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.”