Five Things We Learned Last Weekend: Dec. 14-17

Angels owner Arte Moreno watches Josh Hamilton put on a jersey during the team’s news conference in Anaheim on Saturday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve heading back into the work week:

Arte Moreno still wants to party. Coming up on 10 years as the Angels’ owner, he says he wants both his team, and the Dodgers, to be competitive, share in the wealth of Southern California baseball. There’s enough room for the two of them to thrive. It’s not a competition. Until they get on the field. “I think it’s great,” he said of the rivalry during Saturday’s grand announcement about the team’s signing of Josh Hamilton, which still leaves the Angels’ payroll for 2013 about $60 million short of the Dodgers. “Those fans have invested themselves (in the Dodgers), some going back to 1958. They’ve had great success. Mattingly has done a great job. I can’t wait to play ‘em. You know how much fun that’s going to be, for fans to argue over who’s stronger? It’ll start in the spring when we play them the first time (in Arizona). I can’t wait.” Neither can we.

The headline looks sexy: “Kobe stunted my growth, says Bynum.” Thing is, Kobe Bryant seemed to agree, not even sarcastically, with the assessment of former teammate Andrew Bynum – who has yet to play a game yet with his new team, the Philadelphia 76ers, because his health continues to be stunted. The real curious quote from Bynum, however, came later, when making a comparison about how the trade that sent him to Philly also brought Dwight Howard to the Lakers in a swap of high-profile centers. “Personally, I think they traded No. 1 for No. 2,” Bynum said. One writer in his story chronicling that quote added that Bynum indicated that Howard was No. 1, not him. Another couple of writers (including the Daily News’ Mark Medina) called it “a clear suggestions he believes he’s better than Howard.” Either way, one is playing, the other isn’t. Which one would you rather be?

The NHL’s players union is invested in voting on whether to decertify, call in for some lunch or take another break from talks with the owners over a labor dispute that has reached 92 days and can’t be much closer to calling it a season than ever before. Skate around the issues even long and see how that works for getting a paycheck. Unions can be useful if there’s a huge moral or ethical issue involved. Splitting hairs over the detrement of the entire existence of professional hockey in North America isn’t the solution. There’s already a shortage of Twinkies and Ding Dongs thanks, in a small part, to misguided corporate ownership and mismanaged employees.

Adrian Petersen needs 294 yards in the last two games of the regular season to break Eric Dickerson’s mark of 2,105 with the L.A. Rams in 1984. The Minnesota Vikings star could have had that alone Sunday against St. Louis but settled for 212 on 24 carries, one of which was an 82-yard TD sprint on a knee that was put together a year ago after he tore two ligaments. Dickerson has gone on record as saying he didn’t want Petersen to break his record. “I don’t watch football anymore,” said Dickerson, lying. “I don’t watch sports. I just see the highlights. I see his highlights and he’s a great player. I don’t want him to break my record, but I wish him the best. . . . I like having the record. I don’t think it’s going to be broken.” Dickerson is starting to sound like a broken record, eh?

We didn’t need another Bob Costas mini-commentary on gun safety to get a better grasp of what happened this weekend in Newtown, Conn.

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Play It Forward: Dec. 17-23

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


The Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom battle Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings for a loose ball last Saturday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

NBA: Clippers vs. New Orleans, Staples Center, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. , Prime:
A nine-game winning streak got your attention yet? “We are playing with a lot of confidence right now and we are trying to make sure that we continue to play the game the right way,” said Clippers guard Chris Paul after last Saturday’s win in Milwaukee. “We understand at some point we will lose again. Right now we are very focused.” The Clippers’ latest roll – the longest since the franchise moved from Buffalo to San Diego way back when — actually started after a 105-98 loss to the Hornets in New Orleans on Nov. 26, which had been their fourth straight defeat. Play along and assume the Clippers’ win streak will hit 10 tonight in Detroit (4:30 p.m., Prime) before the rematch with the Hornets. It could easily be 13 by the time they finish off Sacramento (Friday, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime) and then go to Phoenix (Sunday, 5 p.m., Prime), the way bench players like Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom are playing. “When we play defense and we share the ball, you know what I’m saying, and with the firepower we have, we’re threats.” Odom said. “When they look at the basket, I mean, (shakes his head) we can compete at a high level.”


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More Q-and-A with Ed Goren

A continuation of today’s media column, the Q-and-A with Ed Goren, the recently retired vice chairman of the Fox Sports Media Group:

Q: Let’s talk about NFL pregame shows – the ones you started at CBS in the 1970s with Brent Musburger have come a long way, and are under the microscope lately with how they report news, especially with players involved in murder-suicides and others involved in DUI deaths. Each network seems to have a different way of reporting these things. How do you the purpose of an NFL pregame show, rather than just as an added a platform for advertisers and a place to raise the testosterone level for viewers leading into a game?

A: I think there are some separate issues there. First, I’m proud of the way (NFL on Fox pregame producer) Billy Richards handled those delicate stories over the last couple of weeks. I think it was a textbook example of how to show respect, understand we play a  game but life gets in the way, and put on your journalistic hat.

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Weekly media column version 12.14.12

A link to today’s media column, a Q-and-A with former Fox Sports executive producer Ed Goren (with more material coming soon), along with an update on the Dodgers’ TV negotiations, Jay Mohr’s probable place in the new Fox Sports Radio lineup and Larry Merchant’s last boxing telecast on Saturday.
Of course, as soon as we report the Dodgers are steering away from starting their own regional network, reports today that the team is in talks with Dick Clark Productions to explore that very option.

What didn’t make the column but could have:

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Poynter points out the best/worst media errors/corrections of 2012

Among those that made it in this year’s edition as the “best explanation of missing information” was from a sportswriter at the Louisiana’s Rayne Independent, frustrated after not getting all the information he wanted at the end of a local softball game:


But did it have to be a fireable offense? It was, and the author explains in the link how much it still haunts him ….


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