Weekly media sports column version 05.30.13: What makes Ross Porter smile these days

batruleWhat made it as the lead item to this week’s sports media column:

You think the Dodgers’ new ownership team would considering finding a spot on their new TV network for Ross Porter? We talked about it as he prepares for calling two CIF baseball title games from Dodger Stadium today.

Porter, by the way, says he has reason to smile when he’s listening to a game today and hears broadcasters sprinkle statistics into the broadcast — something he was probably unfairly criticized for years ago.

Edward Frascino/The New Yorker

Edward Frascino/The New Yorker

“I guess I can laugh about that now,” he said. “I used to keep a blue book with statistics on things like how Johnny Bench used to do against Don Sutton, and people might have asked, ‘What are you doing?’” said Porter. “Now that kind of thing is on every media stat sheet in every press box. And you hear the stats everywhere from Vin down, just as if it’s another part of the game.

“Maybe I was a little bit of a pioneer in that, and I took a lot of criticism for it — some of it may have been warranted — but I think my problem was that having done all that research, I wanted to get it in, and that couldn’t always happen.

“To me, the research and homework never stopped. I never considered it a grind. It really was a pleasure to do it. I enjoyed the homework almost as much as the play-by-play itself.”

What didn’t make it in but really, really should have: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Prep yourself: Ross Porter, back at Dodger Stadium

In 2002, Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter, right, interviews team GM Dan Evans.  © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers from www.jpblog.com

In 2002, Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter, right, interviews team GM Dan Evans. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers from http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com/2012

Ross Porter will venture up to the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth Friday afternoon, perhaps sitting in the same spot where he last worked about 8 ½ years ago.

The statistical probably of this happening? It’s likely that only Porter could give you the correct numbers on that.

When his contract was ridiculously not renewed by the Dodgers and then-owner Frank McCourt after the 2004 season, thus ending a 28-year run with the team as its No. 2 TV and radio voice next to Vin Scully and another decade-plus as the “DodgerTalk” post-game host, Porter wasn’t about to just go away to his Calabasas home and become the retiring type.

The 74-year-old has stayed busy on various broadcasting projects and finds himself returning to the stadium today as an employee of Fox Sports West. Executive producer Tom Feuer hired him to call today’s CIF Southern Section Division III title game between Mira Costa and Serra (2 p.m.) as well as the Division II championship between Cypress and Temecula Valley (5 p.m.), both of which will stream on the FoxSportsWest.com Prep Zone online platform.

“I think it’s going to be a really interesting experience,” Porter said Thursday. “I’m just happy to have the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.

“You know, I think I still know where to park.” Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Eagle is just the sort to hatch “Stars on Sports”

Illustration from NJ.com

Illustration from NJ.com

Ian Eagle’s entertainment pedigree would seem to make the CBS sportscaster a natural for the network to try a possible new series called “Stars on Sports,” which gets its first test run Saturday at 11 a.m. on KCBS Channel 2.

Eagle’s father, Jack, was a standup comedian who appeared in more than 50 TV commercials, best remembered in the role of Brother Dominic, the beleaguered monk in the Xerox commercials. His mother, Monica Maris, was a singer and actress who played Judy Garland in the long running Las Vegas legends show.

“For me, this was a perfect way to blend sports and entertainment into an interview format, and I don’t think there’s anything out there quite like it on a national level,” said Eagle, whose sitdowns with “NCIS” star LL Cool J and actor Ethan Hawke fills the first hour-long installment of the “Stars on Sports” show. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Read Weaver’s lips: He’s got Angels believing again

Jered Weaver made 86 pitches in his first game for the Angels since April 6, and came out on the winning end of a 4-3 decision over the Dodgers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jered Weaver made 86 pitches in his first game for the Angels since April 6, and came out on the winning end of a 4-3 decision over the Dodgers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ANAHEIM — Jered Weaver had been perfect through four innings Wednesday night in his first game off the disabled list. But as things can happen, he was all of the sudden boxed into a corner and feeling like an underachiever against the Dodgers.

The Angels’ no-nonsense ace, having spent the last seven weeks trying to speed-mend a fractured left elbow, had not only lost his string of 12 straight batters set down once the fifth inning started, but now his shutout was gone and the Dodgers’ No. 8 hitter, A.J. Ellis, just dropped a single to left field.

“What the (bleep)’s going on here?” Weaver was caught verbalizing by the TV cameras, deftly translated by Vin Scully.

No doubt, Weaver was back. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Updated: Play It Forward: May 27-June 2 — Kings stay alive; Dodgers-Angels need 4 on the floor for their slide-sharing program

Trying to plan the week ahead on the sports calendar (updated 5/29/13):

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET I:

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick lays on the ice after San Jose's Joe Thornton scored in the first period of Game 6 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick lays on the ice after San Jose’s Joe Thornton scores in the first period of Game 6 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:
KINGS vs. CHICAGO
Game 1: 2 p.m. Saturday at Chicago, NBC Sports Network:
For as much as they were road warriors a year ago during their Stanley Cup run, the Kings’ playoff numbers going into this series from 2013: A 1-5 record away from home just seven goals scored (compared to 7-0 at home with 18 goals and three Jonathan Quick shutouts). After finishing off the Sharks, do the Kings have enough to repeat in facing the conference’s No. 1-seeded Blackhawks, whom ESPN’s Barry Melrose predicted before the playoffs would win the whole thing? “Chicago’s got four lines now and a lot of big bodies that can hit the net,” said the former Kings coach on the air recently. “L.A. is an awesome team, very similar to last year, and the best is yet to come for Dustin Brown in these playoffs.”
The rest of the series this week:
Game 2: 5 p.m. Sunday in Chicago, NBC Sports Network

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:

110-Freeway-Stadium-WayMLB: ANGELS at DODGERS, Dodger Stadium:
5:10 p.m. Monday, Prime, FSW
7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Channel 9, FSW

DODGERS at ANGELS, Angel Stadium:
7:05 p.m., Wednesday, Channel 9, FSW
7:05 p.m., Thursday, Channel 9, FSW

a-a-angels-and-dodgers-2The lighted CalTrans billboard indicates another Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series, but this is hardly a Sig-Alert situation, unless you enjoy watching two teams throwing things in reverse into the oncoming car pool lane. Since 1999, the Dodgers and Angels had six head-to-head regular-season matchups – two three-game series in each park – to determine, well, nothing really. You could brag that it was Southern California bragging rights. In 2005, it was a “true” battle of Los Angeles since both were back to using the city designation on their place in the standings.
ebs62dodgersyrbkBut with changes that came with a forced 15-team alignment in both the NL and AL, this Freeway Series has had a few off-ramps removed and is condensed into one four-game inconvenience, with just two appearances in each territorial facility. We could just take more surface streets to make this trip more scenic, but we’re also faced with a realistic situation that a Memorial Day week stay-cation between two underachievers isn’t all that much a true World Series preview. The only drama could come if Don Mattingly and/or Mike Scioscia get another vote of confidence from their ownership teams.
weaverelbowOne saving grace for the Angels is ace Jered Weaver coming back from a broken left elbow, which appears to land him in the spot to go Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Former Angel Zack Greinke (1-4 lifetime against the Angels going back to his Royals days) goes for the Dodgers in tonight’s opener against C.J. Wilson. Otherwise, the firework show we’ve all been expecting may just be more contract money going up in flames.

THE BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply