Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Going 1-on-1 With Baron Davis

Coming into this Clippers season, there were two questions fans were constantly asking and they usually came in the following order:

1)  How’s Blake’s knee?

2)  How’s Baron’s attitude?

If you saw Blake Griffin play in any preseason games this month, then you already know the answer to No. 1.  He’s definitely 100% healthy and ready to go.

As far as No. 2 goes, however, that one may not be as easy to answer with any confidence.  Since training camp opened, Baron Davis seemed to be saying and doing all the right things, except for that little issue with his conditioning, or lack thereof.

Regardless though of what Davis was saying to the media, I wanted to talk to him face-to-face and away from other reporters to get a true sense of his emotions going into this season.

Here’s part of that conversation.  Judge for yourself.

foxsportswest.com:  Going 1-on-1 With Baron Davis

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PAC 12 Announces Conference Division Alignments

--New Policies Established for Revenue Sharing, Football Divisional Structure, Football Championship Game and Schedules for all other Sports--

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 21, 2010) - The Pac-12 Conference took major steps to transform itself into a dynamic new enterprise by forming two football divisions that maintain traditional rivalries, creating the first-ever Pac-12 football championship game, establishing schedule models for all other sports and agreeing to move to an equal revenue sharing plan for the !rst time in conference history, it was announced today.

The Chancellors and Presidents of the 12 member institutions voted to create a new North-South division structure that allows the conference to continue to play its traditional rivalry games, including the long-standing annual games among the California schools, delivers a football championship game to the home !eld of the top team in the conference standings and is easy for fans to follow.

“Our key objective was to transform the Pac-10 to a modern 12-team conference that has long term strength, increased value, competitive balance and is fan friendly and we have done that with these monumental decisions today,” Commissioner Larry Scott said. “By unanimously adopting a plan for equal revenue sharing we have created a conference with a strong foundation for long term success. It’s an exciting day for the Pac-12 and all of our fans.”

“This has been a very thorough process that created a lot of discussion and has delivered results that we are all very excited about,” said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and Chairman of the Pac-10 CEO Group. “The engagement we have received from all 12 member institutions and their Presidents and Chancellors has been tremendous. We have an ambitious plan for the future of our conference and all of that input was vital in allowing us to take these transformational steps.”

The new divisions will feature California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington
State in the North and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, USC, and Utah in the South. Each school will play !ve divisional games, and four cross-divisional games each year. To preserve all of the historic rivalries, including those among the California schools, the new scheduling format locks in annual inter-divisional games between the Northern and Southern California teams, that date back to the 1930s.

The traditional rivalries like Oregon-Oregon State (113 meetings), Cal-Stanford (112), Washington-
Washington State (102), Arizona-Arizona State (83) and UCLA-USC (79) will continue to be played at the end of each season. Not to be lost, USC has played Stanford (98 times) and Cal (89) more than it has faced cross town rival UCLA (79). Meanwhile USC, Cal and Stanford tie as UCLA’s most frequent opponent at 79 meetings apiece. The divisions were formed based on the combination of rivalries, location and competitive balance.

“Not only did we achieve a competitive balance in our divisions, but we were also able to preserve our traditional rivalries as cornerstones of our conference,” Scott said. “These great annual battles have produced some of the most memorable moments in sports history. It was imperative that we kept them in tact.”

The inaugural Pac-12 Championship game will be played in December 2011 at the home stadium of the team with the best overall conference record, ensuring a full stadium and an electric collegiate atmosphere be!tting of a major conference championship game.

There will not be divisions for Pac-12 basketball or any other sports. In men’s and women’s basketball, the teams will play an 18-game conference schedule that will include home and home games with traditional rivals, six rotating home and homes and single play games against the remaining four teams in the Conference.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Angels Wednesday released their first round of events for the 12-month 50th Anniversary celebration. More Than “A” Night will provide Angel fans the unique experience to celebrate Angels Baseball with a night at Disneyland where the park will be closed to the public. To be entered into the More Than “A” Night sweepstakes, fans can participate in the Angels 50th Anniversary Quiz online at angelsbaseball.com/50.

Answer all of the questions successfully and fans will be entered to win a pair of passes to More Than “A” Night. Fans can take the quiz now through November 10, 2010. More Than “A” Night will take place on Thursday, November 18th.

The Be “A” Star Contest offers fans the opportunity to share their fondest Angel memory or moment from the past 50 years with winners to be featured in a 2011 Angels television commercial. Fans can enter the Be “A” Star Contest online at angelsbaseball.com/50 through November 12th, 2010 with a brief essay or video entry. Submissions will be evaluated on clarity of description, originality, how memorable the moment was and if the moment carries any historical significance to the Angels.

Upon donation of a new, unwrapped toy to the Angels Baseball Foundation, Halo Holiday Photo allows fans the chance to step onto the field at Angel Stadium and take their holiday photo on home plate. The Angels Strike Force and Santa Claus will be on-site as well for photo opportunities during this unique holiday event.

The first 1,000 fans to donate a toy will also receive a commemorative Angels picture frame courtesy of Rental-Living.com. Halo Holiday Photo is scheduled to take place at Angel Stadium on Monday November 22nd from 2-4 pm, Tuesday November 23rd from 2-4 pm and Wednesday November 24th from 9am-1pm.

For more details surrounding the Angels 50th Anniversary visit angelsbaseball.com/50

Angels Baseball 50th Anniversary Celebration
The Angels unveiled their 2011 plans surrounding the club’s 50th Anniversary and accompanying year-round celebration on Friday September 24th, 2010. The 2011 Angels campaign theme is More Than “A” Season, an event that will encompass a 12-month celebration of 50 years of Angels Baseball. Throughout the year, Angels fans will experience a season unlike any they have ever seen before. The 50th Anniversary is about the fans and their celebration of great moments throughout Angels’ history. Many unique events are centered on fan interaction including retro nights and giveaways, 81 first pitches with former Halos, special programming on Fox Sports West, AM830 and more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


--2010 trade acquisition and former Dodger farmhand returns to Los Angeles through 2013--

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly to a three-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“Ted helped stabilize our rotation both in terms of his pitching ability and his leadership,” said Colletti. “He gave us everything we were looking for in a veteran pitcher down the stretch last season.” 

Lilly, 34, went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Cubs with Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt, Kyle Smit and Bret Wallach hours before the trade deadline. The left-hander won his first five starts with Los Angeles from Aug. 3-24, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to do so since Kazuhisa Ishii won his first six starts with the team in 2002. Lilly received the lowest run support in the Major Leagues at just 2.88 runs per game and allowed three runs or less in 22 of his 30 outings.

Overall, the southpaw finished 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 30 combined starts with the Dodgers and Cubs.

The Torrance native has reached double figures in victories in each of the past eight seasons, including 12 or more wins in six of the last eight, since 2003.  The only other pitchers in the Major Leagues to have double figures in victories over the last eight consecutive seasons are C.C. Sabathia (2001-10), Johan Santana (2003-10), Derek Lowe (2002-10), Mark Buehrle (2001-10), Jon Garland (2002-10), John Lackey (2003-10) and Javier Vazquez (2000-10).   He owns a 113-96 career record and a 4.18 ERA in 12 seasons with the Expos, Yankees, A’s, Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers.

Lilly’s .587 winning percentage (54-38) since 2007 ranks eighth among all big league left-handers and his 103 victories since 2003 are tied for 12th among all active pitchers.

At Dodger Stadium, Lilly tossed a two-hit shutout on Aug. 19 and went 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA (10 ER/43.0 IP) in six starts. While in a Dodger uniform, the opposition hit just .163 against him at home.

This season, Lilly tossed at least 6.0 innings in 24 of his 30 starts and went at least 7.0 frames in 15 of the 30 outings. He walked just 44 batters in 193.2 innings for an average of 2.04 walks per nine innings, the second-lowest mark in the National League behind Roy Halladay (1.08).

Lilly joined the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, 12 years to the day that he was traded as a minor league farmhand. On July 31, 1998, Los Angeles acquired Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos Perez and Hiram Bocachica from the Montreal Expos in exchange for Lilly, Peter Bergeron and Jonathon Tucker.

While with the Cubs on June 14 of this season, Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the White Sox’ Juan Pierre came off the bench to break up the bid. On May 10, 1997, Lilly threw a no-hitter against Lake Elsinore for Single-A San Bernardino in the Dodgers’ farm system.

Lilly lives in Oakhurst, CA with his wife Natasha and their seven-month-old son, Ted Lilly, IV.

Upstart Could Be Lakers Biggest Challenge

One of the most discussed topic of this NBA preseason is who will present the biggest challenge to the Lakers quest for another three-peat. 

Will it be LeBron, Wade and Bosh in Miami? 

What about Boston and the Big 3 plus Shaq? 

Or will the most dangerous challenge come from within the conference?  If you ask the Lakers, the answer just may be the latter.

No diehard Lakers or Celtics fan will ever forget last year’s epic seven-game series, which ended with the Lakers cutting down the nets for the 16th time in franchise history thanks to an 83-79 win in the deciding game.  Considering how physically and emotionally draining that series seemed to be, one might argue that the Boston series was the Lakers’ most difficult postseason series in 2010. 

Well, one might be wrong.

foxsportswest.com: Upstart Could Be Lakers Biggest Challenge

Monday, October 18, 2010

Magic Johnson Sells Ownership Stake In The Lakers

By Mike Bresnahan
Los Angeles Times

Magic Johnson will forever be connected with the Lakers, but he can't be called part-owner of the team any longer.

Johnson sold his 4.5% ownership stake in the franchise to billionaire season-ticket holder Patrick Soon-Shiong, the team said Monday.

Johnson, 51, has become wealthy from his business ventures since retiring from basketball, including commercial real estate, health clubs and restaurants.

But Johnson, who wore No. 32 on the way to becoming a Hall of Fame guard for the Lakers, is a relative pauper compared with Soon-Shiong, a surgeon and biotech investor ranked No. 46 among the nation's wealthiest people by Forbes magazine this year. His estimated worth is $5.6 billion.

Soon-Shiong, 58, said in a statement that it was "an honor to be part of the Lakers family and the nation's foremost basketball franchise."

Read more..  

UPDATE:  Even though Johnson reportedly received "an offer he couldn't refuse" for his stake in the Lakers, which was approximately worth $27 million, many of you might still find it hard to believe Johnson would simply sell his ownership share for a big profit.  Well, it seems as though such inclinations could be spot on.

SportsbyBrooks.com has some interesting information regarding Johnson making a run at owning another NBA franchise, and his stake would be a lot bigger than 4.5%.


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Start dates may be anytime between mid-May and mid-June, depending on your schedule.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's Griffin's Impact on Clippers' Wins?

By Don MacLean
FOX Sports West & PRIME TICKET    

October 13, 2010

It’s that time of year. Hoops season is upon us and everyone is getting geared up for the NBA regular season. Baseball is moving out of Southern California’s consciousness and basketball is moving in. 

How do I know it’s that time of year (other than the fact that we are getting ready for another great year of Clippers Basketball on Prime Ticket)? I know because of the questions. When I’m out and about people are asking me how the Clippers are going to be this year, if Blake Griffin is really that good, and are the Clippers going to make the playoffs this year. I enjoy sharing my insight with people that follow the Clippers and it seems like this year there have been more questions and more interest which is a good thing. So we decided to get your opinion.  

For the last week our community poll question on the Clippers page at foxsportswest.com has asked how many more games the Clippers will win with Blake Griffin. The choices are A) 5-10, B) 10-15 or C) 15+. The question is still up on the website so you can still weigh in, but since it’s been a week I decided to check in on the results so far. 

foxsportswest.com: What's Blake Griffin's Impact on Clippers' Wins?

Chargers To Release Shawne Merriman

The San Diego Chargers placed linebacker Shawne Merriman on Reserve-Injured with a calf injury and a “minor-injury designation (less than six-week injury)”, which means the six-year veteran must be released by the team when he becomes healthy.

Merriman saw limited action in the season’s first five weeks. An Achilles injury forced him to miss the season opener in Kansas City. He saw limited action in Week 2 versus Jacksonville. He suffered a calf injury in Week 3 at Seattle and missed the team’s victory over Arizona in Week 4.  He re-injured his calf last week in Oakland.

The Chargers now list four linebackers on Reserve-Injured: Donald Butler, James Holt, Jyles Tucker and Merriman.  Linebacker Larry English also has missed three games and is expected to miss 2-4 more weeks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UCLA Will Wear New Jersey At Oregon On Oct. 21

UCLA and adidas unveiled their new TECHFIT compression football jerseys Monday. Featuring a ground-breaking compression fit and weighing 30 percent lighter than standard football jerseys, the adidas TECHFIT jersey will help players be lighter and faster on the field.

The UCLA Bruins will wear the new adidas TECHFIT jerseys on Thursday, Oct. 21 as they visit Oregon at 6 pm PT on ESPN.

"adidas and UCLA have had a great relationship for over a decade and we are excited about this new, cutting-edge product adidas has produced for our players," said UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel. "The new jersey has a compression fit and is harder for our opponents to grab. It will also keep our players cool, thanks to the material and ventilation system, and it has a great look to it. Some of the players had a chance to sample it and we are excited to wear them for the first time at Oregon on Oct. 21."

UCLA, adidas Announce New Football Jersey

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nike Golf Introduces The New Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Capitalizing on the power of aerodynamics found in the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Driver that was released last spring, Nike Golf is taking the notion of  aerodynamics efficiency to the next level with its new SQ MACHSPEED Black Driver.

Available at retail November 26, 2010, the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black Driver has two 460cc round and square heads and features a sleek black profile to ensure that the air moves quickly and cleanly over the club head with each swing.  Through optimal aerodynamics (360° air flow across the drivers), the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black generates faster club head speed by reducing drag. A deeper face allows for the delivery of greater ball speed across the face resulting in greater distance on off center hits.  The face of the club head is tall and tapers quickly, enabling more forgiveness.  Also differentiating from its predecessor, the SQ MACHSPEED, is in the performance of ball flight. The SQ MACHSPEED Black produces a lower ball flight and lower spin rates than the original SQ MACHSPEED, thus helping to create longer drives.

Available in round and square-shape, the SQ MACHSPEED Black Drivers offer Nike's STR8-FIT technology, which delivers eight face angle options - two degrees open and two degrees closed.  The square version promotes forgiveness and stability.  The round version is for golfers who desire more workability and shot shaping. Both drivers come with Mitsubishi Rayon lightweight Fubuki shafts which allow for maximum speed.

The Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black driver is loaded with a combination of ground-breaking technology that was born from the minds of Nike Golf's team of engineers.

Availability:  November 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rocky Season Comes To A Close For The Halos

As I sit here and watch the Angels wrap up their 2010 season against the AL West champion Rangers, I am compelled to look back on the Halos season of disappointment and its hopeful season of redemption in 2011.

With such short memories and attention spans these days, too many fans expect their team to be in the playoffs contending for championships every season.  The problem with that type of expectation is that it’s simply silly.

Only 8 teams make the MLB postseason, meaning 22 teams are left on the outside of the playoff picture every year.  In other words, teams have a much better chance (73%) of missing the postseason rather than playing (27%) for a World Series title.  So ease up, Angels fans, having gone to the playoffs each of the last 3 years is a pretty good run.

Having said that, I know for a fact that missing out on the postseason this year does not sit very well with owner Arte Moreno, GM Tony Reagins or manager Mike Scioscia.  All three have indicated that a thorough examination of the organization will start immediately so a plan can be put in place to get this team back on the road to a World Series title.

Based on some of my conversations with team personnel, players and coaches, here are some things that must happen before the 2011 season gets underway.

foxsportswest.com: Rocky Season Comes To A Close For The Halos

Monday, October 4, 2010


WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--University of Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly has been reprimanded by the Pac-10 Conference for comments he made about the officiating at last Saturday’s game against Stanford, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. Kelly’s comments were aired on ABC as part of a half-time interview conducted by Erin Andrews.

“The Pac-10 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the Conference’s officiating program,” stated Scott. “The Conference expects each Pac-10 coach to adhere to our standards of conduct and to conduct himself or herself in a manner which will reflect credit on the institution and the Conference.”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kobe On Beating LeBron 1-on-1: "I'd Do That In My Sleep!"

Just before LeBron James was about to win his first NBA MVP award, I did an interview with Kobe Bryant for Lakers Live, in which I asked him who was the best basketball player in the world.  He gave me a very modest and politically correct answer talking about how great of a player LeBron had become through the years and that he likely deserved the MVP that season.

Being the seasoned reporter that I am, I quickly pointed out to Kobe that he didn't exactly answer my question about who was the best player in the world.  So I then posed a different question to the reigning MVP at the time.

Me:  "Who would win a game of 1-on-1 between you and LeBron?"

Kobe (without hesitation):  "Come on, man.  Me. All day long!"

There are some who still like to argue the point that LeBron is the best player in the world right now, despite him being able to reach the Finals in any of the last three seasons.  Of course, getting to the Finals is more about a team rather than a particular player.  Thus, we are back to the question I posed to Kobe two years ago about going head-to-head against LeBron.

And if even considered entertaining the thought that Kobe may have softened his stance on his ability to crush LeBron in a game of 1-on-1, check out this interview with Kobe during the Lakers current European road trip.