Sports media notes version 05.23.17: Reflecting on the HBO Jarrin piece, a Bob Miller award and more

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

== 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.”

Continue reading “Sports media notes version 05.23.17: Reflecting on the HBO Jarrin piece, a Bob Miller award and more” »

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Sunday media: How Pete Weber’s next stanza could be sports history in Nashville

Even with a couple of chord changes to tweak the twang, Pete Weber’s broadcasting career in Nashville shouldn’t sound like the starting point for another tired country western song.
It’s hardly been a long, lonesome 20 years behind the microphone, be it on TV, radio or even CB Radio, for the original and still-going-strong voice of the NHL’s Predators. The 66-year Weber, who got up to speed on the pro hockey game during a three-year run as the colorman for Bob Miller on the Kings’ broadcasts from 1978-81 between Rich Marotta and Nick Nickson, has belted out scores in Buffalo, Seattle, Albuquerque and Rochester. He’s worked on the NFL Bills’ broadcasts during their run of four straight fruitless Super Bowl outcomes.
He’s even had his heart kinda broken — a serious heart procedure in 2014 to be exact — but it’s kept on ticking.
And now, if things break right, he could be making his first championship call. The Preds’ first Stanley Cup win could come as early as mid-June, but that won’t be the time to drop the mike.
“I’m a little too selfish to see what could follow,” Weber said beforeo Saturday’s Game 5 of the Ducks-Predators Western Conference finals. “I have another year left on my contract and they’ve already asked me if I want to continue. I do. And once the first one happens, I’ll be going for at least two.”
More at this link….

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It’s Out of the Question: Why don’t we all have a 10 hour DL, Dodgers style?

In the beginning, God put in a six-day work week, followed by a day of rest. Was there a disabled list at the time? Heavens no. He called it Sunday.
Man’s own brilliance and ingenuity has created so many things since then that have been essential to his own well being. But more so than traffic lights, emergency phones in public elevators or even the printing press (which is still up to debate), the simple wisdom of the disabled list is transcendent.
Sports seems to be the only entity that officially recognizes such a thing, In the secular world, the HR department may frame it as extended leave, a sabbatical, or a furlough. Shave all the fur off it, and it’s just a permission slip to skip out on P.E. that generally doesn’t require a doctor’s note. Your word and ethical standing is all we need.
And with that frenetic philosophy, the bend-but-don’t-break-the-news Dodgers are on their way to the World Series?
More at this link …

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Sports media notes version 05.17.17: An update on ESPN reporter Shelley Smith, a Kristine Leahy self-inflicted wound (wait, she’s a reporter?), and more

Notes to post before the weekend:

Shelley Smith, left, talks about her workload and motherhood during lunch last Wednesday at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association.

== From a text exchange Wednesday morning with ESPN reporter Shelley Smith, the subject of Sunday’s Mother’s Day column who later was hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms while covering the Golden State-San Antonio NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 in Oakland:

Smith said doctors found a small blood clot in her brain as well as two others in her chest that can be treated with blood thinning medication.
“It was a scary 15 minutes,” she said. “I couldn’t talk or move my right arm or leg. And then it passed. Lucky I was right next to the Warriors’ training room. They were amazing.”
She said she expects to give out more information soon on a Facebook post soon.
“Mother’s Day was definitely a trip this year,” she said. “You never know how strong you are until you have to be strong.”
It appears she’ll be heading home today and wants to get back up to speed as the NBA Finals begin.

== A fog-and-phony-type show that took place this week in New York called the Upfronts, where networks pitch their hopes and dreams to advertisers in hopes of the reciprocation of financial support, prompted a column about it by The New York Times entitled “ESPN Is Betting on Big Personalities to Restore Its Fortunes.”
The newspaper didn’t actually interview ESPN boss John Skipper about that building toward the future in light of their recent dismantling of their human resources. Nobody in the media was allowed to talk to Skipper.
But in summarizing what’s at stake here and how crazy things can be framed, the story ended describing how the ESPN presentation was capped off by longtime anchor Kenny Mayne, “fitted with feathery wings and calling himself the Angel of Advertising,” coming onto the stage from above as other ESPN talent scattered to get out of his way. His grand entrance — with his white hair complimenting his wardrobe — led to a momentary tussle with the wires that had suspended him on both sides of his waist, and led to him remarking: “It’s a metaphor for the strength of cable. Look at it that way.”
Is this in Mayne’s contract? Perhaps if he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t have a contract like many of his recent fallen friends.
How sad.

What happened amidst all that was ESPN announcing: Continue reading “Sports media notes version 05.17.17: An update on ESPN reporter Shelley Smith, a Kristine Leahy self-inflicted wound (wait, she’s a reporter?), and more” »

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Sunday media: The way ESPN reporter Shelley Smith, her mom and her daughter do it up on Mother’s Day

It’s not an atypical for ESPN reporter Shelley Smith to be on assignment on any given Mother’s Day Sunday – this year, she’s been dispatched to Oakland, covering the start of the NBA Western Conference finals.

The Mother’s Day Princess Di mug, as mentioned in the Sunday column.

Her own 81-year-old mom, Luanne, remains confined to her bed in suburban Denver, having been in hospice care recently for a variety of ailments. But there is comfort knowing that spending the day with her will be Smith’s one-and-only daughter, 31-year-old Dylann Tharp.
“I’ll miss that she’s not as close in proximity,” Smith said earlier this week of her now adult-sized kid, “but I’ll be glad she’s with my mom. That will make me happy.”
More at this link …

More to read:
== Books authored by Smith:
= “Games Girls Play: Understanding and Guiding Young Female Athletes,” in 2001. Which included this in the acknowledgements: “Dylann has truly benefitted from playing sports and I am extremely proud of the way she’s handled the obstacles thrown at her. Becase of that, because of sports, she is stronger, more confident, responsible young woman. I wish this for every daughter.”
= “Just Give Me the Damn Ball!: The Fast Times and Hard Knocks of an NFL Rookie,” on Keyshawn Johnson, from 1997
== A 2007 feature on Dylann Tharp from the Daily Emerald as she played soccer at Oregon.
== A 2016 feature on Shelley Smith and Dylann Tharp from the V Foundation Newsletter.

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