What’s included in this week’s sports media column (linked here): A revamp of the blog post about broadcasters affecting no-hit games (from a post earlier in the day Thursday), along with infomation about the last Lakers games on KCAL and Fox Sports West.
What didn’t make the cut:
== Victor Rojas had the time to return a message to him from the L.A. Times, but not so much from us (linked here): “Some people say jinxes have no place in sports, but that’s just how I am. I didn’t move from my position after the third inning, I didn’t move any paper. I put my pens back in the same spot. That’s just who I am.”
Great philosophy, as long as you’re not in the communications business. Talk to Jose Mota, the Angels’ radio analyst who was doing Jered Weaver’s game for the team’s Spanish-language telecast on Wednesday> He admitted that he may have some superstitions about revealing a no-hitter in progress, but it didn’t stop him from informing viewers of it.
“I didn’t beat it to death, but I do respect some people who believe (there is a superstition),” Mota told the Petros & Money show on KLAC-AM (570) Thursday afternoon. “You don’t have to get into a lot of details. But if you don’t say anything, you take that risk that someone will turn on the game, see it’s 9-0, and stop watching. You don’t have to rattle on about a no-hitter, but it’s a fine line. I do understand that we are in the communications business and we do have to say what goes on.”
== More on no-hitter jinx worries: From an AOLnews.com story (linked here) about the subject comes a tidbut of how with Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza threw a no-hitter in 2010, Rays braodcaster Dewayne Staats went the whole game without saying it, and then-analyst Kevin Kennedy told the St. Petersburg Times: “(As the game) went on and I looked in the dugout and saw players doing the same things, I started to get caught up in it. And then I thought, ‘Oh man, I’m not going to be the one to say it.” The last thing I wanted was to be the guy who jinxed the first no-hitter in team history.”
== And for what it’s worth: We also came across an article from June 5, 1960 from the Reading (Penn.) Eagle, an Associated Press story that asked Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher-turned-broadcaster Carl Erskine about his philosophy on mentioning no-hitters.
“A no-hitter is part of the game. If you don’t tell the people about it, you’re not giving them all the information you should give them. Actually, the pitcher certainly knows it all the time. It’s always obvious to the other team trying to break it up. So why not tell the fans about the no-hitter?
“Earlier this season, Jack Buck and I were broadcasting a game at San Francisco (for the ABC Radio network) when Sam Jones got close to a no-hitter. We didn’t hesistate to say that he hadn’t allowed any hits, and we discussed frankly the excitement in the ballpark.”
Erskine retired in 1959, a year after the Dodgers moved to L.A., and threw two no-hitters in his career, one nearly a perfect game.
“After I pitched the no-hitter against the Giants (in 1956), Buddy Blattner came down to the dressing room and told me he had talked freely about the game on the air. And remember, Buddy was a major league player before he became a broadcaster. I agreed there was no choice but to tell the fans.”
== From today’s column by the Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle (linked here): “How preposterous for any broadcaster to shield news from his listeners, or to even pretend they could. In this age of 24-hour sports TV and pervasive Internet coverage, not mentioning a no-hitter in progress is like trying to patch up the Titanic with a Band-Aid. …
“It’s not like Rojas isn’t aware of this little trend we have these days called social media. He’s a big Twitter user (@VictorRojas29), but even there, mum was the word. He tweeted about the game while it was in progress, but again he stepped all around it without mentioning the no-hitter: ’7th inning stretch time w Angels up 9-0. My suggestion to you is to find a TV or tune in a radio. Weaver w 8 K’s.’
And then later: ‘We’re headed to the 9th w/ a SoCal boy back on the hill to try & finish this one off. 8 K’s/1 BB 9-0.’
“Apparently, it was OK to mention that Weaver had eight strikeouts, but the fact he had given up no hits was taboo. But the Twitterverse was full of Weaver talk. Even the Angels themselves tweeted about it: “‘Jered Weaver has not allowed a hit through 8 innings against the Twins.’”
== If you watched the live Dodgers ownership press conference on Wednesday and heard Vin Scully complain about how “fed up” he was with attending these kind of changing-of-the-guard Dodger functions, you’d know he was joking … so why be nervous, or act as if he was sending some subliminal message? Please .. (linked here). …
Here, maybe this explains it better:
Or maybe not. He did turn to look at Magic Johnson and kind of let him know he was deadpanning ….
== Actually, the funniest lines to come from Scully during the press conference was when he told Magic hat he intended to take him on with a shirts-and-skins one-on-one match up but would catch him next time … and then there was the moment when Scully announced the press conference was over, but was then told it wasn’t and he was overheard on the microphone saying, “What do you want to do now, my greatest hits?”
== Scully, by the way, believes that not only did he cover the major-league debut of the Washington Nationals’ 19-year-old Bryce Harper during the last Dodgers-Nats series from Dodger Stadium, but the 84-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster says he saw the debut of the New York Yankees’ 19-year-old Mickey Mantle during an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 14, 1951 at Ebbets Field.
“Back then, I was the third announcer (with Red Barber and Connie Desmond) and probably only worked the third and seventh inning,” Scully said Wednesday. “Honestly, I don’t remember exactly how that went, except that I did wonder how a kid from Commerce, Oklahoma could possibly play in cavernous Yankee Stadium before crowds 10-times larger than his own hometown.”
== Scully philosophy on calling no-hitters? He explained to the L.A. Times (linked here) in 1960: “It’s insulting the listeners to make them think they’re silly and superstitious enough to believe my telling them that a no-hitter is going will affect the game.”
== KVCR Channel 24 (Saturday, 10 p.m.) and KLCS Channel 58 (Sunday, 9 p.m.) will repeat the PBS documentary “Jesse Owens: American Experience” after it has aired already on several PBS stations following its debut last Tuesday. The only thing one can legitimately complain about is that it’s too short of a story to fit into a 52-minute window. The Andre Braugher-narrated doc includes commentary from writers William C. Rhoden, Jeremy Schaap, David Wallechinsky and former USC track star Louis Zamperini. Copies can be ordered on line at pbs.org/americanexperience for $24.99.
== This email from a view of the Angels: “Of course I missed the Jered Weaver No Hitter (Wednesday night). AT&T U Verse is the most IDIOTIC cable company by far… They did NOT negotiate a deal with Fox Sports West to televise 25 games this season including last night’s majestic performance by Jered ….Orange County residence that have this moronic cable subscription like myself were forced to turn on the radio.”
== Tom Hammond, Gary Stevens, Larry Collmus, Jerry Bailey, Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier are part of the NBC coverage for Saturday’s 138th Kentucky Derby, starting at 1 p.m. Bob Costas is the host.