It's a wonderful bit of sentimental synchronicity, a sweet one-two tug at a city's heart, an entire year of misty eyes and memories.
From one civic celebration to the next, the
Or, um, not.
Is it a farewell tour if more than half the city will not be witnessing it?
The question is surely haunting
As the Dodgers' television blackout enters its third season, Scully, arguably the most revered sports figure in L.A. history, is scheduled to end his 67-year run in the fall.
The 88-year-old Dodgers announcer probably won't do any road games this season, and there's no guarantee the Dodgers will make the playoffs or that Scully would even work them, so his final game could be on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25 at Dodger Stadium against Colorado.
As with Bryant's last game April 13 at Staples Center, there will be three hours of cheers, testimonials and plenty of tears. But, unlike with Bryant's game, the 60% of Los Angeles-area households that don't subscribe to a pay-TV operator that carries SportsNet LA will miss it.
Most of those at home can listen to him broadcast the first three innings on radio like always, but they'll miss everything else. His last yarn about some obscure pitcher from the 1960s. His last cute shout-out to a kid in the stands. His last poetic description of a double play. His last out. His last call. They'll miss it all.
What should be one of the shining moments in Dodgers history will be one of the lowest moments in Dodgers history, and such a contrast to what is happening across town.
The Lakers, whose connection with the community has continually grown under
The Dodgers blame DirecTV and others for refusing to negotiate with
(When The Times has been critical of how this issue has been handled over the last two years, the Dodgers have consistently challenged us to disclose that Eddy Hartenstein, who was once chief executive at DirecTV, is chairman of the board of directors of the Tribune Publishing Co. and former publisher of The Times.
OK, fine, sigh, disclosed. Like that can really divert the attention from the hundreds of thousands of fans who can't watch your games?)
The Dodgers blame everyone but themselves, yet they could fix everything with the swipe of a pen, the swallowing of pride, even if it means a small shrinking of their massive bank account.
Maybe it's too late to change the contract to make it palatable for both parties — they lost all leverage with DirecTV — but surely they can afford some loss to forge some solution or at least put some of these games on free TV until a deal is done. It is the Dodgers' brand that is suffering, and it will soon be Scully's legacy that is suffering. Ultimately it is the Dodgers responsibility to the community to make that right.
There was hope that the blackout would end with Charter's takeover of Time Warner Cable, but that deal is still being reviewed by regulators, and who knows how long that will take? If nothing else, for the sake of Scully, the Dodgers need to fix it, and fix it now.
Mark Walter, the Dodgers' controlling owner who leads cheers while standing next to the dugout, takes a seat on this one. Stan Kasten, who walks the stands before games to ferret out problems, makes a U-turn when faced with this issue. Magic Johnson, the other visible co-owner, has been all no-look.
The big shots will be witness to the good parts of the Vin Scully farewell tour, but most of you won't, so here's what you'll miss.
If the home opener against the
On the night of June 6, the D-day anniversary and one of his favorite days of the summer, Scully will call the game against the Rockies while recounting his wonderful stories of war veterans for the final time. You'll miss them.
Clayton Kershaw is going to do something great, and Scully is going to call the final innings as sharply as he once did for Sandy Koufax, one last two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away, , and you'll miss it.
Andre Ethier is going to wallop a walk-off pinch-hit homer, and Scully will make the call as if Ethier were
Opposing managers and players will make a parade to the press box before games to honor Scully. The Cubs' Joe Maddon started this trend last year, and the strong production crew at SportsNet LA will capture the love and respect, and you'll miss it.
Scully probably will give his blessing to city officials who once again are attempting to rename Elysian Park Avenue to Vin Scully Avenue, and it probably will be dedicated before a Dodgers game late in the season, and SportsNet LA will be there, and you won't.
In the end, Vin Scully will stand in the press box in the shadows on that Sunday afternoon in September, look shyly into the camera and offer a final wave. You won't see it, so you won't be able to wave back.