Weekly media column version 07.20.12

What’s included in this week’s media column (linked here):

Some thoughts on Tim McCarver receiving the Ford C. Frick Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his career as a broadcaster, which includes working 22 World Series (including this clip below of the ’89 Series marred by the Bay Area Earthquake); Vin Scully’s thoughts on how analysts have taken on a bigger role on baseball broadcasts, and some other notes about local baseball ratings and how someone’s trying to make sports journalism better.

What isn’t included:


== Joe Buck’s response to McCarver’s honor: “I’m kind of conflicted. I feel almost more excited for Tim going in than I did for my dad (Jack Buck) when he went in in 1987. When you consider the length of time he caught in the big leagues, the pitchers he caught and the excellence on the mound that he received in Gibson, Carlton and many, many others – the winning, the championships and then jumping right into the booth and broadcasting all these World Series and all these All-Star Games it’s well received. His overall contribution to the game is unmatched by anybody in that Hall of Fame.

“It’s different to when my dad went in. I mean, my dad went in because he was a great voice of the game. Tim has done it all, and I think it is overdue. It is so deserved and I am proud of him. I’m proud because of the work he puts in every week and I can tell you, as his partner, when I started in 1996 as a 27 year-old doing the World Series, I was scared to death. When I had him sitting to my right and I had him seconding an opinion of mine, it gave me instant credibility. I owe him a lot and I’ll be there, the proudest one there not at the podium when he goes in on Saturday.”

== McCarver discusses his career during a Fox Sports “exclusive” with Ken Rosenthal on FoxSports.com (linked here). And a recent Q-and-A he did with Ed Sherman at ShermanReport.com (linked here).

== One more McCarver endorsement, from Peter Gammons (linked here).

== The MLB Network’s coverage of the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, leading into the inductions of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo at 10:30 a.m. Brian Kenny hosts it with Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci. Coverage is also live on MLB.com and BaseballHall.org. McCarver’s induction from Saturday night, along with Toronto Sun national columnist Bob Elliott as the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writing, will be included in the 8:30 a.m. Sunday show.

== One more McCarver clip: Global warming will be given someday as the reason for more home runs hit? What about the proliferation of better pitching performances this year? (linked here)

== OK, just one last McCarver clip: The Deion “You’re A Real Man” Sanders’ incident from 1992, with ESPN’s Charley Steiner narrating:

== Tennis Channel has 15 hours from the ATP’s Farmers Classic next week from the L.A. Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, with Leif Shiras on play-by-play, Jimmy Arias on analysis and Ashley Fisher on the sidelines.Coverage on the net begins Thursday, July 26 with singles round of 16, the singles quarterfinals on Friday, doubles semifinals on Saturday and doubles final on Sunday, July 29.

== A couple of interesting takes on a new documentary, “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” playing in L.A. only at the Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills (9036 Wilshire Blvd.).

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The L.A. Times’ Kenneth Turan recognizes the “shameful” way the MLB buys players from the Dominican Republic, especially when players Jean Carolos Batista and Miguel Angel Sano (linked here, as it appeared in the Miami Herald). Times colleague Patrick Goldstein (linked here) talks more with directors Ross Finkel, Trevor Marin and Jonathan Paley and notes that current Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is a co-producer of the film (his name is on the movie poster) and that it’s narrated by John Leguizamo.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that this doc might even remind you of the 2008 drama that had a short run in the theatres, “Sugar,” (linked here), where the main character’s name is Miguel “Sugar” Santos.

== An MLB Network feature on the Angels’ Mike Trout, which ran during the “MLB Tonight” programming Thursday, repeats today during “The Rundown” at noon. The piece was tapped at Yankee Stadium when the Angels visited last weekend as well as in Trout’s hometown of Millville, N.J., and include his parents and high school coach discussing his upbringing.

== The Tour de France, which ends Sunday on NBC Sports Network, has averaged 409,000 viewers on 15 live telecasts through July 15, up 29 percent from last year, the network reports. Two live broadcasts of the Tour aired on NBC on July 7 and 8 — in the past, that’s when the network would have had the Wimbledon women’s and men’s final — reached more than 1 million viewers.
The net also says the combined Tour de France LIVE and Tour de France LIVE Mobile live streams are up 31 percent and 201 percent respectively over 2011′s numbers, and the nearly 40,000 live-stream views of the race on Saturday, July 7, were the most ever for the Tour.
Sunday’s Stage 20 (Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Elysees) is on NBC Sports Network live from 5-to-9 a.m. and with a recap show on NBC (Channel 4) from 10 a.m.-to-noon.

== NBC Sports Network and Sports Illustrated start a joint TV venture Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the NBC that takes stories from SI and give them a narrative voice with video. The hour-long show called “Sports Illlustrated” includes a piece on Olympic 10K open-water men’s swimmer Alex Meyer, MMA trainers Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn, Baltimore Orioles minor-league phenom Dylan Bundy and a feature on the ’92 Olympic basketball team and “The Greatest Game Nobody Saw.”

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== Sports Illustrates says its London Olympic preview cover featuring the five U.S. Olympic female gymnasts who could take the first all-around title in 16 years is the first time the sport has been featured on its title page since Mary Lou Retton on the Aug. 13, 1984.

== To cut costs, there were 13 buyouts and three layoffs at Sports Illustrated affecting, among others, senior writers Damon Hack and Michael Farber, reports the New York Times (linked here). Hack will be going to Golf Channel while Farber, who covered hockey, still stay as a contributor.

== Morning program alert:
“NFL AM,” a four-hour live show based at the NFL Network’s Culver City studios, launches July 30 with host Mark Kriegel trying to keep former 49ers cornerback Eric Davis awake and engaged with contributors Brian Webber, Nicole Zaloumis and Steve Wyche. Airing from 3 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, “no other sport is the sole focus of a show of this length each and every weekday morning,” says the NFL release. We don’t doubt it.
“‘NFL AM’ will give fans a great reason to look forward to the morning,” said Mark Quenzel, NFL Network senior vice president of programming and production in a release. “We know that our fans are looking for more football and we are excited to provide a personality-driven show which focuses on football and everything around it. There will be no better way to start their day.”
Kriegel, the former New York Daily News and New York Post columnist, comes over from FoxSports.com, where he did five years as a national columnst as well as host the “Bar Fly” interview show.
Beginning Sept. 3, “NFL AM” will encore each weekday from 7-to-11 a.m. for the West Coast viewers.

== Night-time programming alert:
ESPNU starts a 9 p.m. PT/midnight ET show on Aug. 27 called “UNite,” extending its Campus Connection program to generate content for a variety program that wants to focus on videos, social media and pop culture, centered around a 103″ monitor as the set’s centerpiece. Entertainment Weekly quotes “UNite” Coordinating Producer Yaron Deskalo as saying: “Our goals are to be different. We want to create something on television that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I think the main way we’ll be able to find out if we’re successful is how viral we are … . We aren’t necessarily looking for the next ‘SportsCenter’ anchor. We’re looking almost for the next media star.” More info: http://bit.ly/UNITEdebut

== Next episode of “Feherty” (Monday, 10 p.m., Golf Channel): Analyst Peter Alliss joined David Feherty after his recent induction in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Alliss will be calling his 52nd British Open championship for the BBC. Golf Channel says that during the interview, Feherty was overwhelmed sitting with the man he idolized as a kid.
Feherty: “I’m delighted. This is a culmination and fulfillment of a dream for me.”
Alliss: “You’re really full of it, aren’t you?”
Feherty: “For me to be here today, talking to the man that is my greatest hero in this business – never mind golf – is so cool.”
Alliss: “You’re not going to cry are you?”

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