Scully’s 9/11 soliloquy


(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
A giant American flag drops down over the left field Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston during a remembrance of 9/11 prior to a game between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees tonight.

Starting the second inning of tonight’s Dodgers-D’backs game in Arizona, Vin Scully captioned the photo of the American flag hanging in center field at Chase Field in Phoenix:

“Eleven years ago today, terrorists shattered a sense of security here in the United States. Generations who did not understand or feel the pain of Pearl Harbor certainly were shocked to realize that they had been attacked on American soil.

“And, of course, as the president said on that fateful day, ‘We shall not falter, we shall not tire, we shall not fail.’ We will constantly and forever remember not just the thousands of people who died on that day, but the hundreds of thousands who protect us every day in this wild and violent world in which we live in.”

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Blyleven, Santo or Rizzutto could be first to make Baseball Hall as player and broadcaster


Bert Blyleven, Ron Santo and Phil Rizzutto, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as players by the Veterans Committee, are among the 41 finalists to win the 2013 Ford Frick Award given annually to a broadcaster.

Longtime Dodgers broadcaster Jerry Doggett and former Angels and current Padres voice Dick Enberg also made the current group, that was pared down from more than 200 candidates by fans voting.

This will be the second round in the selectin process that determine a group of three top vote-getters who will be part of the list of 10 that will be voted upon by the Hall of Fame Frick Committee.

Voting on this group takes place on the Hall’s (linked here) through Oct. 5, and the final 10 will be announced on Oct. 9. The inductee will be named at the baseball annual winter meetings in Nashville in early December.


Blyleven, whose 22-year career included the last four seasons with the Angels, was enshrined at the Hall in 2011. He has been a TV analyst with the Minnesota Twins since 1996.

Santo, who spent his entire career with the Chicago Cubs (1960-’74) except for his final season, was enshrined in 2012. He broadcast games for the Cubs from 1990 until his death in December, 2010.

Rizzutto, the New York Yankees shortstop from 1941-’42, and then from ’46-’56, was inducted in 1994. He broadcast Yankees games for 40 years, retiring in 1996. He died in 2007.

Doggett worked for the Dodgers from 1956 in Brooklyn and continues until 1987 in L.A., replaced by Don Drysdale, and always in the shadow of Vin Scully as they rotated back and forth between the TV and radio broadcast of each game. In Curt Smith’s book, “The Voices of Summer,” Doggett was ranked as No. 88 all time and has been on and off the Frick ballot since 2007. He died in 1997.

Enberg started with the Angels in 1969 and remained through 1978 before he became a national broadcaster for NBC and CBS. He returned to do some games in 1985, and for the last three seasons has been the voice of the San Diego Padres.

Aside from Blyleven, Santo, Doggett and Enberg, the final 41 consist of Joe Angel, Richie Ashburn, Alan Ashby, Lou Boudreau, Thom Brennaman, Rodger Brulotte, Joe Buck, Steve Busby, Skip Caray, Joe Castiglione, Tom Cheek, Don Chevrier, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Ed Farmer, Ray Fosse, Hank Greenwald, Tom Grieve, Tom Hamilton, Ken Harrelson, Mark Holtz, Pat Hughes, Jim Hunter, Todd Kalas, Bill King, Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, Eric Nadel, Joe Nuxhall, Mike Shannon, Charlie Slowes, Dwayne Staats, Steve Stone, Pete Van Wieren, Mike Wilner and Bert Wilson.

The award has been presented each year since 1978, and past winners on the voting board include Scully, Jaime Jarrin, Joe Garagiola, Tim McCarver, Marty Brennaman and Jerry Coleman.

You want our top three from this list? Greenwald, King and Van Wieren. Any one of those three would be a fine choice.

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Vin Scully, square? Oh, Vin Scully Square … (Not Vin Scully’s pocket square?)


L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes and Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council president Jose Sigala are behind a petition on (linked here) that seeks support for changing the interesection of Elysian Park and Sunset Blvd., down the hill from Dodger Stadium, to Vin Scully Square (map linked here).

It’s really more of a T-square traffic jam before every Dodger home contest, where the seedy Super 8 Motel is the only real landmark letting you know it’s time to get in the right-turn lane (if you’re coming West on Route 66) or else you’ll pass through and have to make an illegal U-turn near Alvarado.

Scully would never endorse such a petition, of course. He barely wants it known that he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Talk of having a statue built of him sometime near the ballpark is preposterous in his opinion. There are less than 50 signatures on this one so far — more an indication that the word really hasn’t gotten out on this much.

Meanwhile, there’s a stretch of 11th Street north of Staples Center that was changed to Chick Hearn Court following the passing of the Lakers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster in 2004. Soon enough, he had a statue for him as well.

Last year, a movement on to voice approval for Fox adding Scully to the 2011 World Series broadcast team (linked here) had more than 7,600 signatures, as well as Joe Buck’s endorsement (linked here). And it didn’t happen.

So while this probably not have his blessings, you never know. He did acquiesce to have a bobblehead produced in his honor. And a rainbow came out.

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What in the Weinke? The specialness of Barkley’s 6 TD game: It hadn’t been done (the way he did it) in 12 years


Your instincts told you that Matt Barkley’s six touchdown performance against Syracuse last Saturday was something that hadn’t been seen in a very long time, right?

The ESPN research department verified it.

On its “Stats & Info” blog (linked here), it noted that USC’s Heisman Trophy candidate became the first FBS quarterback in the last 12 seasons to throw at least six touchdown passes with less than 200 yards passing in a game (he had 187, a career-low 3.7 “air yards” per attempt).

USC receivers, most notably Marquis Lee and Robert Woods, turned the short passes into 137 yards after the catch — marking 10 straight games where USC has 100 or more yards “after the catch” yards posted.

Also, Barkley has a nation-leading 10 TDs this season, but the 20 he has in his last four games are six more than any other player in FBS during that span. So, just take the snap, turn left, or right, and throw sideways. It’ll all seem to work itself out.

Barkley remains atop psuedo polls that measure Heisman potential, including the No. 1 spot on . USC’s Lee is fifth. But UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin , whom Fox play-by-play man Gus Johnson couldn’t stop referring to as a future L.A. mayoral candidate, is merely tied for eighth, despite leading the nation on rushing.

ESPN’s blog notes that Frankin’s 215.5 rushing yards per game not only leads FBS this season, he’s averaging more than 90 teams. He leads FBS with six runs that gained 20 yards or more, and is one of two players with two touchdown runs of at least 60 yards.

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Karch Kiraly named new coach of U.S. women’s national volleyball program


Karch Kiraly, the UCLA volleyball legend who had a seat on the bench next to Hugh McCutcheon as his assistant for the U.S. women’s silver-medal-winning team during the 2012 London Olympics, has been named as the team’s head coach heading into the 2016 Summer Games in Rio De Janerio, USA Volleyball announced today.

“I have revered representing the USA and wearing the red, white and blue ever since my first experience with the Junior National Team at 16 years old,” Kiraly, inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2001, said in a statement. “It is a tremendous honor to be asked to lead such a powerful volleyball program, and I am thrilled to be able to carry forward the effort expended by this hard-working and talented group of athletes – an effort led by my mentor and friend, previous head coach Hugh McCutcheon and his staff.”

McCutcheon has left to become the head women’s coach at the University of Minnesota.

“He’s a great man and a wonderful volleyball coach – this is a fantastic hire,” McCutcheon said of Kiraly’s appointment.

The 2012 U.S. team won its first seven matches before losing to Brazil in the gold-medal game.

“This program has such a history of high performance and accomplished so much, including three Olympic Games silver medals … yet is has never won a Triple Crown event: a World Championships, a World Cup or an Olympics,” Kiraly said. “At some point, the USA women will change that, and I yearn to help in that effort.”

Kiraly, the greatest player in beach volleyball history, remains the only volleyball player, male or female, to win Olympic gold indoors and outdoors. The International Volleyball Federation named Kiraly as the greatest men’s volleyball player of the sport’s first century.

Before retiring at the end of 2007, Kiraly had won 148 beach volleyball tournaments (144 domestic, 3 FIVB international events), more than any other player in history.

More from (linked here).

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Is #griffining >>> #tebowing? Depends on which Griffin you’re grifting here


AP Photos/Bill Haber
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III reacts after throwing a touchdown pass in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Saints in New Orleans.

What’s you angle on this one?

We saw all the video of Robert Griffin III reacting to his first NFL TD pass in Sunday’s game at New Orleans, if not live then on plenty of replays.


Now, the Washington Post wants some credit in breaking another blockbuster.

All due respect to staff photographer, John McDonnell, who captured Griffin’s reaction from behind, rather than on the side, as the Associated Press did above.

As a result, the Post has posted all about the residual effect: “Griffining” has a shot at replacing “Tebowing” in the post-planking world (linked here) of stupid human tricks.

“Griffining” already has its own Twitter home:, a repository for all those who pose seat-of-the-pants with fingers pointed up and believe they’re part of the next big salute to greatness.

(Note: You don’t even need to have anything to celebrate. As Griffin would tell you, as he’s crossing out his Nike logo on his warm-up suit: Just do it).

Still, at Monday night’s Angels-Athletics game, another Griffin could be on the cutting edge of a posing trend for baseball fans, especially those who could use a hug during the stressfulness of the pennant race:


(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Angels first base coach Alfredo Griffin, in the seventh inning of Monday’s game at Angel Stadium.

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WSU’s Bucannon clotheslined by Pac-12 for another questionable hit …


(AP Photo/Spenser Heaps, Daily Herald)
Washington State’s Deone Bucannon (20) takes down BYU’s Scott Arellano during a game in Provo, Utah on Aug. 30.

The Pac-12 announced this afternoon that Washington State junior DB Deone Bucannon (linked here) would be suspended for the first half of the Cougars’ upcoming game against UNLV on Friday for “his hit to the head of a defenseless opponent” last week against Eastern Washington.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said that “while Mr. Bucannon was penalized on the field, I have deemed it necessary to add a half-game suspension. This disciplinary action was part of our weekly review of all targeting and unnecessary roughness hits.

“In order to appropriately protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we monitor and when needed, act in situations where a blow to the head of a defenseless player was flagrant and/or unwarranted, especially in situations where the hit occurred well after the play was over.”

A Pac-12 release added: “When there is a foul called for initiating contact on the head/neck area of a defenseless opponent that does not result in a player disqualification, NCAA Football Rules specifically call for a video review by the Conference office for possible additional sanctions before the next scheduled game.”

Anyone with access to this YouTube clip from 2010 knows this isn’t the first time Bucannon has been guilty of a questionable hit:

At the blog, Bucannon apologized for the latest infraction (where a video clip can be seen at this link): “That’s still my fault and I should be more focused on the field and I should abide by the rules.”

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Take a Dodgers survey about ’13 promo items, and excuse the typo in Question 1 …


The Dodgers just tweeted out a survey they’re asking folks to take, so check it out here (at thls link).

They say they’re considering brining back the Oldtimer’s Game, for one thing, and want to know if you’re on board. (Yes).

Among the promotional considerations for 2013 are garden gnomes, earbuds, iPhone covers, spray fans, bats (pick ‘em up at a different location), salsa bowls and …. wait for it … a door mat.

Doesn’t that leave things up for interpretation? (Yes)

Who do you want to see on a bobblehead? (Aside from Roger the Peanut man ?)

Wait, there’s nothing that asks if we want the Hollywood Stars game to come back (Yes, if there are actual stars).

For starters, here’s Question 1:

== Including games you’ve already attended, approximately how many Dodger games to you personally plan to attend at Dodger Stadium this season (2012)?

(We think they mean “do you” instead of “to you” … is that an indication of how the results will be interpreted?)

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Is it too late to get Scalabrine to do USC hoops on radio?


The plans for the upcoming USC basketball season are for former Trojans point guard Brandon Granville, who had been doing TV work on Prime Ticket recently, to take over as the game analyst on 710-AM broadcasts with play-by-play man Chris Fisher..

If only Brian Scalabrine decided to retire from the NBA a little earlier.

The former USC forward recently told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski (linked here) that he was pretty much done with his NBA career after 11 seasons.

“There was zero interest (in me),” he said about staying in the NBA. “Not some, but zero.”


There’s interest in him as a media personality. Plenty. He not only kind of looks like Louie CK, he’d be just as compelling a listen.

Scalabrine turned down a chance to stay with the Chicago Bulls as an assistant coach and agreed to do three exhibition and eight regular-season games for the Boston Celtics on Comcast Sports New England, as well as some studio work, as a test to see how he fares.

Born in Long Beach, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward from Enumclaw, Wash., who was a JC transfer ended up as USC’s top scorer for his junior and senior year (17.8 points a game as a junior in 1999-00, second best in the Pac-10, stats linked here) and played on a ’01 Trojans team that got to the Elite Eight before losing to Duke. He was USC’s most popular red-head since Clayton Olivier.

A second-round pick by New Jersey in 2001, he ended up on teams that went to the NBA Finals four times — including two with the Celtics, one of them in 2008 when they knocked off the Lakers. He was on the Chicago Bulls’ bench for the recent 2012 playoffs, activated when Derrick Rose went out with a season-ending injury.

But through his NBA career, he’s been more of a cult hero (linked here), a guy who USC grad Will Ferrell could have modeled when he made his ABA-genre movie “Semi-Pro” back in ’08.


One of the most well-known “DNP-CD” performers since former UCLA star Jack Haley babysat Dennis Rodman for the Chicago Bulls in the 1980s, Salabrine was referred to as the “White Mamba” by Bulls fans, playing off the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant referring to himself as the “Black Mamba.”

His NBA stat sheet will show he played in 520 games, averaging 13 minutes, 3.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists, with 0.2 blocks a contest. As a TV analyst, he’d be a 10-plus.

Back when he was at USC, he once said it about the fact that he tends to overanalyze the game: “I still think I overanalyze things more. I’m always one who wonders why do we have to do it like that. And I do that in everything I do – in basketball and in school.”

More on (linked here).

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There’s a giant fish swimming in a barrel … it’s named Chris Berman … go ahead, shoot it …


ESPN allowed Chris Berman to do the play-by-growl of the Raiders-Chargers’ Monday Night Football back end of a doubleheader last night. It got an overnight rating of 7.9, actually up from a 7.7. rating a year ago for the Raiders and Denver (possibly because the San Diego market went nuts with a 17.1 rating on ESPN and 20.8 on KFMB, the CBS affiliate), for a game that ended at about 1:30 in the morning on the East Coast.

Is Berman such the necessary element do drive ratings beyond what anyone in the East would stay up to watch past David Letterman?

A collection of Twitter gripes from the Sports Business Daily this morning notes for the record:

Yahoo Sports Radio’s Steve Czaban: “A league happy to use scab refs, a network happy to throw Berman in the booth. Perfect.”

The Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb: “Listening to this game with Chris Berman doing play-by-play ought to be fun. Good, clean fun, like driving nails into my nostrils.”

Rotowire’s Jeff Erickson: “This is hardly a new revelation, but Chris Berman cares more about his schtick than doing a competent job covering this game.”

The Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant: “Holy moly, the Raiders are a disaster. They are not, however, as much of a disaster as Berman on the stick.”

Sirius XM Radio’s Eddie Borsilli: “There are no words for what’s happening in this game. But I could do without Berman and his stupid comments. Go circle the wagons.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal’s Tim Sullivan: “First Chris Berman, then Stuart Scott, and me without a mute button. Oh, the price we pay to watch pro football.”’s Will Brinson: “Not often watching football feels like a chore. 1AM + Boomer + … this is one of those times.”

Yes, we watched. No, we didn’t tweet out. Too easy. The only time we considered, we already saw someone else tweet it out after the Raiders finally scored a touchdown. We retweeted the comment originally retweeted by @ErikMalinowski from @Mobute: #Berman finally got to say RRRrrrraaaaiiiiiidehhhhzzz so whoever won the pool, please call someone and tell them where to find your body.

The commentary (linked here) started with his combover and proceeded to proclaim that Berman “was better than last year’s Mike & Mike experiment, at least, though his reliance on baseball terminology to call a football game was disconcerting and eventually comedic, in the way watching a three-legged dog try to chase a lizard is pure hilarity.”

We can also appreciate what Dan Levy wrote on BleacherReport (linked here): “Random celebrities who would be better than Chris Berman” that included the paragraph:

“Someone, somewhere inside the walls of ESPN, had to be in on this gag–obviously trolling those of us who hop onto the Internet to react with indignation and frustration whenever we hear a kooky catchphrase, nickname or ill-timed reference to a generation long since passed. …

“In truth, Berman wasn’t bad. He was just … Berman.

“At this point, you either like Berman’s style or you don’t, and no “boom” or “whoop” or silly play-on-words is going to change anyone’s opinion one way or the other.”

Thus, the social experiment worked. So who’s the fish out there that took it hook, line and stinker?

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