A conversation Dodger fans might be interested in eavesdropping … if only


Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall sat across the desk from Kirk Gibson in the visiting manager’s office four weeks ago, as the team had just won back-to-back games to open a series against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park to move into a tie for the National League West lead.

“‘I told him, ‘Wait until the talent (in the farm system) comes up,'” Hall said.

“Gibby looked at me and said, ‘We have talent. It’s called heart.'”

You know Gibson’s ties to the Dodgers. And the ones that Hall once had.

Enough said.

Ten of the players on the Diamondbacks’ current 25-man roster weren’t around when Arizona opened its season in Colorado on April 1.

The rest of Hall of Famer Terry Ringolsby’s column on FoxSportsNet.com (linked here).

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Fox wants you to care about soccer and MMA after NFL now

Some Sundays, Fox has an NFL doubleheader. Other Sundays, it’s a single game, either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Instead of a KTTV infomercial in that slot opposite a CBS NFL game this year, Fox wants you hooked in soccer and the UFC.

Fox starts airing Barclays Premier League matches on Sunday, Sept. 18 with a tape-delayed coverage of Manchester United vs. Chelsea, followed by Tottenham-Arsenal (Oct. 2) and Chelsea-Liverpool (Nov. 20). The games will air either from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., but will also be live earlier in the day on Fox Soccer. The coverage goes up to Super Bowl Sunday for a live game on Feb. 5, starting at 7:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 30, leading up to the first UFC live primetime match on Fox set for November 12, the network will show a “UFC Primetime” show that previews that upcoming Fox matchupin, which should be announced Friday. The Primetime show airs from noon to 1 p.m. or from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. depending on the NFL game picked to air on Fox.

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Jim Rome Is Missing … and should be burning about it

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Jim Rome was on vacation last week from both his syndicated radio show and his “Jim Rome Is Burning” afternoon half-hour TV show on ESPN.

But this week, the TV show is curiously absent, even with him back on the radio (KLAC-AM 570 9 a.m. to noon).

Next week, the TV show isn’t scheduled either, replaced by “SportCenter” episodes.

A network spokesman says Rome’s current “hiatus” is related to coverage of the U.S. Open. But that’s already over on ESPN2.

Why would that matter?

Because starting Sept. 12, ESPN2 will have a new lineup (linked here) – ripping “JRIB” from the 1:30 p.m. ESPN slot, and replacing it with “news and information studio programming” in that time period.

Say what you will about the definition of “news and information studio programming,” but the ESPN lineup will move “Around The Horn” to 1 p.m. and “Pardon The Interruption” to 1:30 p.m. on Mondays, going head-to-head with “JRIB.” The rest of the week, it’ll be back to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. slots.

Two new shows – “Numbers Never Lie” at 12:30 p.m. and “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable” at 1 p.m. – will lead into “JRIB,” with “SportsNation” following it.

Highly questionable, indeed. Allegedly.

Except when you think of Rome’s roots, his original talk show, “Talk2,” was on the ESPN2 channel when it was known so hipply as “The Deuce.”

Meanwhile, Rome is still celebrating his own version an ESPN misdirection from last week at Del Mar (linked here).

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Tonight’s finale of ‘The Franchise’ … and why all great things must come to an end

Admit it: Even a Dodger fan can come to appreciate the added value of watching Showtime’s summer documentary series, “The Franchise,” (linked here) which follows around the San Francisco Giants during their post-World Series season of 2011.

The Giants have produced a fairly decent encore. “The Franchise” deserves one as well.


But tonight’s 10 p.m. entry marks the last of eight episodes, only because that was the agreement made before this all started with Mike Tollin’s production company and with the decision makers at Major League Baseball. Even then, it stretched a couple weeks past its deadline.

“Since this was the first year of trying it, it’s really walk before you run,” executive producer Tollin said today from his Valley-based office.


“It was a big leap for the Giants and Major League Baseball to give us this kind of access, and they were comfortable with this treatment. It was so unprecidented that they agreed to give us a chunk of the season, but to cut it off before the pennant race started.”

A sort of baseball version of “Hard Knocks,” except that it is a live turn-around series that takes place during the regular season, “The Franchise” ended up covering eight months of the Giants’ journey. Aside from the opening special that debuted in July, the eight were two more than they’d agreed to extend it to in mid-August because of the successes in all areas of production and viewer reception.

Entertainment Weekly’s Lynette Rice wrote (linked here) back in July that San Francisco fans” weren’t exactly thrilled to hear” about the Showtime series because “hardly any famous person does a reality show without looking like a tool” and it would distract from their priorites of trying to repeat.

It has been the complete opposite.

“The Franchise” was able to give incredible insight into the current season as well as inserting back-story details on player injuries, managerial decisions, front office manuevering, laundry room pranks and all the peek behind the curtain stuff that you’d only know about if you were a daily beat writer covering the team. And even then, you didn’t get half the access.


The fact that the Giants do have so many “misfits,” as manager Bruce Bochy likes to call them, made it even more enjoyable. A feature, for example, how how reliever Brian Wilson was raised by a father who died of cancer, and explains why he gives him teh cross-armed salute after every save he registeres, really means something after seeing it explained.

More background on second baseman Freddy Sanchez, the former Burbank High standout and one-time NL batting champ, who has to sit at home in Arizona and watch games from his TV set as he rehabs, are exceptional insights into how a player tries to keep grinding but really is kept apart from his teammates during the process.

The same with injured pitcher Barry Zito (Pierce College, USC) as he carries the weight of his contract with him every time he goes out to the mound — only to have another physical setback.

The series ends tonight as the Giants seem to be losing their grip on the NL West, as the acquisition of Carlos Beltran isn’t quite preventing the Arizona Diamondbacks from climbing over them in the standings.

But another intriguing backstory comes out in tonight’s episode — infielder Mark DeRosa, a clubhouse leader with an $8 million salary who has been injured all year and even going back to 2010, finally coming back, getting a key hit, stealing a base and scoring the winning run in a game against Houston that seems to give the team renewed hope.

Recaps on the season so far from surprise All-Star pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, infielder Pablo Sandoval, rookie Brandon Belt and Zito will also be in tonight’s episode.


“This whole experience has been a postive one, and the players say they’ve enjoyed it, it hasn’t been an intrusion,” said Tollin (his IMBD.com link here), who developed a relationship with the Giants’ front office when he did the “Bonds On Bonds” series for ESPN nearly 10 years ago, and is known more around Hollywood for his production with partner Brian Robbins of such movies as “Coach Carter,” “Radio,” and “Varsity Blues,” as well as do several ESPN “30 For 30” documentaries.

“I hope we’re back again, maybe with a different team, and extend it through the season.”

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Lets just ware the stinkin(apostrophe optional)’ tshirts and see whose gonna notice


“Lets go USC!” seems to send the message that someone had USC in its grasp and then decided to let it go free.

“Let’s go USC!” is more likely the message Old Navy meant to convey on their $24.95 women’s (or womens) T-shirts for sale on its (not it’s) website. But they’re (not their) not there any more.

Nor are the shirts dedicated to UCLA, Michigan, Arizona … There’s a whole slew of re-dos as someone in the store’s Superfan Nation clothing line didn’t do a spell check on the logo before sending it to the hot-iron. They’ll add the missing apostrophe ASAP.


An Old Navy damage-controller said the store is replacing the faulty T-shirts, and have posted the message above when you try to click on the misspelled designs that are still up on the website.

Naw, not good enough for us.

We actually want the wrong ones. And we’re willing to pay more for them. At least $25.

The more you look at this shirt, the more correct language it probably seems to be for those who only text or Tweet or email most of their lives now. As spelling is less and less important to those doing the communicating, maybe this shirt is really ahead of its (not it’s) time.

Whatever happens, just don’t (not dont) ship all the boxes of these things some third-world country where kids are running around with Dodgers 2009 NLCS championship T-shirts.

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