The television blackout has been a complete abomination for Dodgers fans in Los Angeles, as were the McCourt years, but it took a comment by Kenley Jansen to really unite the millions of fans in Southern California who felt they had no voice. The players speaking directly to the fans via social media, management putting on one of the greatest fan experiences in Dodger history and a humble, homegrown player telling anyone who would listen how much of an honor it would be to represent the Dodgers at the All-Star game have ignited this fan base in a way that hasn't been seen since 1988.
Someone named Kenley Jansen is irate that Corey Seager and Justin Turner have not been voted into the starting lineup of the National League All-Star team. Who are these people? I've never heard of any of them. Are they on TV anywhere?
Kenley Jansen blaming fans for not submitting enough All-Star votes is like a theater actor publicly complaining the audience didn't clap hard enough. Maybe it's true, but it's appalling form for a professional performer.
Hey, Kenley, news flash. The only remaining Dodgers fans are those lucky ones who can pay $20 to $50 to park, $50 to $1100 for tickets, $18 dollars for a beer, $6 to $11 for a hot dog or a soft drink, and a few fortunate fans who can watch. The TV fiasco has dissipated the fan base and it's only going to get worse. We barely know who the players are, let alone get off our duffs to vote them All-Stars.
It seems obvious now that Bill Shaikin has pointed it out, but of course Dodger fans can't place anyone in the All-Star starting lineup because of the TV situation. How the supposedly smart people at Guggenheim can't figure out how to fix it, despite the obvious long-term damage being done to the brand, is beyond me.
I agree with Jansen. It is the Dodgers fans' fault. They are primarily a bunch of not really baseball fans that sometime go to the game ... even if the Dodgers have the best record in baseball. The majority of the fans I've been exposed to at the stadium would rather drink way too many $13 beers and start a fight than pay attention to what's happening on the field.
Too bad that Los Angeles is a weak sports fan base that doesn't support the teams until there is a victory parade.
So now we're blaming no Dodger All-Star starters on the lack of TV coverage? What happened to the old standbys, East Coast bias and people in the East and Midwest don't get to see highlights of Turner and Seager because the games end so late?
The inevitable hand-wringing about Clayton Kershaw being unable to pitch in the All-Star game has begun. To avoid the "must have two days of rest" rule for starting pitchers, why not play the game Wednesday instead of Tuesday? Nowadays, the regular season resumes Friday instead of Thursday, so the players would still have a day off to get to their next destination. Not only that, they would have more time to get to what would become Tuesday's home run derby. Another solution would be to end the first part of the season with a day-night doubleheader on Saturday and keep the All-Star schedule the way it is now.
It just seems crazy to make a team or pitcher choose between pitching the last game before the break or being in the All-Star game.
The Dodgers' TV dispute has unfortunately been perfectly timed with the prime of Clayton Kershaw's career. Years from now, when we're asked by younger people about Kershaw's spectacular pitching, most of us will have to answer, "You know as much about him as we do."
The Dodgers are indeed the Boys of Summer. Unfortunately the playoffs and World Series are in the fall. You need a great No. 2 starter and the guys you have aren't it. Get off the pot, management, and let's get it done. I'm pretty sure you won't get the Padres in the playoffs.
Andy McCullough's article in Friday's paper describing the Dodgers' stirring comeback contained four words that perfectly explain why the Diamondbacks have has little chance to overcome the Dodgers to win the NL West this season: "Arizona closer Fernando Rodney."
Rolling Hills Estates
I hear many people congratulating Mike Scioscia for keeping the Angels in the hunt without Mike Trout, but the fact is his poor decisions cost the team at least two games on a recent trip, bringing in Mike Morin in Boston to give up a double to the No. 9 hitter, and bringing in Jose Alvarez to face the Dodgers.
I've heard many times that Scioscia prefers the National League style of baseball, so I guess that would explain having two or three guys in there daily that hit like pitchers (Valbuena, Marte, Espinosa).
We have watched him misuse promising young players for years. Let's not forget he said Trout wasn't ready the year he started in the minors and proceeded to win rookie of the year and finish second for MVP. Does anyone wonder what would have happened if Vernon Wells (that year's version of Marte/Valbuena) hadn't gone down with an injury?
As I look at the trade of Paul George to Oklahoma City, I can't help but wishfully think that it is a move that could give George one season to play alongside Russell Westbrook, with Magic Johnson bringing both of these California natives to the Lakers in 2018. Call me crazy, but stranger things have happened, and the Lakers are sure to have lots of cap space by then.
Blake Griffin signs for $175 million for five years? I will never be able to afford to take my family to see a Clippers game. This has me longing for the days my old friend Donald Sterling actually gave away tickets. Say what you will, but at least he was generous.
If Griffin plays every minute for 82 games, he will make $8,892 per minute. I predict a ticket price increase.
The Clippers will be lucky to get four years out of the five-year contract they signed with injury-prone Blake Griffin.
Nick Young went to Golden State. Boy, I wish I was Nick Young.
Give Horn credit
How sad to see all the media negativity with the results of the Pacquiao-Horn fight. In his literal moment in the sun, this proud Aussie was the aggressor and did not back down one bit, even when hurt in the ninth round. He had a lot to do with it being such an exciting and entertaining fight for a worldwide audience. The only opinions that mattered were the three judges at ringside. To have an indignant fight announcer congratulate an excited winner and then tell him to his face that he didn't think he won the fight was very unprofessional and uncalled-for commentary. To his credit, Horn did not miss a beat and said he respected the announcer's opinion. Please give this classy young man and new WBO champion some respect and positive press instead of focusing on boxing's problems.
IOC you later
So, the International Olympic Committee has decided to add three-on-three basketball to the Summer Olympics, huh? What's next? Flag football? Wiffle ball? Let's not stop there. After all, as long as the IOC is willing to bastardize the Olympic Games, why not add cornhole, lawn darts, and Kan Jam to the mix?
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