Sports

Letters: Let's see what happens in 2014

SportsTelevision IndustryBicycle RacingNFLSt. Louis RamsDavid O. Russell

As we finish off 2013, here are a few things I'd like to see in the sports world for the New Year:

•An official announcement from the NFL that Los Angeles will finally have a team again (preferably the Rams, back where they belong).

The end of sideline reporters. There is nothing more annoying in sports than a sideline reporter shoving a microphone into a coach's face during the game or as he's trying to get to the locker room at halftime.

Speaking of annoying, it's time for Fox Sports to lose the NFL robot jumping around the television screen. It was unique for about 30 seconds the first time it appeared ... many years ago.

Network programmers have to revise their list of NFL teams we get to watch in L.A. so it includes more than the Cowboys, Raiders, Chargers and Patriots.

Fantasy sports should not be included in any sports news.

The return of the California Angels. Will someone please convince Arte Moreno that "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" sounds completely ridiculous?

Vin Scully announcing Dodger games. Forever.

Christopher Grisanti

Monrovia

Lakers, Lakers, Lakers

Jim Buss' arm must be tired after voting Kobe Bryant to the All-Star team 723,000 times.

Gary H. Miller

Encino

::

There is a simple solution to the Lakers' current problem. Hire Derek Fisher as player-coach. He can run the team from the floor or the bench.

Upside: Positive response by the team, Lakers alumni and the fans.

Sorry Mike, but the Big Apple and Hollywood are your Waterloo.

Sorry Kobe, you will always be among the best, but injuries come with age. Time to exit gracefully.

Steve and Pau, what do you think?

Pete Cowles

Newport Beach

::

If anyone wants to watch a team sport like basketball played like an individual sports event, go see a Lakers game. The Lakers lost Kobe Bryant to injury, but now have a ball-hogging duo in Nick Young and Xavier Henry. They relish Mike D'Antoni's style of run and shoot. Forget about playing defense, playmaking, moving the ball and looking for the open man.

The Lakers really don't need a coach. Just someone to keep time on each player to make the substitutions.

Rogelio Peña

Montebello

::

Nick Young did his best Saturday night to secure the next $20-million-plus contract from Lakers by emulating Kobe: a five-for-18, zero-assist, four-turnover, one-on-one, offense-destroying performance that was a chief cause of the Lakers' loss. If Young continues to play like that, there's no need for Kobe to rush back from his latest injury. There won't be any chemistry for Kobe to disrupt.

Ray McKown

Los Angeles

::

The Lakers' problems can be summed up by poor management decisions. The fact they have chosen to ignore the age and injury-prone realities in their players is just pure negligence . Instead of wasting time and money on past glory dreams, they should have spent more time and money on working on a franchise for the future.

The old saying, "You reap what you sow," is a perfect fit for the present-day Lakers.

Joe Martinez

El Segundo

::

In the great line from the classic "Cool Hand Luke": "What we have here is a failure to communicate." When players and coaches complain to the media about each other, it is only a matter of time before the players stop playing for the coach — which is where the Lakers find themselves.

Injuries will heal. Attitudes will not. Time for a coaching change now if the Lakers hope to return to their winning ways before this season is a total loss.

Laurence Cohen

Los Angeles

::

Nobody outside of Jim Buss and Steve Nash's public comments thought the hiring of Mike D'Antoni was a good idea for the Lakers. Sure, fans wanted Phil Jackson to return, but Buss apparently didn't want that. Fine. But after a year and half of the D'Antoni experiment, is it finally time for all to admit that it's not working?

Granted, the Lakers have had more than their fair share of injuries, but D'Antoni's philosophy of basketball is not a winning recipe. D'Antoni's run-and-gun style might have been successful for three seasons in Phoenix, but it has been an abject failure everywhere else.

With the team's pedigree, the Lakers ought to be able to hire a decent coach. But Jim Buss has proven with his two hires (Mike Brown and D'Antoni) that he is as lost as his team's style of play.

Time for Buss to step down and let his sister run the team. The Lakers need a coach who can implement a proven system of play rather than a gimmick.

Brian C. Gura

Redondo Beach

::

Maybe Mike Brown could use an assistant in Cleveland.

Sterling Buckingham

Canyon Country

The other guys

I'm a Clippers fan and I understand their defense is improving, but I have to ask about an article praising DeAndre Jordan's defense the day after the Timberwolves' two big men went for 79 points and 33 rebounds. I doubt those guys came off the floor thinking, "I guess that's what it was like to play against Bill Russell."

Bert Bergen

La Cañada

::

Matt Barnes, if Stephen Jackson is your voice of reason and has to step in and calm you down, you may have some serious issues.

Reggie Boyle

Thousand Oaks

Spinning records

Mike DiGiovanna's Dec. 24 issue lists 10 sports records he regards as unlikely to ever be broken. He limited the field to records set from 1940 on. Had he drawn this arbitrary line just a little earlier, he could have included one that I argue will never be broken: Johnny Vander Meer's two consecutive no-hit games in 1938. I'd be willing to bet a great deal that no one will ever pitch three consecutive no-hitters.

Roy M. Pitkin

La Quinta

::

It might not be as iconic as the records in your list, but I'd argue it's the most unbreakable: Fernando Tatis' two grand slams in one inning (and off the same pitcher, no less — the Dodgers' Chan Ho Park). Tying it would be astounding. Breaking it? Don't hold your breath.

Jim Edwards

Riverside

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Mike DiGiovanna's article was interesting until this absurd comment: "UCLA also needed four victories to win most of those titles. Today's teams must navigate a more grueling 64-team field and win six games for a championship."

Seriously? While today's top teams can navigate through fifth-place finishers from the Big Ten and fourth-place teams from the Mountain West, John Wooden played league champions, every game. Four games? Sure. But no runners-up in those brackets. Let's stop with this stupid argument. The last two champions — Kentucky and Louisville — had virtual byes into the regionals taking on squads like Western Kentucky, Iowa State, North Carolina A&T, and Colorado State, who combined for 52 losses.

The term "grueling" doesn't really fit now, does it?

Gary Grayson

Ventura

::

The International Cycling Union has erased Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victories because he cheated. He should not be on your list of records that may never be broken. Nor should Barry Bonds, for that matter.

Joe Beerer

Glendale

::

Golf was not on the list, but if it were, it should be the "Tiger Slam": Tiger Woods' four straight majors in 2000-01.

Ron Tom

Pasadena

Free the Rose Bowl!

Somehow it seems that it should be illegal that the Rose Bowl game is available only on ESPN. The Rose Bowl is special. It should be viewable by everyone, even those of us who get our TV kicks by using an antenna on the roof. I mean, being born in the Midwest, I have fond memories of watching those jerk Californians on New Year's Day playing football in 70-degree weather, while we froze our tushes off in subzero weather with snow everywhere.

Craig Peterson

Santa Monica

End of an era

The staff, horses and jockeys of Hollywood Park delivered thrills and amazing customer service on closing day like they have for 75 incredible years. But what a disgusting sight to see four representatives of the Hollywood Park Land Co. in the winner's circle after the fourth race. This "land company" purports to be planning a major redevelopment of the historic track, but the lone sign of activity is at the casino, which exists only under state Assembly Bill 3068 because it is attached to the Hollywood Park racetrack.

So who were the land company representatives? Congresswoman Maxine Waters, along with Inglewood City Councilmen George Dotson, Alex Padilla and Ralph Franklin, making clear with their presence who it is they care most about: anonymous developers with no sign of actual project momentum instead of citizens, many of whom lost their jobs and will lose their stable-area housing when Hollywood Park is shuttered.

Geoff Shackelford

Los Angeles

::

I was saddened to read of the close of Hollywood Park and the general state of horse racing, something I've loved and enjoyed for over 40 years.

I read it in a newspaper. At a library. By a bookstore. It was a very sad day.

Mark Lutter

Van Nuys

::

The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Mail: Sports Viewpoint

Los Angeles Times

202 W. 1st St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 237-4322

Email:

sports@latimes.com

st about: anonymous developers with no sign of actual project momentum instead of citizens, many of whom lost their jobs and will lose their stable-area housing when Hollywood Park is shuttered.

Geoff Shackelford

Los Angeles

::

I was saddened to read of the close of Hollywood Park and the general state of horse racing, something I've loved and enjoyed for over 40 years.

I read it in a newspaper. At a library. By a bookstore. It was a very sad day.

Mark Lutter

Van Nuys

::

The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Mail: Sports Viewpoint

Los Angeles Times

202 W. 1st St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 237-4322

Email:

sports@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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