Not being able to watch Josh Beckett's no-hitter was bad enough, but for the most of Los Angeles to miss our homegrown hero's masterpiece is a disgrace.
As long as Dodgers pitchers keep throwing no-hitters this season, some of us will be able to catch at least part of a game thanks to the cut-ins on the MLB Network. Win-win for the 70%.
I'll never forget Clayton Kershaw's historic, no-hit game! The excitement was building each inning as I received text messages from my brother in Tehachapi! (Thanks Magic Johnson and Dodgers ownership).
Kershaw missed a perfect game by one error. However, for those of us lucky enough to watch the game on TV and hear Vin Scully, it was a perfect game.
Having covered Nolan Ryan's 1973 no-hitter in which he struck out 17 batters, perhaps I may be able to offer some perspective to Steve Dilbeck's fine piece comparing Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter with other dominating pitching performances over the years.
Through seven innings that day in Detroit, Ryan had struck out 16 batters, which led to hopes he might not only pitch a no-hitter but set a single-game strikeout record as well. So when he finished the game with "only" 17 strikeouts, it was actually a disappointment.
Ryan's teammates may have been at least partly responsible for this as they batted around in a long top of the eighth and scored five runs he didn't need. Ryan's arm stiffened up during the delay and he lost a little off his fastball and struck out only one of the final six batters.
It should also be noted that it was Ryan's second no-hitter of the season — special credit to anyone who can name his two catchers — as he had blanked the Royals in Kansas City two months earlier. As for the four walks he issued in Detroit, well, Mickey Mantle struck out once in a while too.
While Kershaw's performance was dominant, I disagree that it was the best [June 20]. Sandy Koufax and Matt Cain each fired 14 strikeouts in their respective perfect games. Addie Joss' perfect game was both more efficient (just 74 pitches) and more pressure-packed (the opposing pitcher, Ed Walsh, struck out 15, scattered four hits, and surrendered only a single unearned run). Don Larsen was perfect in a World Series game, against the defending world champions, while allowing only a single batter to work a three-ball count. Harvey Haddix was perfect through 12 innings before losing the game in the 13th. And most colorfully, Ernie Shore retired 27 batters in a row to complete a combined no-hitter after starting pitcher Babe Ruth was ejected for arguing with the umpire after walking the first batter.
Stephen A. Silver
Let's see ... four straight seasons without making the playoffs, highly questionable judgment on managing his bullpen, under-utilization of the game's best player (how does Mike Trout not have about 30 steals by now?), a promising young .280 hitter with power and a propensity to deliver in the clutch riding the pine in favor of a .150 hitting 41-year-old, and seemingly daily reports from The Times about postgame questions pertaining to strategic decisions.
Do we really need any more evidence that Mike Scioscia is among the most overrated managers in baseball? The guy is a true professional and a fine human being, but enough is enough!
Spurs vs. Lakers
So Kobe Bryant doesn't want Tim Duncan to get a sixth ring before he does. Sorry, Mamba, but you should have thought of that before you gobbled up all the Lakers' cap space with your $48.5-million contract. Tim Duncan took way less than what he could have gotten and we just saw the results. A fifth championship for him, with major contributions by players hired on what would have been Timmy's money. There is a lesson to be learned here, Kobe. A Big Fundamental lesson.
Gary H. Miller
Tim Duncan accepts a below-market salary that enables the Spurs to constantly add quality players. The result is another NBA championship. In contrast, Kobe Bryant "accepts" a contract extension that commits a disproportionate share of the Lakers cap space to a 35-year old with bad wheels. Despite his proclamations to the contrary, Kobe Bryant in fact values his ego and net worth over winning.
I am personally hoping that Duncan can win a few more rings just to add insult to the injury-plagued twilight of Kobe's NBA career.
I've been a Kobe fan since he came into the league. I overlooked his tendency to take bad shots by assuming that his overconfidence was responsible for his bad judgment. I took him at his word that he valued winning over everything, and assumed that the commentators who swore that Kobe was highly intelligent were correct.
That began to change with his refusal to blend with Dwight Howard, whose presence gave Kobe his best chance to win his sixth championship. Kobe's insistence that the Lakers were his team and Howard had to submit to Kobe's whims was supremely childish. Kobe obviously drove Howard out of town, which is exactly what he should not have done had he cared about winning, or the Lakers.
Kobe's true nature was further revealed when he took the Lakers for $25 million a year, despite his major injury. Everyone but Bryant will admit that the large salary leaves the Lakers in a much worse position to attract top players to rebuild the Lakers. Kobe's actions warrant the following conclusions: Winning is not his top priority. Stardom is his top priority.
In contrast, the Spurs have the ultimate wing player. He's great in the clutch, athletic, exciting, and above all a winner. Any sane basketball fan should prefer Manu Ginobili over Kobe Bryant, in every circumstance, on every day. He does everything well, but the biggest contrast between Ginobili and Bryant is the Ginobili will do whatever it takes to win. Ginobili will pass, rebound, defend, and score as part a team that's focused on winning.
Kobe could never play for the Spurs, and that says it all. The Spurs played perfect basketball in the Finals. The Lakers will have trouble landing a top-notch free agent because of Bryant. The Spurs are enticing because of their Big Three and role players. Too bad the Lakers can't swap Bryant for Ginobili. The Spurs wouldn't take that deal and no one else should either.
They said if the Heat and the Spurs end up in the Finals the "three old men" would never last. And all the time I thought they were talking about San Antonio.
Once again, the Lakers front office has blown a coaching decision. This time, owners and management, with nothing more than a passing interest, let slip away the one guy whose command of respect is unparalleled, whose knowledge of the game is unquestioned; one of only a few people on this planet who has Kobe's complete trust and can actually coach him and the one guy who is beloved by the entire fan base to the degree that they would be willing to give him time to build the team in his vision.
Instead, Derek Fisher now teams up with another "perfect fit" that the Lakers instead threw under the Buss: new Knicks President Phil Jackson. Truth truly is stranger than fiction.
Watching a team with such character, skill, togetherness and style as these guys makes me think the Dodgers would be up by 20 games if they played like the Kings.
As a lifelong Chicagoan and lover of hockey, I wanted to offer my sincerest congratulations to the L.A. Kings on their winning of the Stanley Cup. Well done, one and all. Sad to say, but my Blackhawks were never the competitors they needed to be in their series with the Kings. Also, thank you for having vanquished the New York Rangers.
However, it is also sad to say that Los Angeles doesn't really deserve a Stanley Cup champion, as it is nowhere close to being a hockey town.
I've subscribed to The Times for over 30 years. And as I slowly begin to check out more articles, scores and stats on my smartphone, the unread newspapers pile up and I again think seriously about canceling my subscription.
And along comes a masterfully crafted, old-fashioned printed work of art.
Your Kings championship supplement wonderfully captured the spectacle and excitement of our Stanley Cup win. All the articles were crisply written and rivaled only by the photos. The raw emotion of the Kings' unbridled celebration is equally prevalent in the dejected eyes of goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, in an exquisite photo by Times photographer Wally Skalij.
Kudos to all who helped put it together!
Oh, and by the way, I just renewed my subscription for another year.
Volney E. Hyde
At this time of celebration, let's toast Jack Kent Cooke, the man who brought hockey to L.A. and built the Forum, in one year, to house them.
Now that Drew Doughty has won two Olympic gold medals and two Stanley Cups, he should change his number from 8 to 24, a la Kobe.
Pucking good toast delivered by Mayor Eric Garcetti at the Kings' Stanley Cup celebration Monday. Any truth to the rumor that Garcetti will face off with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during the upcoming season?
Mayor Garcetti, you're no David Ortiz.
Andrew M. Weiss
Playa del Rey
So is it safe to assume there will be coverage of Kings' road games to start next season?
A lesson from Gwynn?
Tony Gwynn's passing will not only sorely hurt the entire baseball world, it is devastating to all of humanity as well. He was not only a pure hitter, he was pure at heart. As a Dodger crusher, I despised him. As a baseball player and humanitarian, I loved him. While working hard he was always smiling, laughing, and being jolly. He was Santa Claus in a baseball uniform.
Hopefully, baseball players will learn that chewing tobacco does not make you a better player and intelligently drop the nasty habit like a Gwynn hot ground ball.
Good guy wins
Shame on Bill Dwyre for joining the chorus of journalists who favor the bad boys of sports over nice guys like Martin Kaymer, the new U.S. Open champion.
Would Mr. Dwyre have characterized the golfer as a robot and Sunday's TV coverage of his superior play as "failing to put lipstick on a competitive pig" had Tiger Woods been that golfer? Doubtful.
Getting no kick
Am I the only sports fan in L.A. who feels the World Cup is being forced down our throat? I get the feeling if we do not think this is the greatest sporting event in the world and soccer is "the beautiful game" we are unsophisticated rubes. There was more excitement in one period of overtime of the Kings than in all the first three games the U.S. will play.
Is it possible that the World Cup is really the preliminary round of the next Olympic diving competition?
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