Sports media notes version 07.26.16: Prepping for Claire Smith’s milestone Baseball Hall of Fame recognition

Plans for this Sunday’s column are to feature Claire Smith, the first woman to receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award Winner for writing excellence by the Baseball Hall of Fame. She receives the award on Saturday (MLB Network will have a one-hour taped highlight show on Sunday at 8 a.m., prior to its Hall of Fame induction ceremony live at 10:30 a.m.)
ESPN plans to air a six-minute piece on Smith’s career during SportsCenter segments this weekend (with a preview clip above).
And then there’s this:

But before all that …


== At this morning’s bloviating Pac-12 Football Media Day in Hollywood, conference commissioner Larry Scott will be well aware that there are 44 games televised nationally on ESPN and Fox Sports, and 35 more games on its own Pac-12 Network, going into its sixth season of existence.
The lack of distribution with that last one continues to be a rock in the sole of Scott’s loafers. DirecTV/AT&T continues to not budge on budgeting the channel in for its subscribers. Scott did announce that over-the-top distributors such as Sling and Century Link.
Scott’s otherwise major revelations today is that, when non-conference games are on the Pac-12 Net, they will cut back on commercial spots and halftime length in order to fit them into three-hour windows.


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Sunday media con’t: More Q&A with Jay Jaffe about ‘The Cooperstown Casebook’

If you can get a place to advertise your book-signing appearance in the men’s urinal, it seems like you’re truly No. 1.

Who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame — in addition to the induction of players Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell this coming Sunday?
Jay Jaffe can make a strong case for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for starters.
Bobby Grich, Lou Whittaker, Alan Trammel, Dick Allen, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Tony Oliva, Lee Smith, Reggie Smith and — most overlooked — Minnie Minoso also have strong merit.
Who got in and maybe shouldn’t have?
Bill Mazerowski, Phil Rizzuto, Pie Traynor, Lloyd Waner, George Keel, Rabbit Maranville, Catfish Hunter, Lefty Gomez, Rube Marquard and, for good measure, Jesse “Pops” Haines.
But case in point: Jaffe just wants the voting going forward to make use of all materials available to be fair and justified. In addition to the Q&A is posted thus far, we have more to talk about with Jaffe and his book, “The Cooperstown Casebook”

Q: If we take the book title as a statement rather than a headline, are we advocating the Hall of Fame membership that has voted over the last 70-something years needs a do-over? Could we wipe everything clean and pick 325 players in one massive re-election?

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Sports media notes version 07.19.17: The Best of times, the worst … we’ve seen how this ends

What’s worth posting at this point in time leading into the weekend:

There’s a sweet, silly and, in context, rather sad scene in the recent 2017 movie “T2 Trainspotting,” the sequel to the original 20 years later, with Ewan McGregor, Kelly Macdonald and Johnny Lee Miller. They are reliving a well-told urban legend about Manchester Untied soccer star George Best, but it ultimately leads into the question: Where did it all go wrong?
The question continues to be asked, but perhaps it has more clarity.
“George Best: All By Himself” makes its U.S. TV debut on ESPN on Thursday at 5:30  p.m., strategically leading into the network coverage of Manchester United vs. Manchester City friendly held in Houston (7 p.m., ESPN).
A short scan of YouTube will turn up previous BBC documentaries done on the subject, including “George Best: The Belfast Boy,” and “The Best Intentions: The Story of George Best.
But what sets director Daniel Gordon’s effort apart from those is more in-depth footage of Best, especially with interviews where he acknowledges his own shortcomings when it comes to dealing with drinking, depression and stress due to media coverage.
Here’s the trailer:

Gordon, speaking Tuesday from England, said that while he never saw Best play in person, only through videos, he had a chance to work with him at Sky Sports some 20 years ago and “was aware of his legend and his play … and also what brought him down. What I guess attracted me to this is I never felt the story was told properly. There are plenty of TV documentaries that dealt with maybe one or two elements, but never really examined the darker side.
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The O.J. Simpson Parole Trial: Is it worth appointment TV Thursday AM? Why ESPN is all over it

In this May 14, 2013 pool file photo, O.J. Simpson sits during a break on the second day of an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ethan Miller, Pool, File)

Considering most of American TV viewers have never seen a live parole board hearing, perhaps CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN Headline News are providing a public service by airing such an otherwise secretive-sort-of-thing Thursday starting at 10 a.m.
There must be some inherent risk to our society at large that this current prisoner at Locklock Correctional Facility in Nevada may be deemed fit enough to be set free early, with restrictions and probation visits. So it’s a good thing we all have ample warning.
Or, when you’re talking O.J. Simpson, all common sense is suspended.
Add ESPN to this coverage as the 70-year-old former USC football star and ABC and NBC sportscaster appears on a videoconference call to explain to a four-person board in Carson City, Nev., why he should be turned loose nine years into his current sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping.
(More information at the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners website here.)
ESPN, of course, has a vested interested in the Simpson saga and can use this opportunity to promote the documentary “O.J.: Made in America” which won an Oscar in 2017 and was recently nominated for six Emmys because of its June, 2016 TV run.
Simpson was convicted on 12 charges brought against him in October 2008 for armed robbery and kidnapping as it related to him trying to reclaim some of his memorabilia. He has been at Lovelock on a term that carries a maximum penalty of 33 years.
In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
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Sunday media: Lisa Nehus Saxon takes Vin Scully’s advice to heart, and returns the favor with the Shrine of the Eternals induction

Lisa Nehus Saxon talks to a gathering at the Allendale Branch of the Pasadena Public Library in March about her life as a sports writer in an event sponsored by the Baseball Reliquary (Photo by Baseball Reliquary)

Lisa Nehus Saxon has stories to tell on Sunday in Pasadena, including the one about the time Vin Scully gave her some career-affirming advice at a very low point in her run as a sports writer about 30 years ago.
As the L.A. Daily News’ Dodgers beat writer in her mid-20s, she had just been publicly humiliated in the Cincinnati press box by a Reds’ team official screaming at her. This was already after she was ordered out of the team’s pregame locker room and physically picked up and removed, and would then have an intern assigned to follow and watch her every move not just the rest of the day but the entire series.
All because she was a woman. Institutional biases had been chipped away but as with most genuine proper change, it can move at a resistant pace.
On the team bus from the hotel to the ballpark the next day, Scully asked to sit next to Nehus Saxon and then popped the question: If you could be anyone else in the world, who would it be? She just wanted to be accepted, even if it meant being a male sports writer. But Scully stressed the point: Be the best version of yourself. Find your own authentic voice. Imitating others limits yourself, as he tried to tell other broadcasters.
Nehus Saxon will confirm how that life lesson not only resonates today, but also why there’s no question the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster is finally more than worthy for inclusion in the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals. Scully can’t make the 2 p.m. ceremony at the Pasadena Central Library, so Baseball Reliquary executive director Terry Cannon asked Nehus Saxon to say a few words on Scully’s behalf.
She can do that and then some. More at this link …


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