What’s on the front burner for Sunday’s column:
Where can you get flossing and a floor show in the same visit? This La Habra dentist may have the one-stop answer for you Friday morn.
Molly Knight impressive meet-and-greet tour has already landed oodles of interviews and personal appearances to promote her new book, “The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse.” So why not add a dentist chair?
There’s no shortage of money-clip marketing done here.
Like here. And here. And here. And here, and here and here. Also, here, here, here and here.
Why, yes, I am signing books at my childhood dentist’s office in Whittier tomorrow because that is how I roll: http://t.co/YLkpXGpXTO
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) July 31, 2015
Wait, there may be some replication there. But here’s a “fake” one that seems real. This is very real. As is this. And this. And one more. Also this. Also, here. Don’t want overlook this. And this one. For sure, this one. And one more.
Hold it, that last one is just a link to a piece about the author’s late-night chatting on Twitter with the Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy.
Friday, aside from the dentist, she’s also doing the Rich Eisen show.
So, does all the pub match the content that has made it an Amazon.com favorite in the clumsy “Sports and Outdoors” category? The author’s website may not agree. Especially with all these blue-highlighted hyperlinks.
(But, really, in this piece, why did she have to tell everyone the Scott Avenue entrance to Dodger Stadium was open now. Can we keep that secret? Just for that, we’ll reveal that Knight has apparently sold her life rights in a screenplay about how she and a friend went on a 24-state “dating” road trip to try to find Mr. Right. What every serious sports journalist should do).
We’ll get into “Money” as well as more summer sports reading material that we’ve been harboring for some time.
Meanwhile, where can you find some good baseball reading material when you’re not looking for it? We found a lot of it recently in comedian Greg Proops’ book, “The Smartest Book in the World.” Ron Kaplan of RonKaplanBaseballBookshelf.com found more here.
== You may have noticed Steve Mason and John Ireland in the 7-to-10 a.m. national ESPN Radio spot this week — also simulcasting on ESPNU — instead of their usual noon-to-3 slot for KSPN-AM (710). Next week, Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley will be abandoning their 4-to-7 slot at KSPN and doing the same national 7-to-10 a.m. earlier call to work.
In the wake of Colin Cowherd’s dumbfounding departure from the network, would it be connecting dots that either Mason-Ireland or Kellerman-Wiley are on the short list to become the “next” thing on a regular basis, or this just filling in a temporary gap?
“As for one of our local shows being in that time slot, I don’t know,” said KSPN program director Mike Thompson. “I think they have earned the right based on ratings and performance at least to be asked.”
There is no tangible timetable out there as to when ESPN Radio will officially name a successor to Cowherd, but with the NFL season inching closer, the sooner appears to be a better business move than the better.
During the week of Aug. 10-17, ESPN Radio will use Michelle Beadle with ESPN LA’s Ben Lyons, who is also a correspondent with the Derek Jeter Players Tribune. From Aug. 24-28, the spot will be filled by ESPN Chicago’s Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman.
And all of that, some guess, is so ESPN has a backup plan in case Dan LeBatard finds it highly questionable for him to move his agenda around to take it. LeBatard’s current ESPN Radio program can be heard on the Angels’ KLAA-AM (830) from 1-3 p.m.
“ESPN Radio has an extensive pool of talent from our national network, local stations and ESPN television,” said David Roberts, the network’s VP of network audio content. “We’re excited to take advantage of this opportunity to give national radio exposure to our local hosts.”
== And then there’s the ever-pliable Larry Burnett, whose media career has taken him from Bristol, Conn., for ESPN “SportsCenter” to L.A. for the old Prime Ticket “Press Box” with stops along the way doing play-by-play for the WNBA Sparks and Lakers’ D-League.
We recommend finding him on a new sports-talk show that he’s joining on San Bernardino-based KCAA-AM (1050) that debuts Friday at 6 p.m. with Lakers coach Byron Scott as one of the guests.
The hour-long “Open Season” show will have Burnett teamed up with L.A. sports-talk legend Fred Wallin and Mark Mancini as a weekly edition in hopes of picking up momentum — and sponsors — moving forward.
“We are at a stage in our careers where we are not really beholden to anyone, so we can probably say some things that others aren’t, put a different twist on different stories, and make it a great hour of radio,” said Burnett, who’ll work out of the company’s Burbank studios.
Burnett made a connection with the station through morning show host Gary Garver and started doing sports updates for him. The station that’s best heard during the day with a reach from Lancaster to Palm Spring has a lineup that includes Art Bell, Richard Trenton (aka, “The Poorman”) and Don Imus.
It’s probably best to access it online at KCAA.com. == Here’s The Hollywood Reporter’s piece about the success of Jeter’s Players Tribune website, for those who still haven’t looked into but want to sound as if they know a good thing when they see it. Jeter announced Wednesday a new feature on the site called TPT Assist, where “athletes the opportunity to share how they are impacting lives while highlighting causes and initiatives that are aimed at tackling some of society’s biggest problems.” One of the first postings is by Shaquille O’Neal, talking about his “Uncle Mike” Parris.
== There’s only been rather mild reaction from those in the Baseball Writers Association of America to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s latest voting change, which will attempt to cut off ballot privileges to members who have been inactive for more than 10 years. While many take it as a chance to analyze how it affects who’ll get voted in to future classes, this explanation of how it looks to SI.com’s Jay Jaffe concludes: “Beyond the impact the change may have on any individual candidates, this is a laudable move, as it ensures that the voters staying abreast of the game have a greater say in the process, and could help to improve the transparency of the process. This doesn’t solve all of the Hall of Fame’s problems by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a solid step in the right direction.”
== How do we know Dick Enberg’s visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame for his Ford C. Frick Broadcasting Excellence award went well? His tweet on Tuesday night said it:
Still on Cloud 9 after Cooperstown…at age 80 the GREATEST weekend of my ENTIRE life. Never received SO much love! — Dick Enberg (@Deohmy) July 29, 2015
We did see Enberg’s 15-minute speech from Saturday night, first when it was clumsily edited with a commercial break in between on the MLB Network’s last Sunday morning replay, and then in this replay clip via MLB.com (again, it edited out his very humbling “Oh, my” that he uttered when he first stepped to the mike):
We’re someone more disappointed that Enberg did not convey the story he once did on then-NBC’s “Late Night with David Letterman,” back in 1989, when Enberg said he was once told by a Indiana University official that he looked like “a shaved prostitute.”
(The clip is below, between the 31 minute mark down to the end)
==The MLB Network has a special “Studio 42” interview with Enberg, conducted by Bob Costas, that will air Sunday at 4:30 p.m., filmed last week in Cooperstown. In the clip provided by MLB Network, Enberg talks about doing UCLA games coached by John Wooden, working with Don Drysdale as his partner, and, in something we’ve never heard, his explanation of how his famous “Touch ’em all” home run call came about.
“That came out of my coaching. I was the assistant baseball coach at then-San Fernando Valley State College, now Cal State Northridge, and that’s what we used to say. We’d have a couple guys on, down by a couple and [we’d say], “Hey, touch ‘em all! Let’s get a home run here,” and so I tried that out. … I’m calling play-by-play [in Winter Ball] and there’s a home run and I say, “He’ll touch ‘em all.” I threw that in there. Afterwards, I played it for Chuck Tanner and he said, “That’s good. I’d keep that.” That [call] has been a good friend.”
== Are USA Today and the UFC in some kind of “agreement” about coverage? Maybe the truth will come out with the publication’s coverage of the Ronda Rousey-UFC 190 performance in Brazil this weekend.
== Part of ESPN’s tour of the NFL training camps includes an extended stay with the Dallas Cowboys at their Oxnard facility on Tuesday at 4 p.m. with a two-hour special hosted by Kenny Mayne, Jon Gruden and Darrenn Woodson. Yes, Mayne still works for the company. Of course, an interview with Jerry Jones has been promised.
== The first NBA game played in Africa — an exhibition where the Clippers’ Chris Paul is captain of “Team World” roster against one made up of African natives in Johannesburg, South Africa — has ESPN covering it Saturday at 6 a.m. ESPN2 has a re-air at 3 p.m. Marc Kestecher has the call with Doris Burke. Among the players from Africa or second-generation African players on the “Team Africa” roster coached by Greg Popovich are Luc Mbah A Moute, the former UCLA standout from Cameroon now with the Philadelphia 76ers. The “Team World” squad includes Marc and Pau Gasol and former USC center Nikola Vucevic
More info on the contest at this link.
== Before you place your next order for Sweet Unity Farms’ coffee, there’s a new documentary short for ESPN Films produced by Spike Lee that debuts Friday during the 3 p.m. “SportsCenter” called “And of the Son,” a piece on Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s third and youngest child, David, who has been a coffee farmer living in Tanzania for 30 years to continue the mission of his Hall of Fame father. The film will also soon be available at espn.com/liljoints.
Chuck Culpepper, who recently did this on Vin Scully for the Washington Post and has a paperback version of his 2007 book “Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer” coming out next week, wrote this exquisite piece on David Robinson for SportsOnEarth.com in 2014
== So when does ESPN get a new ombudsman?
== HBO’s debut of the “Back on Board: Greg Lougains” documentary is set to air Tuesday at 10 p.m., with replays and on HBO On Demand throughout August.
== HBO has also released the trailer for “Ferrell Takes The Field,” which follows Will Ferrell pulling off an appearance for 10 MLB teams on one day during last spring training — including pitching for the Dodgers and replacing Mike Trout in center field for the Angels. The doc airs Sept. 12:
== Tentative plans are for a memorial service at Santa Monica College for the late sports broadcasting instructor Lou Riggs to be on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at SMC’s Bundy 123 room. Riggs passed away July 3 from ALS at age 81.
== From “The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog” file: The Sports Business Daily reports that Fox Sports has picked up the rights to the Westminster Kennel Club after it has been on USA Network the last 32 years. The Fox deal starts in 2017 and runs 10 years, most likely putting it on FS1.
How about Cowherd barking out live sideline reports here once Fox hires him on?
== Finally, why wouldn’t Boston avoid wanting to pay all those costs for the 2024 Summer Olympics? Especially if it means $50,000 for “quietly burying another Bob Costas sex scandal”?