Prior to the launch of the Sunday media column, we’ll put this out into the universe:
== In the 12 minutes or so spent toward the end of episode 5 of HBO “Real Sports” season 23, a piece on Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin entitled “A Beisbol Life” that launched Tuesday night may not reveal anything new. Those who already know a lot about the story of this 81-year-old engaged in his 59th season with the team are pretty much already up to speed.
It’s just that the national exposure is gratifying to see for someone so deserving, and if more can be told about the relationship he has had with Vin Scully, all the better.
That said, the piece takes a few of side tracks that, in the end, allows Jarrin to reveal more of his true, stoic character and ability to deflect attention to himself. A true Scully trait.
First, Bryant Gumbel decides that there needs to be a light shined again on how Chavez Ravine had to be “cleared out of over 1,000 families” when the Dodgers moved here from Brooklyn. It supposedly laid the groundwork that led to a backlash from the local Hispanic community about the team’s arrival. But that was never clear. Instead, it gave Jarrin, a former newspaper reporter, a chance to clarify the incident by saying that “the Dodgers didn’t cause that problem. It was the City Hall. They were supposed to relocate those families. And they never did.”
Gumbel attempts to open a wound in Jarrin’s life by talking about how he lost a son at age 29. When Gumbel went on that sort of same line of questioning for a piece about Scully in 2004, it upset that Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster so much, because he had asked that subject not be broached, yet Gumbel did anyway. Scully reportedly vowed never to do a piece for HBO again, but in this case, for Jarrin, he acquiesced (and apparently as long as it wasn’t Gumbel asking the questions). Jarrin instead explains how he family needed a 10-year healing period before they could really get back on track.
Later, Gumbel declares that Jarrin is “an immigrant success story at a time when the present administration is fond of demonizing and vilifying immigrants.” Jarrin is deft in a response: “Let’s talk about sports,” he says with a smile, trying to defuse the seriousness of the situation. He finally relents to admit how “it hurts to see my people, the Latino people, being so afraid of everything.”
HBO debuted the segment on Tuesday’s show, with many reairs through the week, including Thursday at 8 a.m. and 4:25 p.m., Friday at 1 p.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and next Tuesday at 11 p.m. More at www.hbo.com/realsports
== Our 2015 Father’s Day piece on Jaime and Jorge Jarrin.
== Retired Kings play-by-play voice Bob Miller, in an appearance Tuesday on “Mason & Ireland” KSPN-AM (710), learned that he will be the 2018 recipient of the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association.
In addition, Miller’s name will be attached to the annual best TV play-by-play award going forward.
Miller, the five-year SCSB president, was on the show with current organization president Rand Elkins to present Steve Mason and John Ireland with their 2017 best radio sports-talk show award some five months after the ceremony.
As for the fact that Miller’s close friend, Pete Weber, is four wins away from calling his first Stanley Cup championships with the Nashville Predators eliminating the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, which we covered last Sunday, Miller told us Tuesday: “I am delighted to see my former partner have a chance to broadcast a NHL Final series and I hope he has a chance to celebrate with the Stanley Cup at the end of this season. Pete was a valuable addition to our Kings telecasts and in every game he brought accuracy and humor to his announcing and he is still doing the same thing in Nashville.
“He has been the Voice of the Predators since the teams inception in 1998 and he’s done a marvelous job of teaching the game of hockey to the fans in that non-traditional hockey area as witnessed by the fans enthusiasm we are seeing in the Arena on a nightly basis. It’s great to see the fans in Nashville embracing this exciting game taught to them by Pete and his first partner, ex NHL two time Stanley Cup winner Terry Crisp.
“Pete, and his wife Claudia, are close friends of ours and they both visited us when the Kings won their second Stanley Cup in 2014. At that time I told him if they ever won the Cup we would attend his party in Nashville. I hope we have that opportunity.”
== Allen Bestwick calls the 101st Indianapolis 500 for ABC (9 a.m., Channel 7) with Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, plus reporters Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl and Dr. Jerry Punch, and Lindsay Czarniak as the pre-race host. One of the technological additions for this event is the Visor Cam, mounted to the helmets of Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden that, if anything, shows how G forces moves the drivers’ heads and bodies around as the car encounters wind and bumps. It has been used in the past only during practice sessions. Onboard cameras this year will be in 12 cars including pole sitter Scott Dixon and three-time winenr Helio Castroneves.
== Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Larry McReynolds have the call of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday (Channel 11, 3 p.m.), with reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum.
== Leigh Diffey will call Sunday’s Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix with analysts David Hobbs and Steve Matchett, plus Will Buxton, all on-site for NBC (4:30 a.m., Channel 4, with a replay at 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on NBCSN)
== Picked up by NBCSN cameras in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals … they couldn’t see that coming?
Stay classy, N’ville. pic.twitter.com/q5u1BSalGt
— Tom Hoffarth (@tomhoffarth) May 23, 2017
== Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Michele Smith and Holly Rowe are on the ESPN crew covering UCLA’s Super Regional softball best-of-three series against visiting Mississippi on Thursday (6 p.m., ESPN), Friday (6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2) and Saturday if necessary (4 p.m., ESPN). Rowe revealed last week that her cancer has returned but she will continue treatment, at UCLA, while still working. She also had this post on ESPNFrontRow.com. Our piece on Rowe from last October during the WNBA finals.
== The 35th America’s Cup finals don’t start until June 17, but the qualifiers rounds that determine which team will go up against Oracle Team USA begin Friday (3 p.m., NBCSN) and run almost every day through June 12 if needed. Alastar Eykyn is on play-by-play with Ken Read, plus Todd Harris as the pre- and post-race host, all from the site in Bermuda. The coverage remains one of the most visually engaging sporting events one can watch on TV (and now apps)
== Joe Buck and John Smoltz (with reporter Ken Rosenthal) have the Dodgers-Cubs as a national broadcast on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. on Channel 11.
== NBCSN’s coverage of the Prefontaine Classic from Portland starts Friday at 8 p.m. and also goes Saturday on NBC (1 p.m., Channel 4). Olympian Allyson Felix is scheduled to run in the women’s 200 meters with Justin Gatlin and Andre De Grasse (USC) in the men’s 100. Rick Allen has the call with Ato Boldon, Sanya Richards-Ross, Craig Masback, Lewis Johnson and Todd Harris. No more Tom Hammond?
== ESPN announced it has coaxed college basketball analyst Dick Vitale to a contract extension that goes through 2019-2020, which will make it 41 years with the network.
== Ted Robinson, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo call NBC’s coverage of the French Open starting Sunday (Channel 4, 9 a.m.) and Monday (Channel 4, noon, delayed) with the first round. Weekend coverage continues June 3-4 leading into the semifinals and the women’s (June 10) and men’s (June 11) final both live at 6 a.m. on Channel 4. Tennis Channel has weekday coverage.
== Pac-12 Network live games worth noting:
= USC baseball at Washington, Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m., with Roxy Bernstein and Scott Erickson.
LINKS OF NOTE
== Not even this will scar Bob Costas’ body of work, but it’s ripe for commentary:
This is normal. https://t.co/5qVW7Lf68U
— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) May 20, 2017
== A Washington Post piece on a thoroughbred named D.J. Trump, and his predictable predicament.
== If you get sucked into “stories” like this, you have only yourself to blame.
== “Mike & Mike” aren’t getting along behind the mike? Do tell. Or, better, why do we have to feast on something that appears to be others’ misery? Let it work itself out. It’s worthy perhaps of a sentence of note, not a whole column of conjecture unnamed sources material.
== And as long as public media sniping is an event (as evidenced by the SI.com sole judge of pontification who reports it as such, we’ll actually side with Jay Mariotti here. Lawsuit threat or not.
== It was touch and go there for awhile. No one could really be sure. But after this, we can exhale and say that, well, congrats to Joe Davis. You’re OK with us. More than OK, in fact. You are indeed worthy, based on nine games that free TV L.A. got to hear. Cut the tags off. Throw away the extended warranty. Now go make us proud.
== Tweet of the week:
So, I was among the recent SI layoffs. It’s hard to find anything good to say about losing an awesome job, but I did find a silver lining: pic.twitter.com/SSk95ifMfj
— Lindsay Applebaum (@lindsapple) May 22, 2017