Colorado’s Buffaloes (4-1) have bullied their way into the Top 25 and cut loose at the Coliseum on Saturday to face USC in what now becomes an attractive Pac-12 Network hookup and the only real day game of the bunch — 1 p.m., with Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron and Lewis Johnson. ESPN Radio is also present with Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Ian Fitzsimmons.
Meanwhile, UCLA’s road trip to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Arizona State plops down on ESPN2 (7:30 p.m., Allen Bestwick, Mike Bellotti and Kris Budden).
In the Pac-12:
There are no Pac-12 games forced upon a Thursday or Friday night this week. The rest of it lays out this way:
= Washington (5-0 and No. 5 in the AP rankings) has the marquee game of the Pac-12 conference, going to Oregon for the 108th meeting of the programs (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11 with Joe Davis, Brady Quinn and Jenny Taft). Washington’s ranking is its highest since the end of the 2000 season, when it finished at No. 3 after winning the Rose Bowl. Continue reading →
As this coverage map posted on 506sports.com shows, if you’re lucky enough like us to be in the green areas, you’ll see the Rams’ game at the Coliseum against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. On CBS. Take a knee.
CBS gets its first crack at carrying a Los Angeles Rams game, and a lucky seven percent of the country will see it as the AFC’s Buffalo Bills come to the Coliseum.
Go ahead, L.A. Pinch yourself. Seven percent may also be the amount of body fat still left on Bills coach Rex Ryan. Below the waist and above the cankles.
Oakland and San Diego, two franchises that could be stalking L.A. for joint tenancy, won’t be seen in L.A. this weekend, however, because while the two AFC West rivals are facing each other, it’s in the same TV window as the Rams. And it will get a larger audience — 12 percent of the nation.
Here’s how Week 5 lays out: Continue reading →
They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the media. As while the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster has already called his last game, more and more want to share their interactions and stories. So we happily and graciously continue:
Josh Suchon, the play-by-play voice for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, now affiliated with the Colorado Rockies, joined the franchise in 2013 when it was still an affiliate of the Dodgers. From 2008-2011, he co-hosted “Dodger Talk” on the team’s KLAC-AM (570) affiliate and the team’s radio network. The San Diego State grad also did games for the Modesto Nuts and Watertown Indians, called some Dodgers spring-training games on radio, and wrote for the Oakland Tribune from 2000-06 covering the Giants and A’s. He is also the author of the 2013 outstanding book, “Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers” Suchon offers these thoughts about Scully’s retirement:
“I’ve read all the wonderful tributes compiled on Tom Hoffarth’s blog, and I’m not sure what to add that hasn’t already been stated so eloquently. What stood out to me most was how often I read something and thought, ‘Vin was the same with me.’
“It shows his consistency as a person, whether it was Charley Steiner, Matt Vasgersian, Ryan Lefebvre, or myself. Vin remained so humble, gracious, warm, and his cheerful smile always made your day.
“What also stood out to me over the last 10 days is that I’m just so glad that Vin was able to exit on his terms. He was able to thank the fans, he was able to hear and feel the love of the fans toward him, and everybody could have a good cry together. Phillies fans never got to say goodbye to Harry Kalas, Mariners fans couldn’t say goodbye to Dave Niehuas, and A’s fans couldn’t say goodbye to Bill King. But baseball fans in general, and specifically Dodgers fans, were able to salute Vin in such a beautiful way.Continue reading →
Many of us whiffed on the late discovery of this most astounding stat from the 2016 campaign: This Dodger pitching staff set an MLB record by piling up the most strikeouts in a season. The 1,510 amassed Ks average out to 1.04 per inning, and that’s with Clayton Kershaw taking a 75-day relax-the-back vacation in the middle of things. The key to this was that the Dodgers’ bullpen led all of baseball in strikeouts, and may have some calling them the modern day “Nasty Boys.”
But don’t dig too deep into the batters box. The Washington Nationals’ staff also surpassed the previous MLB record of 1,450 Ks set by the 2014 Cleveland Indians. The Nats’ 1,476 average to 1.01 per inning, led by MLB strikeout leader and Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer.
How might this play out in this upcoming NLDS? The Dodgers, as a team, have struck out 1,321 times and hit 189 home runs, while the Nats racked up fewer whiffs (1,252) with more HRs (203). More on the week ahead at this link … Update: Dodgers-Nationals Game 1 Friday has a 2:30 p.m. PDT start
I pulled up a chair — a beat-up old beach chair that should have fallen apart years ago. I planted it in the sand a few yards from the ocean surf and turned up the transistor radio. Vin Scully opened the final Dodgers-Giants game of the 2016 season, and the last of his 67-year broadcasting career, with the usual pleasantries, and the words washed over us.
More of that final experience at this link …
I took an approach to this final column probably different than some, but it felt very personal. Here are more links to Scully-related stories from this weekend that may have captured the event from different prisms, going into and coming out of his final broadast:
= The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir: “How many men or women his age have ever performed so ably, so publicly, with no safety net? Think of two announcers often thought of as baseball’s greatest before Vincent Edward Scully succeeded them. Red Barber, Scully’s mentor, was 58 when he was fired by the Yankees. Mel Allen was 51 when the Yankees broke his heart by dismissing him. Imagine if they had worked for 30 more years — would they have maintained their abilities as Scully has? Would they have been as fortunate as Ernie Harwell, who retired at 84 but would have been able to work as long as Scully has? Scully’s working alone was a gift to all of us. = Leading into the weekend, Sandomir also had a piece on Sandi Scully and how she and Vin became a couple … and how every year Vin would defer to her about whether to come back: “Mrs. Scully, however, insists it was her husband’s decision to step away from the microphone. ‘He’s going to be 89 in November,’ she said. ‘His children are in their 40s and 50s. There’s a time to fold ’em. He came to the conclusion that he’s done what he can do.’ = The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke: “Has any play-by-play announcer ever consistently relayed so many life stories with such dignity?”
= Video of the Giants’ fans sendoff.
= The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea: “Vin Scully’s career in baseball ended the way his love for baseball began. As a Giants fan. ‘I can root for them now when they go to New York to play the Mets,’ Scully admitted during his final Dodgers broadcast Sunday. ‘Darn right.’ In a career that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
= The Southern California News Group editorial board: “The sports pages have heartwarming stories these days about Vin Scully and what he has meant. Here on the editorial pages, where we assess public figures daily, we salute one of the greatest Angelenos have ever heard.”
= The Southern California News Group chart on how Scully measures up to some of our greatest local broadcasters. Continue reading →