It’s out of the Question: Lasorda can teach Mattingly a few more provocative profanities, eh?

article-2622525-1DA54DED00000578-248_634x420Even Tommy Lasorda knows there are far too many subtle differences in how profanity is articulated in the English language. Particularly in the specialized world of sports jargonization.

So is it too much to ask the current Lasorda successor, Don Mattingly, if he could successfully give us a better definition of “Basically, we’re s#!**y,” before this becomes the working title for of the 2014 Dodgers Season in Review DVD?

Is it in the context of: “Since I’m doing such a s$*%%# job as the manager of an overpaid roster, can we just connect the dots and assume this is all a reflection of my inability to make a bunch of modern-day egos understand the Donnie Baseball system? Do we have to pass around more eye black and institute a mandatory mustache rule?”

Could it be: “Where did Punto, Hairston and Schumaker skip off to again? Can Trey Hillman find that out for me?”

Or is just a matter of having Yasiel Puig’s translator spend more quality time with Hanley Ramirez?

More questions for this week, read on ….

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Media column version 06.05.14: NBC’s got Chrome on its brain

What made it into this week’s sports media column posted here:
NBC has Saturday’s Belmont Stakes — California Chrome’s attempt to win the Triple Crown — as the lead-in to the Kings-Rangers Stanley Cup Final Game 2 from Staples Center, both airing on KNBC-Channel 4.
The race goes off at about 3:52 p.m. The Kings pregame show is supposed to start at 4 p.m. with the faceoff at about 4:30 p.m.
Good luck with all that.
We’ve got notes about Game 1 ratings, X Games starting up in Austin, Tex., and coverage of the CIF Southern Section baseball finals, with Ross Porter back on the call.
What didn’t quite make it in but has a home here:
==The NBCSN documentary “California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion” narrated by Bob Costas, debuted Wednesday but has repeated airings today (2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) and Friday (12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.).
== If you get a letter from NBC’s Doc Emrick, it’s a good thing.
== The reveal for who has made the cover of the “Madden NFL 15″ game — it’s either Carolina quarterback Cam Newton or Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman — will come on ESPN’s 3 p.m. SportsCenter on Friday. That’s news?
== If you’re trying to keep up with the latest educated speculation about how the DirecTV-Dodgers-SportsNet L.A. talks may go.
== And why was Keith Jackson at the Rose Bowl last week? This story doesn’t connect those basic dots.
== The ESPN blanket coverage of the NCAA baseball super regionals includes Pepperdine’s series against TCU in Fort Worth, Tex., that starts Saturday (1 p.m., ESPNU) and continues Sunday (3 p.m., ESPN) and, if necessary, on Monday (4 p.m., ESPNU). Adam Amin and Keith Moreland are on the call.
ESPN reports that ESPN2 and ESPNU combined for 20 game regional telecasts last week, reaching 13.1 milllion viewers (up 2 percent over last year). ESPN3 and WatchESPN also generated 124.5 million minutes, up 34 percent from last year.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

It’s like apples to oranges — because someone had to do the N.Y. vs. L.A. comparison chart prior to the Rangers-Kings series

making-comparisonsWe resisted. But NBC Sports guys couldn’t. This is their attempt at a “Tale of the Tape” deal with the Kings-Rangers Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final(with no “s”) later this afternoon, the first professional sports league final between the two cities in 33 years. We tried to resist even posting this, but … as long as they made an honest effort.

NEW YORK VS. LOS ANGELES – OFF THE ICE

CATEGORY NEW YORK LOS ANGELES
Nicknames The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps The City of Angels, Tinseltown
Tres Chic Madison Avenue Rodeo Drive
Music To Our Ears Radio City Music Hall Hollywood Bowl
On Stage/On Screen Broadway Hollywood
On The Diamond Joe Torre Tommy Lasorda
On The Court Walt “Clyde” Frazier Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Whodunnit? Olivia Benson Joe Friday
Today’s Forecast All four seasons, sunrises Mostly sunny, sunsets
Fun In The Sun Coney Island Santa Monica Pier
In The Arena Fans whistle into “Potvin S#!%s!” chant Eric Cartman leads “Go Kings Go!” chant
Gretzky’s Ours! Three years, played last game as a Ranger Eight years, led L.A. to first Cup Final
Hot Dogs! Nathan’s Famous Pink’s
Pastrami On Rye? Katz’s Delicatessen Langer’s Delicatessen
We Make A Mean… Slice of pizza Fish Taco
Don’t Call It… New Yawk Cali
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly media column version 05.30.14 — The Sutter-to-Engblom-to-English translation of the Kings’ playoff run

What made it into this week’s version of the column posted online:
bengotoThe job description for Brian Engblom includes having to approach Kings coach Darryl Sutter on the bench during a live playoff game, ask him a pertinent question, and hope to get a coherent answer.
So far, so OK.
Engbloom, the former Kings’ defenseman who’s “Inside the Glass” for the NBCSN coverage of the Kings-Blackhawks series, returns to Staples Center for Friday’s Game 6 as the intensity rises.
We’ve got notes on the Dodgers’ coverage by FS1 and ESPN2 this weekend, more on Chris Roberts’ retirement decision from calling UCLA games and how CBS SportsNet has bought in again on pro beach volleyball this summer, starting with Sunday’s event in Florida.

What else could have been included:

SCULLYr140526== The timing of Kevin Fagan’s latest tribute to Vin Scully in his Drabble comic strip came on Memorial Day — the first of Scully’s two-day absence due to a chest cold. Which made listening to Scully return Wednesday all that much better. The GoComics.com website allows you to purchase a copy of this strip as well as the one Fagan did on Scully during the 2013 National League playoffs last October (see the story we did on it then).

== A Lakers Spanish-language broadcaster has filed suit against the team and Time Warner Cable, in part because they won’t allow him to interview Kobe Bryant. Get in line.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Consider ESPN’s 7-up approach to Dodgers’ Sunday coverage

Actor Jon Hamm, left, joins Barry Larkin and Karl Ravech on the "ESPN Baseball Tonight" set during the Hollywood premier of "Million Dollar Arm" (from hollywoodreporter.com)

Actor Jon Hamm, left, joins Barry Larkin and Karl Ravech on the “ESPN Baseball Tonight” set during the Hollywood premier of “Million Dollar Arm” earlier this month (from hollywoodreporter.com)

On a typical Dodgers’ regular-season home game, a healthy Vin Scully is one sitting by himself in the TV booth named after him, describing the action below quite sufficiently.

On Sunday’s Dodgers-Pittsburgh game from Dodger Stadium, ESPN has a more mind-blowing concept — it’s going seven strong in trying to accomplish the same thing, taking the “Sunday Night Baseball” crew on an enterprising voyage that likely no broadcast team has tried before.

It starts with Karl Ravech and Barry Larkin, the usual hosts for the “Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown” on-site pregame show, sitting in the booth for Dan Shulman and John Kruk for the call of the game (5 p.m., ESPN2). Shulman and Kruk have the night off. But five other analysts don’t.

Eric Wedge will be wedged in the Dodger Stadium crowd sitting behind home plate. Mark Mulder and Aaron Boone are in the dugout wells. Doug Glanville is out in the right-field pavilion. And Buster Olney, usually down on the field somewhere providing news tidbits, will be in the press box instead.

“The booth, in my opinion, is somewhat antiquated but a safe haven to do a game from,” said ESPN vice president of production Mike McQuade. “We need to look at ways we can give more to the viewer by being in different locations, and if we can do that, how do we work on doing that. And this is a great venue to try all this out.”

Wedge, most recently the Seattle Mariners manager who joined the ESPN “Baseball Tonight” team this season, will be focused on talking about “big picture” strategy. Mulder, the 36-year-old former All-Star left-hander who tried a spring-training comeback with the Angels only to have it derailed by a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, will focus on the pitching aspect of the game. Boone, the former big-league infielder out of USC, will analyze the offensive strategies. Glanville, who spent nine seasons as an outfielder with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers, has the duty of watching how the defense aligns from his perspective.

“Recently, we’ve had Doug positioned for a game in the outfield for a Mets broadcast, and it’s a completely different way to watch,” said McQuade.

Watching differently is what ESPN has been trying to experiment with as the 25th season of Sunday Night Baseball has come together this year. Last month, for example, Shulman and Kruk did a Cubs-Cardinals game from the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. Actor Charlie Sheen was a guest on “Baseball Tonight” last week from Cincinnati, while actor Jon Hamm, in the recently released film “Million Dollar Arm,” came into the remote studio site at Pittsburgh three weeks ago.

The celebrity factor that often accompanies a Dodgers game could be exploited as well for this ESPN telecast, too, but McQuade seems content on seven being enough.

“I’m not as concerned as others may be about this becoming a big talk-fest,” McQuade said. “I’m just hopeful we get enough out of all the analysts there because they are so respectful of each other’s opinions that they don’t want to talk over each other, because they’re so respectful of the process. We’ve already tried something like this on smaller scales and it’s surprising that not once have the guys talked over each other in a three-hour window even if they’re in different parts of the park, not together.

“As long as each of them have a very specific thing to focus on, it’ll just be up to Karl and the producer to bring all those voices in. I think we’ve done our due diligence to make sure all their areas of expertise aren’t the same.”

Glanville may be in the most interesting position in casting a light on what it’s like to be in right field during the twilight hour at Dodger Stadium, describing what Yasiel Puig will have to contend with as he fights the sun to follow the flight of the ball.

All the while, the right-field pavilion continues to provide the all-you-can-eat service throughout the game.

“It’s probably good that Kruk has the weekend off,” said McQuade.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Where the heck is … I know it put it somewhere ….

Technical-DifficultiesSorry, but for those who have asked: Used up some vacation time, so no media column last week. The Monday Play It Forward that often appears on the blog has just been online and in print the last couple of weeks.
In the process of ramping up a media column for this week, but also have the upcoming weekend off as well.
Perhaps things will be more clear in June.
Twitter account still cranking out material/links/etc.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly media column version 05.16.14: How to dissect Dr. Robert Klapper beyond his weekend warriors at 710-AM

Dr. Robert Klapper has taken the Saturday morning "Weekend Warrior" show to must-listen status on KSPN-AM (710). (Photo courtesy of KSPN)

Dr. Robert Klapper has taken the Saturday morning “Weekend Warrior” show to must-listen status on KSPN-AM (710). (Photo courtesy of KSPN)

What made it into this week’s column (now posted):

Dr. Robert Klapper is in.
klapper1-231x300His Saturday morning “Weekend Warrior” show on KSPN-AM (710) has evolved into much more of a place for the Cedars Sinai orthopedic surgeon to explain why your knee is jerking again after hearing the latest on Kobe Bryant’s recovery from his own knee issues. Klapper, who has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, works his outstanding bedside manners to take this show to a level that has got TV execs now wanting a piece of it.
We’ve also got notes on the HBO “Boxing After Dark” card that’s coming back to the Forum in Inglewood and the new format for Indy 500 qualifying that gives ABC two days of time trials this weekend, with new IRL broadcaster Allen Bestwick describing it

What could have but will have to be satisfied in being classified as blog material: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

More on Kareem as the center of attention on an HBO doc project: Part of Cap’s media rehab process?

Getty Images

Getty Images

They’ve got a working title for a new HBO Sports-driven  documentary on the life and times of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, targeting a launch around the 2015 NBA All-Star game in New York.

How does “Kareem: A Minority Of One” sound?

“To me, that says a lot, because I know the impression of him is this lone wolf — but he’s really a gregarious, affable, social guy,” said Mike Tollin, the sports TV and movie exec who will serve as executive producer for the project through the Studio City-based Mandalay Sports Media.

Which is the company he co-founded with Peter Guber. Who is one of the Dodgers minority owners, and must be aware that Kareem, with his Brooklyn Dodgers cap, frequents the owners box at Dodgers Stadium hanging out with Magic Johnson.

It’s not that complicated, right?

abdul-jabbar-608Tollin said he understands that Abdul-Jabbar has had a less-then-affable relationship with the media during a basketball career that spans a three-time national college player of the year run at UCLA (1966-’69) and five NBA championships during his 14 years with the Lakers (1975-89).

Can this doc be part of his media rehabilitation process?

“I think I’m like a lot of people who have an impression of him based on nothing, and I can take a fresh look at this,” said Tollin, who had only briefly met Abdul-Jabbar prior to this project that has already began filming. “The challenge is always to tell the story that people think they know and then have a version which they had no idea about. The plan is to make this far-reaching and free-wheeling – jazz, literature, politics, yoga, martial arts, baseball. He’s in a pretty comfortable place in his life. I hope this will open a lot of eyes.”

Tollin’s resume includes an Oscar-winning documentary on Hank Aaron, as well as the former HBO series “Arli$$” and sports-related feature films “Coach Carter,” “Radio” and “Varsity Blues.”

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said in a press release: “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary figure and an American sports icon. While he has lived so much of his life in the media spotlight, his extraordinary story has never been explored in depth, and we are grateful to Kareem and his team for allowing us to bring this story to life.”

51x5hVGCa6L._SY300_Part of Kareem’s “team” includes Deborah Morales, the Manhattan Beach-based rep for him who acts as the producer of the project through her Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment company. She was involved with him during the making of the 2011 documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants.”

Abdul-Jabbar, who has a writing and acting credit for “Shoulders,” has been recently outspoken about the Donald Sterling matter in a Time magazine opinion piece. The magazine has given him plenty of room to share his views recently.

Apparently HBO is also fine with Abdul-Jabbar despite his recent review of the network’s show “Girls.” Just all part of that complex media persona.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Play It Forward: May 12-18 on your sports calendar — Better Duck, there’s a Royal feast taking place

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET I:

d12f4f10-d616-11e3-87d1-a1fee1a2173b_BnDMbBbCYAANMtcNHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 5: KINGS at DUCKS
Details/TV: Honda Center, Monday at 7 p.m., NBCSN:
ce63b860-d789-11e3-8da1-8190fa7d3c85_fdggdfgFrench chef Ludo Lefebvre was shown on the Staples Center scoreboard preparing roast duck during the first intermission of the Kings’ eventual 2-0 Game 4 loss to Anaheim. That followed up from another videoboard demonstration during Game 3 where celeb Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, wearing a Kings jersey, demonstrated the best way to prep “Anaheim Duck Soup” in her kitchen. “I always use Anaheim Duck because they’re slow, they’re lazy and they have thin skin,” she said. The Kings were cooked in that game as well – a 3-2 loss. As the series builds toward a boiling point with a return to the O.C., we can’t help but also recall seeing some strange “Go Kings Go” billboards popping up in the 714 area coach, one of them with a large black dog holding a dead duck in its mouth. Whatever keeps fans salivating for more.
The series concludes (times updated Monday morning):
Game 6: Wednesday at Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., NBCSN
Game 7: Friday at Honda Center, 6 p.m., NBCSN

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:
NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 5: CLIPPERS at OKLAHOMA CITY
Details/TV: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., TNT:

thunder-super-fansThe thundering noise that can erupt at Chesapeake Energy Arena creates  one of the better home-court advantages for Oklahoma City in the NBA – the team had a 34-7 mark there in the regular season, matching the Clippers for best record on the home floor. But according to TheLostOgle.com, two rather notorious Thunder fans are making noise for themselves in a ruthless kind of way. Garrett “Thundor” Haviland, who shows up shirtless with a cape and mask, and Nauzi “Thunder Princess” Jagosh, with her blue and orange tutu, tiara and ruby red shoes, have parked themselves in the pricey Section 101. But they’ve now taken to a public funding website to raise $10,000 so they can get their season seats renewed for 2014-’15. So far, they’re at $851. But not everyone is buying in. “I sat next to this annoying a$$hole one time,” said one fan. “Never again. He ruined the game and entire experience. Jerk!” See how much of an impact they do or don’t have when this series returns to OKC, where the teams split their first two games of this series.
The series concludes:
Game 6: Thursday at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 7: Sunday at Oklahoma City, time TBA, TNT

BEST OF THE REST Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly media column version 05.09.14 — Anson Carter’s dreadlocks may be gone, but his TV career has locked on NBC’s NHL coverage

Anson Carter  sails across the net in front of Calgary Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff and Flames' Denis Gauthier during a March, 2004 Kings game in Calgary.  (AP Photo/Jeff McIntosh)

Anson Carter sails across the net in front of Calgary Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff and Flames’ Denis Gauthier during a March, 2004 Kings game in Calgary. (AP Photo/Jeff McIntosh)

What made it into the online version posted this evening:

vstyrtto Anson Carter’s 15 games of not-much fame with the Kings came 10 years ago, as the team picked up the veteran right winger at the trade deadline to help with its push toward a post-season spot.
Not only did the Kings come up short — they ended the season on an 11-game losing streak — but Carter had just one assist total during his stint, slowed by a bad shoulder and sports hernia. He was gone the next year — to score 33 goals on the Sedin brothers line in Vancouver.
But L.A., or more specifically Marina del Rey, where he kept an off-season home, never left him.
As an NBC Sports Net studio analyst on the NHL during these playoffs, particularly visible trading opinions with Jeremy Roenick during intermission breaks in the Kings-Ducks Western Conference semifinal series, Carter’s experience from an 11-year NHL career (1996-2007) has given him more confidence to approach a burgeoning TV career.
Carter, the booth analyst with Dave Strader (above) during the Kings-Ducks outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January, talks to us about that and his continued work in the entertainment business in this week’s feature. Also, we have more on ESPN’s coverage of the WBC heavyweight championship fight from USC’s Galen Center on Saturday, DirecTV’s latest blast on the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. negotiations, and wondering if L.A. will get up early enough Sunday to follow the final day of the Premiere League 10-channel coverage.

What didn’t quite make it but is worth posting here:

== Trivia question: Who scored the first NHL goal in Staples Center history? Anson Carter, on Oct. 20, 1999, as a member of the Boston Bruins. The game against the Kings ended in a 2-2 tie.

== Carter returns to the NHL studio show in Sunday after working on the NBCSN coverage of the IIHF World Championships this weekend. U.S. takes on Belarus on Saturday (10:30 a.m.) and Switzerland on Sunday (10:30 a.m.). Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email