Letters: Lack of sports during a pandemic may test the frustration level

(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

I was confused. It was my understanding that, during this dangerous time, COVID-19 tests would be given only to patients exhibiting extreme symptoms of the disease, due to the paucity of testing kits and lab facilities. But then The Times explained to me that Anthony Davis and his symptomless teammates were all given the test, due to players on another team they played who tested positive, which they all slam-dunked. Thank you, L.A. Times, for helping me to understand how the testing protocols have changed.

Bob Lentz


The example that Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli are setting by paying full salaries to their over 2,100 full and part-time employees during this terrible time is just tremendous leadership, and indicative of the first-class organization they are. I am proud to be a Ducks season ticket holder since inception. It’s not just about the product on the ice, or on the field. It’s about how you treat people. Skeptics might say, “Well, hey, they are billionaires, that’s easy to spend $10 or $20 million.” Many pro sports owners are cheaper than a 10-cent suit and treat their employees accordingly, and fellow NHL Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is at the top of the list. Being rich doesn’t reflect what is in one’s heart. In times of stress, character rises to the top. The Samuelis’ heart is tremendous and off the charts, and we are blessed to have them in our community. I hope other pro sports owners will follow their lead.


Bob Kargenian
Yorba Linda


Nice that all Lakers are COVID-19 symptom free. Do the two Lakers who tested positive and never identified themselves know that they still may be carrying the virus and possibly may be infecting anyone who comes in contact with them? I sure hope so.

Robert Bubnovich

Lunch with Bill Walton is one item in CollectibleXchange’s charity auction to benefit World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

March 31, 2020


The starting bid for lunch with Bill Walton might be steep at $7,500, but it is going to a good cause, COVID-19 relief. The greater challenge will be if you win, trying to get a word in edgewise during your meal.

Wayne Muramatsu

It would be fun to lunch with Bill Walton provided he was STILL seated at least 6 feet away and out of earshot.


David Marshall
Santa Monica


I shared Bill Shaikin’s commentary on starting the season with the All-Star game at Dodger Stadium with my friend and Chicagoan, Harlan Stern.

His reply: “Of course, the reporter seems a bit L.A.-centric, but that disguises the actual points of debate. Unlike 1981, when there had been some criteria, based on games already played that season, to legitimately choose All-Stars, no such criterion exists this year. Last year’s success or popularity is not usually the standard for rewarding a current season’s efforts. A showcase, maybe, but not with the Hollywood-compromised extravaganza that is suggested here.

“The larger problem, here and everywhere, is the unknown. What happens if this, too, gets postponed, or if players, in various stages of shape, illness,etc., unlike 1981, are not all on board. Premature position, at best. Silly, on a smaller scale, like Trump’s suggestion that all will be well by Easter.”

Lou Pupich
Newbury Park


Regarding the article of Andrew Heaney and games with no fans. Here is my response to taking in a the game as though we’re kinda there.


To feel like we’re at the game and watching the Dodgers without fans we should:
1.) Park in our driveways and charge ourselves $20.
2.) Stand up and remove our hats for the national anthem.
3.) Have peanut vendor Roger Owens throw bags into the empty stands.
4.) Reinstate the phantom double play for social distancing.
5.) Take a seventh-inning stretch and have Dieter Ruehle play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
6.) Sit in our cars after the game for 45 minutes without moving.

Gary Mandell
Los Angeles


What I’d give right now for the soothing beautiful voice of Vin Scully. Hell, I’d even settle for Ross Porter.

Marcelo Barreiro
Manhattan Beach

It’s time for ...

When the news first broke that the Dodgers could once again be seen on TV by the 70% of us who don’t either subscribe to or live in an area where Spectrum exists, I thought it to be a cruel April Fools joke.

After all, during the course of the six-year blackout, those of us without access had endured not only the arrogance and greed of the Dodger organization that could have righted the situation in year one, but as well with the deceit of those equally culpable. There was Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge who, in 2015 stated, “We want the Dodgers on every outlet and we are committed to making that happen.” And then didn’t do it. There was MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who stated, “The Dodgers’ massive fan base deserves to be able to watch Dodger games regardless of their choice of provider.” And then did nothing.

So now that it appears that, if and when we have a baseball season, at long last we will be able to watch the Dodgers once again.
You’ll forgive me if I say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Bill Waxman
Simi Valley

Old-fashioned horse trading helped bring AT&T and Charter to resolve long-standing differences that blacked out Dodgers games in most parts of L.A.

April 1, 2020


After six years, the Dodgers’ television blackout was finally lifted. However being the pessimist that I am, I have to believe that Spectrum was anticipating the possibility of the season being canceled and committed to only a one-year deal.


Jeff Hershow
Woodland Hills


The Rams returned to Los Angeles after 37 years. Who cares?
The Chargers returned to Los Angeles after 56 years. Who cares?
The Dodgers will be on most TVs after seven years. Who cares?

Bob Munson
Newbury Park


Who woulda thunk it? After six years as a DirecTV customer I can finally watch the Dodgers on TV. I am sorry to say that after six years I am now a loyal Angels fan. I may tune in to an occasional Dodgers game, but after six years of no Dodgers games I will tune into Mike Trout and Joe Maddon.

Bob Sands
La Habra

Lost Cannon

It was with great personal regret that I read about the recent passing of Jimmy Wynn. For it was in 1978 I put together the very first Celebrity Basketball team of which “the Toy Cannon” was a member. Also on that team were fellow Dodgers Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Steve Yeager, Don Sutton, Tommy John, Mark Cresse, Davey Lopes, Reggie Smith and one Hollywood actor, Ron Masak.

That first year we played 25 games against faculties of high schools all over Southern California. We lost only two games, both in overtime, played to SRO crowds and raised money for each school we played at. Next year my son Michael and I started to add Hollywood stars such as Mark Harmon, Denzel Washington and Richard Dean Anderson. Michael has carried on what I started and the team is now made up of some of Hollywood’s hottest young television stars.


Thanks to Jimmy Wynn for starting our fundraising efforts for high schools for the past 42 years.

David Mirisch
Superior, Mont.

Extra time

Kudos to the NCAA for granting an extra year of eligibility for spring sports athletes. Apparently, however, many schools are concerned about the estimated $500,000 to $900,000 additional costs the athletic departments will incur. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the exorbitantly paid head football and basketball coaches volunteered to subsidize these deserving athletes? The coaches are always extolling how virtuous they are in creating a family environment for student-athletes. Let them behave in a manner that reflects their rhetoric. Considering the millions they earn per season, their lifestyle would certainly not suffer.

Dave Sanderson
La Cañada

Added to the list

A book by Tim Tebow? Has no one among your many fine sportswriters ever read:
“Bang the Drum Slowly,”by Mark Harris
“The Teammates,” by David Halberstam
or “The Professional,” by W.C. Heinz?

Gordon Cohn
Long Beach

Los Angeles Times sportswriters and editors pick their favorite sports books.

March 29, 2020


I think you missed a few titles that might be just a tad better than “Plaschke” by Plaschke:


“Shoeless Joe,” by W.P. Kinsella
“Positively Fifth Street,” by James McManus
“Commander in Cheat,” by Rick Reilly

And I’m guessing your avid readers will come up with a few more.

Rhys Thomas
Valley Glen


This list reminded me of how much I can read and reread during these sports-less days. But there are three baseball titles I can’t believe weren’t mentioned: The collections of Roger Angell’s New Yorker articles; “Shoeless Joe,” by W.P. Kinsella, the source for “Field of Dreams”; and “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball’s Longest Game,” by Dan Barry, a beautiful portrait of future stars, minor league lifers, fans, the town, stadium employees, and just about everyone involved in that game.

Jonathan Freund
Los Angeles


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