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The Sports Report: Vin Scully joins the social media landscape

Vin Scully
Vin Scully
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Bill Plaschke on Vin Scully: Out of nowhere, a monument fell.

One moment, Vin Scully was walking down his driveway to check on the mail. The next moment, he was lying face down on the pavement.

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The unbreakable icon had collapsed, the eternal voice silenced. He awoke in the hospital with a concussion, broken nose, chipped tooth, three fractured ribs and a realization.

“It was like, ‘Hey, you’ve had a good life, but be ready pal, it’s just around the corner,’” said Scully, 92.

That was four months ago. The reasons for the fall were never determined. He hasn’t left his San Fernando Valley home since. He hasn’t even ventured back to that mailbox. His life now includes a walker, a full-time aide and a somber sense of seclusion.

“I’ve never been inclined to be a monk, but in some ways, my home has become a monastery,” he said.

Through it all, he’s really been missing the Dodgers. Four years after his emotional retirement, Scully misses the buzz of Dodger Stadium, the beauty of its surroundings, the kindness of its workers, and the thrills he shared for 67 years during the most magical run in sports broadcasting history.

More than anything, Los Angeles, he misses you.

“I miss the fans, I really do,” he said. “I’ve always said I needed the fans more than they needed me. Some of the tragedies in my life, the fans have always helped me get through them, and I owe those fans a great deal.”

Thus the old-school baseball bard is hoping to reconnect with his city again, only this time in the most modern of ways.

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Would you believe Vin Scully is going to start tweeting? You think you might want to hear him on Instagram?

“It’s time for . . . social media!”

————
Before their 6-3 win over Arizona on Tuesday, the Dodgers put Justin Turner on the 10-day IL because of an injured left hamstring. The club recalled Edwin Rios from their alternate camp to replace Turner, and also activated pitcher Alex Wood from the IL to replace Ross Stripling’s spot on the roster.

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CLIPPERS

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: While waiting for Denver and Utah to finish their series, coach Doc Rivers spent his last two days thinking more about his team than either of the opponents the Clippers could face in the second round.

“Not even going to let myself go there yet,” Rivers said Tuesday, “because we can fix our own stuff now.”

That isn’t to say the Clippers aren’t looking ahead for other reasons.

Families and guests of players are allowed to enter the NBA’s Disney World campus at the start of the second round, after several days in quarantine. When Clippers guard Lou Williams sees his family this week, it will be their first time together in more than seven weeks.

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“Last time I left my son he was a little smaller,” Williams said of Syx, who was born Dec. 31. “He’s crawling around taking a few steps, got a few teeth now, so I’m excited to see him, excited to see his growth, as well as his mom, and just be around some love.”

The arrival of families, and the break from monotony they provide, has been viewed as a milestone ever since the NBA revealed its plan in June to resume its coronavirus-interrupted season while sequestered in Orlando. But no one could have predicted that players, with revived concerns about the league’s commitment to combating racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake, would bring play to a halt in late August. Or that it would take a fraught 24 hours to get the season back on track.

No. 2 Clippers vs. No. 3 Denver schedule
Second round
All times Pacific

Game 1: Thursday, 6 p.m., TNT
Game 2: Saturday, 6 p.m., TNT
Game 3: Monday, 6 p.m., TNT
Game 4: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 6 p.m., ESPN
Game 5*: Friday, Sept. 11, TBD, TNT
Game 6*: Sunday, Sept. 13, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Tuesday, Sept. 15, TBD, ESPN

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*-if necessary

No. 1 Lakers vs. No. 4 Houston or No. 5 Oklahoma City schedule
Second round
All times Pacific

Game 1: Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: Sunday, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Game 3: Tuesday, 6 p.m., TNT
Game 4: Thursday, Sept. 10, TBD, TNT
Game 5*: Saturday, Sept. 12, TBD, ESPN
Game 6*: Monday, Sept. 14, TBD, TNT
Game 7*: Wed., Sept. 16, TBD, TNT

*-if necessary

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ANGELS

Maria Torres on the Angels: As teams around baseball leveraged prospect surpluses to swing meaningful trades Monday, Angels manager Joe Maddon sat in front of a Zoom-equipped iPad in the basement of Angel Stadium for the first of his videoconferences and answered questions on the daily minutiae of his basement-dwelling team.

He likely hadn’t imagined spending this year’s trade deadline confronting such tedium. Maddon was ushered into his first year as manager of the Angels with an expensive lineup featuring newcomer Anthony Rendon and three-time most valuable player Mike Trout. He expected to win.

So when Maddon was eventually asked how close he believed the Angels are to contending for the playoffs on a regular basis, he didn’t bother hiding his feelings. He delivered an indictment.

“We need to do some work,” he said.

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KINGS

Jack Harris on the Kings: The Kings locked up two restricted free agents Tuesday, signing forwards Austin Wagner and Carl Grundstrom to contract extensions with the start of the offseason almost a month away.

Wagner got a three-year deal worth $1.133 million in annual average value. Grundstrom signed for two years at $725,000.

Of the organization’s nine remaining restricted free agents this offseason, Wagner and Grundstrom were two of the most experienced.

Wagner is entering his third season with the Kings. After recording 12 goals and 21 points in a 62-game rookie campaign in 2018-19, he managed just 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 65 games this year. The former fourth-round pick, however, almost doubled his shot total (67 to 124), increased his average time on ice from 8:56 to 11:45 and consistently used his elite speed to spring breakaways and odd-man rushes.

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Grundstrom has played in 28 games over the last two seasons for the Kings, who acquired the former second-round pick in a January 2019 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The first year of his contract is a two-way deal, while the second year is a one-way.

KENTUCKY DERBY

John Cherwa on the Kentucky Derby: Tiz the Law became the first Kentucky Derby entry since 1989 to be installed as a less-than-even-money favorite at 3-5 after Tuesday’s post-position draw at Churchill Downs. But, the odds swing the other way when considering he drew the No. 17 post, the only gate that has never produced a winner in the race.

The lack of a winner from that post is little more than a statistical oddity. The big advantage that Tiz the Law, the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner, received was when Art Collector, the presumptive second favorite, scratched Tuesday morning after suffering a minor injury that will keep him out until the Preakness on Oct. 3. Art Collector had won the Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby in his last two races.

Trainer Tommy Drury said Art Collector nicked the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while he was going through his morning gallop on Monday.

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“It was still very sensitive [Tuesday] morning,” Drury said. “… I had to make a choice. Your horse has to always come first. To run in a race of this caliber and trying to compete against the best 3-year-olds in this country, you’ve got to be 110%.”

Post position, Horse, Morning line odds

1. Finnick The Fierce 50-1

2. Max Player 30-1

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3. Enforceable 30-1

4. Storm The Court 50-1

5. Major Fed 50-1

6. King Guillermo 20-1

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7. Money Moves 30-1

8. South Bend 50-1

9. Mr. Big News 50-1

10. Thousand Words 15-1

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11. Necker Island 50-1

12. Sole Volante 30-1

13 .Attachment Rate 50-1

14. Winning Impression 50-1

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15. NY Traffic 20-1

16. Honor A.P. 5-1

17. Tiz The Law 3-5

18. Authentic 8-1

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2028 L.A. OLYMPICS

David Wharton on the L.A. Olympics: Nothing about Steven Harrington’s art makes you think of sports. Not the psychedelic-pop aesthetic with its bright, swirling colors or the cartoonish images of grinning palm trees and dancing dogs.

So it took Harrington by surprise when Olympic officials called to ask if he might be interested in creating a logo for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

“It came from out of nowhere,” he said. “I was like, is this real?”

The Southern California artist and designer wasn’t the only one asking that question.

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LA28 organizers put out dozens of calls, looking for help in unexpected places. They enlisted singer Billie Eilish and actress Reese Witherspoon, as well as a streetwear designer, a chef and a tattoo artist. They also recruited prominent athletes.

“Everyone is part of the L.A. story,” said Janet Evans, an executive with the organizing committee and a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. “The best way to capture the energy of Los Angeles and the Games is through a collection of voices.”

Each collaborator was given a standard “LA28” logo and told to craft their own version of the “A.” Instead of choosing one design, organizers will use all 26, with more expected in the future.

NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE

First round (all games in Orlando, Fla.)
All times Pacific

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Utah Jazz

Game 1: Denver 135, Utah 125 (OT)
Game 2: Utah 124, Denver 105
Game 3: Utah 124, Denver 87
Game 4: Utah 129, Denver 127
Game 5: Denver 117, Utah 107
Game 6: Denver 119, Utah 107
Game 7: Denver 80, Utah 78

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder

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Game 1: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108
Game 2: Houston 111, Oklahoma City 98
Game 3: Oklahoma City 119, Houston 107
Game 4: Oklahoma City 117, Houston 114
Game 5: Houston 114, Oklahoma City 80
Game 6: Oklahoma City 104, Houston 100
Game 7: Tonight, 6 p.m., ESPN

SECOND ROUND
EASTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Milwaukee vs. No. 5 Miami

Game 1: Miami 115, Milwaukee 104
Game 2: Today, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 3: Friday, 3:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4: Sunday, 12:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5*: Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., TNT
Game 6*: Thursday, Sept. 10, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Saturday, Sept. 12, TBD, TNT

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No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Boston Celtics

Game 1: Boston 112, Toronto 94
Game 2: Boston 102, Toronto 99
Game 3: Thursday, 3:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5:* Monday, 3:30 p.m., TNT
Game 6*: Wed., Sept. 9, ESPN
Game 7*: Fri., Sept. 11, TNT

* – If necessary

NHL PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE

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All Times Pacific
Second round
Eastern Conference, all game in Toronto

No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 6 New York Islanders

Game 1: NY Islanders 4, Philadelphia 0
Game 2: Philadelphia 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)
Game 3: NY Islanders 3, Philadelphia 1
Game 4: NY Islanders 3, Philadelphia 2
Game 5: Philadelphia 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)
Game 6*: Thursday, TBD
Game 7*: Saturday TBD

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins

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Game 1: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2
Game 2: Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3 (OT)
Game 3: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 1
Game 4: Tampa Bay 3, Boston 1
Game 5: Tampa Bay 3, Boston 2 (2 OT)

Western Conference, all games in Edmonton

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks

Game 1: Vegas 5, Vancouver 0
Game 2: Vancouver 5, Vegas 2
Game 3: Vegas 3, Vancouver 0
Game 4: Vegas 5, Vancouver 3
Game 5: Vancouver 2, Vegas 1
Game 6: Thursday, TBD
Game 7*: Friday, TBD

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No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars

Game 1: Dallas 5, Colorado 3
Game 2: Dallas 5, Colorado 2
Game 3: Colorado 6, Dallas 4
Game 4: Dallas 5, Colorado 4
Game 5: Colorado 6, Dallas 3
Game 6: Today, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 7*: Friday, TBD

*-if necessary

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

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Arizona at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

San Diego at Angels, 6:30 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Galaxy at Portland, 7:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet

San Jose at LAFC, 8 p.m., Unimás, 710 ESPN

Sparks at Dallas, 5 p.m., CBS Sports Network, Spectrum Sportsnet

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THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1901 — Seven-year-old Ogden wins two races in a single day at Sheepshead Bay race track in Coney Island, New York. Ogden edges Cameron by a head in the second race on the card, a six furlong sprint on the main track. In the sixth race, a 1 1-16 mile distance on the turf, Ogden beats Monarka by a length.

1908 — Tommy Burns knocks out Bill Lang in the sixth round in Melbourne for his last successful defense of his heavyweight title.

1924 — Bill Tilden wins his fifth straight U.S. men’s singles title with a 6-1, 9-7, 6-2 victory over Bill Johnston.

1940 — Byron Nelson wins the PGA by beating Sam Snead 1-up at the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania.

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1945 — Frank Parker wins the men’s singles title in the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association championships by beating Bill Talbert. Sarah Palfrey Cooke beats Pauline Betz for the women’s title.

1970 — The tie-break debuts in Grand Slam tennis at the U.S. Open. A total of 26 tie-breaks (the nine-point sudden death tie-break) are played on the first day of the tournament. Bob McKinley and Ray Ruffels both win matches in fifth-set tie-breaks.

1971 — Sixteen-year-old Chris Evert wins the first of her record 101 U.S. Open matches, defeating Edda Buding, 6-1, 6-0, in 42 minutes. Jimmy Connors, playing on 19th birthday, comes back from a two-set deficit to beat Alex Olmedo for his first U.S. Open victory.

1984 — In his first NFL start, Atlanta’s Gerald Riggs rushes for 202 yards and scores two touchdowns as the Falcons beat New Orleans 36-28.

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1991 — Jimmy Connors turns 39 years old and rallies from a 2-5 fifth-set deficit to defeat 24-year-old Aaron Krickstein, 3-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6. The fourth-round Labor Day match lasts 4 hours and 41 minutes.

1995 — Frank Bruno wins a heavyweight championship in his fourth attempt registering a unanimous decision over Oliver McCall to take his WBC title in Wembley, England.

2001 — Michael Schumacher becomes the winningest driver in Formula One history, winning the Belgian Grand Prix for his 52nd career victory. Schumacher breaks the mark shared with Alain Prost and clinches his fourth world championship.

2004 — In a second-round match, Sargis Sargsian defeats Nicolas Massu, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, in five hours and nine minutes. It’s the second-longest match on record at the U.S. Open and falls 18 minutes shy of breaking the record for longest match, set in 1992 when Stefan Edberg defeated Michael Chang in 5:26 in the semifinals.

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And finally

Jimmy Connors defeats Aaron Krickstein at the 1991 U.S. Open. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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