The Vin Scully bobblehead Version 2.0: Younger, and as if he’s working with an iPad

The Dodgers released the newest Vin Scully bobblehead that will be given out on July 25. They’re going for a ‘retro’ Scully look here — red hair and all — but not sure what he’s actually doing. Reading the lineup cards?

(Reminder: at 4 p.m., Vin is on the Dodgers’ Twitter account taking questions. He’s not at Yankee Stadium with the team.)  vinbobble


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Play It Forward: June 17-23 — Dodgers-Yankees, oh that’s rich

The week ahead, like it or not:


Tuesday, 4:05 p.m., Channel 9
Wednesday, 4:05 p.m., Prime:

new-york-yankees-lg-logo-cut-money-clip_c6c8b0ea50bcceb0f75e963b4adb3795Something to consider as you ponder the price of a new pinstripe suit at the Men’s Warehouse: According to a survey conducted by SportingIntelligence. com, no other American-based sports franchise pays their players better than the Dodgers and Yankees do right now. The Dodgers’ average of $7.468 million per roster spot is only $300,000 more than the Yankees’ average, and each ranks in the top five on the planet for “best-paying teams.” (That’s their term; we tend to think of it as “most drunken sailors.”) The Dodgers are No. 2 behind the English Premier League’s Manchester City ($8.059 million), while the Yankees are No. 5 overall, not far behind La Liga’s Real Madrid ($7.25 million) and Barcelona ($7.21 million).
mWEMtyGYm1TXu7_TocHZkHQThis is a list that covers 278 teams in 14 major pro leagues, spanning 10 countries and comprising 8,093 athletes making a combined $15.75 billion in salary. The Yankees still sport the highest team payroll in all of sports at $228.8 million, diving that up by having to pay Alex Rodriguez ($29 million), Mark Teixeira ($23.125 million), CC Sabathia ($23 million), Vernon Wells ($21 million), Derek Jeter ($16.7 million), Robinson Cano ($15 million), Curtis Granderson ($15 million) and showing restraint by holding the retiring Mariano Rivera to just $10 mil. The Dodgers’ $216.6 million payroll is top heavy with Zack Greinke ($21 million), Adrian Gonzalez ($21 million), Matt Kemp ($20.25 million), Carl Crawford ($20 million), Josh Beckett ($17 million) and Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million). Wait’ll Clayton Kershaw joins in. So, are any of these guys actually healthy enough to play in this two-game series in the Bronx? That Yankee lineup we saw in Anaheim last weekend wasn’t exactly Murderer’s Row – at least some have avoided the DL unlike ARod, Jeter, Granderson and Kevin Youkilis.
2011 Heritage Don MattinglyFormer Yankee legend Don Mattingly will be the lightning rod of attention here as the still-employed and unsuspended Dodgers manager is back at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time. After 17 years of interleague play, this is the first regular-season meeting between the two in New York (the previous six were at Dodger Stadium, in 2004 and 2010). To keep things interesting, the Dodgers throw Rookie of the Year candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.85 ERA, making a meager $3.3 million) on Tuesday. The Yankees trot out Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.78 ERA, $15 million in salary) at his former Dodger teammates on Wednesday. Then we await the Yankees’ arrival at Dodger Stadium for two more on July 30-31 to even things out.

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

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Why the Jarrin Father’s Day is more than just another day at the park

Jaime and Jorge Jarrin appear together at the 2011 AFTRA AMEE Awards - Arrivals at Club Nokia. (Photo by Richard Shotwell)

Jaime and Jorge Jarrin at the 2011 AFTRA AMEE Awards  at Club Nokia. (Photo by Richard Shotwell)

Jaime and Jorge Jarrin may have had their ultimate Father’s Day moment six months ago.

Jaime, the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame Spanish-language play-by-play man since the team moved to L.A., took his son, Jorge, currently working on the Dodgers’ post-game radio talk show, down to his native Ecuador last December to visit relatives that he hadn’t seen in years.

Also along for the ride were Jorge’s three grown sons – Andrew, 28; Phillip, 24; and Stefan, 22.


“My sons finally realized how far their grandfather had come from this quiet little village in the middle of the world on the equator,” Jorge said the other day from the Dodger Stadium Spanish-language broadcast booth. “They’ve had a front-row seat to seeing him get inducted in Cooperstown, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but this time, my father gave them something that goes beyond Father’s Day – a lifetime of memories and experiences that are so special.

“I know it sounds corny, but the best thing that we can give to each other is time. My dad’s been very generous with his time.”


Father’s Day doesn’t get old for the 77-year-old Jaime or the 57-year-old Jorge, even if they see each other much more often. Jorge has stopped working after 25 years as a helicopter traffic pilot for KABC-AM (790) and become part of the team’s broadcast department, doing Spanish-language TV games.

Today may be a little disjointed because Jaime is in Pittsburgh with the team today, while Jorge will be at the KLAC broadcast studios later to talk about it. But the family dynamic doesn’t change.

Q: Father’s Day must feel like an every-day event for you two by now, right?
I think you can say that. In many ways, it is. Family therapists talk about how important it is for a family to have a day together, maybe a Sunday dinner. I have the opportunity to have dinner with my dad just about every day now. That’s not something I could do when I was a younger man growing up because he was often on the road during the summer. The off-season was different. But when he’d leave early to the park and get home late, sometimes I wouldn’t see him for three, four, five days even when he was home. So maybe we’re catching up on that now. Continue reading

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Over already? Why Ryan Chalmer’s trek from L.A. to N.Y. is really just getting started

Photo by Parker Feierbach/

As much as the 3,300-mile–plus road trip that started in L.A. some 70 days ago may be coming to an end for Ryan Chalmers on Saturday morning in New York, the journey is really just beginning.

The 24-year-old Paralympian, who pushed off in his specialized high-tech wheelchair from L.A. Live near Staples Center on in early April to rousing cheers, finds himself just 40 miles away from the finish line in Central Park.

His hands are somewhat gnarled. His shoulders ache. His knees are ready to buckle. But the adrenaline level is overflowing. And there are stories to be told.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he admitted this morning, after having visited a children’s hospital outside of Philadelphia during a “rest” day. “This is all kicking in now and it’s getting exciting. We’ve been doing this a long time and in a way it’s sad to see end, but I know it’s the start of a new chapter where we’ll go out and talk to people about this adventure and get everyone excited all over again.” Continue reading

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Weekly sports media column version 06.14.13: Stumped by ESPN’s strategy?

What made it into this week’s sports media column:

Screen-shot-2013-06-13-at-12.39.26-PM-628x351Howie Schwab didn’t seem stumped. Just stupefied. If he’s become the latest trivial piece in ESPN’s multi-media game plan moving forward, imagine how the rest of those working for the Disney-owned company must wonder about what Tomorrowland will look like for the sports media industry.

What didn’t, but could have: Continue reading

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Manhattan Beach Open has IMG, AVP approval

0803-kerri-walsh_vgThe Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament reached deals with IMG and the AVP Tour to continue as a high-level event scheduled for Aug. 23-25 with all the top U.S. talent.

IMG and AVP will also add the first Atlantic City event Sept. 6-8 under the agreement announced today, bringing the AVP tour to seven events and $1 million in prize money.

A year ago, the Manhattan Beach Open was part of the Jose Cuervo Professional Beach Volleyball Series. Sean Scott and John Hyden repeated as the men’s champions while Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik won the women’s title while many of the top U.S. players were in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Earlier this year,  Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings, Phil Dalhausser, Todd Rogers, April Ross Jen Kessy, Jake Gibb, Sean Rosenthal and Nicole Branagh committed to playing on the reconstituted AVP tour this summer.

The AVP tour begins this weekend in Vail, Colorado, with the 41st annual “King of the Mountain” Open exhibition. The first official stop is Aug. 16-18 in Salt Lake City and ends Oct. 18-20 at Huntington Beach. CBS Sports Network has a deal to televise all the men’s and women’s finals.

For more information:

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If the NBA encourages @KobeBryant to keep socializing with more awards, why should he ever stop?

<> on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California.The NBA awards players for their social media skills?

For all the flack that the injured and frustrated Kobe Bryant got for tweeting during the Lakers’ first-round loss to San Antonio — enough to where he vowed to just shut up — he was given the NBA’s 2013 “Social MVP Award” for the “player with the most engagement across social media platforms.”

Bryant also won the “140 Award” for best use of characters in a tweet when he used twitter to say “Amnesty THAT” after scoring 38 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and a block in a 103-99 win over Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks in February.

During an NBA TV one-hour presentation on Wednesday night, the Lakers’ Dwight Howard won something called the “SnapShot Award” for best posted photo (something with his ‘dukes-up pose’ with Bryant), and the Lakers‘ Pau Gasol  won the “Social Difference Award” for his off-court humanitarianism.

The Clippers won the “Fan Nation Award” given to the team “with the highest percentage of increased exposure across all platforms including all players on their respective team.” The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (@deandrejordan) was given the “Social Slam Award” for the fan-favorite dunk during the regular season.

But in the long run — no, social media has nothing to do with narcissism, vanity or a superiority complex.

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“Plimpton” comes alive: Why dad might want to track down this documentary on Father’s Day while it’s under the radar during its SoCal visit

“I decided finally to pack the football,” George Plimpton wrote at the start is 1966 best-selling work of non-fiction, “Paper Lion: Confessions of A Last String Quarterback,” about his quest to play quarterback in the NFL just to see what it was all about.

movie_posterDuring one of the final scenes of the documentary, “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself,” Freddy Plimpton, George’s first wife, declares that to be one of the best opening lines ever in a book, capping a collection of remembrances on the life of the late, great Sports Illustrated journalist who died 10 years ago.

Read it again, if you’re not sure. You’ll end up reading at least the first two chapters of the book again, even if you already finished it years ago.

Written and directed by Tom Bean and Luke Poling, this 87-minute understated documentary will finish a limited run at Laemmle Theatres in Encino, L.A. and Pasadena while it opens this weekend at three more in Santa Monica, Palm Springs and Claremont.

It looks specifically at what prompted Plimpton in breaking new ground as a participatory journalist and turn it into an art form, even at the expense of how people may forget about his exceptional writing ability.

His encounters with Ernest Hemingway and the Kennedy family are one thing. But his connections with the every-day sports fan are more heartfelt.

So much depth is revealed from simple home-movie footage provided by his family that you understand more how Plimpton found victory in defeat, and in the attempt rather than just being the passive observer.

play_a_plimpton_b1_400Maybe during these Stanley Cup Final it also perfect to revisit the time in 1977 when Plimpton, at age 50, played goalie for the Boston Bruins during an exhibition game at Philadelphia, with his  notebook tucked into his leg blockers. Current NBC studio analyst Mike Milbury, one of Plimpton’s teammates on that Bruins team, adds his own recollections of that moment in the documentary.

And may this also inspire you to find the 2008 book, “George, Being George,” by Nelson Aldrich, also interviewed in the film.

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Magic speaks (again): DHoward needs to get into the gym, D’Antoni needs to learn defense, and the Lakers can’t do anything ‘dumb’

Celebrities Attend The Lakers GameDuring an ESPN-hosted conference call with reporters this morning, Magic Johnson, who’s been working for the network in the studio during the NBA Finals on ABC, didn’t dodge the questions we threw his way.

Starting with last night’s Dodger game.

Q: Were you able to follow what was going on in the Dodger game (with the brawl against the Arizona Diamondbacks) while you were working on the NBA Finals? It got a little crazy there.
You’re up against a division rival, Kirk Gibson coaches tough, guys get hit, pitchers are going to respond … it’s unfortunate we have to be involved in that. But that’s the way it went and we have to wait for suspensions and see what happens. At the same time, we cant’ back down from anybody. We have to stand up and that’s what happened.

Q: How were you able to multitask there with the NBA Finals going on in front of you (while you’re in San Antonio) and keep tabs on the Dodgers?
A: You try to do two things at once. That’s why they got all these hand-held devices (laughs). The easy thing in the studio is we have so many monitors, I can watch both.
I love my team and we’re starting to turn the corner offensively. And I gotta thank the fans. They’ve been fantastic. It’s a fun and exciting time to be a Dodger fan.

Q: Give us your state of the Lakers at this point:
Dwight HowardA: The state now is making a decision on Dwight Howard. The Buss family, and Mitch (Kupchak) are going to have to sit down and have a strategy on what they want to do. And once they do that, the next thing is Kobe Bryant, his return hopefully, coming back strong and healthy. And then they have to decide if – if, I’m not saying they will — they want to amnesty someone or not. A year from now with all the cap space they’ll have, the Lakers will be able to find two or three players and put them in a position to be a great franchise for the next five years if they make the right moves and make the right decisions.
I’m excited about next summer. This is going to be tremendous. The Lakers just can’t make dumb decisions now to mess up that cap space.

Q: Are the Lakers a better team with Dwight Howard moving forward?
Dwight Howard dunks as 3 Mavericks watch in dismayA:  I don’t know. It just depends on how you put around him if they decide to sign him. Then, Dwight has to get better. I’m not happy with this Dwight Howard. But if he gets in the gym and works on his game and some go-to moves, it’ll be wise to sign him. He has a lot to do this summer on his offensive skills. He’s always a dominate rebounder and shot blocker.
And we have to remember this game has changed a lot. There are not too many Dwight Howards any more. Now it’s about the point guard, the 2-guard, the small forward, the power forward like (Pau) Gasol or Chris Bosh who goes inside or outside. So the Lakers have to make a decision on whether Dwight can be the face of this franchise for the next 10 years, if they can win championships with him. Continue reading

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They’ve finally figured out in Bristol, Conn., that maybe you can’t spell ‘ESPN’ with 3 D’s

espn_3d_camera_topThree years ago, ESPN vice president for technology Chuck Pagano said the network was preparing for a “3D tsunami” in the television industry as it prepared to launch its first channel dedicated to the technology.

Maybe he was wearing beer goggles at the time of that prediction.

Acting with due-diligence, a dedication to shareholders and probably some dread — how’s that for 3 “D”s? — the company said today it would stop broadcasting in 3D by the end of the year because viewership was not supporting the costs in producing the separate feeds as well as the lack of purchases for 3D capable sets that come with the need to wear special viewing glasses.

The Sports Video Group website first reported the news.

An ESPN statement said it was committing its 3D resources “to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates.” It also said it would continue to experiment more in Ultra High Definition production.

ESPN, with Sony as a primary sponsor, covered the 2010 World Cup from South Africa as its first 3D event, then did the MLB’s Home Run Derby from Angels Stadium in July, 2010 as its first major production in the U.S. The Summer X Games in L.A. also became an intensive 3D project,  leading to a movie that appeared for a time in theaters. Most the 3D buzz at the time was created by the release of the movie “Avatar.”

At the time of ESPN’s 3D initial venture, the company said in a statement attributed to president George Bodenheimer: “ESPN’s commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners. ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.”

The Associated Press notes that only two percent of TVs in the U.S. are able to show 3D programming, based on data from research firm IHS Screen Digest. The wire service also cited that optometrists contend that as one in four viewers have problems watching 3D movies and TV because of eye strain or problems with depth perception.

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