It might sound corny, but I am so proud of Bill Plaschke for his sterling column lambasting the Dodgers owners ["No hits, no runs, no airings," Feb. 24]. Just another cold, heartless, greedy corporation, not unlike Walmart, the drug industry and the oil industries, to name a few. The bottom line is all that matters. Even Frank McCourt wasn't this mercenary. Sock it to 'em, Bill.
Bill, you're missing something. The Dodgers "love" L.A. Just ask them.
While I agree with Bill Plaschke that the Dodgers' TV debacle is a total mess and will become an epic public relations disaster in Vin Scully's final season, his thinking goes off the rails when he writes about the fading Dodgers' brand and lack of buzz.
Plaschke still thinks the Lakers are top dog in the Los Angeles market, which was probably true years ago when all you heard about was the Lakers and you saw purple and gold gear everywhere. Those days are long gone. Today there is no buzz and not many people wearing Lakers' gear.
Everywhere you go today, you see Dodgers hats, shirts and jerseys. The front office alone generates more coverage and buzz than the Lakers. Times have changed, Bill. Catch up.
Chase Utley was suspended two games for his hit on Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs that broke Tejada's leg. Andy McCullough writes that Utley is described as cold and calculating and that he is emotionless. He tells us Utley does not talk with opposing infielders or catchers. My question is this: Is Andy sure he doesn't talk with opposing players or is it that when he does they just don't respond?
So MLB has outlawed a slide that is as old as the game itself, deeming it too dangerous. However, I'm glad to see that throwing at someone's head is still OK.
Regarding Bill Shaikin's front-page story on the new sliding-into-second-base rule: Shouldn't it be called the Tejada Rule, not the Utley Rule? The former would honor the victim, just like the home-plate Buster Posey Rule; the latter name being kicked around would honor the villain. Would we ever designate Nov. 22 as an annual Oswald Day?
San Luis Obispo
In 62 innings last year Yaisel Sierra had 11 wild pitches, hit seven batters and compiled a 6.10 ERA. Instead of quality relief the Dodgers opted for comic relief.
My friend Bart was 80 and died recently. He was a frequent letter writer and a Dodgers fan from the Brooklyn days, and wrote one last missive on his white board, as his face was covered in an oxygen mask: "The Dodgers need to go back to the Branch Rickey days."
It seemed an odd statement, but it might seem that things just made more sense back then, from sports to economics and especially politics. RIP Bart Robertson, Torrance.
The Angels do not need Mike Trout to steal more bases. Just one freak injury sliding into second base and they are toast.
Sure, they need more speed. They also need a left fielder, so they might as well ask Trout to patrol left since he's already in center.
Life in Bruins
L.A. Times sportswriters and UCLA "fans" helped chase Ben Howland out of town. How did that work out for you?
If there is one truism in basketball, it is that mental toughness is a function of team defense. The references to "must-win situations" and "resilience" are functions of defense. I've been a loyal UCLA fan since the days of Willie Naulls (when I was 5) and I can't think of teams that have had less defensive intensity than those under Steve Alford.
Coach Alford does bring value to the program, so perhaps he needs to identify a strong defense-minded assistant coach to change the program around.
I had to laugh at Mike Bresnahan's Feb. 25 article, "Surprisingly, Bryant is fond of farewells." I cannot agree with this perspective. Kobe loves any form of adulation due to his hugely excessive need to have his ego stroked. And one has to wonder why there is a relationship between Derek Jeter and Bryant, when Jeter played the game with grace and dignity and without fanfare, and Kobe played the game often with indignation, embarrassing facial diatribes when called for a foul, and the ever-present tugging on his jersey with his teeth, always calling attention to himself and his constant need for fan support.
He admits his farewell tour is fun. Well, Kobe, for many fans it is fun knowing we will not have to suffer any longer with your behavior and bad contract. Have fun during the remainder of your supposed fondness for goodbyes and stop trying to fool people with your phony exhibition of humility and giving praise to previously hated opponents. We are not buying it.
Let me see if I've got this straight:
Byron Scott says that he is trying to win. The Lakers lose to Memphis by nine points. Kobe Bryant is in the starting lineup. The Lakers are down by 10 at the end of the first quarter.
You do the math.
Harris J. Levey
This Kobe "love fest" is laughable. He is statistically the worst shooter from the field and three-point land in the entire NBA. He has shot 37% over the last three seasons. Yes I know he's earned this, he deserves that, blah, blah, blah. As the Lakers try to develop D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, they can't do this with Kobe on the floor.
Against the Spurs, Kobe took 25 shots. Randle and Russell took 15 combined. Kobe took eight three-point shots and the No. 2 pick took five shots. This year Kobe misses 65 shots for every 100 he takes.
Watching the Portland Trail Blazers dismantle the Warriors last week with a non-All-Star roster (thanks, Kobe) I saw a franchise developing players with a sense of team play. A real basketball fan would know that the Lakers will pay for this three-year charade, with the last two costing $50 million.
I am a sports fan but also a consumer, not a sucker.
Thanks to all Los Angeles sports teams and thanks to Time Warner Cable, I recently got rid of all the sports channels and am now paying for basic cable and Internet. My TWC bill has been nearly cut in half and I am not missing anything.
I guess that Fox thought that the Daytona 500 meant 500 commercials. A perfect example of corporate greed ruining a highly anticipated race. Four minutes of racing, seven minutes of commercials. Because it was impossible to follow the race due to so many interruptions, I turned the channel to find something less frustrating to watch.
The NFL is back!
Regarding the Chargers seeking a downtown San Diego stadium: Against the advice of my friends, I voted for the bond measure that partially funded construction of Petco Park. However, after reading various economic studies on the impact a professional sports team has on a community, it's pretty clear you can't really call a sports team a hard-charging economic engine. The overwhelming economic benefit goes to the owners and I don't begrudge them that, I just don't think the community should have to help pay for their "factory," especially when most can't afford an outing there.
How fitting is it that the Chargers are considering a stadium option adjacent to the future permanent home of Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum?
Now that the Rams are back in Los Angeles, isn't it time we waive the KISS?
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