Monday, January 04, 2016

A Brief Time Warner/SportsNet LA Update

Delays!  Delays!  Delays!

A large number of Dodger fans continue to be without SportsNet LA on television, and a solution to the problem does not appear to be at hand.

In fact, delays to the merger between Time Warner (parent of SportsNet LA) and Charter continue to spoil any chance that fans throughout the Southland will be able enjoy Vin Scully's last season.  Regulatory reviews of the merger continue to get pushed back, via Gerry Smith at Bloomberg Business; "Charter Merger With Time Warner Cable Delayed at FCC."
U.S. officials need more time to examine recent filings on the deal’s potential impact to the distribution of Time Warner Cable’s regional sports networks and Charter’s residential pricing and packaging methods, among other things, the Federal Communications Commission said in a letter Monday to the companies posted on its website.

The 15-day pause, which will conclude on Jan. 20, “will contribute to a more efficient and expeditious review of the proposed transaction,” the commission said.
Considering this, a merger is not likely to happen before the start of the season.  And without the merger, I suspect there's no solution to the SportsNet LA situation. 

Of course, this is likely all moot since it was announced several weeks ago that state regulators in California may be pushing back their approvals to as far back as June 2016 (via Reinhardt Krause at IBD).  So, we might realistically be looking at a mid-summer decision on the merger, and a potential delay until then before we see the Dodgers in everybody's homes. Still, it would have been nice to get FCC approval as soon as possible.

Now, everybody is in delay mode.

And that delay means less Vin Scully for Dodgers fans.

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Got Milk? - A 1981 Dodgers Milk Carton

Last week I highlighted some recently produced milk cartons featuring Dodger players on a side-panel, so naturally I wondered if others existed from years past.  Thankfully, my curiosity did not go unfulfilled.

Featured here is a Ralphs Supermarket milk carton, as found on eBay, from 1981 that I just had to share.  It doesn't show any one specific player on the carton, but it does include a photo of the on-field celebration after Steve Howe got the last out in the World Series.  As you can see, it also includes the box score from the deciding game and an newspaper styled article. 

There is also an advertisement for a full color plaque that you can hang on the wall for $6.95.  After doing a brief search I could not locate a pic of this plaque, but I did find one for the 1980 World Series that looks very similar (link here). 

Click on any pic to embiggen.

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Blog Kiosk: 1/4/2015 - Dodger Links - Geren, Piazza and More Maeda Contract Details

What a nice perk.  Featured above is a vintage March 1960 press photo from the Bahamas News Bureau featuring numerous members of the LA Dodgers front office and personnel as they are about to embark on a brief one-day excursion to the Bahamas.  They are about to board the Dodgers private plane for the trip.  BTW, via BSmile on twitter, we find out that today marks the anniversary of when they first got the plane in 1957.

Below are more links to check out:
  • The Hall of Fame announcement is coming on Wednesday, so there are stories galore about who will or won't get in.  Apparently, former Dodger catcher Mike Piazza appears to be finally headed to Cooperstown.  Via Lyle Spencer at, "Piazza's Hall of Fame call may be coming soon."
A Hall of Fame selection by the Veterans Committee in 1997, Lasorda bristled with the suggestion that drafting Piazza was as a personal favor. He claimed this big kid had the power and the will to make it. So began the journey.

"I don't deserve credit for anything Michael did on a baseball field," Lasorda recently said. "He did it the old-fashioned way, with hard work and perseverance. He made himself into a great player with his desire and commitment."
So, it's an heavily incentive-based contract filled will loads of bonuses.  I certainly hope he earns every one.
As dissimilar as Jansen and Howell might appear, they share a unique bond that works so well that they have a name for their combination: “Cookies n’ Cream.”

“I’m the cookie, you’re the cream,” Jansen said to Howell.
"I like the idea of a young manager leaning on me, having an opportunity to help him and also learning from Doc," said Geren. "We have a group of general managers, all extremely bright, and you know they will bring quality players in year after year. It's the whole package, and New York was a lot of the same.

"This will be the first time I've worked with a younger and less experienced manager, and that's appealing. I was a catching instructor, and I consider myself a teacher. I feel I can make him better, and he'll make me better by challenging me."

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