A sign of the (L.A.) Times: Oh, Darling, please believe us …

By Tom Hoffarth

For those who missed a bulk of the Dodgers’ regular season games due to a lack of SportsNet L.A. distribution, Ron Darling realizes that he can’t always keep everyone happy with trying to swoop in with a national broadcast.

“I can understand about the frustration from the fans of the local team – their announcers on radio or TV are the caretakers of the club during the summer. Then these gypsies like me come in and do the team’s games at their greatest moments,” said the TBS analyst who’ll start off with the Cardinals-Braves NL Division Series on Thursday while the Dodgers have a home game against the NL wildcard winner later that day.

“When you do a regional broadcast, you’re trying to advance a story, which is what I’m doing with the Mets games. In a national broadcast, you’re trying to document more what’s going on, especially with managerial decisions. You can’t do so much on a day-to-day basis on a regional broadcast because it would be exhausting over the course of six months. I understand all that.

“What fans should know is I only root for one thing — seven games in a seven-game series, and five games in a five-game series. At some point, history is going to be made.”

In our latest contribution to the Los Angeles Times’ sports media column, we talk to Darling more about his ongoing recovery from thyroid cancer, and why he considers the Dodgers’ World Series trips the last two seasons to be “unbelievably successful” achievements.

Also of note:

814uz5zwpol== Our review in April of Darling’s new book, “108 Stitches:  Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game”

== Los Angeles was the sixth-ranked market nationally on ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” telecasts, which was up 2 percent over last season for its 26-game schedule that include the Dodgers five times and the Angels once. San Diego ranked No. 34. The Dodgers-Yankees game on Aug. 25 was the second-most watched game of the series with 2.418 million viewers.


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