JoePa, Coach K and quality TV


ESPN could do well to orchestrate more programming like the special that will air tonight: “Difference Makers: Life Lessons with Paterno & Krzyzewski,” which lands on ESPN at 5 p.m. and continues on ESPNU at 6 p.m. as a combined 90-minute special.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski taped this on June 20 at the Eisenhower Auditorium on the campus of Penn State. Guests included Matt Millen and Michael Robinson, who played for Paterno, and Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, who played for Krzyzewski.

Rece Davis, not T.J. Simers, acts as the cordial host.

Topics explored: Ethics, integrity, legacy, pressures and NCAA-related issues. Among some of the sound bites:

== Paterno on the challenges of NCAA rules compliance: “I broke a rule the other day. We have an indoor place and the kids were working out. I walk by, stood there and watched them work out. Didn’t talk to anybody or anything. I go back in the office and said to the staff, you know, so-and-so looked pretty good running. (A staffer said) ‘Where’d you see him? You know you broke the rule.'”

Some video (linked here)

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Social media rules for Olympic athletes: Just be smart


The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee’s rules for athletes using social media at the 2012 London Games “actively encourages” competitors to “post, blog and tweet their experiences,” but warns that if rules are broken it can withdraw accreditation, shut down online operations and start legal action for damages.

Athletes can’t use Twitter, Facebook or personal blogs for commercial or advertising purposes or share videos filmed at Olympic venues.

Games-time rules — which apply from July 16-Aug. 15 — also protect the rights of Olympic broadcasters and sponsors.

“Postings, blogs or tweets should be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist,” the IOC document stated. “Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic venues.”

The IOC also urged athletes not to comment on their opponents or reveal confidential information, and to conform to the Olympic spirit and charter.

Posts, tweets and blogs should “be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images … Apart from that, we want people to share as much as possible their personal experience of the games,” the IOC said.

The IOC has drawn up the rules in the aftermath of violations during the last Winter Olympics.

At the 2010 Vancouver Games, United States alpine skier Julia Mancuso was asked to stop online merchandise sales after her double silver medal-winning performances generated interest in her official website.

“Unlike in Vancouver, where the rules were adapted to fit changed circumstances, the rules in force in London have been properly codified,” the IOC said.

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Charlie Esteves, to Charlie Sheen, to Ricky ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn … now it can (sorta) be told….

The new issue of Sports Illustrated plays the “Where Are They Now” card in the middle of summer — and this time around, in addition to tracking down Mark Eaton, Roger Bannister and the ’71 Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s a strange trip back to the 1989 movie “Major League” and whatever Charlie Sheen can remember about it 22 years later.


Chris Nashawaty, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, had a two-hour interview with Sheen, as well as other members of the cast and crew, to uncover some new tidbits. Such as:

== What got Sheen to agree to come onto the project: “When I saw the script it wasn’t like catnip, it was like crack. I was going to a premiere, and I had a meeting with (writer/director) David (Ward) in the morning, so I had the script in the limo, and I was late because I couldn’t put it down. Then I sat in my driveway for an hour to finish it. It was probably as good a script as ‘Platoon’ (a movie that he and Tom Berenger also appeared together in), seriously.”

== How Sheen, once a pitcher at Santa Monica High when he was known as Charlie Esteves, had some extra zip to his fastball: “Let’s just say that I was enhancing my performance a little bit. It was the only time I ever did steroids. I did them for like six or eight weeks. You can print this, I don’t give a f—. My fastball went from 79 to like 85.”

(Sheen also adds about his Santa Monica days): “I had a great arm. I was just born with it. I played at Santa Monica High, but because of academic s—, they pulled me off the team. I used to go to this place in Missouri called the Mickey Owen Baseball School. I went to get scouted. But I looked at the talent there and knew I couldn’t do it for a living. I think my baseball career would have been spent riding buses, not jets, if you know what I mean. So I figured, Hey, I’ll pursue a real idiot’s job instead. Acting!”)


== On having women fly in to Milwaukee, where the movie was filmed: “It wasn’t as bad as on ‘Young Guns’ (which he did a year earlier). We made that one in Santa Fe, and you would fly into Albuquerque and drive to Santa Fe on this two-lane highway. Literally, the girls that were leaving would pass the ones coming in. ‘Major League’ was so physically demanding that you didn’t have a lot of time for that. You’re lying in bed and everything [hurts], and you’re thinking, I have to pitch tomorrow?! But there were certain days that we’d look at the schedule for the next day and be like, ‘Gentlemen, tonight we ride.’ ”

== On Mitch Williams taking the “Wild Thing” personna in his major-league career: “Mitch Williams, that f—— guy never gave me credit. Come on, dude; you’re coming out to the Wild Thing song… . You changed your number… . Can I get a little nod? I have to tell you, though, Major League became my all-access backstage pass to baseball. Guys like Joe Morgan and Eric Davis would tell me they carried one movie with them on planes — ‘Major League.’ And I’m like, “Guys, you gotta get bored with it after a while!”

== On what Major League means to him personally: “We had this party at my place a few months ago to watch Major League. It was awesome. The beard was there–Brian Wilson, from the Giants. We had Eddie Murray and Kenny Lofton. And I got David Ward to introduce the film. Colin Farrell showed up. And when my big strikeout at the end comes on, the place goes nuts like we’ve never even seen the movie before. I’m in between my two girlfriends, and I look over and there’s Colin Farrell giving me a thumbs-up. I reach behind me for a fist bump from Brian Wilson, who goes, ‘Winning!’ I’m telling you, David Ward created a baseball classic, and baseball is all that matters in the world. You know, I always wonder what I’m going to be in the middle of when I die. And I just hope it’s not in the middle of the greatest f—— pennant race ever.”

Here’s the whole story (linked here), including this quote from former Dodger catcher Steve Yeager, on the set as the technical advisor as well as a coach for the Cleveland Indians: “I didn’t have to do much for Charlie. We had him on a radar gun, and he was throwing in the mid-80s. With Tom (Berenger) we started with the basics as if we were teaching a young kid how to play. He was blocking balls. I felt sorry for him because I was beating him up pretty good.”

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Bankrupt, true and blue


So now you’ve dragged the voice of God into this.

There is no more disheartening, despicable way for Frank McCourt to sully the legacy of the Dodgers.

Among the dozens of pages of legal documents that the Dodgers current steward filed in a Delaware bankruptcy court on Monday morning, one particular among the “list of creditors holding the 40 largest unsecured claims” was given the No. 32 spot.

Vincent E. Scully. Address: Dodger Stadium, Baseball Hall of Fame.

Due $152,778.

Mark Conrad, an associate professor of law and ethics at the Fordham University Schools of Business Administration, saw that name and gulped.

“I know Fordham considers Mr. Scully a loyal alum, and I know he’s so beloved in the L.A.,” said Conrad. “But it all just looks unseemly. The whole thing is unseemly. It’s just so terrible.”


Normal people file for bankruptcy, especially in this recession, to get away from their debt. McCourt, as a result of his transgressions, is trying to keep his.

Normally, companies seek relief with Chapter 11 to freeze their assets. Several chapters ago in this long, drawn-out saga, McCourt froze out Dodgers fans. And have you seen who he’s employing as relief pitchers?

For years, spectators have gone to Dodger Stadium to escape reality, not to have it thrown in their faces.

It’s time for Dodger liquidation.

Then the team had the gall to release a statement relative to their latest court filings, words that scrolled across the bottom of every ESPN news show Monday in five-minute intervals: “There will be no disruption to the Dodgers’ day-to-day business, the baseball team or to the Dodgers fans.”

In a moment that ranks among the most embarrassing in the history of Major League Baseball, the destitute, defaulting, defrauded Dodgers have gone into disaster mode.
McCourt, ironically, is now trying to buy time.

Manny Ramirez, give us another few months, OK? Andruw Jones, considering your imput, there should be no problem if we just take a few more months to compensate you, right?

Juan Pierre, Kaz Ishii, Marquis Grissom . . .

Trust us, the Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, the LA Holdco LLC, the LA Real Estate Holding Company LLC, the LA Real Estate LLC, the Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company LLC, the McCourt-Broderick Limited Partnership, the McCourt Company and whatever other shell properties we can’t recall at this time have not forgotten about you.

“You can’t blame him for using this aggressive legal strategy,” Conrad said of McCourt, not defensively. “He’s just looking for any kind of opening to extract whatever else he can before he loses it all for good. Most of us if we owned a business would likely do the same thing.

“But the problem is the residual effect is of a public nature that’s untenable to most people.”

Meaning, when we see Vin Scully’s name among a couple of tax lawyers, a stadium concession company, a couple of team sponsors, the flagship radio station and the City of L.A., we have just entered “one of the uglier weeks in Dodgers history,” David Carter, the executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, said in the most elegant way possible.

It’s come to this because of McCourt’s innate ability to mortgage the future to pay for the present. He’s done that with sponsors, seeking cash advances on contracts now after he sweetens the deal down the road.

You’ve had a sense he did it with players. But now there it is in black and white.
There’s more of that in previously dealing away top minor-league talent – Carlos Santana to Cleveland, Josh Bell to Baltimore – in exchange for players with big deals that were overvalued, like Casey Blake and George Sherrill.

A week ago, MLB commissioner Bud Selig rejected the current media offer from Fox Sports – a 17-year deal valued somewhere between $1.7 billion to $3 billion. His reasoning wasn’t surprising: Too much of a $385 million upfront loan was going to be skimmed to take care of outstanding lawyer fees, standing personal debt and “discretionary” needs.

McCourt says he intends now to hold a “competitive sale process” to secure a new cable TV contract within 180 days, even though the team’s current deal with Fox extends through 2013 and prevents anyone else from negotiating with them before Nov. 30, 2012.

Time Warner Cable, which recently struck a deal to start two cable channels with the Lakers, could be in position to save the Dodgers, McCourt thinks.

Or not.

Because no matter how you cut it, media money can’t be used for personal use. Period. That’s Selig’s rule. One he enforced with Tom Hicks when the former Texas Rangers owner tried to do that to save his team from being auctioned off, after he declared bankruptcy.

Money is supposed to be used to pay players. And peanut vendors. And new yogurt dispensers. And parking lot security.

And the most treasured media member in the game’s history.

“The average fan reading all this, they may sense there’s some crazy things going on and sort of understand the process,” said Carter. “But the fact that Frank McCourt owes money to Vin Scully is like someone forgetting to call their mother on Mother’s Day.”

God help us.

Don’t expect anyone to pull up a chair wondering if someone is about to pull it out from under them.

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Your Monday morning wakeup call: We’re bankrupt, and ‘there will be no disruption to the Dodgers’ day to day business, the baseball team or to the Dodger fans’ …


Frank McCourt ran off and aired his dirty laundry very early this morning in Delaware.
Because that’s the earliest court open for business to start the business week?
The Dodgers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing — actually listed as the Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company LLC, LA Holdco LLC, LA Real Estate Holding Company LLC, and LA Real Estate LLC — means that if McCourt is allowed to restructure, he’ll get through this upcoming June 30 payroll issue, keep the Dodgers a little longer, and buy more time to figure out how to escape with a new TV deal — maybe from Time Warner this time around instead of Fox.
McCourt will go to court Tuesday and tell a judge he can make payments for now with $150 million on hand, reorganize, and fend off MLB Commissioner Bud Selig taking the team away.
Meanwhile, according to the document (linked here), those owed money by McCourt is spelled out quite clearly.


Embarassingly so.
Top of the list: Manny Ramirez, just shy of $20 million.
Andruw Jones: $11 million. Still owed for hitting .158 with three homers.
If only either of them were still with the team, it might be a little easier for fans to stomach.
Hiroki Kuroda ($4.48 million) and Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million) are first up as active players. There are only six active Dodgers on the list of the top 40.
The Chicago White Sox are next, at $3.5 million. That’s because the Dodgers agreed to keep paying part of Juan Pierre’s salary after they gave him away.
Ted Lilly ($3.4 million) and recent draft signing Zach Lee ($3.4 million).
Former Dodgers pitcher Kaz Ishii — a name we haven’t heard since 2004 — gets $3.3 million.
Juan Uribe ($3.2 million) and Matt Guerrier ($3.09 million) are next.
Pierre shows up again, as a person: $3.05 million.
Another ex-Dodger, Marquis Grissom, at $2.7 million.
Jon Garland needs $1.2 million.
Levy Restaurants is owed $588,000. That’s more than Andre Ethier ($559,000).
The list goes on the top 40 — including KABC Radio ($273,321) ahead of Matt Kemp .
And then there’s Vin Scully ($152,778).
He has to be dragged through this now? And he isn’t paid more?
Agent Scott Boras isn’t listed, but his clients are Ramirez and Jones.
If the MLB wants to protect any more innocent victims, it might want to act quickly.
“The Dodgers have delivered time and again since I became owner, and that’s been good for baseball,” McCourt said in a statment today.
“We turned the team around financially after years of annual losses before I purchased the team. We invested $150 million in the stadium. We’ve had excellent on-field performance, including playoff appearances four times in seven years.
“And we brought the Commissioner a media rights deal that would have solved the cash flow challenge I presented to him a year ago, when his leadership team called us a ‘model franchise.’
“Yet he’s turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today. I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn’t achieve with the Commissioner directly.”
MLB had no immediate comment.

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