From this morning’s baseball winter meetings in Dallas:
DALLAS (AP) Press pass? Got it. Laptop? Yep.
Muscle shirts, short skirts and flip-flops? Stop right there.
For reporters covering Major League Baseball next season, beachwear and club outfits
are no longer in fashion.
Baseball became the first major pro league in North America to issue dress guidelines for media members, putting them in writing this week at the winter meetings. The no-wear list also includes visible undergarments, tank tops or anything with a team logo.
“This is not in response to any single incident,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said today.
Tim McCarver, a network analyst at Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC for three decades while being part of a local broadcast on four teams, was announced today as the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, given each year for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
McCarver will be honored during Hall of Fame weekend on July 20-23 in Cooperstown.
“Tim McCarver has been the face and voice of baseball’s biggest moments on national television,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “His wit and intuition, combined with his passion for the game and his down-home style, delivers a trusted insight for viewers. Tim’s journey in reaching baseball broadcasting’s highest honor has connected generations of New York Mets fans as well as audiences across the country for more than 30 years.”
Say what you will about McCarver, but he’s Hall of Fame broadcast material and continues to stay contemporary at a time when other younger analysts on network broadcasts may be gunning for his spot. His longevity, concern about current issues in the sport and easy-going demeanor have always been on his side for this eventual honor.
“You know I found early on this side of my life when I retired as player that the most important part of my job was to get things right when talking about the game. And it seems like I’m still trying to get things right,” McCarver said in a conference call this morning.
“One of the harder things about the business of television is staying contemporary. And staying contemporary and yet to continue to try to make things as simple as you can for the viewer to understand. And that’s one of the tricks of our business I guess, if not trick, one of the things that makes our business more difficult I think, with the passing years.”
UPDATED: TUESDAY 10:15 p.m.:
The San Diego Chargers announced today that, not surprisingly, approximately 5,500 tickets need to be sold by 1:15 p.m. Thursday lift the local television blackout of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at Qualcomm Stadium.
Further, the team says that if the blackout is lifted, the game will be seen in San Diego on KFMB-TV, Channel 8 and in Los Angeles and Orange County on KCBS-TV, Channel 2.
Hold on there. CBS’ national game of interest in that 1:15 p.m. window is Oakland at undefeated Green Bay. Would KCBS really defer to the Chargers’ wishes/demands and air their game instead when it’s not mandatory (since it’s not a Chargers’ road game)?
The answer: No. A KCBS spokesman tonight said the station will stick with covering Oakland-Green Bay. Gotta go with the bigger ratings, right?
KCBS has the doubleheader window on Sunday, carrying the Kansas City-N.Y. Jets game at 10 a.m. KTTV-Channel 11 is set to carry the Chicago-Denver game at 1:15 p.m.
The last time a KCBS Channel 2 Chargers’ road game with a 1 p.m. kickoff ran into issues with a Raiders telecast at 10 a.m., the local CBS affiliate got the approval from the NFL to do the reasonable thing: It stayed with the Raiders game until its conclusion, since it was in doubt, then joined the Chargers in progress. This, despite the NFL TV mandate that L.A. is a secondary market to San Diego and must show the Chargers games here when they begin.
You know how all that came about because of KCBS did the “Heidi”-esque switching from an unfinished Raiders-Bills game to get to the opening kickoff of the Chargers-Patroits game back on Sept. 18 (linked here).
This NFL-less town isn’t the only one with two-team issues and league rules adjusting our viewing habits.
From today’s Sports Business Daily, these are things being dealt with:
== Texans vs. Cowboys: Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com was forced to ask Fox why affiliates in Austin and San Antonio were taken away from the final seconds of the Texans’ victory over the Falcons in favor of the start of the Cowboys’ game against the Cardinals last Sunday. Smith wrote that the decision was made by Fox “at the network level,” and network spokesman Lou D’Ermillio explained that it was done because more people watch the Cowboys than the Texans in those two markets: “Based on general interest in the Texans and Cowboys in both markets we stand by this decision. The Texans rating in Austin was a 12.1, while the Cowboy rating was a 21.7. In San Antonio, the Texans posted a 14.8, while the Cowboys did a 27.9.”
== 49ers vs. Raiders: San Francisco Chronicle reporter Steve Kroner wrote today (linked here) that a Bay Area NFL Sunday usually has the 49ers or Raiders with a 10 a.m. kickoff and the other team starting at 1:05 or 1:15 p.m. But not this Sunday. The NFL moved the CBS’ Raiders-Packers game from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., which makes sense from a national perspective. But now it goes up against Fox’s telecast of the 49ers-Cardinals game from Arizona. The NFL “tries to keep the Raiders and 49ers in separate time slots — and there is a rule preventing a game from airing concurrently on another network if either team is playing at home.” in this case, they’re both on the road.
You’d think he’d look much more believable if he lipsynched a Barry White song instead:
Shaq has been part of a new NBA TV series called “Open Court” — launched, basically, because the channel had nothing new to offer during the lockout except old game reruns. The episode called “Curious Tales” debuts Tuesday at 6 p.m., as Ernie Johnson shoots it with Shaq, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith and Chris Webber. A new show debuts each Tuesday.
View a clip at this link.
UPDATED MONDAY, 3:30 p.m.
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
College football: Heisman Trophy presentation, 5 p.m., ESPN:
Before the 2011 season started, you could have gotten 7-to-2 odds by Bodog.com on Stanford’s Andrew Luck to win the Heisman Trophy. Late last week, the odds closed to 5-to-4. So maybe the official announcement on this night won’t be all that surprising. Still it’s interesting to see how the rest of the group that’s expected to be the final five candidates came pretty far from the pre-season prognostications.
Like USC’s Matt Barkley — 45-to-1 by Bodog.com last summer, but 15-to-1 today. Head to head, Barkley’s numbers may even impress Heisman voters enough to take him over Luck — he completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns with seven interceptions, while Luck has completed 70 percent for 3,170 yards, 35 TDs with nine picks. Against common opponents (that’s six Pac-12 teams and Notre Dame), Barkley (2,125 yards, 26 TDs and three picks) bested Luck (1,837 yards, 19 TDs, five picks). Yet, as it turns out Monday, Barkley wasn’t even one of the five invited — Luck is going, with Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (who wasn’t even on the radar two weeks ago) and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. Do the Heisman voters still have some kind of anti-USC, anti-Reggie Bush backlash going on here?
NFL: San Diego at Jacksonville, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
The storyline surrounding Jack Del Rio’s firing last week and the team being sold plays well for the Jags in calling attention to their franchise in a season where no one really has been paying attention. How about winner gets the inside track on moving to L.A.? And loser wonders why they even keep trying. San Diego is amidst its longest skid in a decade — seven losses in a row — and coach Norv Turner’s time might be running out, too. Maurice Jones-Drew has run for 1,040 yards to top the 1,000-yard mark for a third consecutive season. His 3,755 rushing yards since the beginning of the 2009 season are the second-most in the NFL. Jones-Drew was held to 31 yards in a 38-13 loss at San Diego last season.
College basketball: St. John’s at Detroit Mercy, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
Oh Mercy: They’re going to rename their home court after former head coach Dick Vitale. The hope was that by now, Steve Lavin wouldl be there as well to coach St. John’s, but he’s still resting up.
NHL: Kings at Ducks, Honda Center, 7 p.m., FSW:
New Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau might keep his AAA card nearby: He gets a crash course in the Freeway Face-Off, with the Kings having already done a hit-and-run with wins in the first two meetings a few weeks ago. The problem for the Kings this time is Mike Richards is too groggy to participate, missing his first game last Saturday in the loss to Montreal after playing in the first 25 and racking up a team-high 11 goals with 20 points. Richards has three goals already against Anaheim. Jonathan Quick beat the Ducks both times, once against Jonas Hiller and the other against Dan Ellis. And Kings coach Terry Murray is still trying to become the 17th NHL coach with 500 regular-season wins.
College basketball: Pepperdine at Northern Arizona, 5:30 p.m., Prime:
The Waves (4-3) have a tuneup before meeting Cal State Northridge on Satuday at 7 p.m.
NHL: Kings vs. Minnesota, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Back on Nov. 12, the Kings got one point from 12 players in their 5-2 win over the Wild, who started the week tied with Chicago for the best record in the Western Conference and winners of three in a row.
NFL: Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:
Road teams have been 1-4 in NFL Thursday night games this season. The only team that won is one that didn’t have to travel to a different time zone during the week after a Sunday game — Oakland, winning 24-17 at San Diego in Week 10. The Browns are in the same time zone as the Steelers — but will still get clobbered.
High school football: CIF Southern Section Northern Division final: Westlake at Oaks Christian, 7:30 p.m.:
The two schools that are about a mile apart play each other the fourth time in two years, and second time in a row in the Northern Division final. Bill Ridell (right) and Oaks Christian may have pulled off the upset this time last year, but doing it again would even be a bigger deal. Jim Benkert (left) and Westlake (13-0, ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 4 nationally) could be headed for the Open Division state championship as it comes off the 62-0 win over Thousand Oaks in the semifinals. Oaks Christian (11-2) got a 25-of-29 passing day by sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins in a three-point win over St. Bonaventure in their semifinal encounter. At 8 p.m., on Prime Ticket, it’s the Inland Division final between Centennial Corona and Vista Murietta.
College basketball: UCLA vs. Penn, Honda Center, 4 p.m., FSW:
What are the odds the Reeves Nelson is booted off the Bruins’ roster, and Josh Smith is so depressed about it he’s caught smuggling mac-n-cheese into a team meeting? It’s not the Wooden Classic game that you think it might be this time of year. Instead, that’s been moved to Jan. 5 of next year against Arizona. This one will have to be content with acting as just another non-conference game.
College basketball: USC vs. New Mexico, Galen Center, 4 p.m., Prime:
Here’s the first of four in a row at home that includes games against Georgia, TCU and Kansas.
College football: Army vs. Navy, Landover, Md., Channel 2, 11:30 a.m.:
What’s the rush? Army (3-8), leading the nation in rushing at 350 yards a game, was locked into playing a Pac-12 school (UCLA?) in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 31. Navy (4-7), fourth in the country in rushing at 313 yards a game, is headed to the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., against an ACC team on Dec. 28. But this is really their annual bowl meeting between the two academies. It has its own website, for cryin’ out loud (www.armynavygame.com), which makes no mention of the fact that Air Force finished 7-5 and defeated both teams in the regular season.
Documentary: “The Marinovich Project,” 6 p.m., ESPN; 8 p.m., ESPN2:
ESPN wants to tell what it calls is the “unvarnished story” of Todd Marinovich, the former USC and L.A. Raiders quarterback whose pro career imploded on him after two years, leading to drug addiction and bizarre arrests, with much of the blame laid on Marinovich’s father, Marv, who tried to raise the perfectly defined quarterback from the time Todd was a toddler. What went wrong? Maybe we’ll never know. This documentary will try to at least dig up something that happened 20 years ago.
NHL: Kings vs. Dallas, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Kings gave away a 3-2 overtime game to the Stars on Nov. 23 after having a two-goal lead in the third period. Dallas somehow leads the Pacific Division while giving up more goals than it has scored.
High school football: CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division final: Santa Margarita vs. San Clemente, Angel Stadium, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
The Division I bowl bid likely goes to the Pac-5 winner, unless Upland wins the Inland Division and goes undefeated. Also tonight: Sierra Canyon faces Paraclete in the East Valley Division title game at Antelope Valley College.
College soccer: NCAA men’s championship at Hoover, Ala., 1 p.m., ESPNU:
No. 13-seed UCLA (18-4-1), which has won this thing three times since 1990, has clawed its way into the Final Four of the College Cup with eight straight shutouts, but now have to face top-seed North Carolina in one of Friday’s semifinals (3 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU; Charlotte faces Creighton in the other semifinal.)
NFL: N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:
These two meet twice in the last four weeks of the season, including the Jan. 1 regular-season finale. That seems like a fair way to determine the NFC East playoff picture.
NFL: Oakland at Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., Channel 2:
The Packers’ community ownership just announced it was selling stock for $250 a pop to raise money so it can fix up Lambeau Field. Best to hold off repair estimations until after traveling Raiders fans return home to their caves.
NFL: Chicago at Denver, 1 p.m., Channel 11:
Tebow TV is gold.
If the scale ranges from Walt Frazier on one side to Walt Whitman on the other, then the first published collection of poetry authored by former Lakers forward Tommy Hawkins dribble drives from one end of the court to the other.
The eclectic book, “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People,” which includes inspiring artwork by people such as LeRoy Neiman and Ernie Barnes, makes it public debut on Thursday during a reception at the L.A. Museum of Tolerance.
In a multi-media presentation that includes jazz artist Kenny Burrell, Hawkins will read his works that cover sports (including the NBA, Jackie Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson), travel, music, relationships, the 1960s, jazz, love and psychiatry.
The former Notre Dame All-American, Dodgers executive and sports-talk radio host who turns 75 later this month explained how it all came together:
Q: You’ve noted in the introduction that it’s not easy to get people to embrace poetry. So what gives you the incentive to try?
A: Well, this is actually the first of three books I want to write, and I wanted to cover my poetry first because I wanted the shock waves to go through the populist so that they know I’m serious about my writing and they know I can do it. (The follow up will be about his 10-year career in the NBA and his third will be about experiences he’s had with famous people along the way). There may not be a lot of people interested in poetry, but they are interested in narratives, so that’s really more of what I’m trying to do, something that cuts through with everything else that’s going on in society. I have a lot of artistic friends and I wanted to use their images to match the narratives. I’m appealing to the reader’s sense of rhyme and rhythm and their sense of visualization. And their adherence to a message that makes them think and they can find themselves in.
Magic Johnson can right to the front of the line and buy up all the Starbucks, Fatburger, TGIFridays, 24 Hour Fitness and movie theatre franchises that city limits will allow.
Just don’t go be going all grande latte on the Dodgers’ franchise.
Take your best shot at hosting a late-night TV talk show.
Just don’t get cozy escorting guest celebrities into those box seats next to the home team dugout and leading everyone in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” up on Diamondvision screen.
Throw your cap into the ring someday and run for mayor of Los Angeles.
Just don’t let us see you put on a blue L.A. cap and go running around Chavez Ravine pretending you know more about running a major league baseball team than Frank McCourt.
Johnson’s proclamation Friday that he’s about to loft a baby hook shot at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, seeking his approval to be part of a Dodgers ownership group, makes as much sense as Sandy Koufax deciding he needs to take over the Lakers.
At least Koufax played college basketball.
There’s hundreds of thousands of billions of reasons why there’s a statue of Magic Johnson outside Staples Center, a place he never played, and not one of him outside Dodger Stadium, a place he’s visited but surely never stood at the concession stand for a Dodger Dog.
The fact that Magic says he’s sifted through the applications of six potential ownership groups and decided to align himself with a bunch of global financiers known as the Guggenheim Partners, who boast to having more than $125 billion in assets, only shows only that he’s been doing some wise political networking.