Play It Forward: Oct. 24-30 on your sports calendar

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

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

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College football: USC vs. Stanford, Saturday at the Coliseum, 5 p.m., Channel 7; UCLA vs. Cal, Saturday at the Rose Bowl, 4 p.m., Prime Ticket:

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This year’s Bay Area invasion is a tale of two Pac-12 cities. AP No. 4 Stanford’s visit to the Coliseum for a nationally televised encounter with the Trojans is Andrew Luck’s last stop in Hollywoodland before his NFL career begins in Miami in 2012. He comes in with a QB rating of 180 (fifth best in the nation), 20 TDs, and 3 Ints for the 7-0 Cardinal (5-0 in the Pac-12 North). And he’s only been sacked twice. AP’s new No. 20 USC (6-1, 3-1), surfing home on the wave of a victory at Notre Dame, had Stanford all but beaten a year ago in Palo Alto, but the Cardinal won, 37-35, when Luck (20 of 24 passing, 285 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints) led his team on a last-minute drive, capped by a game-winning field goal with four seconds left. Never mind that Matt Barkley threw for 390 yards (on 28 of 45 passing, 3 TDs to Robert Woods and 0 Ints). On that same day, a few hours earlier, Cal leveled UCLA, 35-7, in Berkeley, as Kevin Prince couldn’t break 100 yards passing and Johnathan Franklin mustered just 54 yards rushing and had a critical fumble. Some things just don’t change much, do they? The Bruins (3-4, 2-2) will be six players short against the Bears (4-3, 1-3) because of conference suspensions handed down in the aftermath of last week’s fight in Arizona. As if it’ll matter much now.

MONDAY

MLB: World Series Game 5: St. Louis at Texas, 5 p.m., Channel 11:

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All tied up again, the Game 1 starters come back for an encore. Chris Carpenter outlasted C.J. Wilson in that one, 3-2. Wilson’s post-season career record fell to 1-5 with a 5.32 ERA. We’ll see who goes back to St. Louis ready for a closeout in Game 6 or, if needed, Game 7, on Wednesday and Thursday.

NFL: Baltimore at Jacksonville, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

Maurice Jones-Drew, meet Ray Lewis.

Boxing: Pomsawan Porpramook vs. Akira Yaegashi:

Normally, this wouldn’t even get a sentence on the last page of the sports section. And it still may not. But somehow, this is a 12-rounder in Tokyo for Porpramook’s WBA world minimumweight title belt left us intrigued. Seriously? Minimum weight. Yes. Something to strike fear in what used to be called straw weight. Either way, you have to be 105 pounds. Add three more, and you’re all the way up to light flyweight. I’m imagining thoroughbred jockeys hitting each other with their whips.

TUESDAY

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Documentary: “The Real Rocky,” 5 p.m., ESPN:

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Director Jeff Feuerzeig and producer Mike Tolin reintroduce the public to the story of Chuck Wepner, and his historical fight against Muhammad Ali in 1975 that inspired Sylvester Stallone to write his Academy Award-winning “Rocky” movie (which came out in 1976) about a Philadelphia underdog. Just like in the film, Wepner was picked out of obscurity to fight Ali. Wepner’s mother interrupted him while he was watching an episode of “Kojak” to tell him to pick up that day’s newspaper. Promoter Don King had chosen Wepner to fight Ali, but no one had bothered to tell him. Wepner lasted 15 rounds, knocking down Ali once in the ninth (OK, so he stepped on his foot). Ali won by a decision. Sound familiar? Now 72, Wepner, living near the Hudson River in New Jersey, tells his story to the camera, in black-and-white glory. “The day before the (Ali) fight, I took my wife out shopping and bought her a powder-blue negligee, because I told her, ‘You need to look right when you sleep with the heavyweight champion of the world,’” he said. “The night I lost, my (ex-)wife is sitting on the edge of the bed in the neglige and she asks, ‘So, am I going to Ali’s room or what?’” Stallone insists Wepner isn’t Rocky Balboa, but in 2006, Wepner settled a lawsuit with Stallone for using him as his inspiration for the “Rocky” series (no details of the settlement have been revealed). Next year, the Hollywood version of Wepner’s story is coming out in a flick called “The Bleeder,” staring Liev Schreiber. It’s not based on Rocky Balboa.

NHL: Kings vs. New Jersey, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

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Said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after recording his third straight shutout Saturday against Dallas: “It feels great to have that done but at the end of the day it’s one game. It’s a long season and we got to keep the momentum going into Tuesday night.” At the end of the day, the Kings are 1-0 on Tuesday night home games this season. But they’re 0-1 when faced to play against the Devils. A 2-1 loss in a shootout in Jersey way back on Oct. 13 looks somewhat lethargic.

NHL: Ducks at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., Prime:

It’s the first of a seven-game road trip that doesn’t end until Nov. 5, with stops this week in Minnesota (Thursday, 5 p.m., Prime), Nashville (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., KDOC) and Columbus (Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Prime). May as well go back to Stockholm.

WEDNESDAY

College football: Connecticut at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m., ESPN:

Because ESPN can, and the Big East needs some propaganda to show it can support a 12-team football league.

THURSDAY

NHL: Kings at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., FSW:

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Forced to meet twice now in five days, the Kings aren’t Star struck, but the 1-0 win last week over the team that has had the hottest start in the Western Conference was missing one thing — Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen, who sports a 6-0-0 record. His 1.48 GGA is third in the league, behind Quick’s 0.81.

College football: Virginia at Miami, 5 p.m., ESPN; Rice at Houston, 5 p.m., Fox Sports West:

We’ve gotten used to watching Thursday night college games. Why not another.

FRIDAY

College football: BYU vs. TCU in Arlington, Tex., 5 p.m., ESPN:

It’s another pretend bowl game — Mormons vs. Texas Christians — at Jerry Jones Stadium and Atomic Bomb Shelter. A matchup tailor made for Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

SATURDAY

College football: Cal Lutheran vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Williams Rolland Stadium, 1 p.m.:

The Kingsmen dedicate their new $8.9 million football field at 12:30 p.m., even though they’ve played two home games on it (winning both). This is actually their last home game of the season, with two more on the road before the Division III playoffs.

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College football: Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., 12:30 p.m., Channel 2; Navy at Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m., Channel 4; Wisconsin at Ohio State, 5 p.m., ESPN:

Gatorade body shots, anyone? Florida fans, you sit here. Georgia fans, over there. Since 1992, the Bulldogs-Gators “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” has been played on the last Saturday in October. Shaken and stirred.

NHL: Kings at Phoenix, 6 p.m., FSW:

Nine days after they last met in Phoenix, they’re at it again. Quick shut ‘em out, 2-0, for his 100th career win. Go look it up. Maybe the league is afraid the Coyotes will fold before December.

Horse racing: California Cup XXII, Santa Anita, first post, 1 p.m.:

Nine races worth $820,000 spotlight the state’s bestest thoroughbreds, capped by the $175,000 Cal Cup Classic. Your appetizer to next week’s Breeder’s Cup in Kentucky.

SUNDAY

MLS playoffs: Western Conference semifinals: Galaxy at Colorado, Columbus or New York, noon, TV TBA:

Gotta wait until after the two first-round one-and-done playoff games for a lowest-seeded wildcard winner to face the team with the league’s best record in the first leg of the two-game series, the back end of which will be at Home Depot Center next week. The quest: Keep the home field all the way through the MLS Cup, on Nov. 20, which also happens to be at the Galaxy’s home pitch and could be David Beckham’s final appearance.

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Rock & Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, 7:30 a.m., L.A. Live:

The course this year starts and ends across the street from Staples Center and includes a trip past the Coliseum, then come back, then a stretch through downtown, then come back. Just in case you planned to have breakfast at the Pantry or something and couldn’t find parking. Runners are told they have to finish in four hours. Bands are supposed to performing every mile, so there’s about a dozen spots open, according to the official website (linked here), all funneling into a Bret Michaels’ grand finale.

NHL: Kings at Colorado, 5 p.m., FSW:

Is it a big deal when “The Sports Guy,” aka Bill Simmons, says he’s given up on the NBA and bought season seats for the Kings? Apparently so (linked here). The Kings put a link to his column on Grantland.com from their home site. Even though Simmons wrote: “Of course, I never would have bought Kings tickets without a (NBA) lockout.” Look for him next time you’re at Staples Center. Or buy his tickets off him on StubHub if you dare.

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Tennis: WTA Championships final, 10 a.m., ESPN:

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“Strong Is Beautiful,” according to the women’s pro tennis marketing campaign. But as for a final field of eight competing in the season-end WTA Championship, strong name recognition might help. Let’s talk Turkey — as in Istanbul, where this event takes place. We’ll give you the first two seeds — Caroline Wozniacki (left) and Maria Sharapova (above). We’ve also vouch for Li Na. The other five to make it here: Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Vera Zvonareva, Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska. You’ve got representatives from Denmark, Russia, the Czech Republic, Belarus, China, Australia and Poland. The U.S. is shutout, since Serena Williams keeps slipping (down to No. 14) and Venus Williams is ranked out of the Top 100 (rankings linked here). The point is, the WTA would like to reintroduce itself to you. Again. Sharapova is making her fifth appearance at the WTA Championships, but the first since 2007. She won the thing in ’04, back when it was at Staples Center. Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond are one of four doubles teams competing. But that’s about all we got.

NFL: Dallas at Philadelphia, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4:

America’s team against the Dream Team. Or something like that. At least it’s not in England.

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Sunday Q-and-A: How many aren’t sure John Ondrasik’s ‘Five For Fighting’ is hockey-related?

Luc Robitaille, apparently, didn’t make the connection right away.

“It depends on who you ask,” John Ondrasik , a new Kings’ blogger (linked here), tells the Daily News’ Jill Painter in today’s Sunday Q-and-A. “In Canada, they don’t even need to hear the music. They know. In the South, people are asking if it’s a fifth guy. Over the year, folks have figured out that Five for Fighting is a hockey term. It was inspired by Marty McSorley. Back in the ’90s, the label said, `the male singer-songwriter is dead. You need a band name.’ I’d just come from a Kings game, and I thought, “Five for Fighting.” The label loved it. I thought, `You’re crazy.’ It might sound like a heavy-metal band, but 10 years later I’m still kicking.”

Jill’s complete Q-and-A at this link.

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C’mon, Olbermann, just buy the dang Buckner ball before Tuesday night … or make an anonymous bid

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There are no bids recorded yet on eBay.com item 200662775706.

Be patient.

Seth Swirsky’s sale of the ball that rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs to end Game 6 of the 1986 World Series remains available for a mere $1 million (linked here).

Sale ends, as we wrote recently (linked here), at 8:37 p.m. PDT on Oct. 25 — the exact moment, 25 years later, when the play took place.

Some other things of note about the non-sale so far:

== Shipping is free.

== No returns or exchanges but it is covered by the eBay Buyer Protection Plan.

== Serious bidders only!

== Swirsky’s sales (as “juluke2″ has a “100% Positive” feedback

And Charlie Sheen sticks to his estimate that it’s only worth $150,000, tops. Some others say if it fetches $500,000, that’d be something to shout about.

Considering Mookie Wilson’s signature is on it, it should be referred to as the “Wilson ball,” but that doesn’t have the same juju.

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Memorabilia auction raises money for Wheldon fund

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The Associated Press

Graham Rahal has sparked an outpouring of support — and memorabilia — for an auction to benefit the family of late IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon.

Rahal offered to help the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund by donating the helmet, gloves and shoes he used in Las Vegas, where Wheldon was killed Sunday in a fiery, 15-car accident. Rahal announced his plans on Twitter and it sparked interest from celebrities and athletes around the world.

Donations have included race-worn items from IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, and NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch; an Indiana Pacers jersey signed by Larry Bird; memorabilia from seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong; and an NFL jersey signed by Roger Staubach, SteveYoung, Jerry Rice, Warren Moon and Harry Carson.

The Indianapolis Colts have also signed a #77 Dan Wheldon jersey.

Items came in so fast Rahal had to enlist outside help with the auction.

It will now be run on eBay, which waived all fees, and Auction Cause, a Los Angeles-based auction management agency specializing in high profile corporate, celebrity, and
nonprofit eBay auction events. It is expected to begin Monday, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Wheldon trust fund.

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Weekly media column version 10.21.11

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What’s included in today’s media column (linked here): How good would Dan Wheldon have been as a TV analyst? David Feherty good, as he already proved in his work with Versus on IRL coverage. We also have more on NBC’s coverage of the Rugby Cup finale Sunday, the 10-year anniversary of ESPN’s “PTI,” and where you can’t go to see Carson Palmer play for the Raiders on Sunday.

What’s not included: The update this morning that Fox has won the rights to the U.S. TV marketplace for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup (linked here).

What’s also not included: More remembrances of Wheldon:

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Debriefing ESPN/ABC’s coverage of the Wheldon crash: Little takes offense to Ashley Judd’s tweets

Friday’s media column will focus more on how the late IRL driver Dan Wheldon had a budding career as a TV racing analyst. But in talking to three reporters who were at the Las Vegas race last Sunday and how they saw things transgress in the reporting of Wheldon’s death, it’s worth specifically reviewing that as a topic. We’ll break it down this way:

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Plans for a re-release of Wheldon ‘LionHeart’ photo book

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“LionHeart,” a coffee-table size picture book on Dan Wheldon’s racing career released in 2010, has been in short supply since his death Sunday in the IRL season-ending event in Las Vegas.

Newport Beach-based photographer Michael Voorhees, who compiled the project, has said he will re-release it soon on line with proceeds going to charities that have been close to the Wheldon family. The original book sold for $59.95. Copies are being sold for much higher currently on eBay.com.

Voorhees said at the time of the book’s release: “Dan and I both arrived in the IndyCar Series in 2003 and I was the lead photographer during this 2005 championship season when we won the Indy 500. I’ve been photographing Dan for various sponsors and personal photo shoots and we’ve developed a fantastic library of images that we felt his fans would really appreciate. It seemed only natural to produce a book that was very revealing and out of the ordinary for a race car driver.”

== Voorhees website: http://www.voorheesphoto.com/

== A video report from an Indianapolis TV station on the book re-release plans:

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Two Thursdays in a row of Jenn Brown, fit ‘n’ trim: Can L.A. handle it?

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Who’ll be providing the audio for the football games on your TV sets this weekend, and because we have found more photos of Jenn Brown apparently rented out the Coliseum for a day last summer to do a “fashion” shoot to beef up her portfolio, we’ll add more of those through this post:

College football Saturday *-unless otherwise noted:

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== *UCLA at Arizona:: Thursday, 6 p.m., ESPN, with Rece Davis, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Jenn Brown
== *West Virginia at Syracuse: Friday, 5 p.m., ESPN, with Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore

== USC at Notre Dame: 4:30 p.m., Channel 4, with Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan
== Washington at Stanford: 5 p.m., Channel 7, with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Heather Cox
== Wisconsin at Michigan State: 5 p.m., ESPN, with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews (also the site of ESPN “College GameDay” at 7 a.m.)
== Oregon at Colorado: 12:30 p.m., FSW, with Joel Meyers, Brian Baldinger and Jim Knox
== Oregon State vs. Washington State in Seattle: 7:30 p.m., FSW, with Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt and Petros Papadakis
== Auburn at LSU: 12:30 p.m., Channel 2, with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson
== Tennessee at Alabama: 4:15 p.m., ESPN2, with Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham and Jeannine Edwards
== Air Force at Boise State: 12:30 p.m., Versus, with Paul Burmeister, Shaun King and Anthony Herron
== Oklahoma State at Missouri: 9 a.m., FX, with Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster

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Sunday NFL:

== 10 a.m., Channel 2: San Diego at N.Y. Jets, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms (instead of using the 1 p.m. window to show Oakland and Carson Palmer hosting Kansas City)
== 10 a.m., Channel 11: Atlanta at Detroit, with Sam Rosen and Brian Billick (instead of Chicago vs Tampa Bay in London with Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa)
== 1 p.m., Channel 11: Green Bay at Minnesota, with Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman
== 5:20 p.m., Channel 4: Indianapolis at New Orleans, with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michelle Tafoya

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Paint us a picture of who wins the ’18 and ’22 Kickball Cup TV bid: ESPN, over NBC and Fox again?

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ESPN, Fox and NBC will find out Friday which of them has way overbid for the U.S. TV rights for the FIFA World Cups of 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.

But then, if you like watching paint dry, you can just stay here.

The three networks put in their last numbers today during a closed-door meetings at FIFA headquarters. Now they wait to find out how excited ESPN will be to win it again, bringing relieve to Fox and NBC executives.

Chuck Blazer, the American representative on FIFA’s executive committee, said he was “optimistic” the U.S. will continue to be FIFA’s most lucrative national market.

Not that he gets a finder’s fee or anything.

“I’m very optimistic as to the results” for the two-tournament package, Blazer told The Associated Press by telephone from New York. “I have high expectations that the deal will see some record-breaking numbers.”

Blazer predicted the value would rise “considerably” from the $425 million that FIFA received for U.S. rights for the 2010-2014 package. ESPN paid $100 million for English language rights and Univision bought Spanish-language rights for $325 million.

FIFA was paid $2.4 billion in broadcast sales worldwide just for the 2010 tournament played in South Africa. It was packaged with the 2014 event in Brazil, which is in a more attractive time zone for U.S. networks.

The latest deal is less friendly to American audiences. Qatar defeated the U.S. in the final round of voting in a five-bid contest last December for the 2022 Games.

FIFA announced in March that it already sold $1.7 billion worth of 2018-2022 broadcast rights to the Middle East and parts of Asia and Latin America. The deals were 90 percent more valuable than the same territories earned for 2010-2014, FIFA said.

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FoxTrax vs. TBS’ PitchTrax vs. ESPN’s K-zone, and why the network covering the World Series won’t be confusing viewers with a live fake strike zone graphic

REVISED:

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Enough of those triangular graphic boxes plotting white dots off to the right of the screen during live baseball games.

Fox won’t do it during the World Series when it begins its coverage tonight between the Rangers and Cardinals in St. Louis. And for a good reason.

They don’t think it’s accurate.

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TBS might have had its PitchTrax monitor every pitch as it was delivered during its ALDS, NLDS and NLCS coverage the last few weeks.

ESPN might have had its yellow K-Zone box right next to the batters during the regular-season game coverage.

Heck, even a handful of Fox’s regional networks — including Fox Sports Midwest, covering the Cardinals, and Fox Sports Southwest, covering the Rangers — did the live graphic off to the right side of the action during the season.

But Fox’s network coverage will stick to its FoxTrax graphic only during pitch sequence replays, to illustrate to the best of its ability where balls landed in the somewhat nebulous strike zone. Knowing that nothing’s perfect, and it’s not about to ignite a controversy.

“The question is: What serves the viewer best?” asked Joe Buck, the network’s lead play-by-play man. “That’s the task. I’ve told our people during seminars that it drags us into an area where now all we’re doing is basically grading the umpire. I think the game is really between a pitcher and a batter, and now we’re taking viewers’ eyes away from that matchup and looking to the bottom right after every pitch. It’s just kind of superfluous in a way.”

Ed Goren, Fox Sports’ vice chairman and an executive producer on the network’s World Series, made note that when Buck is calling an NFL game, he’ll always remark that the “1st-And-Ten” yellow graphic is never 100 percent accurate either.

“It could be an inch or two off. Same thing with FoxTrax. Some may want to see it as a constant (on-air graphic). But my concern has always been: If the box shows the count of 3-and-1, and it’s actually 2-and-2, it puts us in a position to constantly explain that it’s just a guide. I don’t think it helps to have it up there constantly. It creates more questions than benefits.”

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As a viewer, all you want is something that’s not distracting, and is accurate.

TBS and ESPN don’t satisfy either requirement. Fox, at least nationally, won’t go there when going there only causes unnecessary controversy.

TBS may, in fact, have fueled a side story during its coverage of the ALDS Game 3 earlier this month when its on-air graphic seemed to show many of the pitches delivered by the Yankees’ CC Sabathia hitting the strike zone despite the opinion of home plate umpire Gerry Davis.

“I actually thought he made a lot of good pitches tonight,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said at his post-game press conference after Sabathia lasted just six innings after 106 pitches in the Yankees’ loss to the Tigers, “and I thought the zone was a small zone tonight. … You throw some borderline pitches and you don’t get them, it makes the innings tougher.”

Buck said he had people calling him during that particular game “saying, ‘that looked like a strike.’ … I don’t know if it’s right. The camera isn’t dead-on. I don’t know about you, or if I’m nuts, but there are times when I’m watching it, and the pitch looks inside, but the box shows that it’s in the middle. It’s just skewed in the way it’s set. I think it’s too confusing.

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“It forces the broadcaster almost to comment on every pitch. It almost begs more time than not for a comment, when there are so many other things to talk about than whether a pitch was a ball or a strike. I don’t understand the point of it. It’s only to grade the umpires’ consistency, but no one knows if it’s Tom Hallion or Jeff Nelson behind the plate. You’re tuning into listen to Tim and me, or to see who the home plate umpire is.

“There are inexact things in this game. There should be replay to determine if a guy is out or safe, if a ball is fair or foul. Those are concrete things. This, I’m not so sure. It’s not exact. It’s a guide. The more you treat is as if it’s totally dead-on perfect and therefore mistakes are being made, then you’re going down the wrong path.”

Added Eric Karros, Fox’s studio analyst: “Maybe it would be valuable if it could measure a home plate umpire’s consistency. That gets to be a cliche, but all the batter really wants is someone who’s consistent, even if it’s a few inches off the plate. Can you measure consistency with technology? Can you map it out and show that, or would that take away from the telecast?”

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When Fox regional network Sun Sports added the constant FoxTrax graphic to its Tampa Bay Rays games, Ned Tate, the game’s executive producer, defended the move to the St. Petersburg Times in 2010.

“Fans love the bells and whistles you can put on a broadcast,” said Tate. “That’s how we see FoxTrax – it’s a tool to add to the broadcast. It’s not meant to be a measuring device on the umpire’s ability to call balls and strikes. It actually has many applications that we can use to give the viewer more information.”

Fox claims the location of its live strike zone graphic is accurate to within one inch, but there’s no real way to confirm that.

“Even if FoxTrax says the pitch is outside the strike zone, it usually shows that it was close enough to swing at,” Rays television analyst Kevin Kennedy said at the time to the newspaper. “My theory is don’t leave it up to the umpire. If it’s close, you need to swing at it, and FoxTrax usually shows that it’s too close to take. But, sure, there are times when a batter is rung up on a pitch that should have been called a ball, and I think it’s important to let the viewers know that. It’s not meant to attack the ump, but to defend the player a bit.”

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ESPN officially debuted its K Zone on Sunday Night Baseball back in 2001, but only recently was showing the standing yellow box over the plate during games this past season.

For that matter, ESPN’s toy department has been peddling a “K Zone” gadget that kids can use to play catch with on their front lawn. It sells for $59.99 on Amazon.com (linked here). But it only has one and a half stars out of five in the customer reviews.

Said one buyer: “This might be good for a younger ball player, say 4 or 5, but the calls are not accurate, says strike most of the time, even when hitting the other zones. Sometimes says strike even when you haven’t done anything. Very poor product, espn should be ashamed.”

ESPN, after all, started this whole fake strike zone graphic on TV in the first place. Maybe it really should be ashamed for starting all this.

And by the way, what was so wrong about the old “Pitch Back” nets with the metal pipes back in the day? The ones where you thread the ribbon through the netting to create your own strike zone to aim for?

== For a more anal analytical discussion, go to this link to see Colin Wyers’ piece from 2010 in the Baseball Prospectus about why off-calibrated graphics don’t mean a heck of a lot. Another BP story by Mike Fast, written earlier this year and linked here, revisits the idea that the PitchTrax isn’t all that accurate.

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