Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Just our luck, the Dodgers TV stalemate ends but there’s no season.
Spectrum announced Wednesday it reached an agreement to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ television home, on AT&T video platforms, including DirecTV, AT&T TV, U-Verse TV and AT&T Now in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii, beginning immediately.
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SportsNet LA started airing Wednesday on DirecTV Channel 690. U-Verse TV also has already picked up SportsNet LA, and AT&T and AT&T TV Now are scheduled to add the channel April 8.
The deal ends a seven-year stalemate between the two parties since the Dodgers agreed to a record 25-year, $8.35-billion television deal in January 2013 and granted Time Warner Cable exclusive marketing rights for the channel. SportsNet LA launched in 2014.
Just a quick poll for everyone. Will baseball return this year?— Houston Mitchell (@latimeshouston) April 2, 2020
Charter Communications bought Time Warner four years ago, but had been unable to reach an agreement with DirecTV and other local providers. SportsNet LA had reached less than half of the Southern California market. That finally changed Wednesday.
“As anxious as we all are for the ongoing pandemic to end and for the 2020 season to begin, we now have even more reason to be excited because this agreement will make Dodger baseball games and programming available for our fans on Spectrum, AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-verse TV, and AT&T TV NOW,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement. “I want to thank AT&T and Spectrum Networks for coming together on this agreement. We are eager to get this season started once it is deemed safe to do so everywhere.”
This year’s edition of Wimbledon has been canceled, officials of the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced Wednesday, adding yet another premier sports event to the list of those canceled around the world because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wimbledon, the oldest of the four tennis Grand Slam events, was last canceled for six years ending in 1945 because of World War II.
“It is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships,” the All England Club said in a statement.
“Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen — the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents — as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.”
Two players tested positive two weeks ago after most of the team was administered tests while sitting in their cars in the parking lot of the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. The Lakers did not disclose the names of those players, and they have not come forward. The team did say both players who tested positive displayed no symptoms.
BIGGEST L.A. SPORTS ICON
As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we will be having a 128-person tournament to decide who is the biggest icon in L.A. sports history. After receiving numerous emails from readers of this newsletter, and after consulting with my colleagues here in The Times sports department, here is the final list of 128 people, broken into four brackets of 32 each. They will be seeded into each bracket and, starting Monday, readers of this newsletter will be able to vote for each individual matchup until we are eventually left with one winner.
Before we get to the list, a couple of friendly reminders: You may not see someone you think is deserving to be on this list. I’m sorry about that. But like any good March Madness tournament, there is always someone (or team) left out that you think should be there. It’s part of the fun. I tried to cover as many sports as possible, within reason. And remember this most of all: This is supposed to be fun. If you find yourself getting angry that someone was left out, then take a deep breath. It’s going to be OK.
Now, without further ado, the brackets, with people listed in alphabetical order. Seeding will be announced when voting opens Monday.
The Basketball Bracket
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Lew Alcindor
The Baseball Bracket
“The Infield” (Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey)
The Football Bracket
“The Fearsome Foursome”
Dick “Night Train” Lane
The Wild-Card bracket
Oscar De La Hoya
Billie Jean King
Sinjin Smith/Randy Stoklos
BORN ON THIS DAY
1896: Golfer Johnny Golden (d. 1936)
1907: Baseball player Luke Appling (d. 1991)
1915: Baseball umpire Al Barlick (d. 1995)
1924: Baseball player Bobby Ávila (d. 2004)
1924: Boxer Wallace Smith (d. 1973)
1926: Race car driver/owner Jack Brabham (d. 2014)
1927: Boxer Carmen Basilio (d. 2012)
1945: Former Dodger Don Sutton
1945: Former Dodger Reggie Smith
1951: Golfer Ayako Okamoto
1959: Swimmer Brian Goodell
1960: Sprinter Linford Christie
1966: Hockey player Andrei Kovalev
1966: Football player Bill Romanowski
1971: Tennis player Todd Woodbridge
1980: Soccer player Carlos Salcido
1980: Auto racer/owner Ricky Hendrick (d. 2004)
1982: Skier/football player Jeremy Bloom
DIED ON THIS DAY
1972: Former Dodger Gil Hodges, 57
1979: Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, 72
Luke Appling, 75, homers to lead off an old-timers’ game. Watch it here.