The focus this week has become a two-part project:
It’s only been about six months since we’ve seen what a Time Warner Cable SportsNet L.A. telecast of a Dodgers game actually looks, sounds, tastes and smells like.
You digging in?
We’ve talked to pre- and post-game analyst Orel Hershiser and game producer Glenn Diamond about the productand why it seems TWC can’t get out of its way in trying to spread good will with its efforts to make the product available the last week of the regular season. The link to that column, which appears on A1 of today’s editions, is here.
In the sports section, we examine the need for a new “We Need To Talk” female-driven sports show that CBS Sports Net launches on Tuesday, as well as Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket vice president Steve Simpson talking about about how the Angels have fared this season without a lot of direct competition from Dodger viewers, and why it took so long for ESPN to suspend the guy who calls himself the “Sports Guy.” Again. The link to that column is here.
What will be relegated to blogospheric notations:
(Notes updated Friday morning:)
== Is Simmons a victim of his own un-edited star-system success? Ethics expert Kelly McBride at the Poynter Institute lays it all out there. And I’m in full support of Ed Sherman’s headline that classifies this as a classless rant by Simmons with a link to an updated and well-crafted response by ESPN ombudsman Bob Lipsyte.
== Phil Simms has to do a Washington-N.Y. Giants game tonight for CBS/NFL Network. And he’s standing behind his declaration of independence not to utter the nickname for the home team during the telecast.
== Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore and Jessica Mendoza have USC’s football game at the Coliseum against Oregon State on Saturday (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
== Morgana, the famous “Kissing Bandit” from the 1970s and ’80s, is the focus of ESPN “E:60” half-hour special to air Friday at 4:30 p.m. The network press release says she “breaks her silence” after 15 years, with the help of reporter Wright Thompson. A quick preview here with a clip that includes Dodgers manager Don Mattingly chiming on what she did way back when. Maybe ESPN got the idea for this from the 2013 documentary on her by Adam Kurland called “Always Leave Them Wanting More” that made it onto Roopsigo.com. Morgana denied Kurland an interview:
== Are the Chicago Cubs next to launch into a team-own channel? They’re chewing on it.
== The Derek Jeter 2-Long So-Long Tour, which included the MLB Network’s coverage of the Yankees’ final home game of the season against Baltimore on Thursday, climaxes with Fox taking Saturday’s next-to-last Yankees-Red Sox game in Boston (Channel 11, 10 a.m., with Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Jon Paul Morosi, bleeding into the start of the Stanford-Washington college football game) and TBS grabbing the last one on Sunday (10:30 a.m., with Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken and Matt Winer). On the Saturday Fox game, they network will have a camera trained on him the entire game, and prior to first pitch, they will have a special salute to Jeter written by Verducci and voiced by actor Michael Chiklis.
ESPN, meanwhile, has a special SportsCenter slotted for Friday at 5 p.m. where Karl Ravech, Curt Schilling, Aaron Boone, Mark Mulder, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian and Keith Law look back at his career.
From Verducci’s Sports Illustrated cover story/”exit interview” with Jeter, the future Hall of Famer talks about his relationship with the media: “At times probably a lot of the media gets frustrated with me. But for me the only way I’m able to operate here for this long is I don’t like negativity. I don’t like to talk about it. I don’t like to answer questions about it. I always hear people say I give the same answers or I don’t you give you much. No, I just don’t give you much negativity.
And, on being a public figure: “You have to assume that everything you do is public knowledge. Everything. Because now everyone is a reporter. Everyone is a photographer. Someone can take a picture and make a story, which has happened plenty of times, and twist it and turn it anyway they want to. You used to be able to go out…it’s all I’ve known.”
TBS starts its playoff coverage with the AL wild card game on Tuesday, then taking the ALDS starting Thursday that will feature the Angels. Casey Stern replaces Keith Olbermann as the studio host for the playoffs, with Gary Sheffield and Pedro Martinez returning as the analysts.
== Santa Anita’s $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes featuring Shared Belief will be part of a package of horse racing coverage by NBCSN on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Also included in the telecast are two more Santa Anita races — the $300,000 FrontRunner and $300,000 Rodeo Drive Takes, where winners get an automatic entry into a Breeders’ Cup race.
== Universal Sports has the final 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam tournament of the season from Sal Paulo, Brazil, featuring Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, coming off their AVP championship in Huntington Beach (Sunday, 2 p.m.)
== Jason Benetti and Craig Haubert have the call on ESPN’s coverage of the high school football matchup of No. 1 St. John Bosco of Bellflower at No. 2 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas — a game originally on ESPNU but now moved to ESPN, Friday at 6 p.m. Here’s more background on how the game came together.
== If you haven’t seen the new season 18 opener to Comedy Central’s “South Park,” with its take on the Redskins controversy — “Go Fund Yourself” — at least Entertainment Weekly has it documented. Astute viewers have noted that while Robert Griffin III was in the first release to the public, he was subbed out for Kirk Cousins when the episode finally aired Wednesday.