In July 2013, a judge sentenced former Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley to 32 months in prison and a year of domestic violence and anger-management classes after he was found guilty one month earlier on nine counts that included inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon (a baseball bat), criminal threats and brandishing a deadly weapon.
But he remains free pending a second appeal of his conviction. He hasn’t spent a day in jail.
And his former wife, Monique, died last September of strange physical ailments at age 33.
A haunting Sports Illustrated exclusive covering a 10-year period of the Bradley relationship is included in the new April 13 edition, and SI executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim, who co-authored the story with Michael McKnight, explains how the presentation of the “This Is What Domestic Abuse Looks Like” jarring piece came together in a Q-and-A with us.
What’s worth making a note of here and now:
== Full disclosure: We’ve been wavering internally on how to deal with this whole Dodgers-TWC-SportsNet LA-DirecTV disaster from long before Day 1.
We’ve been asked by plenty of readers for advice. We suggested sitting tight and riding it out.
With this story we did for Sunday’s editions on the distribution mess, we weren’t advocating you do anything illegal, just pointing out that some have creatively circumvented the MLB.tv restrictions and found a way to get the SportsNet L.A. feed through other means.
In a depression situation, you survive by whatever means you can.
We won’t say that Adrian Gonzalez’s three-homer game on Wednesday night was the straw that broke open the pack of Camels that we’ve put aside in case we needed to ease our nerves. But our son living in Pittsburgh and daughter in Portland could comfortably watch that same game on ESPN2. It was blacked out here as well as SportsNet L.A.
What it did was reinforce a tentative decision we made last week, just before Opening Day, that our household has resisted the option to switch to TWC long enough.
Our installation date is on April 15. It was scheduled far enough in advance to cancel it if we had second thoughts.
Right now, we don’t have any.
You’ve broken us down.
Send Bill Cowher over ASAP with his tool belt.
Nothing personal, DirecTV. We’re all in favor of protecting those who don’t want their monthly bills gouged an extra $5 just for a channel they don’t necessarily want. I’ve been a strong advocate for a la carte programming, even if the current bundling is less expensive but more expansive. I don’t blame TWC any longer for outbidding Prime Ticket, and others, for the TV rights to the Dodgers. If they weren’t going to pay this exorbitant amount, then try to pass it onto the viewers, someone else was.
We’re just finished with all this foolishness.
By dumb luck, we have the means and ability and live in an area where we do have a choice, yet we feel the anguish for those who don’t at this moment.
This is a selfish resolution, based on a quality-of-life issue, plain and not-so-simple.
We could keep waiting it out. We’re stubborn. But we’re also tired.
We can at least accept reality that, for now, we’ll bend. But we aren’t breaking the bank to do this. And we reserve the right to switch back if the numbers add up again.
The TWC promotional bundle currently out there actually makes financial sense when we consider that our household has paid for DirecTV as a separate entity, then had another service for phone and internet. The TWC package deal is reasonably less per month, has a stronger internet than our current Verizon provider and we understand we are substituting what has been premium customer service for one with a reputation that makes it one of the worst cable companies on anyone’s list.
But they’ve got the goods. And we’re hungry enough to bite.
Reluctantly. Regrettably. Not resourcefully.
I’m giving up on NFL Sunday Ticket? I haven’t bought it in years. I’m not a fantasy junkie. This doesn’t tap my veins.
I’m gaining SportsNet L.A. and — what do you know? — the Pac-12 Network. I’m keeping HBO and Showtime as well in the deal.
As a sports media writer, it’s not fair in many ways that I don’t have first-hand knowledge of the quality work that many have put into the SportsNet LA programming during its first year. But as a consumer, I can’t justify adding two TV delivery systems.
We listened to the post-game Dodger talk after Opening Day, and the first caller started to complain about the SportsNet LA distribution issue when he was cut off. The hosts decided that wasn’t what their show was going to be focused on. That’s an editorial decision AM-570 can make, but the fact is, at this point, they’re part-owned by the Dodgers. So you could say the team isn’t interested in hearing fan response on their own radio outlet.
What kind of message does that send?
Besides, the greater problem still isn’t being address in this whole situation. Even if SportsNet LA was available on every cable system, only those who pay a monthly cable or dish bill could afford to see it. Those who can’t afford the luxury of a cable or dish service would still be left in a black hole, unable to see any Dodgers game as it was in the prior Prime Ticket/KCAL Channel 9 construction. Think of all those intercity families who are asked to make a choice between food and cable, between rent or a satellite dish.
This is more moral and demoralization corrupt than anything the Dodgers want to admit to being an accessory of in this scenario, and someday, when this smoke clears, that will be the next debate.
You wonder what the citizens of Brooklyn once may have felt when the Dodgers finally did move away. Out of sight, out of mind. Some never recovered. These Dodgers are at a tipping point, and nothing any team executive says at this point (see this “exclusive” with CNBC where Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten laments that the situation) resonates with the customers. Just stop.
And stop using “if you want to hear Vin Scully” as a marketing ploy in this whole hostage situation.
Take off our blindfold, and give us a cup of dirty water. We surrender.
Unless something crazy happens before tax day, we’re going forward with the switch. Why wait’ll next year, as they used to say in Brooklyn, since we’re not even sure that’s going to come.
== Ratings for those who need ratings: The Dodgers’ opener had as many watching on TV than in the stadium, unless you were in an unmetered bar or restaurant or dorm room, and you weren’t counted.
== What do you make of this full-page ad taken out in Monday’s edition of the L.A. Daily News’ sports section, about “who owns Vin Scully”?
== Through Change.org, you can support a statue build in Scully’s honor, to be created by someone, and placed somewhere, at the cost of who-knows-what. Got any spare change?
== A Q-and-A with the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, via PRI radio.
== Tommy Lasorda signs copies of his new book “My Way,” along with author Colin Gunderson, during a special event at Cal State Northridge on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Matador Field, prior to the CSUN-UC Santa Barbara baseball game. A game ticket ($8) is necessary for entry, and book copies are for sale at the site. Lasorda also signs his book at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in L.A. on Sunday at 2 p.m.