Sunday media: What if it wasn’t time for Dodger baseball? Scully’s right-hand man Robertson remembers

Boyd Robertson, left, has all his paperwork on the desk in the Angel Stadium press box with Vin Scully when the Dodgers met the Angels in May, 2016. (Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers)

Boyd Robertson, left, has all his paperwork on the desk in the Angel Stadium press box with Vin Scully when the Dodgers met the Angels in May, 2016. (Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers)

Boyd Robertson says he’s not really sure when Vin Scully started to use the phrase, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” as the opener to a broadcast.
“Maybe in the ’70s,” said Scully’s longtime stage manager, “possibly the early ’80s.”
But it did bring up a story.
(If it’s related to Scully, where is there not a story connected to it?)
The first year that the Dodgers games were on KTLA-Channel 5 in 1992, Robertson and Scully were going over a piece of copy that was to be read at the start of a Dodgers-Mets game.
“The copy says, ‘Live from Flushing Meadows in New York …’ and Vin looks at it and says, ‘I’m just going to say New York, you think that will be OK?
“I check with the producer and director in the truck. It’s OK.
“And then Vin says, ‘It’s not in the script, but what if I also said: It’s time for Dodger baseball. Do you think that would be OK?
“I check with the truck again. I can hear them discussing it. ‘Oh sure, oh yeah, definitely, go ahead and do it that way.’
“Vin had already been saying it for years, but he just wanted to make sure, since we had this new crew and everything. He could have maybe got upset. Actually, he just took that all in stride.”
Then imagine if Scully didn’t get that OK to continue it?
Robertson’s relationship with Scully and how he sees this final season unfolding is the topic for this week’s sports media column.
“His hard hard, dedication and loyalty to Vin Scully and the Dodgers are second to none,” said Erik Braverman, the Dodgers’ vice president of marketing and broadcasting, about Robertson. “The Dodgers organization has undergone many changes over the last 28 years that Boyd and Vin have worked together and there is no doubt in my mind that the consistency in the booth with Vin, Boyd and (lighting director/cameraman) Rob Menschel have made for the premiere broadcast in Major League Baseball.”
More on that at this link.





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It’s Out of the Question: What has lured Notre Dame’s Josh Anderson to the Mississippi River this weekend?

indexIt was the lure of playing for the University of Notre Dame’s football team that drew Josh Anderson, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back from Chatsworth and Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, all the way to South Bend, Ind.
He put in three seasons as a walk-on for the scout team and, before last season, coach Brian Kelly surprised him with a scholarship.
He still hasn’t gotten into a game yet — perhaps on Nov. 26 at the Coliseum against USC would be fitting? – but without fishing for compliments, he’s found himself hooked by another sport.
On Friday afternoon, Anderson left Chicago and was headed toward the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wisc. He and his teammate are after a $2,000 first prize for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) regional bass tournament.
And Coach Kelly is cool with this? After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen trying to reel in a large-mouth bass?
More at this link.

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Weekly sports media notes version 07.07.16

Vin Scully poses with Dick Enberg on April 4 at Petco Park in San Diego prior to the season opener -- as both will be retiring at season's end. Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Vin Scully poses with Dick Enberg on April 4 at Petco Park in San Diego prior to the season opener — as both will be retiring at season’s end. Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Post-It worthy notes heading into this post July 4 weekend:

51trFZdGPGL== Without any specifics about the logical inclusion of Padres’ home-booth and Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg in some way, shape or form on the broadcast, Fox’s details released about its coverage of the MLB All-Star Game from San Diego on Tuesday at 5 p.m.:
= Joe Buck calls his 18th game, with first-time analyst John Smoltz. Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci report from the dugouts. Pregame starts at 4 p.m. on FS1 with Kevin Burkhardt, Verducci, Pete Rose and Frank Thomas then shifts at 4:30 p.m. to Fox Channel 11.
Fox Sports San Diego, available on some cable and dish systems, also has specials running this week, including a Tony Gwynn tribute (Friday, 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 p.m. and Monday, 8 p.m.)
= The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Enberg, retiring this season after doing the last seven years with the Padres doing games on Fox Sports San Diego, will “tell All-Star stories” for the broadcast, including the Tony Gwynn meeting with Ted Williams at Boston in 1999.
= ESPN’s coverage of Monday’s Home Run Derby at 5 p.m. has Chris Berman joined by Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza. This could be the last one for Berman. On ESPN Radio, John Schambi and Chris Singleton describe it.
= The MLB Network has the All Star Future Game on Sunday at 4 p.m. from Petco Park in San Diego.

== This week in Vin Scully-related prose:
vinringer= A series called “The Undeniables” on has editor Brian Curtis making a case that “Vinny from Brooklyn” is as much a part of shaping the careers of New York natives like Al Michaels, Charley Steiner and Marv Albert as anyone. And Curtis discussed that with those three in his podcast.
= Daily Breeze columnist Mike Waldner introduces the Scully perspective through the eyes of Aaron Charlton, a STATS, Inc. research analyst from Manhattan Beach who supplies information during games to baseball and basketball broadcast teams at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.
“A play-by-play guy who is unsure of himself a lot of times is a guy who is snarky to you because they need so much help,” he said.
Scully and snarky never appear in the same sentence.
“I’d say Vin is probably the best,” Charlton said.
= A two-part interview that Baltimore Orioles play-by-play man Gary Thorne did with Scully for MASN.
= The Dodgers-Orioles game on July 4 allowed Scully to do another history lesson that captured. And it led to this tweet:

And this one:

= And Sandy Koufax in the house on Saturday, July 2, for the Old Times Game allowed Scully to tell his personal scouting report of the left-hander back in the early ’50s.
= The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hollywood includes Rob Moore, vice chairman at Paramount Pictures. All on the list were asked who their “dream lunch date” would be. Said Moore:  “Vin Scully, who never helped fulfill my dream of being a Dodgers announcer.”
= “What if papal statements had play-by-play like baseball?” asked John Allen, in a piece he wrote for the Catholic-based Crux. Allen’s scenario includes: Insert a Vin Scully promo for Farmer John sausage at your next parish picnic here.

== Dodgers road game broadcaster Joe Davis, on maternity leave after the Father’s Day birth of his first child, is back in the Fox rotation for the FS1 coverage of the New York Yankees at Cleveland on Saturday at 1 p.m., working with Cliff Floyd. The pregame has Kevin Burkhardt with Eric Karros and Frank Thomas.
The rest of the Fox schedule includes Channel 11 airing the Dodgers-Padres game from Dodger Stadium on Saturday at 4 p.m. with Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal, even though it only goes to 16 percent of the country on a regional basis. Most will get the Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh (50 percent, with Len Kasper and CJ Nitkowski) or Washington at the N.Y. Mets (33 percent, with Kenny Albert, Tom Verducci and Jon Paul Morosi).

== ESPN says it has added the Dodgers’ July 24 game in St. Louis to its Sunday Night Baseball prime-time package with a 5 p.m. start. It will be the Dodgers’ sixth Sunday night game this season and the fourth for the Cardinals. They also met on Sunday, May 15, for ESPN at Dodger Stadium.

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Joe Jares: 1937-2016 — Daily News editor and columnist, SI staff writer, USC journalism professor, author

Joe Jares, right, with wife Suzy, from a recent re-release of his book, "Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George."

Joe Jares, right, with wife Suzy, at the 2015 USC Athletic Hall of Fame induction.

Joe Jares, a former Los Angeles Daily News sports editor and columnist in the 1980s and ‘90s who spent more than 15 years at Sports Illustrated, died Saturday night in Los Angeles. He was 78.

A general-assignment reporter at the Los Angeles Times as well as a writer for United Press International and the Los Angeles Herald-Express before joining SI, Jares covered more than 20 different sports, specializing in tennis and college basketball.

bookjaresHe authored nine sports-related books during his career, topped off by the popular 1974 “Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George,” an affectionate history of pro wrestling from the 1940s to the ‘60s. Sports Illustrated ranked it at No. 76 on its list of the “Top 100 Sports Books of All Time” in 2002.

The book was inspired by Jares’ father, Frank, a pro wrestler best known as “The Thing,” a villain among the ranks of performers in that time.

“In his prime, Pop was just a shade under six feet tall and weighed 230 pounds with short brown hair, a neck like a steel pillar, big biceps and ears much more like cauliflowers than rose pedals,” Jares wrote in the book. “Most people can fold their ears in half, but Pop’s seem to be made of solid gristle and will not bend more than half an inch. He had, and still has, rather full lips and prominent cheekbones, a Slavic countenance that would fit perfectly in a Warsaw union meeting or the Notre Dame line.

“His wrestling stage name was Brother Frank, the Mormon Mauler from Provo, Utah, but really he was just Frankie Jares from northside Pittsburgh, the son of a Bohemian butcher from Czechoslovakia and a U.S-born mother, also Bohemian. … Naturally, he grew up to be a tough guy, but something of a gentle, tough guy. He spanked me only twice in my life. Even though he traveled a lot, I thought I knew him, but I actually did not know him well at all until I spent one summer with him in Tennessee and Alabama – the summer of 1956.”

Joe Jares, third from left, joins the 2015 USC Athletic Hall of Fame class that included Pete Carroll.

Joe Jares, third from left, joins the 2015 USC Athletic Hall of Fame class that included Harold Miner (fifth from left) and Pete Carroll (back row, second from right)

In addition to writing at SI (1965-1981) and writing and editing at the Daily News (1982-2002), Jares became a prominent professor at the School of Journalism for his alma mater, USC, during the 1980s. He graduated in 1959 as a Phi Beta Kappa. The former Daily Trojan sports editor also played on the freshman basketball team at USC after graduating from Hamilton High School in L.A. For his coverage of the university over his career, he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

One of his favorite USC-related pieces for SI was in October, 1968 called “Life in a Jock House,” about Trojans athletes who were members of his Kappa Alpha chapter in the 1950s – football standouts Jon Arnett, Ernie Zampese and twins Marlin and Mike McKeever, golfer Al Geiberger and swimmer Chuck Bittick.

Upon the passing of John Wooden in 2010, Jares wrote a special column for the Daily News about the legendary UCLA coach that included: “He was an idol to many long before he won his first NCAA championship 16 years into his UCLA tenure. I grew up in West L.A. when a ‘Johnny Wooden’ haircut (shaved sides, flat top) was cool and there was no better place to get one than at the Blue ‘n’ Gold barbershop in Westwood (slogan: ‘We’ve been trimming Bruins for over 40 years’).”

In 2011, Jares also did a special piece for SI for their series, “The Best Team I Ever Covered,” about the 1968 UCLA Bruins basketball team. In that, he wrote: “Watching John Wooden, Lew Alcindor and the Bruins roll to the NCAA title that season — their second straight and fourth in five years — was made more delicious because the Bruins were not perfect. They actually lost a game, and not just any game, but a contest played before the biggest crowd in the history of the sport.

“(Full disclosure here: I went to USC, UCLA’s bitter crosstown rival, and was a starting forward on the 1955-56 frosh basketball team that lost four times to the ‘Brubabes.’ Did this cause me discomfort in covering Bruin triumphs? Not at all. I wanted to report on the big stories. Also, I’m not above sleeping with the enemy — my wife is a UCLA graduate.)”

jaresmugAmong the other books Jares wrote was “Conquest: A Cavalcade of USC Football” in 1981 with coach John Robinson; “Clyde,” with New York Knicks star Walt Frazier;  “Basketball: The American Game,” and “The Athlete’s Body” with Ken Sprague. His last was “The Golden Age of College Tennis” in 2009 with former USC coach George Toley.

When Jares left Sports Illustrated in the early 1980s to join the L.A. Daily News staff, longtime columnist Dennis McCarthy said it brought the paper “class and credibility … We finally had a guy on our Triple-A team with major league talent and credentials.

“When you wrote something good, he was the first guy to let you know. When you bombed, he was the first guy to let you know. If they’ve got a broadsheet up in heaven, they just got themselves one hell of an editor/writer.”

Jares, who battled recent lung disease as well as pneumonia, is survived by his wife, Suzy, as well as two daughters, Hayley and Julie, a granddaughter Emma and grandson Noah. Services are pending.

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Weekly media sports notes version 06.30.16

Illustration by Jim Thompson/

Illustration by Jim Thompson/

What’s worth posting now as June swoons into the Fourth of July weekend:

== Our plan is for a Sunday media appreciation on the sports broadcasting career of Tom Kelly, most associated as the voice of USC sports who died this week just days before his 89th birthday. The story we already posted on it, as well as a piece that current USC play-by-play man Pete Arbogast posted on the Southern California Sports Broadcasters blog.
Included in that post:
“Last time I saw him was at a Southern California Sportscasters luncheon at Lakeside Country Club just before Father’s Day last year. Impeccably dressed as always he seemed like the fun, irascible and bombastic man we’ve all come to know and love. “People used to come up to me and call me ‘Mr. Arbogast,’ and I would deflect that honor to my father, until he passed away. They also like to call me ‘The Voice of the Trojans.’
To me, there will always be only one of those.”

== Not long after Time Warner Cable SportsNet did not announce the departure of Dave Miller as a Lakers studio analyst, the company revealed today through its Charter Cable  parent company that Mike Bresnahan, who has spent the last 12 years as a Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, will join the network as its exclusive “Lakers Insider.” It’s a revolving role he has been part of since the network launched in October, 2012.
Bresnahan’s tweet on the matter.

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