Magic Johnson says the television blackout has not hurt the
He does. But here is the thing that stings: Johnson is absolutely right.
Then he sold the Dodgers, and the fans came back. The NHL called off an entire season to pick a fight with its players, and the fans came back.
The NFL abandoned Los Angeles two decades ago, and a knee-jerk chorus has wailed that pro football lost a generation here. But television ratings remain high, and the
A high-ranking Dodgers official berates Times reporters whenever we ask about the blackout, complaining that we should point the finger at DirecTV for its alleged refusal to negotiate to carry SportsNet LA. But the Dodgers and
If the Dodgers thought their brand was being irreparably harmed by the blackout, they might consider lowering the asking price for SportsNet LA by shaving a $1 billion, or $2 billion, off their contract with TWC. But not now, not at the dawn of a second year of a 25-year, $8.35-billion deal that has helped to fund a powerhouse team and artfully renovated stadium.
The Dodgers are running a little scared at the moment. For a year, they have indicated SportsNet LA would get on all the L.A. airwaves as soon as government regulators approved a merger between
It is likely that some kids watching Mike Trout every night on FS West will grow up to be
But loyalty to the Dodgers runs so strong and so deep here that the team can prosper despite disappearing from TV for a year or two. Nothing magic about it.
Rodney's performance has been dreadful this season. He coughed up a four-run lead to the
Rodney, 38, had an earned-run average of 2.85 last season, when he had 48 saves and struck out 10.3 batters per nine innings. He has an ERA of 16.20 this season, through Friday's games. He has faced 19 batters, retiring eight. He has struck out one.
"I wish we had a magic wand to wave right now, but we don't," Manager
What could be particularly frightening for the
The Royals were the defending AL champions, but the respect they got this spring reflected this consensus: They were a wild-card team last season, a team that trailed by four runs in the eighth inning of the wild-card playoff game. They were the hottest team in the league — they swept the Angels and Baltimore Orioles en route to the World Series — but maybe not the best.
But they started this season 7-0, the last unbeaten team in the major leagues. They lead the majors in runs, and their bullpen has a 0.99 ERA, through Friday.