09.24.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance: Dodgers, Rams, Ryder Cup …

Magic numbers. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t win an MLB division title without ‘em, apparently. One lousy week left on the regular-season schedule to rack up personal launch-angle related stats. The Dodgers have only to tackle what is in front of them: Three in Arizona, three in San Francisco. So there is the more likely potential of clinching NL West with a pool party at Chase Field where the teams play Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights (all 6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA).
The Lakers’ magic-induced number is one: Media day in El Segundo on Monday.
The Rams’ unmagic number: Four, as in days between their Week 3 and Week 4 games, even though they get to stay home.
The Ryder Cup magic number: Three days in France. The wives love it.
Anything else? Tell us what we missed at this link.

 

THOMPSON’S TAKE: WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, SERENA WILL BALK

As Jim Thompson writes on ThompsonSportsArt.com: “Serena Williams is the best to ever play women’s tennis. She’s also a diva who, when losing, tends to blame everything and everyone within a tennis ball’s throw. Remember when she threatened to stuff a ball down a linesman’s throat. I hate to break the news but great athletes can be great big jerks. …” Read more

THE VODCAST: DAVID DAVIS IS THE O.G. OF DEEP DRILLING IN L.A.

There are few writers who know their way around Los Angeles and its history than David Davis, and fewer yet who have the full admiration of Steve Lowery and Tom Hoffarth for this longtime freelance journalist who has his hands in many things.
It has taken awhile, but we finally coordinated our schedules to have him down the Carson compound to talk about: Read more

A SIGN OF THE (L.A.) TIMES: JIM ROME AND THE LOCAL ACCESS NARRATIVE

By Tom Hoffarth
Jim Rome
takes one of his trademark pronounced pauses, measuring a way to make sure the server at the high-end Costa Mesa restaurant doesn’t take offense to what he is about to say as the seared ahi salad is set in front of him.
“I think the phrase I’m looking for here is … this pisses me off,” the 53-year-old sports-talk show host says.
The server doesn’t flinch. Read more

THOMPSON’S TAKE: MORE GAVEL-TO-UNRAVEL DODGERS COVERAGE

It almost looks like something out of Charlotte’s Web.
There was the forlorn spider, spinning words into her web that trumpeted up her friend in the barn stall. Like “SOME PIG.”
That was also the T-shirt design that surfaced a couple of years ago with the graphic logo “SOME PUIG,” in reference to this rookie hot-shot who was playing right field like a wild horse broke loose from stable. Read more

WANTED: INDECISIVE CLIPPERS STAT-CRUNCHER NOT LOOKING FOR A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

By Tom Hoffarth

80718CP000__44596.1489697301It’s not like we want to keep checking what’s been posted in the want ads.
But when we come across something as highly unclassified as this — the Clippers are looking for an analyst — we first check our resume to see if things line up, then we  immediately over-analyze everything.
The franchise with 48 seasons to its tax credit and a 1,562-2,326 win-loss record seeks a well-respected yet historically-naive numbers person to make it competitive. Read more

THOMPSON’S TAKE: ANOTHER BLACK EYE FOR A BUCKEYE LEADER OF MEN?

According to former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy, Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer was not completely honest last week when asked at Big Ten Media Day about his knowledge of a 2015 report of domestic abuse between assistant coach Zach Smith and his now ex-wife. Smith remained employed by Meyer both at Florida and OSU for almost 10 years as allegations dating back to 2008 were revealed. Meyer fired Smith 10 days ago. Read more

BREAKING NEWS: ALL-SPANISH SPECTRUM DEPORTES OUT AUG. 15, ENGLISH ALL-NEWS CHANNEL IN

By Tom Hoffarth

246x0wEl Segundo-based Spectrum Deportes, the nation’s only 24/7 Spanish-language Regional Sports Network that airs Lakers and Galaxy games as a fully-distributed channel in Southern California, will shut down Aug. 15, citing research that shows a lack of viewership, a Charter Cable network spokesperson confirmed Monday.

TheDrillLA.com broke the news of this on Twitter earlier in the day Monday.

Spectrum Deportes was launched as Time Warner Deportes in October, 2012, coinciding with the arrival of Time Warner SportsNet, now known as Spectrum Sportsnet. It has been the main regional TV home for the Lakers after the team left Fox Sports West and KCAL/Channel 9.

The timing of the move may seem strange as the Lakers have made global news with the signing of LeBron James to the roster, and the Sports Business Journal recently reported that 30-second TV ads on Spectrum SportsNet would fetch $14,000 — double the previous season, or even higher if the team’s ratings exceed expectations. Read more

Q&A: Bob Costas flies national on his trip to Cooperstown as an honoree

By Tom Hoffarth

Part of Bob Costas’ experience growing up with a radio to his ear included a few years in Redondo Beach in the early 1960s — and hearing Vin Scully.
Scully received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame, from a vote of baseball historians and broadcasters, in 1982, with a speech for the ages.
Costas, 66, receives the award this weekend in the Cooperstown, N.Y., ceremony. He talked about it in a Q&A we did with him that appears today online with the Los Angeles Times at this link.
The San Diego Union-Tribune has also published it. Read more

The Business Drill: How MLB Network marks 30 years since Kirk Gibson’s World Series HR and Rob Reiner getting past third base

By Tom Hoffarth
Now it can be told even if we’re not sure we want to know all the details:
When Rob Reiner met Michele Singer, it was as he was making the film “When Harry Met Sally.”
On a fateful Saturday night in mid-October 1988, the Hollywood writer, director and producer invited the photographer to his home in L.A. to watch NBC’s coverage of Game 1 of the World Series, which happened to feature his David-esque Dodgers against the heavily favored Goliath Oakland A’s. Read more

HE LIVES AMONG YOU: A BLOKE SHOWS HOW TO SNEAK INTO DODGER STADIUM

The video has 1.3K likes. It should have more than about a 100 thumbs down.
This UK lad who goes by Simon Wilson seems to be bored enough that instead of buying a ticket into an otherwise non-descript Monday, May 28 Dodgers-Phillies game, he finds it more of a fun challenge to talk his way in by confusing a bunch of green-jacketed ticket-scanners at the top of the park.
Bravo. Read more

THE DODGERS JUST WANT TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS … YOU GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE?

By Tom Hoffarth
The email dropped in among the other spam, but with this heartwarming preamble:
“The Dodgers have the best fans in sports, which is why we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey so the Dodgers and our 2018 partners can better serve you going forward. The Dodgers and our 2018 partners thank you in advance for your time and participation.”
Read more

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