Dan Haren has done better for the Dodgers than I think most fans expected; obviously the front office knew more than we did. He’s 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA and has given the team at least five innings in each of his nine starts.
The Phillies counter with 25-year-old right-handed David Buchanan, who’s taking the place of Cliff Lee (phew! Got past him this time!), who’s on the shelf with a left elbow strain. This will be Buchanan’s major league debut. If any of you went to Georgia State, he’s a fellow Panther. This will be the first time a former GSU attendee has ever started in the big leagues.
#Dodgers lineup at Philadelphia:
Here’s the video of the opening celebrations from MLB. It includes that moment when Mattingly came out to relieve Magic Johnson (#32) with Sandy Koufax (also #32) to throw the first pitch to Orel Hershiser (#55), as well as the introductions of Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, and Tommy Lasorda.
Steve Dilbeck at the LAT has dug up the incriminating KTLA interview Vin did with Mike Piazza before he was traded to Florida which Piazza has claimed permanently damaged Piazza’s reputation with the LA fans. I dunno, but I don’t hear Vin saying anything which Piazza objected to at the time, and certainly nothing which would have sent the fans into fits of outrage.
PRIME TICKET will televise games Feb. 25 against the Cubs, Feb. 28 against the Angels, March 7 against Texas and March 18 against Arizona. Scully will be at the microphone for all four games. The Dodgers previously announced that Scully would handle KCAL 9 games on March 17 against Milwaukee and March 26 against Colorado.
It’s with Time-Warner, and terms won’t be announced till Thursday.
The Dodgers have agreed with Time Warner Cable on a new television contract that will provide the team with a channel of its own, according to two people familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss it.
Time Warner Cable now has secured the television rights to the two most popular teams in Los Angeles — the Dodgers and the Lakers — within two years.
The Dodgers’ deal is expected to be finalized and announced Thursday. The team has not yet submitted the deal to Major League Baseball for approval, but the control of the channel is expected to rest with the Dodgers’ owners rather than with Time Warner.
Presumably it pays the team enough to cover its payroll.
In other equally welcome news, Sandy Koufax will return to Spring Training to work with the Dodgers’ pitchers.
Update: The TV deal has now been confirmed. There may be some differences with MLB as to how much of the money the Dodgers receive is subject to revenue sharing:
The new ownership group, which bought the team out of bankruptcy court in April 2012 for a record $2.1 billion, said it has created a company called American Media Productions that will start broadcasting Dodgers games in 2014 on a channel called SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable, the largest carrier in the area, will be the network’s first distributor.
Although terms were not disclosed, the SportsBusiness Journal calls it a 25-year deal worth $7 billion.
“We concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want — more content and more Dodger baseball — was to launch our own network,” Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said in a statement. “The creation of AMP will provide substantial financial resources over the coming years for the Dodgers to build on their storied legacy and bring a world championship home to Los Angeles.”
The deal is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, and one baseball source privy to the negotiations told ESPN.com the team and the league could very well butt heads regarding exactly how much of the deal will be shared with other teams.
The other question yet to be answered is “how big a carriage fee will Time Warner pay to AMP for the rights to show the Dodgers’ games and other content and how much will Time Warner turn around and charge its mostly-captive subscribers?”
Here’s a video of Dodgers VP for planning and development Janet Marie Smith talking about the stadium renovations.
At ESPN LA Mark Saxon points out that on the day camp opens the Dodgers have six veteran relief pitchers, four utility/bench players, eight starting position players and seven starting pitchers. That’s a far cry from the last few years when there were deals for starting pitchers being done seemingly up to Opening Day. Presumably they’ll deal a starter, hopefully for a fourth outfielder. Saxon gets off a good line, noting that there are a bunch of players whose health is best described as “improving.”
Trainer Sue Falsone might have more interesting media sessions than manager Don Mattingly.
Should we start getting excited yet?
Update: ESPN has released the Sunday Night Baseball schedule through July 21, and the May 5 Dodgers – Giants game at AT&T Park is included on the list. As David Pinto points out, there’s only one Yankees – Red Sox game on the schedule, which is a welcome change as far as I’m concerned. The Angels have two games scheduled, at Texas and the White Sox.
Update: Jon has some parting thoughts about both Stan Musial and Earl Weaver at the old site.
I hope you’re all enjoying your turkey/ham/prime rib dinner and giving appropriate thanks for the blessings of the year just past, not least of which was the sale of our favorite team to owners far more committed to winning championships than the previous group was.
Update: Here’s MSTI on the prospective TV deal Fox may be about to offer the Dodgers. Suffice to say (and you should read the whole thing) it could pay off the purchase price of the team several times over. Here’s Mike:
In six months, the Guggenheim group would have turned a $2.15 billion investment into a cash cow which pays three times that over the next twenty years – without selling a single ticket, parking spot, beer, or replica jersey.
That is startling, at least to me. We all knew the potential for that deal was big, given the size of the Southern California market and its value to a TV network, but still. “Between $6 billion and $7 billion over 25 years?” Wowsers.
Update: The Dodgers announced several front office personnel moves, mostly promotions from within. Here’s the paragraph that struck me, though:
Josh Bard, previously announced as a new special assistant for player development, joins Aaron Sele, Jose Vizcaino and Juan Castro in that role.
Do you supppose that position is now the entry-level front office position for newly-retired major leaguers who earned reputations as good guys during long careers?