Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unless LeBron Told You Directly What He's Going To Do, You Need To Stop Frontin'

Coming into this NBA off-season, the number one question centered on the summer’s #1 free agent.  Where’s LeBron going?

I get that question a minimum of five times a day, and my response is always the same.  I have no idea, and quite frankly, neither does anyone else who is speaking publicly on the question.

The reason “Where’s LeBron going?” is the number one question this off-season is because, not only will his decision potentially trigger the largest power shift in the league since Shaq left Orlando for LA, but it is also the one question to which no one in the media has any credible inside information.

 foxsportswest.com:  What Will LeBron Do?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

52nd Annual Hollywood Stars Game To Return To Baseball

--Star-studded lineups to play on the field at Dodger Stadium--

LOS ANGELES – Top celebrities in film, television, music, and sports will come together at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, August 7, to play in the 52nd annual Hollywood Stars Game. This marks the return of celebrity baseball at Dodger Stadium, which had been converted to softball in recent years. The Hollywood Stars game will begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the Dodgers versus Nationals game at 7:10 p.m.

The full roster of stars is still being set, but celebrities scheduled to appear in the game include: Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billy Crystal (“City Slickers,” “When Harry Met Sally”), Kevin James (“The Zookeeper,” “Grown Ups,” “The King of Queens”), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds,” “The Starter Wife”), Thomas Jane (“Hung”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Director Rob Reiner (“The Bucket List,” “Rumor Has It,” “A Few Good Men,” “When Harry Met Sally”), Jack Black (“Tropic Thunder,” “Nacho Libre,” “King Kong”), Director Garry Marshall (“Valentine’s Day,” “Pretty Woman,”), Gabriel Macht (“One Way to Valhalla,” “Whiteout”), Taylor Hoechlin (“Lincoln Heights,” “My Boys”), Simon Helberg (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “24”).

All fans with tickets to the August 7 game can come early for the Hollywood Stars Game.

The Dodgers continue to welcome the Hollywood community to Dodger Stadium throughout the season. In 2008, the Dodgers became the first sports franchise ever to receive an Award of Excellence star on Hollywood Boulevard. Presented by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the Dodgers were recognized for their significant contributions to the community of Los Angeles. Also in 2008, the Dodgers received an Emmy Award, the Governor’s Award presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The Dodgers’ relationships throughout Hollywood have helped secure Dodger Stadium as a favorite destination of Los Angeles celebrities.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Chargers Announce Open Training Camp Practices

San Diego – Fans of the four-time defending AFC West Champion San Diego Chargers will once again enjoy the sights and sounds of Training Camp beginning with the first of 11 open practices on Sunday, August 1 at 4 pm. 

Chargers Training Camp is always a memorable experience for fans of all ages.  It offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the NFL’s leading franchises in action.  Bleacher seating is available for outstanding views of the entire practice field. Concession stands will offer plenty of food and beverage choices along with the latest Chargers merchandise and apparel.  Hats and sunscreen are recommended.  Beach chairs, coolers, snacks, soft drinks and water are allowed.  Alcoholic beverages, video cameras, pets and weapons of any kind are NOT PERMITTED.

Parking around Chargers Park is limited. On weekdays, parking is available on the west side of Murphy Canyon Rd. as well as behind the Holiday Inn south of Chargers Park.  For weekend practices, parking is also available in the PS Business Center south of Chargers Park.

The team will hold two open practices at Qualcomm Stadium: Wednesday, Aug. 4 (7-9:20 pm) and the team’s annual FanFest, presented by Bud Light, on Saturday, Aug. 7. FanFest will be another big day for Chargers fans.  Players will be signing autographs for fans 14 and under beginning at 10:15 a.m., followed by a performance by the Charger Girls and a practice from 11-1 p.m.  Nearly 10,000 fans annually attend the team’s most popular and FREE training camp event.

The Chargers’ preseason home schedule includes games against the Chicago Bears (Aug. 14) and Dallas Cowboys (Aug. 21).  Tickets may be purchased by logging onto www.Chargers.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting the Ticket Office located at Gate C at the stadium. 

Chargers 2010 season tickets also are on sale.  They can be purchased by calling 877-CHARGERS, visiting www.Chargers.com or stopping by the Chargers’ ticket office, open Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm.

Open Training Camp Practices* & Other Important Dates

Sun.     Aug. 1         4-6 p.m.  (FIRST PRACTICE OPEN TO GENERAL PUBLIC)

Mon.    Aug. 2         4-6 p.m.

Tues.   Aug. 3         4-6 p.m.

Wed.   Aug. 4         7-9:20 p.m. @ Qualcomm Stadium

Thur.    Aug. 5         4-6 p.m.

Fri.       Aug. 6         4-6 p.m.

Sat.      Aug. 7         10-1 p.m. @ Qualcomm Stadium (FanFest, presented by Bud Light)

Mon.    Aug. 9         4-6 p.m.

Tues.   Aug. 10       4-6 p.m.

Wed.   Aug. 11       4-6 p.m.

Thur.    Aug. 12       4-6 p.m.  (LAST PRACTICE OPEN TO GENERAL PUBLIC)

Sat.      Aug. 14       PRESEASON GAME 1: Chargers vs. Chicago Bears at Qualcomm Stadium, 6 p.m. PDT

Sat.      Aug. 21       PRESEASON GAME 2: Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium, 6 p.m. PDT

Tues.   Aug. 24       Training Camp breaks

Fri.       Aug. 27       PRESEASON GAME 3: Chargers at New Orleans Saints, 5 p.m. PDT

Tues.   Aug. 31       NFL rosters reduced to 75 players

Thur.    Sept. 2        PRESEASON GAME 4: Chargers at San Francisco 49ers, 7 p.m. PDT

Sat.      Sept. 4        NFL rosters reduced to 53 players

Mon.    Sept. 13      REGULAR SEASON GAME 1: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, 7:15 p.m. PDT

* Practice times are subject to change. Go to www.Chargers.com or call 858-874-4500 to confirm practice times.


USC Files Appeal to NCAA Ruling; Seeks to Overturn Some Findings and Penalties

--USC Accepts Part of Sanctions; Will Implement Post-Season Ban for 2010 Football Season--

The University of Southern California today filed an appeal with the NCAA asking that its Infractions Appeals Committee overturn certain findings of the Committee on Infractions and reduce some of the penalties recently imposed.

Pending the appeal consideration, USC will implement the post-season ban for the 2010 football season and certain scholarship-related penalties in football.  The University noted that it is pleased that the NCAA determined that USC’s self-imposed penalties on men’s basketball and women’s tennis were sufficient.

“The University recognizes that violations of NCAA rules did occur, especially involving impermissible benefits going to student athletes as well as their friends and families, from unscrupulous sports agents and sports marketers.  And we take full responsibility for those violations given that they happened on our watch.  However, we disagree with many of the findings in the report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions and assert that the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified and are inconsistent with precedent in similar cases,” said Todd Dickey, USC’s senior vice president for administration.

USC's appeal specifically asks that the two-year postseason ban in football be reduced to a one-year ban, and that the scholarship penalties in football for the 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 academic years be reduced to five rather than 10 each year.  "We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal, and reduce the penalties,” said Dickey.


Thursday, June 24, 2010


The Los Angeles Clippers selected Wake Forest University forward Al-Farouq Aminu with the eighth overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, held this evening at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

A versatile and athletic player, Aminu was an Honorable Mention AP All-American and was selected to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Second Team in 2009-10 after a sensational sophomore season that saw him lead the ACC in rebounding.

Aminu became the first Wake Forest player to lead the ACC in rebounding since 12-time NBA All-Star Tim Duncan did it in 1997. In his sophomore season, Aminu led the Demon Deacons with 15.8 points per game, 10.7 rebounds and 4.4 blocks.

The 19-year old Norcross, Georgia native led the ACC with 19 double-doubles and was one of just five players in major conference college basketball to average a double-double in 2009-10.

As a freshman with Wake Forest, the 6-foot-9 inch, 215 pound Aminu appeared in 31 games and averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds en route to being named to the ACC All-Freshman team and finishing second in ACC Rookie of the Year voting.

Friday, June 18, 2010


LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers will host a celebratory parade for all local fans on Monday, June 21, starting at STAPLES Center and traveling south on Figueroa Street to Jefferson Boulevard, just north of the USC campus and Galen Center.

By defeating the Boston Celtics for the 2010 NBA championship, the Lakers not only earned the franchise’s 16th league title but also repeated as champions for the third time in the past decade. The Lakers have won back-to-back titles a total of seven times in franchise history, tying the NBA mark previously held by the Celtics. Tonight’s victory marks only the fourth of the Lakers’ 16 NBA titles that went to a deciding seventh game, and the first time besting the Celtics in a seventh game.

Based on attendance for the 2002 NBA championship parade and last season’s festivities, team and City officials anticipate a crowd of between 500,000 and 2 million fans lining the two-mile parade route along South Figueroa Street.

While the City of Los Angeles and hometown Lakers held an accompanying rally attended by more than 95,000 inside the Coliseum to mark the 2009 championship, this time around, players will interact with fans from a customized flat-bed float, equipped with audio capabilities. That will help to mitigate anticipated pedestrian and traffic congestion, while also relieving security, sanitation and other civic demands otherwise required of the privately funded 2010 ceremonies.

Beginning at approximately 11 a.m. (PDT), Lakers players and their families will board the customized float at STAPLES Center, and begin winding their way down South Figueroa Street toward the USC campus before turning east on Jefferson Boulevard at the Galen Center to complete the parade. A convoy of double-decker, open-air buses and other attending vehicles will carry Lakers coaches and staff, members of the Buss family ownership group, team officials, and the Laker Girls to the conclusion of the two-mile route.

City officials recommend that, whenever possible, fans take the Metro Rail system to the Pico/Chick Hearn station adjacent to the parade route rather than attempt to drive into the STAPLES Center and Figueroa area. Parking will be available in the downtown lots surrounding STAPLES Center and the Figueroa corridor, yet street closures beginning the night before are likely to make morning traffic far more difficult.

The City anticipates closing Figueroa Street between Olympic Boulevard to the north and Jefferson Boulevard on the south beginning at midnight Sunday. Other road closures include Chick Hearn Court between Figueroa Street and Cherry Street; Cherry Street between Olympic and Pico Boulevards; Flower Street between Washington and Jefferson Boulevards; Jefferson Boulevard between Figueroa and Hoover Streets; and all intersections along the two-mile route as designated by the Los Angeles Police Department and Department of Transportation. LAPD and DOT anticipate reopening major intersections along Figueroa Street as the parade commences, pending pedestrians in those areas having dispersed and other safety conditions being met.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

USC to Appeal NCAA Ruling; Penalties Too Severe for Infractions Alleged

--USC Says Some Violations Occurred, Accepts Some Sanctions--

Los Angeles, CA – June 10, 2010 -- The University of Southern California today announced that, after reviewing the NCAA Committee on Infractions report, it will accept some of the penalties imposed by the Committee and it will appeal those penalties it believes are excessive. 

The university noted that it is pleased that the NCAA determined that USC’s self-imposed penalties on men’s basketball and women’s tennis were sufficient, and that the NCAA imposed no further sanctions.

“We acknowledge that violations occurred and we take full responsibility for them.  However, we sharply disagree with many of the findings in the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report.  Further, we feel the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified in the report,” said Todd Dickey, USC’s senior vice president for administration.

Dickey added, “We will accept those sanctions we believe to be consistent with penalties imposed upon other NCAA member institutions found guilty of similar rules infractions. We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal, and reduce the penalties.”

“There is a systemic problem facing college athletes today: unscrupulous sports agents and sports marketers,” Dickey stated.  “The question is how do we identify them and keep them away from our student-athletes?   To provide us with recommendations about the best way to protect our student-athletes and their families from those who seek to violate the rules, we have retained the Freeh Group, headed by former federal judge and ex-FBI director Louis Freeh.

“Our success in athletics and the outstanding individuals we recruit make our student-athletes an attractive target for those seeking to take unfair advantage of them,” Dickey stated.  “We cannot and will not tolerate this.  Our program must set the highest standards in the country. USC deserves that and our 640 student-athletes deserve that.”

Dickey said that USC will not comment about specific elements of its position while it is in the appeals process.


For a special message to the Trojan Family from USC President Steven B. Sample, please visit: http://www.usc.edu

For an online video message regarding USC's response to the NCAA ruling, please visit:  http://www.usctrojans.com


Charlie Manuel Names San Diego’s Bud Black, San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy to N.L. Staff;

Joe Girardi Appoints Host Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, A’s Skipper Bob Geren

NEW YORK -- National League All-Star manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies and American League All-Star manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees have announced the managers who will serve as their coaches at the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Manuel has appointed San Diego Padres manager Bud Black and San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy as the N.L. coaches.  Black was an N.L. coach at the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, and he also participated in the 2003 All-Star Game while serving as the pitching coach of the Angels, a capacity in which he served from the 2000-2006 seasons.  Bochy, who managed the N.L. All-Stars in the 1999 Midsummer Classic at Fenway Park, will be an N.L. coach for the fourth time, having also done so at the 1997 All-Star Game in Cleveland, the 2001 Midsummer Classic in Seattle and the 2007 All-Star Game at his home ballpark, AT&T Park.  Manuel’s Phillies coaches – bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, pitching coach Rich Dubee, first base coach Davey Lopes, bench coach Pete Mackanin, third base coach Sam Perlozzo and hitting coach Milt Thompson – will assist with batting practice and other field duties.  Sean Cunningham, head athletic trainer of the Florida Marlins, and Keith Dugger, head athletic trainer of the Colorado Rockies, will round out the N.L. staff.

Girardi has named Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Oakland Athletics skipper Bob Geren as the A.L. coaches.  Scioscia, a two-time All-Star as a player, managed the A.L. All-Stars in 2003 and served as an A.L. coach in 2002.  Geren, a San Diego native, has led the A’s since 2007 and will be in the A.L. dugout for the Midsummer Classic for the first time.  Girardi’s Yankees coaches – pitching coach Dave Eiland, bullpen coach Mike Harkey, first base coach Mick Kelleher, hitting coach Kevin Long, bench coach Tony Peña and third base coach Rob Thomson – will comprise his staff along with Angels head certified athletic trainer Ned Bergert and Seattle Mariners head athletic trainer Rick Griffin.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT)/5:00 p.m. (PDT).  ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage.  MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

# # #


WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--The Pacific-10 Conference announced today that the University of Colorado at Boulder has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as it’s 11th member, the first new member since July 1, 1978.

“This is an historic moment for the Conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth.  The University of Colorado is a great fit for the Conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10,” said Commissioner Larry Scott. 

“On behalf of The University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and fans, we are proud to accept this invitation from the Pac-10 and join the most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the nation, “ said Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor of CU-Boulder.

“The University of Colorado is a perfect match - academically and athletically - with the Pac-10,” said University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson,  “our achievements and aspirations match those of the universities in the conference and we look forward to a productive relationship.”

Commissioner Scott, Chancellor DiStefano, President Benson, CU Board of Regents Chairman Steve Bosely and CU Athletics Director Mike Bohn and others will hold an official press conference on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11 a.m. MT at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


--Team registration now open for participants of all age groups and skill levels for Los Angeles’ biggest organized basketball tournament and festival--

LOS ANGELES – After last summer’s highly successful inaugural event, the Nike 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament officially announced its return to L.A. LIVE and the streets of downtown Los Angeles for its second installment that will take place on Friday, Aug. 6 - Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 headquartered at Nokia Plaza STAPLES Center, and L.A. LIVE. Team registration is now open for players of all age groups and skill levels at www.nike3on3.com

The inaugural 3 on 3 event attracted over 500 teams, making it one of the largest 3 on 3 basketball tournaments in the United States.  A significant growth in participation in year two is expected. 

Tournament organizer AEG will create approximately 150 outdoor basketball courts in addition to a unique, interactive Fan Fest in and around L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center and along Chick Hearn Court to accommodate the thousands of athletes, their guests and families participating in this year’s event.  In addition to the competition, athletes and fans alike will be treated to live music, celebrity coaching clinics and prize giveaways.

Highlights from last year’s event included a tribute to Lakers legend Kurt Rambis, special basketball clinic from former Lakers star A.C. Green, and VIP Tickets Celebrity Round Robin, featuring such stars as David Arquette, Sugar Shane Mosley and Zach Levi hosted by Entertainment League Productions.

“We are thrilled to welcome back the City’s biggest organized basketball tournament as we transform downtown Los Angeles into a basketball and entertainment mecca” said Scott Hanley, Vice President of AEG Sports. “The level of play and the excitement created last year during the inaugural Nike 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament was incredible and we truly believe that every aspect of this year’s event will exceed last years.”

Players of all ages, gender and skill levels are invited to participate in the Nike 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament.  Individual brackets will be divided into appropriate divisions based on a combination of skill, age, gender and height to achieve “level” competition.  Teams may consist of a maximum of four (4) players with a minimum of three (3) players required.

The tournament features four main divisions of play: Standard, Adult Elite, Special Olympics and Wheelchair.  Both the Special Olympics and Wheelchair divisions are open to all athletes and are free of charge.  The Standard division includes three categories of participants: adult, high school (oldest player's next grade will be 9-12) and youth (oldest player's next grade will be 3-8).  The Nike Elite Division also consists of three categories of players: Women, Men's 6 Foot and Under, and Men's Over 6 Foot. Players will then choose between Recreational and Competitive levels of competition at which time brackets will be formed based upon these criteria and those delineated above. 

Participants can register their teams online at www.nike3on3.com or mail in the registration forms to the designated address on the Web site.

The Fan Fest, open to all competing athletes and the general public, will open Friday, Aug. 6 and be free of charge.  The three-day experience will feature a variety of events at the Nike Center Court, including the highly anticipated Nike Slam Dunk Contest, special athletes appearances, autograph sessions, live music, food and beverage areas, and basketball-themed activities and competitions.

Complete information about registration, eligibility, rules and bracketing can be found at the official Nike 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament Web site, www.Nike3on3.com.

# # #

Monday, June 7, 2010


--All five players coming out of high school; three players hail from state of Georgia--

ANAHEIM, CA – The Angels selected five of the first 40 players drafted during the first day of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft; Third baseman Kaleb Cowart (Cook County H.S. - Adel, GA), RHP Cameron Bedrosian (East Cowata H.S. – Sharpsburg, GA), centerfielder Chevez “Chevy” Clarke (Marietta H.S. –Marietta, GA), shortstop Taylor Lindsey (Desert Mountain H.S. - Scottsdale, AZ) and centerfielder Ryan Bolden (Madison Central HS –  Madison, MS). Today’s announcement was made by Angels’ Director of Scouting Eddie Bane.

Cowart, pronounced “Cow-ert”, was named the 2010 Gatorade National High School Baseball Player of the Year out of Cook County High School in Adel, GA. A dual-purpose threat as a pitcher and third baseman, Cowart batted .650 with 11 home runs, 55 runs scored, 59 RBI and 36 stolen bases (in 36 attempts) at Cook County. His batting average ranked second all-time in Georgia state single-season history.

On the mound, the right-hander was 10-1 with one save and a 1.05 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 73 IP. The 6’ 3”, 210-pounder has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Florida State.

Bedrosian, the son of 1987 N.L. Cy Young Award Winner Steve Bedrosian, competed at East Coweta
High School in Sharpsburg, GA. The 5’11”, 190-pound right-hander posted an 8-1-1 record and a 1.44 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 58 IP. Bedrosian has signed a letter of intent to play at LSU.

Clarke, who has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Georgia Tech, batted .403 (31/77) with five home runs, 14 RBI and 17 stolen bases this season at Marietta H.S. in Georgia. He is a 6’0”, 185-pound centerfielder.

Lindsey, selected in the compensation round of the draft (37th overall), hails out of Scottsdale, AZ. The 6’0”, 185-pounder attended Desert Mountain HS where he batted .347 (34/98) with eight HRs and 31 RBI. He has signed a letter of intent to play at Arizona State.

Bolden, a 6’3” outfielder, helped lead Madison Central HS to the Class 5A State Championship in 2010. He was named one of the Top 100 high school players in the nation by Baseball America and batted .351 (33/94) with eight home runs, 30 RBI and 19 stolen bases. Bolden signed a letter of intent to play baseball with Ole Miss.

Following is a breakdown of the Angels’ first five picks today: #18 from the Mariners (compensation for C. Figgins), #29 from the Red Sox (compensation for J. Lackey) and #30 (regular slotted pick). The Angels also had #37, for Lackey, and #40, for Figgins, in the supplemental first round. 2010 marks the second time in club history that the Angels have had three picks in the first round. The first time was 1986 when, just as in 2010, the Angels had two sandwich picks in addition to their three first round picks.


LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected McKinney (Texas) High School right-handed pitcher Zach Lee with their first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.  Assistant General Manager, Scouting Logan White made the announcement.

Lee, a 6-foot-4, 195-pounder, was a two-sport athlete in high school, starring in both football and baseball. The 18-year-old won 11 games during his senior season with a 2.15 ERA and 90 strikeouts. He throws three different pitches for strikes, including an effective breaking pitch and changeup. As a quarterback, Lee passed for 2,565 years and 31 touchdowns last fall and has committed to play both sports at Louisiana State University.

“We are happy to have selected such a fine competitive young man and athlete such as Zach,” said White. “He has a chance to be a quality Major League pitcher.”

Lee entered the draft as the 14th-best right-handed pitcher and ranked 29th overall among draft-eligible prospects according to Baseball America.

The Dodgers have selected a pitcher with their first pick in each of the last eight seasons, including four Texans (Kershaw, Withrow, Miller and Lee) in the past five years:

2003        Chad Billingsley (24th overall)

2004        Scott Elbert (17th overall)

2005        Luke Hochevar (40th overall)

2006        Clayton Kershaw (seventh overall)

2007        Chris Withrow (20th overall)

2008        Ethan Martin (15th overall)

2009        Aaron Miller (36th overall)

2010        Zach Lee (28th overall)


--Cowart named 2010 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year out of Cook County H.S. in GA--

ANAHEIM, CA – The Angels selected switch-hitting third baseman Kaleb Cowart out of Cook County High School in Adel, Georgia as their first pick (1st round, 18th overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. This announcement was made by Angels’ Director of Scouting Eddie Bane.

“We are thrilled to draft a player of Kaleb’s caliber,” said Bane. “His skills are matched by his intensity for the game and we look forward to his advancement in our system.”

Cowart, pronounced “Cow-ert”, was named the 2010 Gatorade National High School Baseball Player of the Year out of Cook County High School in Adel, GA. A dual-purpose threat as a pitcher and third baseman, Cowart batted .654 with 11 home runs, 55 runs scored, 59 RBI and 36 stolen bases (in 36 attempts) at Cook County. His batting average ranked second all-time in Georgia state single-season history.

On the mound, the right-hander was 10-1 with one save and a 1.05 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 73 IP. The 6’ 3”, 210-pounder signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Florida State.

Cowart is the first of three 2010 first-round selections for the Angels: #18 from the Mariners (compensation for C. Figgins), #29 from the Red Sox (compensation for J. Lackey) and #30 (regular slotted pick).

The Angels also have #37, for Lackey, and #40, for Figgins, in the supplemental first round. 2010 marks the second time in club history that the Angels have had three picks in the first round. The first time was 1986 when, just as in 2010, the Angels had two sandwich picks in addition to their three first round picks.

In last year’s First-Year Player Draft, the Angels selected outfielder Randal Grichuk of Lamar Consolidated High School in Lamar, TX as their first pick (1st round, 24th overall) and outfielder Michael Trout of Millville (NJ) Senior High School as their second pick (1st round, 25th overall).

Trout is batting .366 (79/216) this year with six HRs, 31 RBI and 31 stolen bases in 55 games with the Angels’ single-A affiliate Cedar Rapids Kernels. He received the Angels first player of the month award for April.

Grichuk, was batting .229 (25-for-109) with four HRs and 21 RBI through May 9th before going on the disabled list with a sprained thumb.



LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers invite families on to the field at Dodger Stadium for the seventh annual Father’s Day Catch on June 20.  The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is free and provides families with the opportunity to play catch at Dodger Stadium in celebration of Father’s Day. Dodger partner Farmer John is donating Dodger dogs for the occasion, Sparkletts will provide water bottles and Coca Cola will supply PowerAde.

Fans can park for free at Dodger Stadium on Father’s Day. The Sunset Gate opens at 10 a.m. and families enter through the center field gates. Music, merchandise, the Dodger Ticket truck and Dodger fan clubs will be on site for the event. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will get a complimentary Dodger dog.

The Dodgers have been the team of several Dodger fathers and sons including Dolph Camilli (1938-43) and Doug Camilli (1960-64), Al Campanis (1943) and Jim Campanis (1966-68), and Dick Schofield (1966-67) and Dick Schofield Jr. (1995).  Current Dodger minor league shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr.’s father, Ivan DeJesus Sr. played with Los Angeles from 1974-76, while fellow minor leaguer Preston Mattingly is the son of Dodger Hitting Coach Don Mattingly.  The Dodgers also have a trio of members from the Wallach family, as Triple-A Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach, who played for the Dodgers from 1993-96 and served as the batting coach from 2004-05, has two sons, Matt Wallach (Single-A), and Brett Wallach (Single-A) in the organization.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reactions and Opinions Vary on Instant Replay in Baseball

As expected, the outcry from fans and media regarding Jim Joyce's blown call which prevented Armando Galarraga from earning just the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, has been steady and strong.  However, the opinions have differed quite a bit.

I did an impromptu poll of Angels players and coaches on the idea of expanding instant replay, and I seemed to get a different opinion from every player--even from those who want to see more reviewable plays.

Torii Hunter wants all questionable calls eligible for replay.  Mike Scioscia only wants it for plays away from the bases when umpires aren't always in the best position to make an accurate call.  Joe Saunders only wants to see it in the playoffs.  And that's just in one MLB clubhouse.

Check out some of the various reactions--including mine--to the blown call and opinions on instant replay.

Michael Eaves--Foxsportswest.com

"I am glad to hear that Commissioner Selig is already addressing the play as well as the future of instant replay.  I just hope he doesn't take too much time in doing what is right. 1) Reverse the call–-in the best interest of baseball--and credit Galarraga with a perfect game. 2) Expand the use of instant replay to beyond just home run disputes."

Thomas Boswell--Washington Post

"With one decision, Selig can right a spectacular wrong and take a gorilla of guilt off the shoulders of a good veteran umpire. And he can show that baseball has common sense."

Phil Rogers--Chicago Tribune

"MLB is, as always, bringing up the rear in its use of technology. But that doesn't mean that effective tomorrow every call should be subject to deliberate review by video officials. That's crazy. There are too many calls in a baseball game -- too many close calls -- to expect that they all be made correctly."

Henry Schulman--San Francisco Chronicle

"Starting with the first game of the second half for each team, instant replay is in for EVERY possible call except for balls and strikes. Each manager gets one challenge a game -- a potential five minutes more to prevent another Jim Joyce from screwing another Armando Galarraga."

Bernie Miklasz--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"I don’t see how commissioner Bud Selig and the people who lord over baseball can continue to ignore replay as a device that will improve the game and make the umpires less of a factor. It’s overdue. It’s time. And if anything good can come out of the events of Wednesday night in Detroit, replay is it."

Don Denkinger--Former MLB umpire

"Maybe instant replay can clean things up. If a play is missed, it can be corrected. I didn't feel that way in '85, but I feel that way now. We want everything to be called correctly. Unfortunately it isn't, because we're just human beings."