Why even the Bulldog himself can’t help Dodgers fans get SportsNet LA

An ex-big league pitcher with a 59-inning shutout streak and a Cy Young Award will only carry you so far in today’s multi-channel environment. And shill as he might, not even the Bulldog himself, legendary Dodgers pitcher turned team broadcaster Orel Hershiser, can help the Dodgers and their new broadcast partner, Time Warner Cable, get their new regional sports channel off the ground. Mark my words — a big carriage deal for Time Warner SportsNet LA isn’t happening anytime soon. The news Read more [...]

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Dodgers Down Under download: Puig’s not going anywhere, and TV relief is coming from ESPN and Fox

The Los Angeles Dodgers left Australia Saturday evening the owners of a 2-0 record, thanks to dominant pitching performances by Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu against the pool-party poopers, the Arizona Diamondbacks. On paper, the games went just as planned — Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig had three-hit games, Ryu started his sophomore season on the right foot, Brian Wilson’s slider was as nasty as ever, and Scott Van Slyke hit the first home run of the 2014 season (would’ve had two had it Read more [...]

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The key difference between Jimmy Buss and Jimmy Dolan

We predicted the Lakers would swoon into a Knicks-like dungeon of darkness back in November 2012, right after Jimmy Buss hired Mike D’Antoni. Ah, heck, we knew Jimmy Buss might be a problem as far back as 1998, when Sports Illustrated presciently showcased a brewing sibling showdown in the Buss family. And here we are. The Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference. The best center in the game is now in Houston. The best pro basketball coach in history is headed to New York. The Read more [...]

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Who’s on second? Dodgers have a lot of holes to fill for team with a $240M payroll

PHOENIX — With a record payroll estimated at $240 million and the March 22 opener in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the horizon, one would think this year’s edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster might as well be set in stone – or at least written with permanent marker on a lineup card. However, like most things post 1988 for the Dodgers, these decisions don’t come so easily. With resolutions to be made at second base, injury concerns in the outfield, nearly an entire Read more [...]

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Kings hockey: Will Marian Gaborik be the trade-deadline spark that Jeff Carter was in 2012?

The last time the Los Angeles Kings made a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, they found themselves hoisting the Stanley Cup high above their heads when the 2011-2012 season was said and done. Adding Jeff Carter clearly worked wonders for that model of the Kings. But by adding high-scoring forward Marian Gaborik at the Wednesday trade deadline, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi is hoping lightning strikes twice … or at least doesn’t strike the injury-prone Gaborik. Going into the trade Read more [...]

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How I learned to stop worrying and not hate Mike D’Antoni so much

Like the man your mom introduces to you as “your new dad,” the honeymoon phase never came easily for coach Mike D’Antoni and Lakers fans. I mean, we went to bed on Sunday evening, November 12, 2012, fully expecting something great to happen. Maybe not parade-seven-months-later great, but at least the late-spring NBA post-season competitiveness we’d grown accustomed to under Phil Jackson. We woke up the following Monday with a cold and sore throat,  waylaid by the fact that owner Jimmy Buss Read more [...]

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Behind the scenes, Lakers quietly embrace ‘tanking’ strategy

Settle down, big Pau. Sit down Swaggy P. Grab a jersey, Kendall Marshall! For the Lakers,  currently 19-39 and a half-game behind Boston for the fourth worst record in the league, now is where the tank tread meets the road. No more jerking around with upsets in Memphis. To ensure a top-five pick in June’s NBA draft, some serious losing has to occur between now and April 16. According to the L.A. Times, if they  finish with the fourth-worst record, the Lakers have a 82.8 percent chance of Read more [...]

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Is SportsNet LA the worst thing to happen to Dodgers fans since Frank McCourt?

Nearly 2.5 million Time Warner Cable subscribers across Southern California will be able, starting Tuesday, to see massive amounts of Dodgers baseball spring training coverage on the cable service’s  just-launched SportsNet LA channel. The remaining 4.5 million of us who subscribe to other pay TV services in the nation’s second biggest baseball market will be blacked out. And because of the massive disruption occurring in the television industry, that situation might not change for a while. Vin Read more [...]

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Worst. Lakers. Ever. Team’s 16-29 record marks low point since moving to L.A.

Many Lakers fans remember the 2004-05 “post-Shaq” season, during which Kobe Bryant led a starting lineup featuring Kwame Brown, Smush Parker and Chris Mihm to a 32-29 record, before collapsing with 19 losses in their last 21 games. Older Lakers heads will recall the rebuilding year of 1993-94, when James Worthy suddenly retired, and the slick-backed Randy Pfund was kicked to the curb to make way for Magic Johnson’s short-lived head-coaching career, while rookies including Doug Christie and Nick Read more [...]

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The Dodgers and SportsNet LA: Is this the channel that breaks the pay TV system’s back?

With the average monthly cable and satellite TV bill headed for the $200 mark, is now a good time for the Dodgers to ask their fans to pay another $4-$5 a month to see their games on television? The answer from the team and its new TV partner, Time Warner Cable (TWC), is a resounding “yes.” And on Wednesday, they asked their fans to do one more thing — bug their pay TV provider to carry the team’s new regional sports channel, SportsNet LA. Launching Feb. 25, the channel will be the exclusive Read more [...]

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