I just can't see how San Diego starting pitcher Andrew Cashner didn't pitch around Adrian Gonzalez instead of allowing him a third straight home run in three at-bats. I just can't see it. Thanks, Time Warner Cable.
If anyone were to buy the Dodgers and fire Vin Scully, they would be thought of in Los Angeles as the worst owner in the history of professional sports. To say nothing of their total disregard for a moral obligation to a fan base they would inherit and choose to ignore. Yet for all practical purposes, this is what is happening. If the current ownership group truly cared about the fans they would find a way, right now, for everyone to share in the joy that is Vin. Congratulations, Magic, you and your group have made Vin Scully disappear. Shame on you.
Here is a solution to the Dodgers' television debacle: allow DirecTV and other cable providers to televise the first six innings of every Dodger game, and viewers pay to see a parade of ineffective Dodgers relievers for the remainder of the game.
The organ played by Nancy Bea Hefley, that was once the heart of a Dodgers game experience, has been shunted aside just as Dodger TV viewers have been surgically removed, proving once and for all that Lon Rosen, Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten do not have one beating heart among the lot of them.
Corona del Mar
What you won't see at Dodger Stadium this season: (1) summer camp kids enjoying a weekday afternoon game; (2) workers playing hooky from their weekday jobs; and (3) Dodgers players in a weekday getaway game before they depart on a trip. You won't see these things because ownership has eliminated Wednesday and Thursday day games because they aren't profitable enough. The Angels still have four such games on their home schedule.
My aversion to major league greed has kept me from going to Dodgers and Angels games for decades. Still, I've gotten my baseball fix, by seeking out such minor league venues as the five Class-A California League ballparks located within 90 miles of Dodger Stadium.
From Lake Elsinore to Lancaster, young, gifted players play their hearts out. Moreover, a down-home, family atmosphere prevails at minor league ballparks. During inning breaks, locals and their kids participate in amusing sideline contests, and after the game's final out, youngsters are invited down to run the base paths.
The tab for attending minor league games? A box seat right behind home plate costs less than a hot dog and soda at Dodger Stadium.
Let the Dodgers shun their fan base. We true-blue baseball fans have genuine, enticing options elsewhere.
Dodgers fans cheering for Matt Kemp on opening day? Did they forget what a malcontent he was for many years on the team? I then read this from Kemp in Tuesday's sports section: "I left my heart and soul on the field for the Dodgers." Yet I recall a couple of years ago when he did not hustle from third to home because he did not think there would be a play at the plate. Not only did he get thrown out, but he severely injured his ankle. Cheer if you like, but remember the past before you make your decision.
Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Ellis and Don Mattingly had no idea how to pitch to Matt Kemp? Any Dodgers fan that has winced through so many of Kemp's at-bats as he flailed miserably at pitches low and outside knows how to handle him. Ellis' comments were especially startlingly for a major league catcher saying he never sat behind the plate or knew where Kemp stands in the batting box so he didn't know what would work? The Dodgers' brain trust here has gone the Leonard Tose route.
In Sunday's baseball edition, Bill Shaikin predicts the Giants will finish last in the National League West behind Arizona and Colorado. These are teams that have been outplayed by the Giants the last five years and I have seen nothing that shows they will be different this year. A lot of people have forgotten it and most probably don't know that this guy picked Kansas City to beat the Giants in four. I'm sure if asked he would probably pick the Dodgers in the World Series.
Arthur P. Nelson Jr.
ESPN did a great job of covering the Cubs-Cardinals season opener, but I found it most disturbing to see that they are superimposing a box that represents the strike zone. It's nothing but a distraction. Please dump this. Can't we just watch the ballgame like it was meant to be seen?
Los Osos, Calif.
The Hamilton question
It's clear Bill Plaschke understands the disease of addiction better than Arte Moreno. The Angels did much more than "kick [Josh Hamilton] to the curb," they propagated the commonly held belief that an addict who relapses is a bad rather than a sick person. As a professional in recovery, I can tell you this: Just knowing the horrible consequences of a relapse will do little to prevent one. The person most acutely aware of Josh's underachievement is Josh. Our disease is fueled by such failings. A knowledge of this disease doesn't dictate you excuse the actions of the addict, but it does help you understand how the action can happen.
It's too bad Mr. Carpino and Mr. Moreno didn't think to attend a few Al-Anon meetings before they spouted off about their marquee player. There they would have learned more about the disease, and would have known better what to do when their family member admitted he'd relapsed and asked for help. It's never too late.
As an Angels fan of many years, I strongly disagree with Mr. Plaschke's opinion that Arte Moreno needs to "remember his fans." If you can't stay sober for the money Josh is getting paid, you should be thrown out. We're so tired of this "sickness" cop-out, as if the cocaine crawls up your body and into your nose or pipe, and forces itself upon you at gunpoint. Ask a cancer patient about illness.
Congratulations to Coach Bo Ryan of Wisconsin for making it clear that he and his school will not buy into the "one and done" rule when recruiting high school players, despite losing the final game to Duke. Coach K took the comment personally, when there was no reason to. Ryan was not judging others, he was simply saying he wanted no part of it. John Wooden would be the first to shake Ryan's hand.
Ralph S. Brax
Once again a college championship basketball game outcome is affected by poor officiating. Three bad calls late in the Duke-Wisconsin game had a huge impact on the final score. There needs to be a review system put in place that will correct poor officiating along the lines of football where each coach has a set number of challenges.
The NCAA officials look at these replays as if they are watching the Zapruder film, and their decisions are about as believable as the Warren Commission Report.
As expected, the NCAA title was won by a freshman-led traditional power whose colors are blue and white. In predicting the right team, the (Blue) devil was in the details.
I know that the Kings won the Stanley Cup twice in the last three seasons (something that I never thought I would live to see). Having said that, the fact that this team, with the payroll and the talent that it has, will fail to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs is simply unacceptable. Thank you for the Cups, Mr. Lombardi. Now get back to work.
Two Stanley Cups in three years is pretty darned good, especially from the perspective of a fan since 1970. I feel sad, but also extremely proud of what the Kings franchise has become after all those lean and often directionless years.
And with that for this year, if you'll excuse me, as I don't pay ransom to the "correct" corporate giant, I'm going to go not watch the Dodgers now.
Feeling a draft
Isn't it fitting that one of the lottery teams is going to get Frank "The Tank"?
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