Monthly Archives: June 2019

Let’s (Long Beach) Post it: Why “Ballpark” author/architect critic Paul Goldberger endorses the LBC over the Big A on the Angels’ future landscape

By Tom Hoffarth

There’s a lot to be said for the Elephant Lot.

That’s the 13 acres on Shoreline Drive that has been proposed as the beachhead for the Angels’ new home, should the franchise take Long Beach up on an offer to relocate it from its current Anaheim digs. While we’re waiting for things to happen, or not, imagine what a new Big A in the LBC could look like; Paul Goldberger has.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic with the New York Times and now The New Yorker, Goldberger has some archetypal guidelines for any major league-seeking city to aspire to and believes Long Beach is well-situated to achieve them.

91wiqBL3m9LWhy trust Goldberger? His new book, “Ballpark: Baseball in the American City,” (Knopf/Penguin Random House, 384 pages, $35) is about as good as it gets in retelling the history of the facilities used for the MLB (and even some references to the old Wrigley Field in L.A., as we noted in a book review in April).

Also there’s a 1990 during a Playboy interview where Donald Trump was asked:

Q: Let’s talk about your main interest: Buildings. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger of The New York Times hasn’t been kind to Trump buildings, panning them as garish and egotistical.
Paul Goldberger has extraordinarily bad taste. He reviews buildings that are failures and loves them. Paul suffers from one malady that I don’t believe is curable. As an architecture critic, you can’t afford the luxury of having bad taste. The fact that he works for the Times, unfortunately, makes his taste important. And that’s why you see some monster buildings going up. If Paul left the Times or the Times left him, you would find that his opinion meant nothing.

We just found another reason to appreciate Goldberger even more for something that holds up even more 30 years later.

In addition to our Q&A with him now on the site, focused on the Angels’ potential move to Long Beach, here are some other things we discussed:


From your experience in how these things happen, coastal commissions and urban planners come into play with all sorts of things that need to be signed off, which can cause adjustments and compromises. Is that just part of the process? Read more

A sign of the (L.A.) Times: On Darrell Waltrip’s long boogity goodbye, Joe Tessitore’s putt-putt career and Charley Steiner’s latest #Steinered are all noted

Pulling out as many stops as possible to answer the sports media sphere’s most pressing questions:

  1. What’ll be our lasting memory of Darrell Waltrip on Fox’s NASCAR telecasts?
  2. Which play-by-play role is Joe Tessitore best suited for: ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” or ABC’s new summer game show “Holey Moley”?
  3. HBO’s “Real Sports” will devote a segment on media company Barstool Sports, but the editors of the website say they expect a “full-blown hit piece” on their controversial operation. Would HBO do that?
  4. Dick Vitale just signed a new contract to stay at ESPN through 2022?
  5. What’s the takeaway from Jim Rome’s 25th edition of the Smackoff, which was held Friday?
  6. After LaVar Ball’s last appearance on one of ESPN’s highbrow-debate morning shows, the network declared it does not plan to ever have the gentleman back on its airways. Believe it or not?
    Find some answers at this link with the weekly edition of the L.A. Times’ media column and …. documenting the latest Charley Steiner miscall of a walk-off home run with this soundbite.

The Top 30 sports shows of all time? From SportsCenter to Garbage Time, we helped shape this list … any objections are welcome

By Tom Hoffarth
When Barrett Sports Media floated the idea to mirror this week’s NBA Draft 30 choices with an exercise that might be entertaining in trying to identify and justify the best sports shows in TV’s existence, we had the time and an appreciation of the attempt to join in.
Jason Barrett even provided a list of about 70 shows that were acceptable, and the list was limited to studio shows: No scripted shows, docs, reality shows or sitcoms.
First, not everyone was asked, apparently:

John is as good as it gets in today’s sports media journalism field.
Ahem …
We were assigned the 24th pick, but we created our own Top 30 list to see how it could compare before hand. In order of the shows we felt carried the most importance, impact and created a legacy:
1. ABC’s “Wide World of Sports”
2. ESPN “Sports Center”
3. HBO’s “Real Sports”
4. TNT’s “Inside the NBA”
5. CBS’ “NFL Today”
6. ESPN’s “College GameDay”
7. ESPN’s “Up Close”
8. ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption”
9. The syndicated “This Week in Baseball”
10. The Jim Rome array of shows from “Talk2” to the current “Jim Rome Show.”
The final BSM list is at this link.
Really. … Will Leitch took “Garbage Time” …
We wanted to add to the list, but … Read more

A sign of the (L.A.) Times: What chance does the XFL have in 2020? Depends on who you’re betting on … (bet on Joe Cohen)

By Tom Hoffarth
In last weekend’s story post about the perceived viability of the XFL relaunching in the spring of 2020, USC professor of sports business and principal of The Sports Group David Carter offers up a quote:
“Anybody that thinks that there’s an unquestionable market for spring football is delusional. There have been some credible people throwing time and resources at it without the result they anticipated. While you can step back and say that XFL 2.0 — with all of its changes, all of the learnings and the takeaways from over the years to include their own missteps — is positioned far more favorably than anyone else, it’s certainly not a guarantee.”
No one is guaranteeing anything. But with Vince McMahon’s second shot at this, 18 years after his first try with NBC as its partner and now using ABC/ESPN and Fox as his wingment, we asked the same sort of questions to cable industry pioneer and McMahon longtime business partner Joe Cohen in our latest Los Angeles Times sports media column.


Can you hear me, Long Beach? Episode 2 of the podcast on this weekend’s Dew Tour, a qualifying event for the 2020 Olympics and why Long Beach is Skate City USA.

That’s Steve Lowery, second from left, with Tim Scanlan (Long Beach Skate Co.),  Mark Hibdon (Dew Tour creative director) and Adam Cozens (Dew Tour General Manager) as they get ready to talk on the Long Beach Post’s podcast at this link, gearing up for this weekend’s Dew Tour. Here’s the event schedule.
Local band Asi Fui also stops by to talk about the release of their first album, a Friday night show at Alex’s Bar, their connection with Ikey Owens and what was going on in those giant paper machete bear heads? Listen to more with Lowery,  Tim Grobaty and Asia Morris.


By Tom Hoffarth
It might not be the ideal time or place to look into the window of Major League Baseball’s soul. But if a lugubrious subject like children sex trafficking fits into a conversation on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” telecast, would everything be cool if Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen were the driving force behind it?
When the Dodgers face the Chicago Cubs on the upcoming Father’s Day national telecast from Dodger Stadium, there’s a decent chance this topic will come up.
Please don’t balk.
ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza found herself embedded on a trip to the Dominican Republic in January with Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, a learning tour about what actually happens in this lurid criminal world far beyond a baseball diamond.
The result is this video and our account of it in the weekly L.A. Times media piece:


The Aly Wagner Way: Fox Sports soccer analyst reflects on making history in Russia, watching more happen in Paris, and future of the U.S. women’s game … back in L.A.?

By Tom Hoffarth

No matter what trajectory the favored U.S. team might take during the Women’s World Cup, the smart investment is on Aly Wagner soccer stock the next four weeks.
The Fox Sports analyst will call her fifth global soccer event since 2015, this time with JP Dellacamera. It started with France’s 4-0 win over South Korea on Friday and continues with all U.S. games and others of importance heading toward the July 7 final in Lyon, France.
In our weekly Los Angeles Times sports media piece, we used Wagner, the former USWNT midfielder from Santa Clara, as the entry point into how Fox and Spanish-language Telemundo plans to cover this.

Read more