What passed as content in this week’s column: As a followup to the blog post we had last week, we tried to get more answers as to why and how Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket decide on how to put the Kings, Ducks, Clippers, Dodgers and Angels into their programming slots this time of year. Really, it’s kinda complicated.
“My 11 daughter loves jigsaw puzzles; she got that from my mom,” FSW/Prime exec Steve Simpson says. “But (the one they have a the networks this spring) is solvable. It’s not something we can laminate and frame, thought. We gotta take it apart and figure it out all over again each week.”
What didn’t quite make it in:
== If crab snatching the Bering Strait was a sport, we’d be all over it. Thankfully, the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” continues to move into its ninth season with all the drama involved in how these crabby Alaskan fisherman — especially Josh and Jake Harris — brave up and forge ahead. Those are the two sons of the late captain Phil Harris who remain in the game, and their latest book about their dad, co-authored by Steve Springer and Blake Chavez, is worth scooping up in a pot as a way to remember the impact Captain Phil had on the series before his death in 2010.
“Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad” (Simon & Shuster, $25, 240 pages) also is a cathartic way for the two to come to grips with the passing of their dad. Even if you’re late to this seven-seas party, the book is a great entry point. Dig in. With plenty of butter.
== The official announcement that CBS and Turner Sports will move the NCAA men’s basketball tournament semifinal games to TBS in 2014 and ’15, but leave the title game with CBS, leads into the eventual change of TBS having the entire Final Four weekend in 2016, then rotating it with CBS moving forward through 2014. “We both win,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, whose network has had the Final Four exclusive since 1982. Naw, not really. And how long before TruTV finally gets the national title game?
== Rob Neyer’s seven words you can’t say on a televised baseball game, from BaseballNation.com.
(Note the pix in Neyer’s post is that of Fred Merkle, famous for his boner. It reminds us of the days when KTLA Channel 5 sportscaster <strong>Keith Olbermann</strong> used to do an annual story about the Merkle misque every anniversary. We now can understand better, thanks to that baseball card picture of Merkle, why Olbermann seemed to obsessed. It’s kind of like why Mick Jagger once married Bianca Jagger. The resemblance to the two is a bit uncanny, especially if Olbermann was ever able to show a shot of himself in his 20s. … this is the best we could do finding something sans-mustache)
== Looking for another list of potential candidates to replace Bud Selig as the MLB commish? This one by Jayson Stark at ESPN.com suggests Bob Costas, ESPN exec George Bodenheimer and former NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol are in the conversation. And no Peter Gammons. “This sport is looking for a CEO, not a guy who can turn a phrase. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.),” writes Stark.
Costas, who on Monday was awarded the 25th Sports Emmy of his career for hosting the 2012 London Summer Olympics, received the Vin Scully LIfetime Award in Broadcast Journalism at Scully’s alma mater, Fordham University, on Thursday.
The same Costas who less than a month ago on the Dan Patrick Show slammed CBS for it’s head-in-the-sand Masters coverage, praised CBS’ Jim Nantz on Patrick’s show Tuesday for having the perfect tone and information to host the Masters forever, even though the event remains on Costas’ bucket list.
== NBC and the NBC Sports Network has more than 14 of live coverage of the coverage of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, starting Sunday with Stage 1 at 2 p.m. It finished on May 19 in San Francisco at 10 a.m. (Channel 4). Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen are on the call with Bob Roll and Steve Porino.
== Showtime replays the recent Floyd Mayweather 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero on Saturday at 9 p.m. No word yet on how many pay-per-view buys were generated from the original airing.
== Gus Johnson and Ian Wright are on Fox’s coverage of the FA Cup, carried live in the U.S. for the first time on broadcast TV when Manchester City faces underdog Wigan Athletic (Saturday, 9 a.m., Channel 11) from Wembley Stadium in London. In Fox’s L.A. studios, Rob Stone joins Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride.
== Another causality of newspaper downsizing — the New York Daily News laid off long-time college basketball writer Dick “Hoops” Weiss as the paper restructures toward a more digital product. Tweeted out ESPN’s Jay Bilas about the decision: “No writer is more ingrained in the game’s fabric than Dick ‘Hoops’ Weiss. While some Tweet through games, he watches the games. Respect.”
== USA Today’s longtime media columnist Michael Hiestand also wrote his last piece Thursday after 23 years, taking a buyout. Considering the change in format of the paper, and the new focus on less important issues, it’s probably best he moved on to something he finds more satisfying. His read was definitely No. 1 each weekday in the years after the overdue retirement of Rudy Whats-His-Name (who has since reappeared on Twitter, a perfect forum for his vapid opinions). The state of the media sports writing has taken another step backward.