Play it forward: Sept. 27-Oct. 3 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


NFL: Green Bay at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

This matchup of two 2-0 NFC North teams should have Chris Berman more excited than an Applebee’s 2-for-$20 deal. Whooooooooooop! Please tip your waiters. (Hey, you see Chili’s has the same promo going?)

NBA: “Real Training Camp: Los Angeles Lakers,” 2 p.m., NBA TV:

It’s not like “Hard Knocks,” but that’s kind of the idea taken by NBA TV as it goes to the Lakers’ training camp for a preseason reality show. There’s two hours of coverage here, hosted by Marc Fein.


MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 5:40 p.m., Prime:

The Rockies’ Cy Young candidate Ubaldo Jimenez, who didn’t look all the sharp registering his 19th win in a 7-5 victory over the Dodgers 11 days ago, can win his 20th today against them. The Dodgers have actually beaten him twice this year and sends Ted Lilly out today. This also means Jimenez, who was 15-1 in early July and seemed to be on a easy path to 20, will get one more start in an important game at the end of the week. Consider: It would mark the first time someone named Ubaldo has won any major award in sports history. We’re pulling for the big U. The last opposing player to win his 20th against the Dodgers: Arizona’s Randy Johnson on Sept. 4, 2002, when he threw a three-hitter in a 7-1 victory.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

The second- and third-place teams in the AL West at least can say: We’re not Seattle. The Angels’ Ervin Santana, who was 13-9 back on Aug. 24, can win his 18th game of the season, and probably have one more shot by the end of the week to get No. 19. That’d be a magic season for Ervin.

Horse racing: Fairplex racing, L.A. County Fairgrounds, Pomona, 1 p.m. first post:

Day 15 of the 15-day card has arrived, with free hot dogs, admission, parking. … leftovers for everyone.



Special: “The Tenth Inning,” 8 p.m., KCET Channel 28:

Ken Burns’ addition to his 1994 “Baseball” documentary picks up where the first series left off — covering the ’98 home run chase, performance enhanced players, the arrival of Ichiro and the Red Sox winning the World Series. Twice. You can’t make that stuff up. KCET follows up the first two-hour installment with a documentary on the 1955 Dodgers’ World Series (10 p.m.). The second part of this airs same time on Wednesday.

MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 5:40 p.m., Channel 9:


This stat we know: Coming into this week, Matt Kemp is the only Dodger to have appeared in all 156 games this season — and he has the longest active consecutive-games streak in the majors at 198. He’d be the last guy we’d figure to hold that distinction. So the point is: For all the times Kemp was benched in the second half, he still somehow got into a game. Maybe that explains everything. Or maybe not.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

We ran a blog item the other day about how the A’s new stadium could be built on a platform (linked here). It bothers us the Angels didn’t think of that first. Imagine if Angel Stadium connected the 5 and 57 freeways somehow.

NHL exhibition: Kings vs. Ducks, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:

OK, guys. This is just pretend. No fisticuffs. Or, at least, keep your gloves on.


MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 12:10 p.m., Prime:

The Dodgers juggled their rotation to have Clayton Kershaw make his final start of the season in a game that matters. To Colorado. Kershaw has three wins and two no decisions against the Rockies this season. He’s also 4-2 in day games this year, and 9-6 lifetime (vs. 16-17 at night). Sorry, Rocks.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 12:30 p.m., FSW:

Another day-time event, the Angels’ last home game. Last chance to see Clyde Wright roaming around in the grandstands handing out napkins.



Golf: Ryder Cup, Day 1, ESPN, 11:30 p.m. (through 10 a.m. Friday), ESPN:


Letterman, Leno and Kimmel, step aside. Pull an all-nighter, friends, and watch Tiger Woods with his 11 new best friends (most of which will have wives and girlfriends cheering them on) go in as distinct underdogs in this international golf event that has come to be one of the sport’s greatest flag-stick waving events.


The Celtic Manor resort course in Wales knows no daylight before it’s time, so adjust your body clocks or set the DVR. One of the subplots is always how the U.S. team is going to be dressed — it can backfire if the attire is atrocious. Team captain Corey Pavin’s wife, Lisa, is in charge in picking the style, colors, fabric … and then posing on a golf magazine cover to promote that fact. Fact is, the costumes for the Americans just 30 days before Halloween shouldn’t be that scary. Pavin calls it modern and retro, as evidenced by the nice red logo that was picked to be a felt patch on the polo shirts. However it looks on your high-def screen, someone will complain. Moreso if the team is losing after the first day’s events. NBC picks up coverage of Day 2 on Saturday (5 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Sunday (4 to 10 a.m.)

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

A four-game series to close the regular season was supposed to mean something. It does. It helps the Rangers set their playoff rotation. Jered Weaver is slated to make his final start of the year, with a chance to outdo Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and win the AL strike out crown.


Horse racing: Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park, 7 p.m.:

Instead of Santa Anita — where they’re tearing up the track again, yanking out the plastic and putting back God’s brown dirt — the fall thoroughbred season of Southern California shows up in Inglewood for the first time. With the traditional late-night start, the group Sugar Ray will band together and perform after all the horses are done running (at about 10:30 p.m.). It’s $3 beer until 9 p.m. and $2 hot dogs all night and $1 for Mark McGrath’s autograph.


MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime; San Diego at San Francisco, 7 p.m., MLB Network:

Here’s now the NL West tiebreaker would work: Dodgers and D’backs face each other three times, with neither the winner nor the loser having a say in the matter. Padres, Rockies and Giants keep flipping a coin until someone loses the coin. Then, if one of them are tied with the Braves for the wildcard …

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

As for Bud Selig talking about the exploration of expanding the postseason this winter — the time is right to revisit it, the commissioner explains: If you can figure out a way to get the Angels and Dodgers into the postseason with a .500 record, we’re listening.


College football: UCLA vs. Washington State, Rose Bowl, 12:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:

The Bruins’ shocker in Texas got them 9 votes in the latest AP poll – not enough to crack the Top 25, but 33rd best. And one spot ahead of Oregon State.


College football: USC vs. Washington, Coliseum, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

It’s the wunderkid matchup: Kiffin vs. Sarkisian. Somewhere, Pete Carroll will be paying attention. There’s also the chance that the Huskies, if Jake Locher gets stuck somewhere, willl have to go to No. 2 QB, Nick Montana. USC enters the toughest part of its schedule with games on four Saturdays that would have been tough with or without a probation slap.

College football: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:

An annual BBQ took a kick to the keister with the Longhorn’s loss to UCLA.

College football: Stanford at Oregon, 5 p.m., Channel 7:

And ESPN’s “College GameDay” has decided to come to Eugene, Ore., as well. Makes sense.

MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:

Here’s a team photo calendar giveaway, with the 2011 schedule.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

Brandon Wood stayed on the roster for the whole second half of the season?

Horse racing: Lady’s Secret Classic, Hollywood Park, 4:15 p.m., ESPN:

Last November, the Oak Tree folk decided to change the name of this event from the Lady’s Secret Stakes to the Zenyatta Stakes. Simple reasoning: Zenyatta had won it two years in a row, then went onto win a major race at the Breeders’ Cup, and now it seemed she was retired. Not so fast, buster. She’s come back as a 6-year-old, extended her winning streak to 18 with a recent victory at Del Mar (pictured above), so Zenyatta owners and trainer asked if this thing could go back to the original name — in honor of the former thoroughbred champion Lady’s Secret, not after some lame sponsor. As such, Zenyatta returns today for this one, hoping for three in a row, with the plan to ship to Churchill Downs to defend the Breeders’ Cup Classic title on Nov. 6. Win the last two, and she’s most likely retiring with a 20-for-20 record that is about as impressive as any in sports history.

NHL exhibition: Kings vs. Colorado in Las Vegas, 6 p.m.:

Whatever happens here in Vegas goes in coach Andy Murray’s notebook. Which then stays in Vegas.



MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m., Prime:

Joe Torre got the Dodgers into October for the third season in a row. Except this time, it ends far earlier in the month than the last two. He fills out his final Dodger lineup today, and then it’s off to manage the Mets Cubs White Sox Bigelow tea contract renewal.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 1 p.m., FSW:

Angels fans can start that 50th anniversary season celebration.

MLS: Chivas vs. Galaxy, Home Depot Center, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

Back on April 1, the Galaxy registered a 2-0 win over the Goats — Edson Buddle scored both goals — to extend their SuperClasico series streak. Chivas hasn’t beaten the Galaxy since 2007, and has lost the last four without even scoring. “These things go in cycles,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after the last win. “We’ve just been fortunate at this point in time. Chivas will win their share of games in this rivalry. There is no question about that. At this point in time, we’ve had the upper hand.”


NFL: Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

Donovan McNabb, back in Philly, while the Eagles try to figure out their QB situation.

NFL: Chicago at N.Y. Giants, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

The Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings and Buccaneers have the week off. So you get this — The Bears, in prime time, twice in a seven-day stretch. That’s kind of a stretch.

NHL exhibition: Kings at Ducks, Honda Center, 5 p.m.:

The practice games end. Season starts next week. Drop the puck and let’s go.

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Do you plan to watch Burns’ performance-enhanced “Baseball” update?


(AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
Filmmaker Ken Burns stands outside Fenway Park in Boston last week, after a premiere of his latest edition to his “Baseball” documentary called “The Tenth Inning.” The show is scheduled to air on PBS on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

By Jimmy Golen
The Associated Press

When Ken Burns decided to update his epic documentary “Baseball” to chronicle the tumultuous developments since it first aired in 1994, he knew that he didn’t want to make a movie of the Mitchell Report.

Instead, Burns and co-producer Lynn Novick tried to bring Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and their pursuit of the sport’s hallowed home run records to viewers as fans experienced them at the time.

“If you did the home run chase from the perspective of what we know in 2010, it would be joyless,” Burns said recently before “The Tenth Inning” premiered in a Boston theater. “But we all know how exciting that was. We wanted to relive some of that,
but at the same time give equal time to the other revelations.”

In the four-hour miniseries scheduled to debut on PBS Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Burns and Novick take “Baseball” into extra innings, updating the original 18-hour documentary on the first 150 years of the sport’s history to include the successes and scandals since 1994.

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What’s Bing Crosby doing with 1960 World Series Game 7 film in his wine cellar?

The Associated Press

Bing Crosby often found himself dreaming of the Pittsburgh Pirates, too, even while on vacation in Paris during the 1960 World Series.

His zealous support and superstition wound up being a good thing for baseball fans: Found in his wine cellar was film of the deciding Game 7, in which Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a game-ending homer to beat the New York Yankees, that was thought to be lost forever.

The New York Times reported in a story published in Friday’s editions that the complete NBC broadcast had been discovered in Crosby’s longtime home in Hillsborough, near San Francisco.

The silver-tongued crooner, whose recording of “White Christmas” has sold millions of copies worldwide, was part owner of the baseball team from 1946 until his death in 1977. But the avid sportsman was such a nervous wreck watching the Pirates that when they played the Yankees in the World Series, he went on a European vacation with his wife, Kathryn.

“He said, ‘I can’t stay in the country. I’ll jinx everybody,'” Crosby’s widow said.

It was thought that one of the greatest games ever played had survived only through radio broadcasts, grainy photographs and the written word. Then in December, while Robert Bader was combing through tapes and reels of Crosby’s old TV specials, the vice president of Bing Crosby Entertainment stumbled across two gray canisters in a pile stretching to the ceiling.

They were labeled “1960 World Series” and looked as though they hadn’t been touched in years. An hour of searching revealed three more reels.

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Until someone says no, go ahead and do fantasy gambling online for fun and profit


AP Photo/Jay LaPrete
Dave Nutini, a former bank contract manager who quit his job three weeks ago to play poker professionally, sits next to his computer in Dublin, Ohio. Nutini plans to wager $200 to $300 per week on fantasy football using where he already won a trip to Las Vegas and $500 cash during the first week of the FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship.

By Oskar Garcia
The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Sports fans are betting online each night on athletes’ performances — and it’s all legal.

The bets are an exception to laws banning online gambling because they take the form of fantasy sports — where participants pick a team of real-life players in baseball, football or other sports and compete based on their real-life statistics. Such competitions typically last a season, but more websites are springing up that offer prize money for teams that last only one night.

Drawn by the possibility of quick cash payouts, instead of just end-of-season glory, fans ready for more-than-casual rivalries among friends or co-workers are building new nightly online betting into a hit for the $800 million fantasy sports industry.

More than a dozen websites have sprung up to manage daily fantasy sports wagers and grab a percentage, says Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which represents 120 companies. Those commissions amount to $35 per player per month at one of the largest new sites,, according to its CEO. And with nearly 7 million Americans and Canadians already playing fantasy sports for money by 2008, the total is expected to soar.

“It’s always been a little murky, so I think a lot of companies didn’t have the stomach for it,” said Charchian. “People now are jumping on board.”

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More from Enberg: On the Padres’ smartness, a lesson he learned from the old KMPC, and why he wants to touch ’em all

i-1adc395dcefd37669448da3b12762d19-smDICK ENBERG.jpg

Dick Enberg, as an assistant baseball coach at San Fernando Valley State, back in 1962.
Photo from Cal State Northridge archives


We went a whole media column (linked here) and a previous blog post about Dick Enberg and didn’t state the obvious?

Oh, my.

More quick stuff from the San Diego Padres’ TV play-by-play man and how he thinks some day, he could be doing baseball-only work:

== On broadcasting games for a team with two Ivy League players (Wil Venable and Chris Young, both out of Princeton) and a former college academic All-American (David Eckstein, at the University of Florida):

“Eckstein is really the posterchild for this team. Going back to his days with the Angels, he just know how to win — he’s always in the middle of everything. Just the night before, no one out, he gets hit by a pitch, it leads to a three-run inning. I think he’ll be a great manager.


“Chris Young, second game of the season, we’re in Arizona, April 6. He didn’t allow a run. The team won the first game of the season. I went to the clubhouse afterward, and he came up to me with a sanitary sock and pulled out a baseball. He said he got everyone to sign it for me because it was my first win with the team ‘and we want you to remember it.’ How great did that make me feel? It’s so much of these little things, not the walk-off grand slams, that make this team and this season so nice.

“Even Bud Black (the Padres’ manager). I call him ‘The Dean’ and the rest of the coaches are ‘The Faculty’ because they’re all such great teachers.”


== On adjusting his calls to accomodate the home team:

“I was scolded early on by trying to be ‘too network,’ and I understood that I could adjust my calls. A home run didn’t have to be ‘touch ’em all!’ for both teams. It didn’t affect my journalistic integrity. So now when the Padres hit a homer, it’s ‘touch ’em all!’ but when the other team does it, I’ll say, ‘It’s gone.’ It’s a smaller, more provincial area and I have an investment in the fans and San Diego, which has become my home my whole adult life. I’ve had to alter some things, and I think I’ve satisfied everyone — I’ve satisfied myself.

“It think it goes back to my KMPC days doing the Angels. Stan Spero, the program director and a huge baseball fan, called me in during the middle of my first season (1969) and said, ‘I just want to emphasize to you, Enberg, how important you are to our radio station. You consider that other than Vin Scully – and maybe more than Vin Scully – your voice is going to be on the Los Angeles’ ears more than anyone else to the millions of people in this city. So your influence and your voice is important to us. No matter if the team wins or loses, when people turn off their radio at night, they’ll turn it back on in the morning — and they’ll have it on KMPC.

“I thought of that when the Padres approached me. I like being an ambassador to San Diego, and to bring in from time to time, duck in a moment about a famous artist who may be appearing at the San Diego Symphony or something going on at Coronodo island so we can take a shot of the beautiful bridge and bring it into the broadcast. I like that part, being more than calling balls and strikes and 6-4-3.”


== On perhaps doing baseball on radio again:

“Here, we have two different teams and don’t cross over. I think we have such a great resource in Jerry Coleman, I think sometimes he should be on TV, just so I could pick his brain. But he’s radio. It would be fun to do radio again. That’s the real art form. On TV, we’re just pointing and adding shades of color and tone, but the picture tells the story.

“On radio, you paint the canvas. It’s more challenging. The plan isn’t for me to go to radio if the Padres make the playoffs. That would be tough. I’d be stepping on toes and I don’t want to do that. I’d be open to it, but only if I could be sure it would be incorporating me and not replacing someone else.”

== On his schedule:

“Originally, it was set up like Vin’s — all west coast road games and all home games (about 120 a year). Back in 1985, when the Angels had their 25th anniversary season and they asked me to come back and do 40 games, I was in Rancho Santa Fe, so I had to drive up there and it was a significant round trip. But I tried to keep track of the season by clipping box scores. So if I were doing a game and had to refer back to one I didn’t do, I’d go back to the box score and it would say, ‘Robinson, 0-for-4’ but I don’t know if that was four strikeouts or what. So I’d be home keeping scores of games I wasn’t at anyway. My wife said, ‘If you’re doing that, you might as well do them all.’ So as long as they let me off for tennis (five weeks at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open combined), I wanted to do the rest of them. And it’s really been like a honeymoon here. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for.”

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