Saturday, June 19, 2010

Open for the Weekend
"Hey there, Cutes, put on your Basie boots and come dance with me."
Nothing like a Frank record to get Saturday going.
The Los Angeles Times had a Friday morning hangover from the Lakers' Game 7 NBA title win over the Boston Celtics when big troubles in its Olympic Blvd. press room caused sports sections to be left out of home edition deliveries, and in some areas, no paper delivered at all.
Pressmen blamed the recent closing of the Times' Orange County press facility in Costa Mesa as the culprit for what was described on a number of websites as a meltdown. For whatever reason, the press run Thursday night for Friday's editions, which included all of the paper's Lakers coverage, didn't start until 3 a.m., and was continually interrupted by stoppages caused by press web breaks.
Last night, the sports department had early deadlines to accommodate the Olympic press room's problems.
It's obvious that because of years of cutbacks in staff, both in production and editorial, the Times no longer has the capacity to print special sections or even extra pages on deadline at one printing facility when a major news event happens, such as the Lakers championship on Thursday. Re-opening the Orange County plant could relieve a lot of headaches and morale.


Media notes: It was good to see Vin Scully in the broadcast booth at Friday night's Dodgers-Red Sox interleague game at Fenway Park. Scully, who usually doesn't travel outside of the National League West's perimeter, made the trip to Boston to report on Manny Ramirez's return to the city whose team he helped lead to two World Series championships. It was a convergence of baseball's best announcer, an esteemed franchise from the National League with perhaps the greatest right-handed hitter ever playing in the oldest and most revered ballpark in America. You don't get that everyday.
There were some boos when Ramirez came to bat in the second inning but for the most part he got a warm welcome back from Red Sox fans....
NBC's weekend coverage of the U.S. Open golf championship at Pebble Beach will be televised in prime time on Saturday and Sunday. Viewers on the East Coast will see all of the third and final rounds in the evening. The leaders will tee off at 3:50 p.m. Pacific time and should finish their rounds about 8 p.m.


Baseball and interleague play: It's great to watch the Yankees play the Mets and the Dodgers visit the Red Sox, but will fans come to the ballpark or turn on television for weaker match-ups such as the Braves versus the Royals or the Orioles play the Padres? For the Blue Jays-Giants game Friday night in Toronto, just under 19,000 tickets were sold and at the Atlanta-Kansas City game, 29,808 came to the Royals' ballpark that has a seating capacity of nearly 50,000. It seems like interleague play is getting old and maybe Major League Baseball should rethink it's usefulness, especially since it has deluded the All-Star Game and to some extent the World Series.
add interleague games: The Angels are in Chicago for a rare appearance against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Angels, of course, played in Wrigley Field in Los Angeles during their first season in the American League in 1961. The ballpark was an exact replica of the original but on a smaller scale. It had a seating capacity of about 23,000 and prior to 1961 was home to the L.A. Angels of the Pacific Coast League during the 1940s and 1950s.
add L.A. Wrigley Field: The ballpark was located at the corner of 42nd and Avalon in South Central Los Angeles, not far from the L.A. Coliseum. The big league Angels played there one season. It was also the site for many championship boxing matches, and Hollywood used it as a location for movies l including "Damn Yankees" and "Pride of the Yankees."

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