Play It Forward Dec. 8-14: The MLB trading zoo could get wild in San Diego

Maybe the Tigers from Detroit will have more luck making noise in San Diego at the MLB Winter Meetings this week.

Maybe the Tigers from Detroit will have more luck making noise in San Diego at the MLB Winter Meetings this week.

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

NO. 1: MLB: WINTER MEETINGS
Details/TV: In San Diego, Monday-Thursday, MLB Network

ESPN’s Buster Olney knew enough to send out the tweet early last Friday morning: “Executives say that the volume of trade and deal conversation the last few days is rampant, and expect a flood of deals.” Man, it’s gonna be a zoo in San Diego this week, with or without the extra Coronas. The 113th annual MLB get-together of GMs, super agents and a players without borders appears to be a lot of headlines waiting to happen. Or will it? Is this where new Dodgers’ signal-caller Andrew Friedman ships Matt Kemp to Baltimore for a bunch of prospects, exports Andre Ethier anywhere to get a new shortstop, and/or pushes Carl Crawford back to Tampa Bay for a bag of marbles?
AP865622079045 Is the chance where the Angels’ Jerry Dipoto secretly positions himself to over-pay another over-hyped free agent (think Jon Lester, pictured here) just to steal someone else’s thunder blunder? And how will Scott Boras muck everything up? Deals will go down as much as in some swanky downtown hotel lobby as they will while feeding dollar bills into the lobster grab tank at Dick’s Last Resort in the Gaslamp Quarter. The other announcements we are braced for: Who, on this new “Golden Era” ballot — 10 players from 1947- 1972 who have been skipped over but get another shot by a special committee – might be added to the Baseball Hall of Fame? Former Dodgers Gil Hodges and Maury Wills are in the mix again, as is our favorite, Dick Allen. We find that out at an 11 a.m. reveal Monday.

THE BEST OF THE REST THIS WEEK:

The Clippers, winners of seven in a row, are still trying to bust out of that seven-hole range in the Western Conference, and they start the week against Phoenix (Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m.) before a three-game trip back East … UCLA has one of those RPI games against Gonzaga (at Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 7 p.m.), their last home contest until Jan. 8  … UCLA men’s soccer team is one win away from the Men’s College Cup (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPNU), with a game against Providence in the semifinals on Friday up first … See more of what’s ahead at this link.

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It’s Out of the Question: Spring ahead if you want to be part of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum movement

Our collection of about 75 bobbleheads, on three different shelves here at the home office, includes one of me, a Christmas gift from my daughter, one of my bobble enablers. Why is Orel Hershiser glaring at me? Is Don Mattingly checking out my swing? You call it, Vinny.

Our collection of about 75 bobbleheads, on three different shelves here at the home office, includes one of me, a Christmas gift from my daughter, one of my bobble enablers. Why is Orel Hershiser glaring at me? Is Don Mattingly checking out my swing? You call it, Vinny.

Can you get your head around the idea of kicking in a couple bucks to help start the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum?

So you’re shaking your giant dome. But just like that Don Mattingly bobblehead up on our shelf, we’re not sure if that’s a yes or a no.

Put it this way: How has our great nation survived this long without such a shrine already?

login-logo“We get asked that a lot, and actually I just got an email the other day from a guy who registered our domain name two years ago (www.bobbleheadhall. com) and he never did anything with it,” said Phil Sklar, a Milwaukee resident who a few months ago left the world of corporate finance to become the official CEO and co-founder, with marketing partner Brad Novak, of this project that could up as early as 2016 as a homeless shelter for promotions gone too wacky a wobbler.

These two single, 30-year-old smart people – of course, if they were married, things would never have gotten this far – have essentially quit their old jobs and taken to a Kickstarter.com campaign aimed at raising  $250,000 by mid-January to spring forth this fragile dream to a resin-filled reality. Continue reading “It’s Out of the Question: Spring ahead if you want to be part of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum movement” »

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If you’re taking Instagram pix at Dodger Stadium these days, well, it ain’t so exclusive ….

There's an Instagram moment not taken by us this past season, but by the account of xxxx.

There’s an Instagram moment not taken by us this past season, but by the account of @austinwood12.

Major League Baseball wants it reported that fans who felt the love and wanted to share  personal photos from their in-park experience at Dodger Stadium in 2014 on their Instagram accounts were second only to those showing off that they were at Disneyland this past year, according to the social media site’s list of the 10 most popular locations.

Dodger Stadium is up to No. 2 after finishing No. 7 and No. 8 in the last two rankings.

Yankee Stadium finally got into the Top 10 for the first time, at No. 9, right behind New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Considering the other places folks Instagrammed around the world, the Dodger Stadium hotspot is pretty impressive. According to the list, Times Square in New York, Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand; Gorky Park and Red Square in Moscow, Russia; the Louvre in Paris, and the Dubai Mall in United Arab Emirates were the others most famously photographed.

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Q&A with Jonny Moseley: On the secret of a Warren Miller ski film, and how to keep the winter vibe alive 65 years later

Oystein Aasheim does his thing on his native Norway slopes during the filming of the new Warren Miller Entertainment flick, "No Turning Back," which will be shown in Redondo Beach and Westwood village next week. Credit: Active Media

Oystein Aasheim does his thing on his native Norway slopes during the filming of the new Warren Miller Entertainment flick, “No Turning Back,” which will be shown in Redondo Beach and Westwood village next week. Credit: Active Interest Media

The latest of the Warren Miller-branded winter ski flick out this season goes by the working title “No Turning Back.”

Considering the way Miller name has been attached to these things for 65 years cool running, that could have been a more appropriate name for the first film. But in a way, we are turning back — the clock, to remember Miller and the legacy he started back in 1950.

Coming to Southern California for one-night stands in Redondo Beach and Westwood next week, “No Turning Back” hits all the right slopes of a vintage Miller travelogue – this time, from the peaks of Alaska and Switzerland to the valleys of Vail and Norway.

Warren Miller, right, in his hey day of filming ski movies.

Warren Miller, right, in his hey day of filming ski movies.

It’s true that the prolific filmmaker, who turned 90 in October, has not been hands-on at all with any of these “Miller” films for the last 10 years, and even less so since he sold his business in the late 1980s. His offices, studio and home used to be based in Hermosa Beach, but he spends his time these days at the Yellowstone Club resort in Montana as a ski ambassador, with his summers in the Seattle area.

Miller started it all quaintly enough from home movies he and friends made from trips to Squaw Valley in the 1940s.
1950_deep-and-lightHis first major film from that venture was called “Deep and Light,” released in 1950. What followed was a string of 90-minute sometimes campy documentaries that soon became his livelihood and legacy. After he sold his business rights away, he has nothing to do any more with the Warren Miller Entertainment name, as it currently operates through Active Interest Media.

Now the voice of the projects are handed over to 1998 Olympic skiing star Jonny Moseley, who took over narration role about eight years ago. He explains how he feels he owes it to everyone to keep the Miller vibe alive in the annual series:

Q: There are all kinds of new ways to show people enjoying a mountainside, whether on skis or snowboards or, in this film, a parachute. With all the new technology and new places to take this, do you feel like the heart and soul of a Warren Miller film is there today as much as it was years ago when you were a kid watching them?

media_ski-with-JonnyA: When I go to the shows to speak about them and present them, I’m always kind of looking for that. I’m sensitive to that. That’s really what the Warren Miller experience is about. He started it way back when make these little movies and then got up there and told stories about what he had filmed, and that’s what the audience connected to. Small or big audience. Since it’s gone to the narration included in the film instead of live, you have to continue to tell that story in the same ways. I just went to the shows in San Francisco and we got up there, told some stories, but the narrations and stories within the film still tell it, and I do think people at the shows are as jazzed up as they were back when I went. Particularly that parent combo with a teenager or an 8-year-old, you know, that’s what stood out to me. It’s hard to get a gauge on when you’re older. I’ve got my 7-year-old just starting to come into that age where we watch it together – that’s still very much alive.

Q: When you were watching these as a kid, did you get so stoked that you’d just want to run out of the building right away and head to the top of the nearest mountain? Continue reading “Q&A with Jonny Moseley: On the secret of a Warren Miller ski film, and how to keep the winter vibe alive 65 years later” »

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Media column version 12.05.14: A doc fit for a King … and Bob Miller … plus, what does Taylor Twellman have to do to get Alexi Lalas off his back?

What is posted in this week’s sports media column:

The Internet Movie Data Base plot summary for the documentary “Voice of the King” explains that Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller has been “thrilling Kings fans with  accurate, honest, no-schtick” descriptions of the game since 1973, making him “the most popular hockey announcer in the history of Los Angeles, if not the National Hockey League.”
tumblr_n74fpiuvz81tamyy3o1_500What has got our interest most may be the last line in the paragraph: “The ending of the film will show you a part of Miller perhaps nobody knows.”
C’mon. Really?
Really, Miller says it’s OK to bring kids to the screening, which debuts Friday at the LA Live’s Regal Cinemas near Staples Center, outshining other offerings such as “Interstellar,” “The Hunger Games” and “Dumb and Dumber To.”
“I haven’t seen the film yet, but I think I know what that means,” Miller admitted this week about that teaser. “That is a proper description — and it’s all clean. This is a family film.”
Filmmaker Charlie Minn, whose own IMDB.com resume is all full of documentaries about murder, mystery and mayhem, decided to take a shot at a Miller portrait anyway, and the result will be out there to witness and report to local authorities.
To expand on the information about who’s included in the film — with Ed Roski listed as the executive producer: Not only is Miller’s wife, Judy, included, but so are his son Kevin and daughter Kristen, KSPN-AM (710) sports-talk host and Lakers play by play man John Ireland, radio host Tim Conway, Jr. and, former FSW game producer Bob Borgen.
Of course we’re not the only ones writing (or doing TV interviews) about this thing:
== FrozenRoyalty.net
== The OC Register
== FoxSportsWest.com
== Channel 11
== KSPN-AM 710’s Mason and Ireland
== The Kings website

== Strange to have to report that there is a report on FrozenRoyalty.net about how some Kings fans became upset when reporters were tweeting out a Slava Voynov sighting before a recent team practice — which resulted in a $100,000 fine for the franchise. The fans’ reasoning: The news would hurt the team, so it shouldn’t have been put out there. What maybe irked them more was that one of the three reporters present at the Tuesday morning skate was LAKingsInsider Jon Rosen, paid by the team to report on the team:

“I wonder where the NHL read about Slava skating with the team? ” wrote one Twitter user. “I hope the Kings take some of that $100,000 fine from your paycheck for deciding you had to share this with the world,” wrote another.
Listen, the reporters sensed something strange — maybe Voynov was approved to start playing and it hadn’t been announced. And they knew the difference between what they saw versus the individual time on the ice Voynov had been getting with an assistant coach while they all waited out his domestic violence legal matter. We’ll see, however, what kind of blowback comes to Jon Rosen, who may be between a rock and hard place, as current OC Register, former L.A. Daily News beat reporter and one-time LAKingsInsider Rich Hammond went though before leaving (story linked here).

What else is worth noting here:

8== Taylor Twellman, the lead ESPN soccer analyst who just signed an eight-year contract extension with the network, will be paired up with Adrian Healey on play-by-play, and joined by sideline reporter Monica Gonzalez on the ESPN coverage of the Galaxy-New England MLS Cup on Sunday at noon.
And there’s no doubt Twellman will be reminded that, when he was a member of four Revolution teams that made it to the MLS Cup final over a six-year span from 2002-07, the team didn’t win any of them.
25980_crop_340x234Of course, Alexi Lalas is up on his kickball history.
The star defender of the Galaxy team that won the MLS Cup in 2002 against New England, 1-0, in Foxoboro, Mass, was also a member of the Revolution from 1996-97. He was the Galaxy GM in 2005 when they again beat New England and Twellman, 1-0, in the 2005 MLS Cup.
“I have flashbacks every time L.A. and New England play — cold sweats, high fever, nausea … and not for good reasons,” Twellman said Thursday morning as he was driving in Boston to the airport to fly out to L.A. for the contest. “And Alexi will remind me that, for 90-minutes plus, he had me in his pocket during that 2002 championship game.
“It’ll all come up again this weekend. It has to. It’s part of the history. It’s got to be even a little weird for Alexi because he played for both teams. But you can be sure he reminds me of that history ever now and again … or at least once a month. And in fairness to him, everyone reminds me of that streak.”
lalas-and-ttLalas won’t be far from fanning the flames. He’s joined by Max Bretos and Kasey Keller on the pre-game, halftime and postgame shows.
The start of Twellman’s pro soccer career runs almost parallel to Landon Donovan’s. Both were playing professionally in Germany in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Twellman went to the MLS with New England in 2002; Donovan had joined San Jose in 2001.
But for Twellman, missing the 2008 and ’09 seasons after a neck injury and then a serious concussion suffered in a game against Donovan and the Galaxy in Aug., 2008, the end came too soon, and he was forced to retire at the end of the 2010 season — and donate his brain to science after his death to see how multiple concussions affected his life.
As a commentator, Twellman shows no effect of slowing down. And his appreciation for what Donovan has accomplished is genuine.
6a00d8341c630a53ef0128765c1ea7970c-320wi“This must be his 17th ‘last game’ in a row, right?” Twellman asked. “That’s got to be the biggest storyline to this game, and it affects everyone. It actually takes a lot of pressure away from him. And it gives New England extra incentive — not that they need it — to spoil the party.
“This should really be an exciting final match — a very open game. New England tends to give up goals early — they gave up six already during the playoffs — and it remains to be seen if, after they give up chances to the Galaxy, will they get their chances against the team with the best defense in the league?”
Twellman adds that the Galaxy’s 5-1 regular-season win over the Revolution back in July only adds “a little insight” into what could happen this time.
“To say this is the same New England team, and the same L.A. team … no,” he said.
And to say Seattle may have deserved to be in this spot instead of the Galaxy, after the teams split a Western Conference final series but L.A. advanced on more road goals isn’t where Twellman would go with the conversation either.
“L.A. got through it with the away goals, but in reality, it was 2-2 (in total goals). They were so evenly matched, and that’s why it was so interesting to watch. The fact the Galaxy got through without goals from Donovan or Gyasi Zardes shows the strength of the team. Seattle had plenty of chances to score a road goal, but it didn’t come through.”
In all ESPN has 12 commentators at the game, including five who are doing the Spanish call, and Healey, Twellman, Lalas and Stuart Holden, a member of the U.S. Men’s National team, will be part of a 30-minute “ESPN FC” show to preview the game on the game (Friday, 3 p.m., ESPNEWS)
ESPN says it will debut a new “graphic telestration system” that can tracks the movement of players in real-time. It can be used live or in a replay to show what’s going on.

== Very sad news about the passing of St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist and HBO “Inside the NFL” contributor Bryan Burwell at age 59.

== ESPN’s fifth ombudsman, Bob Lipsyte, posts his final column as the arbiter of all that happens at the giant company. Without trying to give away the ending, the first line of his last story: “ESPN is an empire.”
OK, we have to say his most important suggestion this time is pushing the idea of the creation of a new newtork — call it ESPN-J — where journalism workshops are taught to inner-city high school kids, by ESPN people. And who might learn more about journalism in the process? Right, ESPN. Continue reading “Media column version 12.05.14: A doc fit for a King … and Bob Miller … plus, what does Taylor Twellman have to do to get Alexi Lalas off his back?” »

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