What’s coming Sunday:
Who, by the way, owns the historic 1988 World Series ball that Kirk Gibson hit for a game-winning home run?
We don’t mean it in exactly the same way that Craig Calcaterra does in his piece for HardballTalk.com, which was inspired by Pedro Alvarez’s homer that left Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, landed in a boat docked in the Allegheny River and then swiped by a passerby.
In this case it’s really: Where is the Gibby ball, who has kept it hidden, and what will it take to produce it?
Brian Biegel is on the move to find out.
The author of the outstanding 2009 personal saga “Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World” and a filmmaker who has an ESPN “30 for 30” in the works about counterfeiters in the sports memorabilia field is the creator of a new documentary series that will be on The Smithsonian Channel coming up later this year.
“Sports Detectives” will be following any new leads for the Gibson home run whereabouts, so be ready to come forward if you’re got something.
“I think with the team of experts we have assembled for this show, we will have the best chance anyone has had since it has been missing,” Biegel says. “We have a recipe that will help us determine the truth to where the ball has been.
“Maybe during this go-around, someone took video that we haven’t seen before. Someone might be sitting on a prize that’s quite valuable, and this can also be a way to get provenance that’s on the record. It’s very difficult to get an auction house to verify something. Here, you’ll have experts leading the charge to make a determination and I think the chances of it coming forward and someone able to cash in on it will be much better due to the show.”
What’s worth dropping in on now:
== Rick Neuheisel rolled out of bed at his Manhattan Beach home last Tuesday morning about sunrise and, with acoustic guitar in hand, found his way to the DirecTV Broadcast Center in Marina del Rey.
By about 7:30 in the morning, was ready to sing.
But before attempting to do so, the former UCLA coach and current CBS Sports Net college football analyst prefaced his thoughts.
“Every red-blooded American male wants to be you guys – you realize that?” Neuheisel looked over his reading glasses and told Todd Fritz, Andrew Perloff, Patrick O’Connor and Paul Pabst.
These, if you didn’t know, are the “Danettes,” so obviously dubbed by Dan Patrick because they are the production backbone and designated show contributors to his weekday morning syndicated radio show, now in its seventh year on KLAC-AM (570).
With recent changes going on at the now Dodgers co-owned and operated radio station, there was some rumbling that Patrick’s show might be swaped out for something else, something local, and Dan and the Danettes would lose their L.A. home signal.
Not to be. At least for now. If smarter people are making decisions.
And perhaps because of that – and Patrick’s commitment to do another slew of tapings at the Sony Studios in Culver City for the “Sports Jeopardy!” franchise – the crew came out to L.A. as a group for the first time (minus Pabst, who had family matters to tend to but still appeared via a large TV monitor from the home office in Milford, Conn.)
And Neuheisel was among several important L.A.-based sports names – Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Al Michaels included – who made in-studio appearances at the DirecTV facility, since the El Segundo-based satellite dish company produces a TV version of said radio show — to recognize the five-day tour stop that at times resembled a star-studded Super Bowl remote.
“I mean, seriously, you guys hang out, talking ball, it’s too good to be true,” Neuheisel told them. “And you make a living doing it. This is America’s dream right here.”
Neuheisel then broke into his own version of Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” with lyrics that included:
“Hey kids, pay close attention,
“The Dannettes are more than just delinquents in detention.
“They produce a show that is solid gold.
“Fritzy, McLovin, Seton and Pauley, they know …
“That this gig is too sweet to be screwed up
“They’ve got to keep Dan fresh
“Du-Du-Du-Du Dan and the Danettes ….”
That’s our highlight from their week in So Cal that ended all too soon this morning.
That, and of course, Fox’s Charissa Thompson doing the splits in such a dignified manner. Followed by Jim Brewer’s rant about it..
== Of all the sports-related things that have come out with David Letterman’s retirement, there’s this FoxSports.com review by Jimmy Trania on the best of the late-night highlights, this one as well by Joe Delessio of Sports on Earth, reviews all the sports-related highlights from Letterman’s late night career, a top 10 list list of the best baseball moments via Sporting News’ Justin McGuire and the top 10 golf moments via GolfDigest.com.
And, of course, Keith Olbermann’s first-person memories, because it would not be complete with out the KO signature moments (including the time he can reference to when the L.A. Herald Examiner called him, back at KTLA Channel 5, the “Letterman of sports TV”) .. and Olbermann did a second-day piece on Thursday because he couldn’t help himself that his photo was included in the closing montage:
== Then then they wonder who, in the sports world, could ever host a late-night talk show. Our money would still be on Joe Buck, whose HBO try got sideways too quickly and he couldn’t turn out of the skid. Meanwhile, he’s already anxious about doing golf for Fox.
And in this assessment, we’d disagree with any opportunity that Michelle Beadle or Katie Nolan might be given, based on their TV resume. While we don’t agree that “there isn’t a person around who doesn’t like Beadle (note: I do not count misogynistic internet trolls as people),” we aren’t falling into that later category either. It’s not that simple.
== Often, NBC NHL analyst Mike Milbury says stuff that’s quite compelling. Other times, he may not get the point across that he’s trying to make, thus upsetting the Ducks’ Corey Perry. We’l take Milbury either way.
== During a panel discussion called “Sports Television: Winning the Game of Disruption” at the Paley Center for Media on Wednesday, it was NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, Fox Sports President Eric Shanks and ESPN President John Skipper all talking about how live rights fees may be the most expensive kind of television content but it’s a swell investment.
== Michael Eaves, known in these parts for his days at Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket before heading off to the Al-Jazeer Network, has landed in Bristol, Conn., as an ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and should debut sometime in June. He wrote on his Facebook page recently: “It’s been a crazy ride to Bristol to say the least. When I left FOX Sports in 2013 for Al Jazeera America, I never thought I would end up anchoring SportsCenter less than two years later. But I also know that if I hadn’t left LA for NYC, I probably wouldn’t be at ESPN now. So despite my time at AJAM being mostly a disappointment, it led me to this point today.”== A history of how Tiger Woods’ language caught by CBS, NBC, Golf Channel or ESPN has led to viewer complaints to the FCC, as if they can do anything about taming him, via Golf.com.
== ESPN reports that Memphis (5.1), Houston (5.0), Miami (5.0), New York (4.9) and Philadelphia (4.8) had the highest TV market ratings for Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery. Los Angeles came in with a 4.2 number, eighth best.
The overnight rating of 3.2 was the largest in network history, up over the 2.9 from last year.
== Community college transfer Joel McHale has drawn the short straw and will be the host for the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 15. At the Nokia Theater in LA Live. Remember, this year, they move from ESPN to ABC. Just because.
The ESPN press release states: McHale was on the University of Washington’s football team for over a year and a half after originally being recruited for the school’s rowing program.
According to a 2012 ESPN.com story about him, the 6-foot-4 walk-on tight end in 1992 never made it into a game, just the scout team. “The university had a healthy walk-on program because Don James, the coach, felt like you create the competition that will push the scholarship players to work harder,” he said. “As a walk-on, you’re friends with the other guys — but you don’t have a scholarship so you kind of felt like you were members of the Dirty Dozen or the Bad News Bears. … I was very good at making the defense look good when I was on scout offense. I knew how to crumple really well and get tackled.”
Check out the story to see how much weight McHale actually put on during his playing days, compared to what he looks like now.
== This is the transparent way that the NBA allows everyone to nit-pick how members of the media used their voting voice in the annual awards. In past years, it would be an interesting read. In current times, it’s like feeding raw meet to trolls. Be careful how you use this information.
== Nope, the daughter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ co-owner isn’t happy about the way she was depicted in a Chris Sheridan story. A story that has no longer been posted.
== Dodgers team physican Dr. Neal ElAttrache is the special guest of Bob Ley’s on the Sunday early AM edition of “Outside the Lines” (6 a.m. on ESPN, 7 a.m. on ESPN2, 9 a.m. on ESPNEWS) to discuss why so many MLB pitchers are having multple Tommy John elbow surgeries.
== Released this week: “Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present” by Stuart Shea. With a shot of Vin Scully on the cover.
== The only driver who’s close to pulling off an Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 doubleheader day on Sunday is Jeff Gordon, who agreed to drive the pace car for the IRL race and then compete in the NASCAR event, his final Coca-Cola 600 race before retiring. Fox Sports’ Jamie Little will travel with Gordon to document the trip that airs in Fox’s NASCAR pre-race show (Channel 11, 2:30 p.m.) — as well as tout the fact that Gordon has announced he will join the network fulltime as a race analyst starting in 2016, teaming with Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy.
ABC’s coverage of the 99th Indianapolis 500 starts with pre-race at 8 a.m. (Channel 7), green flag at 9:17 a.m., and Allen Bestwick calling it with analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, and Lindsay Czarniak as the host. Then Joy, Waltrip and Larry McReynolds call the Coca-Cola 600 (Channel 11, 3 p.m.) with Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum in the pits.
NBCSN starts Sunday’s race day with the F1 Monaco Grand Prix (4:30 p.m.) called by Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett.
== This is what happens with a Kiss-Cam goes wrong (above).
== The 10 matches on 10 NBC-related channels that will encompass “Championship Sunday” and determine relegation in the Premier League starts Sunday at 7 a.m. The lineup: Manchester United vs. Hull City (Channel 4), League champion Chelsea vs. Sunderland (NBCSN), Newcastle vs. West Ham United (USA Network), Stroke City vs. Liverpool (Syfy), Everton vs. Tottenham (CNBC), Manchester City vs. Southampton (MSNBC), Arsenal vs. West Bromwich Albion (Bravo), Crystal Palace vs. Swansea City (E!), Aston Villa vs. Burnley (Esquire) and Leicester City vs. Queens Park Rangers (Oxygen).
== Paul Sunderland, Dain Blanton and Kevin Wong call the NBCSN coverage of the AVP’s New Orleans Open. The event takes place this weekend, but NBCSN doesn’t air it until Wednesday at 9 a.m.
== Fred Salas and Paul Westphal call the CIF Southern Section Division II Valencia-Oak Park (4:30 p.m.) and Division III El Segundo-Quartz Hill (2 p.m.) boys volleyball finals on Saturday at Cerritos College streamed live on the FoxSportsWest.com Prep Zone. Those two lead into the Division I final between Huntington Beach and Corona Del Mar at 7:30 p.m. Earlier, Westphal and Kristin Olsen call the Division V final (Arrowhead Christian vs. Damien at 9 a.m.) and Division IV final (St. Margaret’s vs. Saddleback Valley Christian at 11:30 a.m.)