== This week in Vin Scully stuff:
= He is to receive something they’re calling the Icon Award at The ESPYs ceremony at The Microsoft Theater in LA Live on Wednesday (airs tape delayed on Channel 7 at 8 p.m., with actor Bryan Cranston making the speech … see Cranston’s recollections of growing up listening to Scully in this Sept., 2016 story). Scully says he will make a brief appearance at the ceremony.
= He will be live at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday at 8 p.m. to narrate “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Coplan as part of the performance by conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. (He returns to also do it on Tuesday, July 18).
= He will be one of three inducted — with Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker and Charles Schultz’ creation Charlie Brown — at the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals ceremony on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the 150-seat Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library. Scully will not be in attendance for this event — he will be inducted in a speech given by former L.A. Daily News Dodgers beat writer Lisa Nehus Saxon.
As Scully told us today: “I had great respect and admiration for Lisa as we made the baseball rounds together. It was never easy for her to work in such a male-orientated workplace but she did beautifully and I was very proud of her and everything she accomplished. I feel very fortunate to have her as my friend.”
Uecker will be inducted by former Dodgers outfielder Jay Johnstone, and Charlie Brown will be represented by Charles Schultz’s son, Craig. Free admission. More info at this link.
== ESPN says its coverage of the Home Run Derby on Monday was the most-watched in L.A. since records were kept in 1999 — it helped having Cody Bellinger in the semifinal against Aaron Judge. But L.A.’s 6.0 rating was still just 13th overall in the list of markets with the best viewership. New York (10.8) was also an all-time high for that market, but it was second overall to the 13.6 posted by the Kansas City market. San Diego was 20th at 5.5.
Overall, the 8.689 million viewers nationally was up 55 percent from last year (includes ESPN, the ESPN2 Spanish-language simulcast, ESPN Deportes and all streaming). ESPN also said it triple its Hispanic audience from last year.
== More All Star games of note:
== Fox Sports West has Wednesday’s 7 p.m. California Collegiate League All Star Game from the Youth Academy in Compton. With Sam Farber on play by play and John Jackson as the analyst. More info at this link.
== The MLB Network has the Pacific Coast League-vs.-International League Triple A All-Star Game from Tacoma, Wash., Wednesday at 6 p.m., with Paul Severino, Bill Ripken, Jim Calis and Michelle McMahon.
== The MLB Network has Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Tom Verducci covering the New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (Friday, 4 p.m.), followed by TBS taking the first of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday (10 a.m.) and ESPN taking the night cap (5 p.m.)
LINKS WORTH LOOKING AT
== How will cable TV’s fragile financial state affect the salaries of MLB players going forward? “I think every team owner should be scared right now, looking at the TV ecosystem cracking,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst with the New York firm BTIG Research.
== A five-year timeline of how FS1 clumsily got to this point, by AwfulAnnouncing.com’s Ken Fang.
== How does virtual reality and baseball intersect?
== Because it can, the UK-based Guardian, which has a U.S. edition, has ranked all 30 MLB broadcast teams under the headline: “Scouting the Next Vin Scully.”
For what it’s worth: The Angels are at No. 14; the Dodgers are at No. 24, with this odd explanation:
Commentary team: Joe Davis and a host of others, none of whom are Vin Scully
It’s going to be a while before any evaluation of Dodgers broadcasters fails to mention Vin Scully, whose absence from LA’s both for the first time since the franchise moved west will take some serious getting used to. In writing this I’ve already had to stop and listen to Scully’s tale of the snake and the rabbit, not once, but twice. Davis has the most impossible job in the history of broadcasting: he’s fine, with a super strong cliche TV voice that’s a little vanilla. My father, a Dodgers fan and Scully loyalist, says that the kid is a bit of a homer. Many baseball fans will need at least a decade or so to recover from Scully’s departure.
== Mark Schlereth is moving from ESPN after 16 years to take up a new home with FS1.
== Why Johnny Miller has decided to stick around another year on NBC’s golf coverage.
== A Teen Vogue profile on ESPN MLB analyst Jessica Mendoza, which includes: “I really believe that’s why I need to be in this position, because… if I were to talk to a young girl right now that’s like, ‘You’re doing this to hopefully create an opportunity for me to be in this position,’ I would tell her, ‘I’m doing everything I can. I am going to fight for you, I’m going to work my butt off for you.’ I want these girls to know that I’m never going to take this for granted.”
== How one of golf’s newest rules revisions saved Jon Rahm during last week’s Irish Open, thwarting the emails from all those viewing at home that wanted to report a rules violation.Still, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee says Rahm should have been penalized.
== Jim “Bones” MacKay, the former caddie for Phil Mickelson, has landed a course-reporter job for NBC and Golf Channel starting with the British Open next week as well as the Presidents Cup, the Tour Championship and a full schedule of NBC events in 2018.
IT’S BEEN PROGRAMMED
== Chris Marlowe, Holly McPeak and Dain Blanton call the women’s final of the World Series of Beach Volleyball from the Shoreline Drive courts in Long Beach (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN; replayed Sunday at 3 p.m., Channel 7). ESPN and its online platforms are also carrying pool play, quarterfinals and semifinals starting Thursday with Tom Feuer as the executive producer. Fred Salas and Dave Caldwell are also doing play-by-play with analysts Kirsten Olsen and Camryn Irwin.
== Saturday is the launch date for the new Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA with nine distributors on board that will get it into 35 million-plus homes: DirecTV, Spectrum and Comcast plus Altice.net, DirecTV Now, Fubo, Hulu, Sony Playstation Vue and YouTube TV. The first program at 3 a.m. will be a 30-minute information piece hosted by Mike Tirico.
Live coverage for the first weekend will include the FINA World Aquatics Championships from Budapest, the IAAF Diamond League track and field meet from Morocco and a FIVB World Grand Prix women’s volleyball match from Macau, China (with Paul Sunderland and Kevin Barnett). Events also live stream at OlympicChannel.com and NBCSports.com, plus the company’s two apps.
More info on the launch at this link.
The Olympic Channel is a partnership with the IOC, USOC and NBCUniversal. NBC has the rigths to the Olympics in the U.S. through 2032.
== The U.S. Women’s Open this weekend at the Trump course in Bedminster, N.J., could present Fox Sports with some problematic instances during its coverage (Thursday-Sunday, FS1 and Channel 11).
Did Donald Trump threaten to sue the USGA if it moved the event away from his property as other golf events were doing prior to the 2016 presidential election? Will that story come up?
“I’m sure it’s going to be a circus,” Juli Inkster, a two-time Open winner and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, who is part of the Fox Sports broadcasting 18th tower team with Joe Buck and Paul Azinger, told the New York Times. “But when push comes to shove, it should be about the players and the women’s game. It should be about applauding us instead of bashing us.”
Fox has more than 20 hours live starting with practice coverage Wednesday (7:30 a.m., FS1), first and second rounds Thursday and Friday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., FS1) and the third and final round on Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Channel 11). Shane Bacon does play-by-play/host with Brad Faxon and Inkster the first two days. Natalie Gulbis and Ken Brown are on-course reporting.
== Remember when this was the time of the year for the X Games in downtown L.A.? It’s still grinding things out in Minneapolis, starting Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN with the Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing. More BMX dirt biking and skateboarding go to Channel 7 on Sunday at 10 a.m.
== Darts anyone? FS1 has six hours of the U.S. Masters from the Tropicana in Las Vegas that takes place Thursday-Saturday with Chris Myers as the host, and Jesse May, John Part and Kate Abdo reporting. FS1 delayed programming is Thursday at 9:30 p.m., Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m., with various re-airs.
== “Mike and the Mad Dog” may not resonate with Southern California sports talk listeners, but the ESPN documentary on the career of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo as they launched the genre on WFAN 660 in New York for nearly 20 years is worth an historical look back. What made them compelling? That’s up to some debate. But they did make a mark. The show premieres Thursday at 5 p.m. on ESPN. Here’s the trailer.
== NBC Sports announced a deal with the Chivas of Guadalajara soccer club (officially Club Deportivo Guadalajara) to start what will be called Chivas TV, a live-streaming service of games starting Wednesday, July 19. Playmaker Media, owned by NBC Sports, does the streaming for Chivas’ Liga MX and Copa MX home matches, plus its Under 20 and Under 17 teams. In 2016, Chivas launched Chivas TV as its own channel for live games.