You can’t fool us: It’s a Scully bobblehead hostage situation, and they’ve figured it out as a no-Vin deal

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From The Sporting News.com (linked here) headlined:
Vin Scully bobblehead used as lure for Dodgers fans to purchase extra tickets

The Los Angeles Dodgers want to cash in on the popularity of Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.

Scully, who has been a part of the franchise since 1950 when it still was in Brooklyn, will be honored with a bobblehead night Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium. Scully bobbleheads will be given to the first 50,000 fans who attend the Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks game that night.

The Dodgers want to capitalize on the event by making fans buy tickets to other games in addition to the bobblehead night. Fans will need to purchase either a season ticket or a 10-game plan.

The club also is not making individual seats available to its Aug. 7 home game against the Colorado Rockies.

From SBNation.com (linked here) under the headline: Dodgers Vin Scully Bobblehead Comes With Catch

Scully will be the 10th and final bobblehead given out this season by the Dodgers, on August 30 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. But fans can’t buy single game tickets to this game in hopes of securing a cherished Scully bobblehead.

Rather, fans must buy a ticket package of at least 10 games to get tickets for the August 30 game.

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Save the date: Jim Abbott book signings

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Pick up the Jim Abbott autobiography “Imperfect” and have him sign it during some upcoming Southern California appearances:
He’ll be signing copies of his book: Imperfect

Wednesday: 7 p.m., Angels Stadium team store

Saturday: 1 p.m., Costco, 900 South Harbor Blvd., Fullerton

June 5: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, 210 Americana Way, Glendale

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The wayback machine, 1993: Bob Miller and Jim Fox, in a Hockey 101 primer (and it holds up well)

In 1993, when the Kings went to the Stanley Cup final for the first time, we quizzed our local NHL experts on the best ways to get novice hockey fans up to speed and be a little more Gretzky-literate about what they were about to watch.

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Although technology has changed a lot in the last 20 years – big-screen, high-def, wide-angle TV sets are far more than norm, and replay angles have improved by leaps and bounds, as well as use of the telestrator to explain how plays develop – the basics really don’t change. Neither do the broadcasters: The Kings announcers have been covering the team since long before that last Stanley Cup appearance.

Long before, and long after Fox tried its glowing puck graphic tricks in the mid 1990s.

But the basics really don’t change.

Here are some excerpts of a column we did on the subject in May, 1993:

Tip No. 1: Don’t necessarily try to focus on the puck.

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Said Bob Miller, the Kings’ play-by-play voice going into his 20th season at the time:
“I usually tell people who watch the game for the first time just to focus on the area in front of the net. That’s where the puck will end up sometime.”

Added Jim Fox, the Kings’ TV analyst: “The camera’s focus on the puck isn’t as important as its ability to provide close enough action to see as many skaters as possible at the same time. It’s just like watching a basketball game on ice. If you can tell who’s carrying the puck, you don’t need to focus on the puck and follow it pass to pass.”
And from Nick Nickson, the Kings’ radio play-by-play voice: “The game has plenty to offer away from the puck. On a four-on-four power play, for example, a defenseman can sneak in and read the play and get a three-on-two going the other way.”

Tip No. 2: If you missed a play the first time, the replay will probably catch it – at a better angle.

Miller: “Slow-motion replay is best used in hockey than in any other TV sport. In football, you don’t need it that much. In basketball, how many times do you need to see a slam dunk? Hockey is too fast and needs to be slowed down to see it, especially on scoring plays.”

Fox: “The novice fan will learn more from the slo-mo, watching how the puck is deflected, where screens are set . . . I rely on the replay.”

Bob Borgen, who produced the Kings’ telecasts on the local Prime Ticket: “Sometimes we discover things on the replay that even surprises us. Hockey, to me, is like improvisational jazz. The puck can be all over the place. And it can get so wide on TV that with one camera, you can’t see the little things the first time.”

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Tip No. 3: Don’t get hung up if the announcers don’t explain the rules. The red and blue lines are you friends.

Miller: “It always puzzles me why some think we have to explain all the terms with new viewers. There aren’t that many things to explain.”

Just know there are only two times a whistle blows: An offsides – just like an offsides in football, except here we have a blue line to show you clearly – and icing, which probably is the most difficult one for people to understand.

“The most questions I get are about penalties,” said Miller. “To the novice, every check must look like a penalty.”

Tip No. 4: A fight is not always a fight.

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Fox: “I wouldn’t expect a new viewer to understand that there are some fights that allow the players to police the game themselves rather than a set-up fight between two guys who feel they have to earn their money.
“If the game could eliminate the second category, we’d all be happier. But just watch how the players are grabbing jerseys and can’t plant themselves. Few fights turn into injury.”

Neither Miller nor Fox watch a TV monitor when they call a game because they feel the screen can be too restrictive.
“I can watch hockey on TV and enjoy it,” said Miller, “but not as much as in person.”
Added Al Michaels, a long-time Kings’ season-ticket holder: “There’s no trick to it. Get a 46-inch big-screen TV and wait for the replay.”

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Play It Forward: May 28-June 3 on your sports calendar

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

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

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NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Kings vs. New Jersey:
Game 1: Wednesday at New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4
Game 2: Saturday at New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4:

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Not to be a Devils’ advocate in this series, but they’ve already beaten the Kings twice this year. Even if it was in a period of 12 days way back in October. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur tweaked his right shoulder at the time and had to leave after the first period in an eventual 2-1 shootout victory over the Kings on Oct. 13 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Ilya Kovalchuk, a free agent whom the Kings pursued in the off season, scored one of the shootout goals for the Devils (pictured above), who were otherwise constantly turned away by Jonathan Quick. Given that it was the Kings’ first game back on the mainland after their first two games in Europe, they could be expected to be a little disposition challenged.

But then, on Oct. 25, neither Brodeur nor Quick played, and the Devils snatched away a 3-0 win at Staples Center. Quick had a team record three consecutive shutouts coming in, but then-coach Terry Murray put in Jonathan Bernier. (Sorry, Terry, not a smooth move). Johan Hedberg started for the Devils, as Broudeur still was suffering from the shoulder injury, and stopped 31 Kings’ shots.

As for the 40-year-old Brodeur (above, during the Eastern Conference Game 6 final victory over the Rangers), the four-time Vezina Trophy winner and a league-record best 24 playoff shutouts in his 19 seasons in New Jersey has an 12-5 record so far in the playoffs with one first-round shutout and a 2.04 GGA. He’s never faced the Kings in the playoffs and has a 8-6-0-1 in his career against them with a 2.13 GGA. The Kings, in the final for the first time in 19 years, are in position to do something their rival Anaheim Ducks have never done — defeat Brodeur in a Stanley Cup final. And they start in perfect fashion, away from home for the first two.

MONDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. Milwaukee, 5:10 p.m., Prime:

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Hold you applause: Ryan Braun makes his first L.A. appearance since winning last year’s NL MVP award, but will runner-up Matt Kemp be ready to go bat-for-bat against him? The Dodgers have Kemp targeted for coming off the DL on Tuesday (7:10 p.m., Channel 9), the same day they’re giving out a four-headed bobblehead of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey. The four-game series continues Wednesday (Kershaw vs. Gallardo) and Thursday (Billingsley vs. Greinke), both at 7:10 p.m., Prime.

MLB: Angels vs. New York Yankees, Angel Stadium, 6:05 p.m., FSW:

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Andy Pettitte’s comeback attempt at age 39 (he turns 40 in a couple of weeks) is on schedule to arrive in Anaheim for a meeting Tuesday (7:05 p.m., FSW) against Dan Haren. Raul Ibanez, another soon-to-be 40-year-old, helped Pettitte beat Cincinnati recently with a two-run homer. The Yankees still need a closer, with Mariano Riviera and David Robertson down. Any volunteers? The series finishes Wednesday (7:05 p.m., FSW).

NBA Eastern Conference finals, Game 1: Boston at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

Rajon Rondo can’t do it all himself. The Heat knocked out the Celtics in five games in the conference semifinals last year. In 2010, the Celtics eliminated the Heat in the first round and then knocked LeBron James and the Cavaliers out in the second — his final game with Cleveland. Game 2 is in Miami on Wednesday with Games 3 and 4 in Boston on Friday and Sunday (both 5:30 p.m. on ESPN).

College lacrosse: NCAA men’s final: Loyola (Md.) vs. Maryland, 10 a.m., ESPN:

At Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., No. 1 Greyhounds (17-1) should have the upper stick over the state-rival Terps (12-5).

TUESDAY

NBA Western Conference finals, Game 2: Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 6 p.m., TNT:

What, you were expecting a Lakers-Clippers matchup all of the sudden. They’ll continue with Game 3 and 4 in OKC on Thursday (6 p.m., TNT) and Saturday (5:30 p.m., TNT).

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College golf: NCAA Division I tournament, at Riviera Country Club, first round of individual play, 7 a.m.:

UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the first Bruin to win college golf’s top honor in receiving Ben Hogan Award, has plenty of familiarity with this Palisades layout, having played in last February’s PGA Northern Trust Open (he didn’t make the cut, shooting 8-over 150). The 20-year-old is the world’s top- ranked amateur, finishing in a tie for 47th at the Masters and was the also the low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open (tying for 21st). As a freshman, he was second in last year’s NCAA championship. UCLA, ranked third in the country and the team winners in 1988 (with coach Eddie Merrins) and 2008 (with coach Derek Freeman, and Kevin Chappell as the individual winner), qualified for its 10th straight NCAA championship last week. Augusta State is the two-time defending men’s NCAA champ. Three rounds of stroke play team competition ends Thursday, and then the top eight seeds compete in a three-day match play starting Friday.

Soccer: U.S. Open Cup: Galaxy at Carolina RailHawks, 4 p.m.:

Is this the moment in the season when AEG sends Darryl Sutter over to Home Depot Center to whip Becks, Donovan and the boys into shape? That makes as much sense as sending the team all the way to Cary, N.C., to play a game in the middle of a stumbling MLS season. The hillbillies have bought up all the tickets in hopes of seeing some real Hollywood stars … so what if there’s a U.S. Open Cup victory when this charade is all over. (Oh, right, because they’re no where near defending their MLS Cup with a 3-8-2 mark, last in the Western Conference. The Galaxy’s second-round match up could be against Chivas USA on June 5. Chivas has to beat the Ventura County Fusion tonight at Ventura College. Good luck to y’all.

WNBA: Sparks vs. Tulsa, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:

The Sparks also host Seattle for the second time in about two weeks on Sunday (5:30 p.m., KDOC-Channel 56), having defeated the Storm twice by eight and 13 points in the first two games of the season.

WEDNESDAY

NBA: Draft Lottery, 5 p.m., ESPN:

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They’re distributing ping-pong balls again, this time in New York’s Times Square, for the top 14 picks in the June 28 draft. Charlotte as the most-favored status (a 25 percent chance of winning) for the chance to grab Kentucky’s unibrowed wonder Anthony Davis (or any of his four Wildcat teammates that also declared entry). But New Orleans has two lottery picks (taking one from Minnesota, which originally took it from the Clippers). Those two picks give the Hornets an 14.8 percent chance of the No. 1 choice. Of the 14 teams eligible, the newly-renamed Brooklyn Nets have a 7.5 percent chance of coming up with the top pick.

THURSDAY

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Scripps National Spelling Bee: Semifinals, 7 a.m., ESPN2; finals, 5 p.m., ESPN:

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There’s a 6-year-old in the field: Lori Anne C. Madison of Woodbridge, Va., who, according to the organization, is the youngest speller in the event on record. She won the Prince William County Spelling Bee against constants who, in some cases, were twice her age. Do we have to spell this out for you – it’ll be compelling, life-scaring TV at its reality-show finest. Madison, who is home-schooled, told Fox News: “I was confident because I have been in spelling bees with older kids before and I judge them by who they are, not about age.” Madison said she started spelling and reading when she was 3 years old — “very early,” she explained. “Plus, I work hard and love to find new interesting words in the dictionary.” That attitude doesn’t succedaneum (a word meaning “to act as a substitute,” which was the winning word use in the 2001 competition. All preliminary rounds on Wednesday start at 5 a.m. on ESPN3, the website. Sage Steele is the event’s anchor person. Samantha Steele is a reporter. Where’s Iron Man when you need him? More info: www.spellingbee.com

FRIDAY

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MLB: Angels vs. Texas, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:

On Saturday (7:05 p.m., FSW), the Angels will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people wearing cowboy hats,” since everyone in attendance will be handed one. Sponsored, appropriately, by Yokohama. Nice to make the Rangers feel at home. “These record attempts are becoming an annual event for us,” Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, Robert Alvarado said. “By attempting our third world record to compliment the last two seasons’ events, we will deliver a unique and memorable experience that our fans have come to expect.” At the start of the fifth inning, an anticipated sellout of more than 40,000 will be prompted to wear their Angels cowboy hats for 10 consecutive minutes — which apparently does the trick. This is the third Guinness World Record attempted by the Angels, after going for the “largest gathering of people wearing blankets” (2010) and “largest gathering of people wearing masks” (2011). The current record for the largest gathering of people wearing cowboy hats — a mere 500. That can’t be right. Ever been to bar on a Wednesday afternoon in Houston? The series ends Sunday (12:35 p.m., FSW).

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

Jamie Moyer is slated to make a return outing in the series opener against the Dodgers, unless he yields to old age or boredom. The Dodgers roughed him up for seven hits and five runs on May 11, but he also whiffed seven. This is the first of 19 road games that the Dodgers will play in the month of June, and it could start with some altitude sickness, even though the Dodgers swept the Rockies in three during Colorado’s visit to Dodger Stadium recently. The series continues Saturday (1:10 p.m., Prime) and Sunday (12:10 p.m., Channel 9).

SATURDAY

Running: Prefontane Classic, noon, Channel 4:

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Meet director Tom Jordan has proclaimed to the Eugene Register-Guard that the list for this year’s Bowerman Mile at the 38th Pre Classic on the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field is the “greatest field of milers ever assembled on American soil … superior to anything you’ll see at the Olympics or World Championships (because) we have no limits on the number of entrants per country. No limits. Sounds like a catchy movie title. Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop (right) and Silas Kiplagat, both 22, are the world’s top-ranked milers and are entered. Kiprop won gold in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

SUNDAY

Golf: PGA Memorial at Dublin, Ohio, final round, 11:30 a.m., Channel 2:

Steve Stricker won this event last year, and Zach Johnson won the PGA event last week, but the buzz in the tour world for this event is that Dustin Johnson, bothered by back pain for the better part of the past two months, plans to return for this event. He hasn’t played since he tied for 35th at the WGC event in the second week in March. Johnson finished fourth at the event a year ago, four shots back of Stricker, with a final round of 65. Golf Channel has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday; CBS has Saturday’s third round.

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