I found Bill Shaikin's brief piece on Magic Johnson's company-line take on the cable television squabble to be interesting. As one who does not subscribe to Time Warner Cable, I was encouraged by his telling us that there are meetings in progress and work being done. I suspect, however, that the reason he couldn't give us any of the specifics of these meetings is that he has not been invited to attend.
Magic Johnson is delusional if he thinks the Dodgers' TV situation isn't hurting the brand. For those of us who (a) refuse to lay down a king's ransom to attend a game and (b) are lucky enough to call DirecTV our cable provider, those Frank McCourt days now don't seem so awful. As bad an owner as he was, McCourt did understand one of the cardinal rules of sales and customer loyalty: Never treat someone so poorly that they no longer care.
So, Magic Johnson said he does not believe that not being on TV is hurting the Dodgers brand? Yeah, sure, and the Lakers are going to be in the NBA Finals this year.
I think he should drop the Magic and use his real new name, Corporate Johnson.
To those who lament not getting the Dodgers' games on television, I'd suggest you haven't missed much worthwhile listening. You've got the road games with Charley Steiner trying to win "homer of the year," Orel Hershiser explaining the theory of pitching in 20,000 words or more and Nomar Garciaparra edifying us on why only a great hitter can square up a backdoor slider thrown with a low arm angle and a counterclockwise rotation. Then you've got the home games with Vin Scully informing us that the pitcher's grandmother was a terrific softball player while in junior college and that the batter was hitting only .143 with a two-strike count against left-handed pitching during day games.
I caught a Padres telecast the other day. Dick Enberg was so refreshing just calling a ballgame. It's too bad he wasn't working alone.
Tuned in late to Sunday's Dodger game and Charley Steiner was still going on about how bad Clayton Kershaw was the night before. Get over it! Kershaw is a human being, not a machine, and human beings will have bad days. A wise man once said, "In the department store of life, sports, after all, is the toy department". Let's keep it in perspective.
Work of Arte
We've all seen those dedicated young men whose job in a parade is to trail the horses with their pooper scoopers, cleaning up the excrement. I'd imagine right now that is the way the public relations staff of the Angels feels, trying to clean up the mess from owner Arte Moreno and Josh Hamilton.
So Arte, I know you're used to always having your own way, but now it's time to suck it up, be accountable, sell a few more billboards and live up to your end of the deal.
No one had a gun at your head when you gave Hamilton a ton of money. I guess you didn't notice Josh couldn't quite make contact with Angel pitching during his last half-season with Texas.
Jack Von Bulow
At least it's over
Re: "Worst team in franchise history?" [April 14]:
Surely you jest. The worst team in Lakers franchise history is the current Lakers management team, which has brought us the worst Lakers on-court team in franchise history.
Before distancing ourselves from this dreadful Lakers season, let's give Byron Scott his due credit. Dealt an awful hand, he tied his tie for every game, coached to win, and answered all the questions afterward. He is a model of professionalism. If and when the Lakers' ship is ever righted, Byron Scott deserves to be at the helm.
It's nice to know Nick Young is serious about his game.
In the 2012-13 season, the Clippers, led by a "second-tier," low-salary coach, had a team-record 56 wins and made the playoffs. The team featured two All-Stars, a center who wouldn't play for the coach, and possibly the strongest bench in the NBA. The coach was rewarded by being fired, an action that was encouraged by the two all-stars.
In this 2014-15 season, the Clippers, led by their well-known, multimillion-dollar coach/GM and a now-motivated center, stormed into the playoffs with a 56-26 record in spite of having no small forward and a poor-performing bench.
Congratulations are in order for the Clips. But I'm having trouble convincing myself that they have made any progress. I don't have the same problem with the Lakers!
Course of action
Tiger Woods seems to going through an amazingly tough streak. A number of weeks ago he withdrew from a tournament because he claimed he couldn't engage his glutes. Then, Sunday at the Masters, he claims he popped out a bone in his wrist, but luckily he was able to pop it back in. Not surprisingly, his injuries all occur when his brain realizes he's not playing well and he won't win the tournament. I'd merely suggest he engage his toughness and not look for ridiculous excuses and stop looking for sympathy.
Taking nothing away from Jordan Spieth's outstanding play, but the PGA Tour better get back to the drawing board and figure out a way to keep these guys from shooting Bermuda Dunes numbers. The Masters is a major. We want to see guys sweat. Add rough to Augusta, and tuck in those pin positions.
Like most golfers, I enjoyed watching a young gun like Spieth defying the odds. But I couldn't stand the fact that he actually got to 19 under with four holes left. This is the Masters, not the Bob Hope Classic.
After doing a little research, I find it curious that the Kings' players barricaded the dressing room doors to keep Darryl Sutter out after a 4-2 win against Tampa Bay on Feb. 7. The box score doesn't single out any specific player as having a bad night, and the team leader, captain Dustin Brown, was actually a plus-1 for the game with three hits.
Coming into that game Brown was on a stretch of two goals in 26 games including a zero-for-17 stretch. Our captain also scored a grand total of one goal against a playoff team this year among his 11. Since it appears he can no longer take the heat of a little criticism while wearing the "C" (I'm sure his minus-17 this year had something to do with that), it's time to move the letter over to No. 8 and maybe see if Dean Lombardi can give the captain an opportunity to renew his game in, say, Buffalo.
Kings fan: I still can't believe I watched my team get eliminated from the playoffs.
Lakers fan: Your team made it all the way until April?
Dodgers fan: Your team's games are on TV?
How's 1-0 sound?
USC closed spring practice with an 85-play modified scrimmage. They are going to open the 2015 season with another modified scrimmage. Arkansas State?! Are you kidding me?
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