Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dodgers Announce Game 1 Lineup And Playoff Roster

I was a little suprised to see the Dodgers lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cubs announced today.

I was even more surprised when I saw who was actually in the lineup and where Joe Torre has some of the guys hitting.

What do you think?

Rafael Furcal, SS

Russell Martin, C

Manny Ramirez, LF

Andre Ethier, RF

James Loney, 1B

Matt Kemp, CF

Blake DeWitt, 2B

Casey Blake, 3B

Derek Lowe, P

The Dodgers will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. The roster is as follows:

Pitchers (11)
LHP Joe Beimel
RHP Chad Billingsley
RHP Jonathan Broxton
LHP Clayton Kershaw
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
RHP Derek Lowe
RHP Greg Maddux
RHP James McDonald
RHP Chan Ho Park
RHP Takashi Saito
RHP Cory Wade

Position Players (14)
C Danny Ardoin
IF Angel Berroa
IF Casey Blake
IF Blake DeWitt
OF Andre Ethier
IF Rafael Furcal
IF Nomar Garciaparra
OF Matt Kemp
IF Jeff Kent
IF James Loney
C Russell Martin
IF Pablo Ozuna
OF Juan Pierre
OF Manny Ramirez

Monday, September 29, 2008

Clippers Media Day

Clippers Media Day seemed to have even more optimism than in most years. Maybe it was because there are so many new players on the team (10 total), that not enough of them have firsthand knowledge of the most recent disappointments.

The first thing that stood out to me today was the team's practice facility. It is simply spectacular. Mike Dunleavy even went as far to tell me that "It's the best in the league." I personally haven't seen every NBA team's practice facility, so I guess I will have to take his word for it. However, on first impression, I think it would be hard to prove Dunleavy wrong.

I talked to Dunleavy for several minutes as he signed what appeared to be about 300+ brand new balls for sponsors and season ticket holders. The first thing I asked him pertained to his expectations for the season. With so many new players, I would think he would need about 15-20 games just to see what he really has. However, Dunleavy believes this team should be an even better defensive team than the one that a couple of years ago was among the tops in the league.

He wouldn't say for sure that he had a playoff team on his hands, but he did say he would be very surprised if they were not in playoff contention all the way through April.

You can also expect this team to get up and down the floor a lot more than in season's past. Dunleavy tried to implement that strategy last season, but he said he didn't really have the personnel to carry it throughout the season. This season, however, is different because that style of play not only suits Baron Davis, but the Clippers have more finishers in transition in Cuttino Mobley, Al Thornton, and Ricky Davis.

Speaking of Baron Davis, he was the life of the party today. And believe me when I say, if there's one thing a media day needs, it's some life. Basically, the guys are paraded from station to station taking pictures and reciting lines into cameras. Davis was bouncing around like it was the first day of school. One other observation: he's in GREAT shape. He told me that he spent all summer working out in Las Vegas to get ready for the season. And considering how much the Clippers season is relying on his health, that was a great idea.

Marcus Camby told me that he is officially over the shock of getting traded from the Nuggets to the Clippers, and he's looking forward to starting a new chapter in his NBA career--one that includes 4 different teams. Camby was also very optimistic about the team's chances, but still wanted to hold off on making any proclamations until the team at least went through a full training camp.

And believe it or not, despite the loss of Elton Brand and Corey Maggette and the addition of 10 new players on the roster, one Clipper official told me that the team will actually be more competitive than if the team had retained Brand and Maggette and paired them with Davis. The thought being that not only will the team have more scoring options, especially from the perimeter, but that the locker room will be better as well.

For as great a player and person EB is, he is simply not very vocal in the locker room. Those in the organization believe that if Brand had spoken up at different times in the past, the team would have had greater success. Now, I don't feel as if the Clippers blame Brand for their recent disappointments, but the idea is that the team's best and highest paid player should be as much of a leader in the locker room as he is on the court.

For those of you wondering what happened to Shaun Livingston, here's the deal. The Clippers actually offered him a guaranteed 2-year contract, with a player option for the second year. However, Livingston and his agent thought they could get more money from another team (Portland had been the rumored destination). But as we enter NBA training camp, Livingston is faced with having to earn a roster spot.

And another issue for Livingston will be the loss of his Larry Bird Rights. The simplest explanation is this: If Livingston had signed with the Clippers this season and they traded him, they would have traded his Bird rights as well. But without those Bird Rights, the most Livingston could sign for would be $5 million a year as opposed to $11 million if he had retained his Bird Rights. And to remind you of how valuable a player's Bird Rights are, think back to when Devean George would not give up his Bird Rights when the Mavericks were trying to make the trade for Jason Kidd.

Quinton Ross also turned down a guaranteed deal because he and his agent believed they could secure more money. When that money did not surface, Q was forced to take a non-guaranteed deal with the Grizzlies and go to camp playing for a roster spot yet again.

The Clippers open the season Wednesday, October 29th against the Lakers.

Lakers Media Day

I just returned from the Lakers Media Day festivities held at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.

No real earth-shattering news to report, but there were a few things I thought you might be interested to know.

First, this was one of the more civil and drama-free Laker Media Days I can remember for quite sometime. In the past, there was always seemed to be some underlying tension in the room, whether it was Shaq vs. Kobe, Phil vs. the Lakers or Kobe vs. the state of Colorado. But that was definitely not the case today. And to be honest, it was quite refreshing.

I spoke to Kobe for a few minutes. We were just shooting the breeze, as my dad used to say. He asked about my summer. I congratulated him on his gold medal and asked him about the trip to Beijing. He echoed the sentiments that I have heard from so many people who attend this summer's Olympic Games: it was unbelievable. Kobe has obviously been to the city several times before, and because of that he was able to attend more of the other Olympic events since most of his spare time wasn't spent touring the city. I believe the experience really gave him a greater understand of the entire Olympic experience.

I also spoke to Chris Mihm and he seems as anxious as anyone to tip-off the season. Who could blame him, considering how many games he's missed the last couple of years with a bad ankle. He told me that he spent two weeks in Austin rehabbing with the University of Texas athletic training staff. His trip to Austin wasn't so much about getting better care at UT than he could have gotten with the Lakers, as much as it was just to get away from the constant reminders of that dark rehab period he had to endure. He hopes to have a good season coming off the bench to backup Andrew Bynum. If he is indeed healthy, his availability will go a long way in off-setting the loss of Ronny Turiaf.

One other thing I heard that might be worth paying attention to is that Phil Jackson is considering starting Trevor Ariza over Lamar Odom. Now, there are a couple of reasons why that move could be made: 1) L-O may have fallen out of favor with Jackson and/or the front office and 2) coming off the bench would pit him against the opponents second unit with the belief that Odom could dominate those stretches of the game. Plus, if he comes off the bench, he won't be playing directly alongside Kobe all the time.

Again, it's just a rumor and this point, but it's definitely something worth watching as we get closer to the season opener: Tuesday, October 28th at home against Portland.

Angel City Classic Recap: What Happened To The End Of The Game?

If any of you were watching the Angel City Classic Saturday afternoon on FSN, you probably were wondering what the hell happened to the end of the game. And for good reason, considering you didn't see the final 5 minutes of the game.

Here's what happened. With Morehouse trailing Prairie View A&M 21-17 with less than 6 minutes to go in the game, a power outage in the downtown LA area took out a grid affecting the Coliseum. Our production truck was obviously hooked up to the Coliseum's power source, and when that power was lost, so was our television signal.

The weird thing was that the game clock in the stadium was still working, although it had stopped functioning in the first half for some other reason.

Fortunately, power was restored about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game, enabling the "5th Quarter" tribute to Isaac Hayes to go on as scheduled. We were also able to tape a segment to explain to the viewers of the re-air on FSN what happened to the last 5 minutes of the game and how Prairie View went on to win the game 28-17.

I've never experienced anything like that during my career, and I don't remember seeing anything like that as a viewer-- at least not when it didn't include an earthquake.

It's just unfortunate that such a great day came to an unsatisfying end to the viewers at home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Are You Ready For The Farmers Angel City Classic?

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FSN's Live Coverage Kicks Off at 2pm!



Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jason Williams announced his retirement from the NBA today, ending his 10-year career. Signed by the Clippers as a free agent on August 7, 2008, Williams did not appear in a game for Los Angeles.

Williams enjoyed a 10-year NBA career that saw him take the court for three different teams, (Sacramento 1998-2001, Memphis 2001-2005 and Miami 2005-2008). A member of the NBA Champion Miami Heat in 2005-06, Williams started all 23 playoff games and averaged 9.3 points and 3.9 assists for Miami in helping to win the organization’s first title.

The West Virginia native leaves the NBA with career averages of 11.4 points, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.4 rebounds while shooting 39.6 percent from the floor, 32.5 percent from three-point range and 81.6 percent from the foul line in 679 total games. Williams finishes his career with a 2.77 assist-to-turnover ratio.

He enjoyed his best statistical season in 2001-02 when he averaged 14.8 points, 8.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds for Memphis. In his four seasons with the Grizzlies, Williams became the club’s all-time assists leader and all-time leader in three-point field goals attempted in addition to being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2002-03 season by Sports Illustrated when he finished tied for second in the league in assists per game.

Originally drafted with the seventh overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft by Sacramento after one season at the University of Florida, Williams was named to the 1998-99 NBA All-Rookie Team following an electrifying first season that saw him average 12.8 points and 6.0 assists. Over the next nine seasons, Williams emerged as one of the most dependable point guards in the NBA, averaging double-figures in scoring and at least five assists per game in eight of his ten years in the league.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


FSN West Providing Live Television Coverage
Beginning at 6:30 PM with Lindsay Soto, Mark Gubicza and Jose Mota

Parking and Admission Free to All Fans; Gates Open at 5:00 p.m.

Scheduled for the Event are:

Hosts Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc

Performances by the hit band “SmashMouth”

Appearances by current Angels Torii Hunter, Howie Kendrick & Reggie Willits and former Angels Tim Salmon and Bobby Grich

Unveiling of 2008 A.L. West Champion Banner

Highlights of the Angels 2008 Season

U.S. Navy Leapfrogs

Fireworks Show

WHAT: Rally Monday will take place at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Monday,
September 29th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. All fans will receive rally towels
and bandanas as they enter the event. The team store will also have Angels’
playoff merchandise on sale.

WHEN: Monday, September 29, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Parking and admission free to all fans.

Visit the Angels website at: www. angelsbaseball.com


EL SEGUNDO - Lakers guard Sun Yue, who arrived in Los Angeles from China on Sunday, was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital last night after becoming ill. He has tested positive for mononucleosis, it was announced today by the team.

He is not expected to be ready to practice by Tuesday when the Lakers open training camp and will be out indefinitely. His condition will be monitored on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


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--Morehouse College and Prairie View A-M Kick Off Live from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 2 PM--

PRIME TICKET Game Telecast Includes Coverage of Battle of the Bands

WHAT: Bringing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the West, the 2008
Farmers Angels City Classic is a weekend long celebration in Los Angeles centered around a football event at the Memorial Coliseum.

The nation's only historically all-black, all-male college, Morehouse College is a private, independent, four-year liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia. The official Morehouse Maroon Tiger Marching Band is the "House of Funk"; the Morehouse Dance Team is "Mahogany-N-Motion".

Prairie View A-M is a historically black college in Prairie View, Texas. The Prairie View A-M University "Marching Storm" is the university's official marching band. The Panther's "Marching Storm" is joined by their majorettes, "The Black Foxxes".

WHO: Play-by-play announcer Michael Eaves and game analyst Petros Papadakis are in the PRIME TICKET booth. Additional event coverage is provided by sideline reporters Nicole Haynes and Dain Blanton. PRIME TICKET provides telecast coverage of the football game, which includes a traditional "Battle of the Bands".

WHERE: PRIME TICKET, the destination for local college football in Southern California.

WHEN: Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 2 PM.


EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent center DJ Mbenga, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Mbenga, a 7-foot, 255 pound native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Lakers last season on January 21 and February 1 before signing for the remainder of the year on February 11.

In 26 games with the Lakers, Mbenga averaged 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.62 blocked shots in 7.8 minutes while totaling four points and five rebounds in 10 minutes over seven postseason games.

Earlier in the season, Mbenga signed with the Golden State Warriors on November 17 after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks prior to their request for waivers on him October 30. In 16 games with the Warriors prior to his release January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.

After signing with Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2004, Mbenga, 27, played 79 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, totaling 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes. In his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06. In 2006-07 he was limited to just 21 games after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis.

In 121 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.50 blocked shots in 5.8 minutes.

The Lakers preseason roster now stands at 19.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


UPDATE: The documentary on former USC basketball player Nick Young will air tonight at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 instead of tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. as it was originally scheduled.

“Second Chance Season” Depicts Former Trojan’s Journey To Success

LOS ANGELES – The documentary “Second Chance Season” which depicts former Trojan Nick Young’s compelling story of loss, redemption and success will air on ESPN2 on Thursday (Sept. 25) at 9:30 p.m.

The movie, directed and co-produced by Daniel H. Forer, orginally was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival in the summer of 2007. That same summer Young was selected with the 16th pick in the NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards.

Young averaged 7.5 points in 75 games last year during his rookie season with the Wizards. Young played for USC during the 2005-07 seasons and finished sixth all-time in school history with 1,486 points.

The 90-minute documentary mostly follows Young during his senior year of high school, one that almost didn’t happen if not for an eleventh hour reprieve by the school board. The movie also explores the long-term residual effects that the senseless murder of Nick’s brother had on the family and how they coped with the tragedy. Young is able to overcome it all, have a successful career at USC and parlay that into the fulfillment of a dream with his selection in the NBA Draft.

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Monday, September 22, 2008


WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael of Washington State, defensive back Corey Hall and return man Mike Thomas, both of Arizona have been named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Players of the Week in football, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced.

Lobbestael, a redshirt freshman from Oak Harbor, Wash., who had thrown only two passes all year, came off the bench to lead Washington State to a 48-9 win against Portland State.

Entering the game after injuries to the Cougars first two quarterbacks, Lobbestael's first two pass attempts went for touchdowns covering 14 and 53 yards. He ended up completing 9 of 12 passes (.750) for 149 yards and the two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Cougars scored on the first four possessions after he entered the game. Washington State's offense piled up 36 first downs and 638 yards total offense (277 rushing, 361 passing).

Hall and Thomas played key roles in Arizona's 31-10 road win at UCLA. Hall, a junior from DeSoto, Texas, posted six tackles, four solo, including one quarterback sack and broke up two passes, leading Arizona's defensive effort. The Wildcat defense did not allow a touchdown and limited UCLA to 11 first downs and 196 yards of total offense (115 rushing, 81 passing).

Thomas, a senior also from DeSoto, Texas, had 257 all-purpose yards against UCLA, including 107 yards on six punt returns (17.8), with three of the returns setting up Arizona touchdowns. Hall and Thomas were teammates at DeSoto (Texas) High School.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were running back Toby Gerhart of Stanford and tight end Rob Gronkowski of Arizona. Also nominated on defense were linebacker Pat Maynor of Stanford and safety Xavier Hicks of Washington State. Kicker Aaron Zagory of Stanford was nominated for special teams play.

Week Offense Defense Special Teams
Aug. 30 Mark Sanchez, QB, USC Wopamo Osaisai, CB, STAN Kai Forbath, PK, UCLA
Sep. 6 Jahvid Best, RB, CAL Gerald Munns, MLB, ASU Keola Antolin, KR, ARIZ
Sep. 13 Mark Sanchez, QB, USC Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC Matt Evensen, PK, ORE
Sep. 20 Marshall Lobbestael, QB, WSU Corey Hall, DB, ARIZ Mike Thomas, PR, ARIZ

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't Just Talk About It, Be About It

I had actually thought about completely ignoring the story about Josh Howard's controversial comments during a recent rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. I have made a point in my life to disregard as much stupidity as possible.

However, since the backlash from Howard's comments and actions have been somewhat harsh and definitely plentiful, I have decided to share my comments with you. But before I give you my take on the much larger issue, check out what some of my colleagues recently wrote about this matter.

ESPN.com's JA Adande: ”If you're going to exercise your First Amendment right to free speech, have something worthwhile to say. In the end, our country respects those who take a principled stand. That's why Muhammad Ali, who had his heavyweight championship belts snatched away when he refused to fight in the Vietnam War, was given the honor of lighting the flame at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta more than a quarter-century later. And four decades after sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists during "The Star-Spangled Banner," there are statues of them on a college campus and they received a standing ovation when they were handed an ESPY award."

SLAM Magazine's Vincent Thomas: ”No matter your access or ascension, there are too many things blacks encounter that remind them of one sobering idea: 'No matter who/what/where you are — to some people, you’re still just a nigger.' Take as much time as you need to swallow that.”

Both opinions are very well-written and raised interesting, thought-provoking points. And if you think Thomas is a bit off-base with his statement, you should have read some of the comments on Mark Cuban's blog--before they took it down-- to fully understand why some black people feel the way Thomas describes.

However, my main issue with Howard's "protest" is that there seems to be a hollowness behind his words. Is he just running his mouth, or is he on the verge of doing something to correct the injustice he feels?

If we truly aren't where we are supposed to be as a people, what are we, as a people, prepared to do about it? Disrespecting the Star-Spangled Banner won't do it. Telling the world you smoke weed won't do it. Dressing and acting more like convicted criminals instead of successful professional college graduates won't do it. And not voting won't do it.

So, what are WE prepared to do? Are we honoring the legacy of our ancestors by sitting in front of the bus and the classroom? Are we using our college educations to help others go to college? Are we teaching our children personal and financial responsibility? Are we taking time out of our lives to volunteer at an adult literacy program? Are we finding at-risk students and setting them up with mentors?

What are WE doing, black people?

My feeling is this: If are you just about talking noise about the white man and what the black man can or can't do, and you aren't trying to do anything about the current situation, I might as well be deaf to you because I ain't hearin' ya!!

Don't talk about it. BE about it!!

We have way too many successful black people in this country who not only have the means, but the INFLUENCE to really make a change, but the one thing too many of us don't seem to have is the CARE to make a difference.

Faith Renews The Human Spirit

I wanted to share with everyone an amazing e-mail I recently received. It was a forward from one of my friends, but I thought if there was ever an e-mail forward that should be passed along it is this one.

What a remarkable, heart-warming story. Pay particular attention to the looks on the people's faces when as they encounter the inspiration that is Faith.

The dog's name is Faith! He was born in 2002. At birth he only had 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which need to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

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His first owner also did not think that he could survive. Therefore, he was thinking of putting him to sleep. At this time, his present owner Jude Stringfellow met him and wanted to take care of him. She was determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith.'

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surf board to let him feel the movements of the water. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and to reward him for standing up and jumping around. Even the other dogs at home helped to encourage him to walk. Amazingly, after only 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward.

After further training in the snow, he can now walk like a human being.
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Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he just attracts all the people around him. He is now becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared in various newspapers and TV shows. There is even one book entitled 'With a little faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.
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His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching job and plans to take him around the world to preach, that 'even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul.'
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In life there are always undesirable things. Perhaps one will feel better if one changes the point of view from another direction.

I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone can appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day that follows.

Life is the continual demonstration of the Strength of Life!! Thank you.

USC Guard Marcus Simmons Undergoes Ankle Surgery

- Sophomore Guard Expected To Miss 8-12 weeks -

LOS ANGELES – USC sophomore guard Marcus Simmons is expected to miss 8-12 weeks of action following surgery to remove additional bone growth in his left leg due to complications from an ankle injury last season, announced USC head basketball coach Tim Floyd today (Sept. 19).

Simmons, who was limited to parts of 15 games in 2007-08 due to sustaining a high ankle sprain on the fi rst day of practice, had surgery on Tuesday to remove additional bone growth between the tibia and fi bula as a result of the trauma of his past injuries to the left ankle.

The surgery was performed by Dr. David Thordarson at USC Hospital.

Simmons appeared in a total of 101 minutes over 15 games as a USC freshman, scoring eight points and grabbing 23 rebounds. As a senior in high school, Simmons averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in leading Peabody High of Alexandria, La. to a 37-4 record and the 4-A Louisiana state championship.

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Farmers Insurance Group Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of FSN’s Year-Long Diversity Campaign

Original Programs to Debut During Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

LOS ANGELES—FSN, the nation’s leader in local sports, and Farmers Insurance Group today announced plans to team up to celebrate diversity, as Farmers has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of FSN’s year-long diversity awareness campaign.

The campaign will be woven through three major national diversity celebrations including Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), Black History Month (February), and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May).

Among the campaign’s highlights will be a variety of original programs, including 30-minute and 60-minute specials, as well as a series of vignettes entitled Americans in Focus that will honor the achievements and contributions of Americans with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

In producing these programs, FSN has partnered with Beezley Films, Inc., an award-winning, African-American-owned, multi-media production company based in Los Angeles. The vignettes will appear in a variety of FSN programming throughout the year, including NBA, NHL, and MLB telecasts.

Additionally, FSN will televise the Farmers Insurance Group Angel City Classic, the annual football extravaganza held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, that showcases teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This year’s game will feature Morehouse College and Prairie View A&M, and it will be televised live throughout Southern California by Prime Ticket @ 2:00 p.m. PT on September 27, as well as to a nationwide audience by FSN’s other regional sports networks.

“It’s an honor to receive this great support from Farmers for our diversity platform,” said Craig Sloan, senior vice president, national advertising sales, FSN. “Our goal with this year-long campaign is to raise awareness of multi-culturalism and share with our viewers these compelling stories of individuals who made significant contributions to society, both in sports and beyond.”

Added Faye W. McClure, vice president, strategic marketing for Farmers Insurance: “Farmers has an 80-year history of supporting the communities where we live and work. We are pleased to partner with FSN to showcase the power of diversity through stories about real people that have made a difference in our communities. Through this partnership, we expect to positively touch the lives of millions through the vignettes, the specials, and our High School sports program.”

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, FSN’s Americans in Focus vignettes will chronicle the stories of past and present Hispanic Americans who have excelled in their professions and have inspired others to greatness. Subjects include: Victor Villasenor, who overcame dyslexia and racial bias to become an award-winning author of seven best sellers; Admiral David Farragut, a U.S. Civil War hero who became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of Admiral; and Dr. Juan Carlos Finlay, who discovered the cause and eventual cure for the transmission of Yellow Fever.

To further commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, MLB productions and FSN have collaborated to produce Our Game: The Latino Influence in Baseball, an hour-long documentary that will examine and celebrate the heritage of Latin American players in Major League Baseball. The program will be televised nationally across FSN’s networks in September, as the MLB season marches towards the playoffs.

In an effort to raise greater awareness for the diversity campaign in all of Farmers’ “core 29” states within the country, National Advertising Partners (NAP), the Fox-owned sales unit that represents RSNs across the country, has also secured exposure for elements of the campaign on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, and Comcast Sports Net Chicago.

FSN Networks
FSN’s regional networks are the nation’s leading provider of local sports. FSN’s owned-and-operated networks serve as the cable and satellite TV home to nearly two-thirds of all NBA, MLB, and NHL franchises in the U.S., producing close to 5,000 live, mostly local, events each year, including more than 1700 in high definition.

About Farmers Insurance
Farmers Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Farmers® is the nation's third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Property and casualty products are underwritten and issued by the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which Farmers Group, Inc. manages but does not own.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Farmers insurers provide Homeowners, Auto, Business, Life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households. For more information about Farmers, visit our Web site at www.farmers.com.

-- FSN --

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama Directly Addresses America In Two-Minute Ad: Plan for Change

Visit BarackObama.com/plan to read Obama's plan for the economy now.


ANAHEIM, CA – The 2008 American League West Division champion Angels today announced their regular season schedule for the 2009 campaign, which includes the home opener at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Monday, April 6, against the Oakland Athletics. The 2009 schedule is tentative with game times and TV schedule still to be determined.

The Angels begin 2009 with a season-opening seven-game homestand against Oakland (April 6-9) and the Boston Red Sox (April 10-12) before embarking on their first road trip to the Seattle Mariners (April 14-16) and Minnesota Twins (April 17-19).

The 2009 schedule features 12 homestands, including two season-long 10-game stints (July 2-12 and Sept. 21-Oct. 1), and 12 road trips. Included in the list of home games are two match-ups against the Boston Red Sox (also May 12-14) and two series versus the New York Yankees (July 10-12 and Sept. 21-23).

The Angels will again play 57 contests against West Division rivals Seattle, Oakland and Texas in 2009, including 13 of their final 16 games of the season. They finish on the road with a three-game series at Oakland (Oct. 2-4).

The 2009 schedule also features 18 interleague contests against National League West Division teams. The Angels will first play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium (May 22-24) and then later begin a stretch of 15 straight interleague games in June. The Angels will host the San Diego Padres (June 12-14), then travel north to face the San Francisco Giants (June 15-17) before returning home for a six-game homestand against the Dodgers (June 19-21) and Colorado Rockies (June 22-24). The Angels will conclude interleague play with a three-game series at Arizona (June 26-28).



LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers Dream Foundation will hold a sports memorabilia silent auction this Saturday, September 20 at Dodger Stadium to benefit the Manny Mota International Foundation. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on over 100 sports collectibles, including a Russell Martin signed game-used bat and signed Dodger catching gear, as well as signed game-used cleats by Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier and pitcher Chad Billingsley.

Some of the other items up for bid include signed baseballs by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully and Hall of Fame player and manager Yogi Berra; and authentic signed jerseys by Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum. The silent auction will take place from 5:30-8:45 p.m. on the club level outside of the Vin Scully Pressbox, and will be open to fans with a ticket to Saturday’s Dodgers-Giants game.

The mission of the Manny Mota International Foundation is to provide educational, health and recreational opportunities for disadvantaged youth and their families in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1967, the Foundation’s vision is to use the Manny Mota Baseball Clinics program as the platform to teach children to build healthy bodies and minds through positive role models and teach self-discipline through sports, as well as to provide communities with the tools necessary for improvement and self-reliance. Mota is in his 29th season as a coach with the Dodgers and 39th overall in the organization after a playing career in Los Angeles that spanned parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982.

Founded in 1998, the Dodgers Dream Foundation (DDF) was created to provide educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for the youth of the Greater Los Angeles community. The Foundation places special emphasis on helping traditionally under-served youth.


EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers will institute a new variable pricing plan for tickets beginning with the upcoming 2008-09 season, it was announced today by Senior Vice President of Business Operations Tim Harris.

In the new plan, tickets in various sections will have three different prices: a regular individual game price; a discounted season seat price; and a premium price. Seven games have been chosen as premium games. They are as follows: December 25 vs. Boston; January 19 vs. Cleveland; January 25 vs. San Antonio; February 20 vs. New Orleans; February 26 vs. Phoenix; March 15 vs. Dallas and April 3 vs. Houston.

“This has been a growing trend in sports and entertainment ticket pricing in recent years and allows us to increase revenues to offset our increasing payroll costs. At the same time, while determining the market value of ticket prices, we were sensitive to being able to protect our season seat holders by keeping their price increases to a minimum,” said Harris.

The Lakers also announced that tickets for individual games for the 2008-09 season will go on sale on Saturday, October 4.

The tickets will go on sale at 10:00am at all Ticketmaster locations, online at https://www.fegmail.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.ticketmaster.com/ and by telephone at 1-800-4NBATIX. There are approximately 1,000 tickets available for each Lakers home game. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the STAPLES Center Box Office on this date.

For more information regarding tickets for individual games please visit the Lakers website at https://www.fegmail.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.lakers.com.


PRIME TICKET Offers 47 Game Telecasts with 70% Available in HD

Coverage of Team’s 25th Anniversary in Los Angeles Begins Friday, October 31 Game Against Denver Nuggets

“Clippers Live” Showcases Expertise of Analyst Don MacLean and Michael Eaves

Los Angeles – FSN PRIME TICKET, the telecast destination for the Los Angeles Clippers for 13 years, proudly celebrates the team’s 25th anniversary in Los Angeles. During the 2008-09 season, PRIME TICKET provides a 47 regular season game telecast schedule. For the first time, all Clippers home game telecasts on PRIME TICKET - 70 % of the schedule - will be available in high definition (HD).

Clippers game telecasts on PRIME TICKET feature Ralph Lawler - the “Voice of the Clippers” in his 30th year with the team - as the Clippers play-by-play announcer. Lawler is joined in the booth once again by analyst Michael Smith. The former Clipper is his seventh season providing color analysis of PRIME TICKET. Dain Blanton, Chris McGee, Mark Rogondino and Lindsay Soto provide sideline reporting.

Hosted by PRIME TICKET reporter Michael Eaves, with input from NBA Analyst Don MacLean, “Clippers Live” keeps fans informed and entertained. “Clippers Live” player interviews, expert analysis and feature stories provide Clippers fans with unmatched access to the team.

Clippers game telecasts on PRIME TICKET are produced by Sara Takata and directed by Matt Lipp. Coverage starts on Friday, October 31 when the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets in their season and home opener; “Clippers Live” begins at 7 PM with tip-off at 7:30 PM.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Bill Macdonald Anchors “Lakers Live” From Star Plaza Alongside Analyst Norm Nixon; Rick Fox Returns for Select Shows

October 18 Tips it Off: First Lakers Pre-Season Game on Fox Sports WEST

Los Angeles – Fox Sports WEST, the local destination for Los Angeles Lakers basketball, enters its 23rd season as telecast partner with a 35-home game telecast schedule. Two pre-season contests and 33 regular-season games air live from STAPLES Center on WEST. All 35 game telecasts will be available in High Definition (HD). The schedule begins on Saturday, October 18, at 7:30 PM on WEST with live coverage of the Lakers vs. FC Barcelona pre-season matchup.

“Lakers Live” pre- and post-game shows are hosted by Bill Macdonald with expert analysis from Norm Nixon. All season long, “Lakers Live” will air from Star Plaza outside the STAPLES Center and surround Lakers game telecasts on WEST. The half-hour shows provide team access, analysis and player/coach interviews. New this season, the Sunday pre-game editions of “Lakers Live” will be one-hour long and, following an entertaining and informative run on “Lakers Live” during the 2008 NBA Playoffs, former Laker Rick Fox returns for select shows.

Game telecasts feature Stu Lantz in his 22nd season as analyst and play-by-play announcer Joel Meyers in his fourth consecutive season. Patrick O’Neal and Michael Eaves provide sideline reporting for both the Lakers and visiting teams throughout the season.

Macdonald’s “Philosophy 101” segment airs in each WEST Lakers game telecast just prior to tip-off. “Philosophy 101” features Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson and provides a preview of what viewers and fans alike can expect to see from the purple and gold that evening.

Game telecasts are produced by Mark Shah. Doug Freeman returns to the director’s chair for all Lakers games on WEST.

Following the first Lakers pre-season telecast on October 18, WEST delivers “Lakers Season Preview Special”. The half hour program begins approximately at 10:00 PM.

About Fox Sports WEST
In addition to the Los Angeles Lakers, Fox Sports WEST is the destination for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Los Angeles Kings. Together, WEST and sister network PRIME TICKET present more live, local sports programming than any other network or broadcast system in the market. Serving sports fans in Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii, WEST and PRIME TICKET produce over 700 live sporting events and telecast over 5,000 hours of original programming every year. For complete national and regional sports news, provocative opinions, telecast schedules and updated statistics, log-on to www.foxsports.com.

-- Fox Sports WEST--

Don't Play Me Like I'm Stupid

I don't care if we are talking sports or politics, one thing I absolutely hate is for someone to insult my intelligence by lying dead to my face. It's somewhat of a common practice in sports.

We, in the media, call it coach-speak. Coaches will say certain things they know may not be completely true in order to keep their team focused on the task at hand or so they won't tip their hand before a game is played. Oftentimes, it's blatant, but always harmless in the grand scheme of things.

However, in the world of politics, insulting society's intelligence isn't just commonplace, it's the norm, and as we have seen with Iraq, it can be gravely dangerous.

Politicians have made a career out of saying whatever is necessary to get re-elected, and voters have been falling for such tactics for centuries.

But to quote an old, wise sage from the 90's, "Homey don't play that!"

I know in some parts of our country--especially the part where I live now--it's acceptable to openly lie to any and everyone about any and everything. But I grew up in the South, and down there you can't just knowingly lie to people and expect them to take you at your word. As we Southerners like to say, "Don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining!"

I raise this point, because I'm starting to get a little upset at the current presidential campaign, particularly the Republican party. I've already touched on the hypocrisy of the McCain campaign.

Check out this latest example:

So, being a mayor or governor for only a short time disqualifies you from the presidency, but it doesn't disqualify you from being one heartbeat away from it? Whew, I feel so much better now.

But beyond the hypocrisy, it's the outright, blatant lies that are originating from McCain supporters, and oftentimes his campaign itself.

New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman writes, "Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, "Thanks, but no thanks" when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere. These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies."

Charles Babbington from the Associated Press says, "The "Straight Talk Express" has detoured into doublespeak."

And James Rainey writes in the Los Angeles Times, "News organizations and these admirable truth-squadding outfits, including PolitiFact.com, do not collaborate. But in independent news reports and commentaries this week, they seemed to reach a consensus to say ‘enough’ to the McCain camp's efforts to demonize Barack Obama."

Enough already. I'm beyond fed up with these low-rate political tactics. Don't disguise your lack of solid viewpoints and arguments on the issues that affect us the most with lies and smears of the opposition.

Don't play me like I'm stupid. Don't play the American voters like they are stupid. This election is too damned important to be playing games!


For those of you wondering whatever happened to Davon Jefferson, here's your answer.

- Former Trojan forward to play professionally in Israel -

LOS ANGELES – Former USC basketball player Davon Jefferson has signed with the Maccabi Haifa Heat of the Israeli Premier League it was announced this week.

Jefferson was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team for the 2007-08 season after he had one of the fi nest freshman seasons in USC history. The forward played in 29 games and averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Trojans, both second best on the team.

He cracked into USC’s all-time freshman top 10 in points (8th -351), points per game (T-8th -12.1), fi eld goal percentage (3rd - .575), free throws made (6th - 71), blocks (8th - 28) and rebounds (4th - 182).

Jefferson had his biggest collegiate game on Jan. 19, 2008 at UCLA, scoring 25 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead USC to a 72-63 win over the No. 4 Bruins. Jefferson scored in double fi gures 19 times and had 12 games of seven or more rebounds.

The Maccabi Haifa Heat held a two-day tryout at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on July 28-29 and Jefferson was one of 60 players to compete for a roster spot.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

LA Barbecue Festival Heats Up This Weekend

There is a BBQ Festival this weekend, Sat-Sun September 13 and 14th at the Santa Monica Beach Pier. Here is the information and the related links: http://www.labbqfest.com

The top pitmasters from around the country are coming to Los Angeles for the LA BBQ Festival on the Santa Monica Beach (www.drinkeatplay.com/bbq). The two-day Los Angeles BBQ Festival will take place on the Santa Monica Beach North Parking Lot, adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier, on Sept 13th and 14th, from noon to 6pm. It’s a one-of-a-kind BBQ extravaganza showcasing the country's best BBQ, in addition to local BBQ pitmasters, beer garden, and live music. The event, which is sponsored by CozmoDeck and Bristol Farms, will bring together over 20,000 BBQ lovers from San Diego to Santa Barbara and highlight the country's top pit masters from Texas, (Salt Lick and Southside), Missouri (LC's in Kansas City), and Mississippi (Ubon's) in addition to some of the local talent.

The event will also feature a beer garden and entertainment stage will be highlighted by a Johnny Cash cover band and Ticket to Ride, a Beatles cover band, on Friday. Saturday will include Country Gone Awry (think Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Metal Shop, a tribute band covering Poison, Bon Jovi, and Guns N' Roses.

Admission is $10, and each pitmaster will sell their 'cue for $10. For those not interested in long lines, a "Fast Pass" is available for $50 and will include admission for both days, shorter lines for BBQ and drinks, and a VIP gift bag, including a Festival shirt.

And I've got a hookup for you. Enter "kentucky" in the coupon code to get $5 of general admission and $15 off VIP Fast Passes. Just go to www.drinkeatplay.com/bbq to purchase your tickets.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I just received this news release from the Chargers. I understand and respect Shawne Merriman's desire to play through pain, but it's something else entirely to play through injury.

I just wonder, though, if the Chargers are totally pleased with Merriman's decision or if they had rather he made this decision during training camp.

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman informed the team today that he has decided to have surgery on his knee and will miss the remainder of the 2008 season.

“Shawne informed me he did not feel right (on the field) and thought it best to shut it down,” said Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. “The road to winning the AFC West just got more difficult, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible. Shawne is a great player and an inspirational leader. He will be missed. We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.”

The Chargers are expected to place Merriman on “Reserve-Injured” later this week.

Seven Is Not Enough: Lance Armstrong To Enter Tour de France Again

It seems as though retirement is not as fulfilling as Lance Armstrong may have thought. The 7-time winner of the Tour de France tells Vanity Fair that he is coming out of retirement to enter next year's race.

Considering where Armstrong took the race, in terms of international spotlight, and where it has since fallen after his retirement, the cycling world must be overly joyed to hear this news.

I do wonder, however, if Armstrong does indeed come back to win a ridiculous eight consecutive Tour de Frances whether it will re-ignite questions about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs or if it might go a long way in finally putting those questions to rest.

Either way, I know I'll definitely be watching next year. Something I haven't been able to say since Armstrong retired.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tax Plans: Obaba vs. McCain

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about the differences in the proposed tax plans of Barack Obama of John McCain. A recent article in The Washington Post broke down the numbers according to annual salaries.

I will be honest and tell you that my tax burden will go up under Obama's plan. However, losing a few additional thousand dollars a year will not hurt me financially. I am much more concerned about the larger population of tax payers. Plus, if the economy grows under Obama has it has historically done under Democratic presidents, I will recoup that money down the road. (see earlier post)

So, check out the numbers below and decide for yourself which plan makes the most sense for not only you, but for the country.

Obama and McCain Tax Proposals
According to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are both proposing tax plans that would result in cuts for most American families. Obama's plan gives the biggest cuts to those who make the least, while McCain would give the largest cuts to the very wealthy. For the approximately 147,000 families that make up the top 0.1 percent of the income scale, the difference between the two plans is stark. While McCain offers a $269,364 tax cut, Obama would raise their taxes, on average, by $701,885 - a difference of nearly $1 million.

Free Image Hosting
(Courtesy: The Washington Post)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is History Siding With Obama’s Economic Plan?

A friend sent me this New York Times article, which examined the effect Democratic and Republican presidents have had on the national economy.

The article includes some really pertinent information, especially as it relates to the upcoming election.

"Simply put, the United States economy has grown faster, on average, under Democratic presidents than under Republicans.

The stark contrast between the whiz-bang Clinton years and the dreary Bush years is familiar because it is so recent. But while it is extreme, it is not atypical. Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats.

That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut."

So regardless of your views on the upcoming presidential election or your opinions on the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain's respective economic plans, the article definitely makes for an interesting read.

Is History Siding With Obama’s Economic Plan?

Allegations Of Racist & Sexist Remarks By McCain/Palin Surface

I don't know the authenticity or credibility of these respective articles and internet sites, but someone please, please, please tell me these stories aren't true.

Unfortunately, however, my life experiences have prepared me not to be shocked in the least if any of these stories turn out to be true. I pray for the day when I will be shocked.

McCain: racist, bigot & homophobe

Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”

More Of The Same: Bush = McCain

Shaq Takes On An Escalade

Just spotted this video on break.com. Check out Shaq trying to out do Kobe by jumping over an Escalade.

Shaq Jumps Over Escalade - Watch more free videos

Are You Registered To Vote?

I just received the following e-mail from voteforchange.com, and regardless of your candidate of choice, it's important that everyone registers to vote and then casts their ballot on election day.

I would encourage everyone to forward this e-mail to their friends/co-workers. You would be amazed at how many people have never registered to vote.

Turning everyone's passion and enthusiasm into votes is the only way we'll bring about the change we all want. But knowing when, where, and how to vote hasn't always been easy -- until now.We've created a new online tool -- VoteforChange -- that will give you customized answers to all of your voting questions, personalized just for you.

Need to find out how to register to vote? Not sure if you're already registered? Just enter some basic information and get instant answers.

Need to find out your Election Day polling location, absentee voting information, or other registration requirements? Or perhaps you want to find out if your state allows early voting or vote by mail. We've got it all covered.

Once you get the information you need, pass it on to all of your friends with our easy-to-use sharing feature. We all know people who’d like to vote but just don’t have the information. With VoteforChange.com, they’ll have no excuses.

Making sure that everyone's voice is heard in the political process is what this movement for change is all about. Make sure you and everyone you know isn't left out: https://voteforchange.com/

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dodgers Make Various Announcements

Here are some recent news releases from the Dodgers.


WHAT: The Los Angeles Dodgers will auction off the team’s game-worn jerseys from tomorrow’s game during the “Shirts Off Their Backs” auction, with the proceeds benefiting the Dodgers Dream Foundation. Special gift baskets prepared by Dodger players’ wives containing their husbands’ favorite items and autographed memorabilia will also be auctioned off.

WHEN: Sunday, September 7 from 11:10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

WHERE: Dodger Stadium, Club level outside of the Vin Scully Press Box.

MISC: For more information, please contact the Dodgers’ Public Relations
department at (323) 224-1301 or Community Affairs department at
(323) 224-1413.


Cultural celebration planned in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

WHAT: The Dodgers will hold a cultural celebration during Hispanic Heritage month on Saturday, September 20. The Viva Los Dodgers festival presented by Coca Cola and Toyota will include food, games, live music including a local talent contest and special guests. Fans can attend the Viva Los Dodgers Festival for free with a ticket to the 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants.

WHERE: Dodger Stadium
Parking Lot 1

WHEN: Saturday, September 20, 2008
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.


LOS ANGELES -- The Dugout Club at Dodger Stadium was tabbed as the best seat in the National League, the best premium seat in Major League Baseball, and third-best overall seat in MLB, according to USA Today. The newspaper recently completed its search for the "best seat in the house," in a 10-part series it unveiled last week.

In citing the Dugout Club as the No. 3 "seat in house," USA Today wrote, "From the corner of the Dugout Club nearest the Dodgers dugout, fans sit about 10 feet from the on-deck circle, close enough to have a normal conversation with Manny Ramirez or Russell Martin. The first three rows of the Dugout Club have a sight line into the dugouts."

The all-inclusive seating area, which provides access to the exclusive underground club behind home plate, was built in 2000 and upgraded following the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities have attended Dodger games in the Dugout Club over the past few seasons, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pamela Anderson, Victoria Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Zac Efron, Calista Flockhart, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks, Paris Hilton, Ron Howard, Larry King, Shia LaBeouf, Tommy Lee, Matthew McConaughey, Alyssa Milano, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Hilary Swank, and Vince Vaughn.

In addition, numerous Fortune 500 companies maintain season seats in the Dugout Club, as the area has become a veritable "Who's Who" of the Los Angeles business community.

"Fans who sit here typically say that once you've sat in these seats for a game, sitting anywhere else just doesn't seem to cut it," the article reads. "Fastballs hiss and pop. Players argue with umpires. Teammates hug. All right in front of you."

Several of the seats in the Dugout Club are actually closer to home plate than the pitcher's mound, providing an unparalleled experience. In addition, the food options are second-to-none.

"Being a member of the Dugout Club is sort like having a all-expenses-paid suite at the Ritz-Carlton," according to the USA Today article. "A spectacular restaurant with a wide array of gourmet offerings presented buffet style is directly behind the seating area.

"It doesn't end there. If you're in your seat and craving, say, hot wings, chicken tenders, a fruit kabob or a veggie wrap, simply flag down a waiter and, within minutes, it's brought to your padded seat, where you can swing the built-in tray in front of you and it's just like you've got a TV tray in front of your 60-inch hi-def, except you are there."

The only two seats in baseball that were rated higher than the Dugout Club by USA Today were the seats atop the Green Monster in left field at Fenway Park in Boston and the view from the hotel room that is in center field at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Neither is considered "premium seating" by traditional baseball standards.


“Governors Award” honors club’s 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will present its Governors Award to the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow at the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. In this 50th Anniversary season, the Academy is recognizing the Dodgers’ role as pioneers of sports television and leaders in community service in Southern California. Hall of Famer Vin Scully, who has personified the club’s broadcasting excellence during the entire period, received the honor in 1991.

“The Dodgers are a true staple of Los Angeles history and have had a tremendous impact on the city, and on broadcasting, for the last 50 years,” said John Shaffner, chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “We are very pleased that the Television Academy’s Board of Governors voted to bestow this well-deserved honor on an organization that not only brings enjoyment to the television community but is also committed to making a difference in our city.”

Dodger President Jamie McCourt is expected to attend, as are a host of Dodger stars of the past including Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Tommy Davis, Wes Parker, “Sweet Lou” Johnson, Lee Lacy, Kenny Landreaux, Jim Gott, Derrel Thomas, and Jimmy Campanis.

The Board of Governors created the award to recognize individuals, companies, or organizations for an outstanding legacy of achievement in the arts, sciences, or management of television, or in recognition of an outstanding singular achievement or contribution.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2008. In that period, they have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League. Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 180 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.
Visit the Dodgers on the Internet at www.dodgers.com.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Republican Inaccuracies And Hypocrisy Show No Bounds

I realize that in this day and age of modern American politics, one side is going to constantly attack the other side on the issues-- both real and unreal. So, as much as I hate such tactics, I get it.

However, the only thing I would ask for--and I assume the majority of Americans would hope for as well--is that the attacks are factual in nature and they are not hypocritical. The speeches and some of the commentary we heard Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention did not live up to those requests.

In the words of Associated Press journalist, Jim Kuhnnenn, Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters "stretched the truth" in their reproach of Barack Obama and their praise of one another.

As far as the hypocrisy is concerned, I think I'll just turn it over to The Daily Show's Jon Stewart.

Again, I understand the relentless attacking of the other side, but those attacks, even if aimed towards my favored party, would carry much more weight with me if they were accurate and fair.

I'm beginning to think, unfortunately, that such a request is far too much to ask in today's political forum, especially from conservatives.

UPDATE: Speaking of hypocrisy!

Georgia Republican Congressman Westmoreland Calls Barack And Michelle Obama "Uppity"

Damn! Really?

Hell, why didn't he just add nigger to it? I mean, no one's ever been called an "uppity cracker."

It's funny how no one wants race to be a factor in this election, but the Republicans keep referring to it and always in a negative manner.

By Mike Soraghan

Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

"Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity," Westmoreland said.

Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

Other Democrats have charged that the Republican campaign to paint the Illinois senator as an “elitist” is racially charged, and accused them of using code words for “uppity” without using the word itself.

Sports Illustrated Internship Available

SI.com is looking for a paid edit intern to work full-time through December for $10/hr.

Primary Duties/Responsibili ties of Position: Producing, reporting, writing, general editorial tasks.

After the internship, you'll walk away knowing/learning: Knowledge of sports, the internet, the media, writing and journalism.

Skills Desired/Required: Good writing, organizational, computer and time management skills.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chalmers, Arthur Sent Home From NBA Rookie Program

Seriously, how dumb do you have to be to get kicked out of the NBA rookie transition program by engaging in the same activity about which you are being educated??

RYE BROOK, N.Y. (AP) - Former Kansas stars Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home Wednesday from the NBA's mandatory rookie transition program for violating unspecified league rules.

Both the Miami Heat, who drafted Chalmers, and agent Sam Goldfeder confirmed to The Associated Press that the guard left the program. Neither would divulge the reasons why the former Kansas standout, who hit the overtime-forcing jumper in the Jayhawks' win over Memphis in the national championship game five months ago, was asked to depart early from the resort in southern Westchester County, a short drive north of Manhattan, where the event was taking place.

"I'm in the process of investigating what exactly is going on," Goldfeder said.

The Heat said they also were investigating and declined further comment.

"The players were sent home for violating program rules," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said. "They will be appropriately sanctioned and will have to repeat the program next year."

Arthur, a 6-foot-9 forward who was chosen late in the first round by New Orleans, was traded three times on draft night and signed his rookie contract with Memphis in early July. The Grizzlies acknowledged Arthur "was sent home ... for violating program rules" but declined to give details.

"He will be sanctioned at a later date, and he will have to repeat the program next year," team spokesman Dustin Krugel said.

In addition to returning to the symposium in 2009, the former Jayhawks both may be facing a fine and suspension from the NBA.

Chalmers left Miami on Monday to begin the program, a four-day event which is required of all newcomers entering the league and focuses on issues such as life skills, handling finances, the importance of character and image, the difference between NBA and NCAA game rules, legal matters and dealing with media.

Chalmers is expected to compete for the starting point guard spot with the Heat when training camp begins later this month. He was drafted early in the second round by Minnesota and quickly traded to the Heat, who raved about his play in the Orlando summer league and signed him to a two-year deal.

"We really don't know all the facts yet, and I certainly would never comment publicly on any personal matter concerning any player I have ever coached," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Beyond that, I can say that both Mario and Darrell were great to coach. They played a huge role in our success the past few years, in large part due to their unselfishness and the sacrifices they made for our program."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sarah Palin: "Iraq Is A Task Of God"

Check out this excerpt from a recent address Sarah Palin gave at her hometown church where she referred to the Iraq War as a "task of God."

My question is, Who exactly gets to determine God's plan?

Click the link below for the video portion of this address.

Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.

Her speech in June provides as much insight into her policy leanings as anything uncovered since she was asked to be John McCain's running mate.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Religion, however, was not strictly a thread in Palin's foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well. Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska's governor asked the audience to pray for another matter -- a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state. "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.



Justin Speier today was named the Angels’ recipient of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2008 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.

Tomorrow will mark the seventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy, is part of Chevy’s official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams.

The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente’s legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.

Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 3rd through October 5th, 2008, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.

Speier makes a continuous effort throughout the season to reach out to the local community making numerous visits to young patients at local children’s hospitals and hosting children from the Make A Wish Foundation at Angel Stadium. Speier also participated in the Challenger League Youth Baseball Tournament held at Angel Stadium last November, working with children with physical disabilities for a day of baseball and fun at the ballpark.

A former Marine, Speier also continues to reach out to recognize members of the military. Speier spent a day at sea during the offseason visiting the crew aboard the USS Nimitz as well as paying a visit to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland to meet with soldiers injured while serving our country.

Speier will be honored during pregame ceremonies at Angel Stadium prior to the Friday, September 12th game vs. the Seattle Mariners.

The fan vote winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2008 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy will be announced.

As the official sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award, Chevy will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of each of the 30 Club recipients. Chevy also will donate $30,000 and a Chevy vehicle to the national winner’s charity of choice and an additional $30,000 will be donated by Chevy to Roberto Clemente Sports City, a not-for-profit organization in Carolina, Puerto Rico, designed to provide recreational sports activities for children.

UCF Sends Media Trying To Join O'Leary Teleconference On Amusing Detour

The following story could happen to anyone, and probably has happened to a few of us. So, I'm not dogging the UCF media relations person.

I just thought it was funny.

posted by Iliana Limón on Sep 1, 2008 4:13:52 PM

UCF's teleconference with Coach George O'Leary was canceled today and because school officials accidentally gave the number for a phone sex line instead of the teleconference number.

When I dialed in, the voice on the other line said, "Hi sexy, you've reached the one-on-one fantasy line." I gasped, hung up and figured I must have dialed the wrong number. So, I checked the UCF news release and dialed again, but I got the same phone sex hotline complete with offers I can't really post on this blog.

It turns out Leigh Torbin, UCF's new director of athletic communications, accidentally listed one digit incorrectly when he released the teleconference information and sent the media on an amusing detour. Torbin said he feels terrible about the error and set up another teleconference with O'Leary at noon Wednesday.

"Today's scheduled call was not able to occur due to my own technical mistakes for which I deeply apologize," Torbin wrote at the end of the latest news release announcing the Wednesday teleconference.


Go Check Out Charger Girls As They Unveil Their 2008-09 Swimsuit Calendar

WHAT: The Charger Girls, the hottest dance team in the NFL, will unveil their 2008-09 Swimsuit Calendar. A portion of all proceeds from the calendar sales will be donated to the American Diabetes Association.

The calendar was shot on location at scenic points in and around San Diego by Chargers team photographer Mike Nowak. The Charger Girls swimwear was provided exclusively by Sauvage. The styling for the Charger Girls was provided by E FACTOR salon & spa.

WHEN: Thursday, September 4

7 pm, VIP Reception
7:45 pm, Official unveiling
9-10 pm, Open to the public

WHERE: Universal
1202 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103