives.
== Any future trademark rights to “$2 Tuesdays.”
== All broken maple bats.
== All advertising decals on the outfield walls.
== One percent of parking revenue, not to exceed .002 cents per automobile per year.
== Rental of the Stadium Club one night every 10 years, at an agreed-upon date, for family functions only (with a necessary cleaning deposit).
== All profits from the California Pizza Kitchen stand, since no one should be eating that stuff anyway.
== Rhianna.
== The ear-piercing center-field speaker system.
== The overpaid guy running the “Dodger Dream Foundation.”
== Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s future requests for free tickets.

As for Tommy Lasorda: That’s open for negotiation.

We accept a demand to be named later, but respect whatever visitation rights you intend to set up in the interim. We can pick him up at the local McDonald’s parking lot and take him to the games on every other weekend if that’s amicable.

Sorry it’s come to this. Really. Truly. True Bluely.

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It’s not your fault. It’s our fault for not doing this earlier. Even if this is a no-fault state of confusion now.

Enjoy the final games of the 2010 season, McCourts. An usher will escort you out of the facility whenever you’ve finished cleaning out our wallets.

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Just added to the ESPN ’30 For 30′: ‘Fernando Nation’

Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/SportsIllustrated.com

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An hour-long documentary about Fernando Valenzuela’s cultural impact on the city of Los Angeles has been added to the ESPN “30 For 30″ series, to air on Tuesday, Oct. 26 on ESPN at 5 p.m.

L.A.-raised Cruz Angeles, who created some buzz with his 2009 Sundance Film Festival feature, “Don’t Let Me Drown,” directed the project.

The ESPN summary of it:

‘The Natural’ is supposed to be a blue-eyed boy who teethed on a 36-ounce Louisville Slugger. He should run like the wind and throw boysenberries through brick. He should come from California.” – Steve Wulf, Sports Illustrated, 1981. So how was it that a pudgy 20-year-old, Mexican, left-handed pitcher from a remote village in the Sonoran desert, unable to speak a word of English, could sell out stadiums across America and become a rock star overnight? In “Fernando Nation,” Mexican-born and Los Angeles-raised director Cruz Angeles traces the history of a community that was torn apart when Dodger Stadium was built in Chavez Ravine and then revitalized by one of the most captivating pitching phenoms baseball has ever seen. Nicknamed “El Toro” by his fans, Fernando Valenzuela ignited a fire that spread from LA to New York–and beyond. He vaulted himself onto the prime time stage and proved with his signature look to the heavens and killer screwball that the American dream was not reserved for those born on U.S. soil. In this layered look at the myth and the man, Cruz Angeles recalls the euphoria around Fernando’s arrival and probes a phenomenon that transcended baseball for many Mexican-Americans. Fernando Valenzuela himself opens up to share his perspective on this very special time. Three decades later, “Fernandomania” lives.

The documentary will actually debut on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. on ESPN Deportes before it’s appearance on ESPN.

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Johnny Miller’s Ryder Cup banquet awaits

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By Doug Ferguson
The Associated Press

NEWPORT, Wales — You can count on Johnny Miller to be impartial at the Ryder Cup as an analyst for NBC Sports.

American or European, he can get under anyone’s skin.

As great as he was as a player — Miller will tell you that himself — he only played in the Ryder Cup twice. Still, he has managed to become a big part of the event through commentary that is always blunt, sometimes shocking, usually accurate.

Even some of his victims agree with that.

“I like a lot of what he does,” Justin Leonard said last week. “It can be a little too critical. I’m sure most guys on tour would say the same thing. We don’t want anyone saying we choked. We know we did. We just don’t want to hear anyone else say we did.”

Leonard says he is not a “Johnny basher,” even though few other player were bashed worse.

“My hunch is that Justin needs to go home and watch it on television,” Miller blurted out in 1999 when Leonard and Hal Sutton were losing a fourballs match Saturday afternoon at Brookline.

That remains among the most famous of the “Johnny moments,” and there have been plenty over the years. Like the time he said Craig Parry’s swing would make Ben Hogan puke. And remember, Miller is the first analyst to introduce the word “choke” into the golf broadcast, a word players don’t even like hearing in conversation.

And there might be plenty of that going on this week at Celtic Manor.

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Chevy bails out Fox with an earlier World Series Game 3 start

Fox’s ability to find a sponsor willing to finance a pushed-up start to the third game of the upcoming World Series is a start in the right direction toward making the product more viewer-friendly for future generations.

It’s not a major move, per say – a 3:57 p.m. PT/6:57 p.m. ET for the game set on Saturday, Oct. 30 – considering it’s only an hour earlier from every other start time (except Sunday’s Game 4, which will wait for the finish of Fox’s NFL coverage).

“We’ve said over the years that if advertisers were willing to support earlier starts at prime time levels, we’d be able to begin games earlier,” said Fox Sports president Eric Shanks in a release, noting that Chevrolet is the sponsor (with parent-company GM still 60 percent owned by the U.S. government) that stepped up.

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A Ryder Cup quiz for you to take, because Suduku in Wales hasn’t caught on

By Doug Freguson
The Associated Press

How well do you know Ryder Cup history? Try this quiz:

FRIDAY FOURSOMES

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1. Where did the Ryder Cup get its name?
a.) An English seed merchant.
b.) A tabloid columnist.
c.) A rental truck company that paid $50 million to be the title sponsor.

2. Who is the oldest player in Ryder Cup history?
a.) Fred Funk
b.) Christy O’Connor Sr.
c.) Raymond Floyd

3. Which American has won the most points in the Ryder Cup?
a.) Billy Casper
b.) Jack Nicklaus
c.) Gardner Dickinson

4. Where was the first Ryder Cup held?
a.) Valhalla Golf Club
b.) Worcester Country Club
c.) Newport Country Club

FRIDAY FOURBALLS

5. Which Ryder Cup tandem has won the most matches?
a.) Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson
b.) Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal
c.) Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

6. Which player has had the most partners in the Ryder Cup?
a.) Raymond Floyd
b.) Bernhard Langer
c.) Tiger Woods

7. Who was the last player to win all five of his matches?
a.) Justin Rose
b.) Larry Nelson
c.) Corey Pavin

8. Who has played in the most Ryder Cup matches?
a.) Bernhard Langer
b.) Sam Snead
c.) Nick Faldo

SATURDAY FOURSOMES

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9. What is the surname of the first set of brothers to compete in the same Ryder Cup?
a.) Hebert
b.) Hunt
c.) Whitcombe
(Note: At right, Italy’s Eduardo and Francesco Molinari will be on the European Ryder Cup team).

10. What significant change in the Ryder Cup occurred in 1979?
a.) Players from continental Europe were eligible.
b.) Captains no longer could play in the matches.
c.) The Ryder Cup turned its first profit.

11. Which U.S. captain put together the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world, only to see them get beat on the last hole?
a.) Hal Sutton
b.) Ben Crenshaw
c.) Dave Stockton

12. The Ryder Cup was not played on consecutive days in 1951 at Pinehurst. Why was no golf played on Saturday?
a.) Record flooding.
b.) A hurricane warning.
c.) Both teams attended a college football game.

SATURDAY FOURBALLS

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13. Who is the youngest player to compete in the Ryder Cup?
a.) Tiger Woods
b.) Sergio Garcia
c.) Gene Sarazen

14. How many majors did Jack Nicklaus win before competing in his first Ryder Cup?
a.) None
b.) Three
c.) Seven

15. Where was the first Ryder Cup held outside of England or the United States?
a.) Muirfield
b.) Valderrama
c.) St. Andrews

16. Who was the last playing captain at the Ryder Cup?
a.) Dai Rees
b.) Dave Marr
c.) Arnold Palmer

SUNDAY SINGLES

17. Who holed a 45-foot putt to complete the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history?
a.) Justin Leonard
b.) Peter Baker
c.) Philip Walton

18. Name the only player to go 18 holes in all five matches.
a.) Phil Mickelson
b.) Curtis Strange
c.) Tom Watson

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19. What is considered the greatest gesture of sportsmanship in the Ryder Cup?
a.) Jack Nicklaus conceding Tony Jacklin a short par putt in 1969 so the Ryder Cup would end in a tie.
b.) Hal Sutton sending out Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as partners — twice.
c.) Ben Crenshaw waiting until after the 1999 matches were over before crying.

20. Who made a hole-in-one to close out his singles match?
a.) Howard Clark
b.) Scott Verplank
c.) Paul Casey

21. When was the last time the year’s four major champions played in the Ryder Cup?
a.) 1989
b.) 1979
c.) 1969

22. Name the only European who has a winning record despite having never played on a winning team (minimum three events)?
a.) Henry Cotton
b.) Peter Oosterhuis
c.) Tony Jacklin

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23. Who was Bernhard Langer’s opponent when he missed his 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Kiawah Island?
a.) Hale Irwin
b.) Mark Calcavecchia
c.) Payne Stewart

24. Where did Europe win on American soil for the first time?
a.) Muirfield Village
b.) Oak Hill
c.) PGA National

25. Name the only player to beat Tiger Woods in a Ryder Cup singles match.
a.) Jesper Parnevik
b.) Costantino Rocca
c.) Lee Westwood

26. Who was the only American who failed to earn a point as a captain’s pick?
a.) Curtis Strange
b.) Jay Haas
c.) Fred Couples

27. Who has earned the most singles points without ever having lost a match?
a.) Tom Kite
b.) Colin Montgomerie
c.) Tom Lehman

28. Name the only American who lost the decisive singles match and won the decisive singles match.
a.) Jim Furyk
b.) Justin Leonard
c.) Andy North

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