Friday, July 31, 2009

Seriously Chapter 35: Another Baseball Ball Burner

Sorry, we had to recover from Tom Watson

With the trading deadline past, my guy at the L.A. Times is trying to say to me just now, "Ooh, the Dodgers roll the dice!" But I'm telling him that with the best record in baseball, they are the most likely candidate to stay most put. It's not a disaster that they didn't get Halladay, that would be akin to reacting too hard to their recent stumbles. Anybody checked out Manny Ramirez's stats recently? Sherrill is a great pick up for them. We hate saying that here given the fact we don't fly the Dodger brand at Sports Seriously. But at the same time, we do report the news. Fans saying a David Weathers-type would be good for the Dodgers actually got someone even better than my beloved old work horse. I'm not trying to talk Dodger Tony off a ledge, I'm just reporting the story the way I see it. We look forward to your thoughts.

I apologize to those of you who have e-mailed and even faxed (who the heck faxes anymore?) There will be lots of Clipper stuff coming up. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seriously Chapter 34: Pray For Tommy Watson

Seriously attends most major golf tournaments in person, while in addition, Sports Seriously dispatch correspondents. Sadly, Quake Town scheduling commitments have prevented him from attending this year's British Open at beautiful but nasty Turnberry, Ayrshire, a course that has swallowed this here golfer whole on more than one occasion. The last time I played there, in 2007, by the time I finished I was hitting four irons off the tee, my feet were soaked and I wondered why the hell I hadn't brought my roller bag? It warms the cuckolds of this old duffer's heart that one of the great gentleman of golf, Tom Watson, is leading this year's tournament going into tomorrow's third round and everyone here at the Franchise is all a-titter. Tom Watson winning the British Open would turn this country upside down and alter the way we live as Americans. I'm not saying that just because I know Tom, I'm saying it because it's true. Cross your fingers and let's make some history this weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seriously Chapter 33: The Dodgers' Path to the Brass Ring

That subject along with trades, deadlines and Manny are to be discussed at

The Dodger Baseball Meet Up Group, a must event for any Dodger fan living in Southern California. The group meets Saturday, August 8th, 1:00pm at Griffith Parks's Trails Cafe, 2333 Fern Dale Drive, LA, CA 90068. Parking is plentiful but reservations are suggested as the room only seats 45. Please confirm with Adele at 323.496.4494. Going on it's 12th year and hosted once again by Dodger Tony, this is a great chance to sit with a committed group of serious Dodger people in a highly organized yet funny, free-wheeling forum. Great food, great conversation and you never know who will pop in from the front office or the field. They've had everyone from Tommy Lasorda to Tommy Hawkins to Tommy John. So go on out, have a great time AND get your two cents in. These Dodgers look like they're going all the way!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Seriously Chapter 32: Dante Stallworth Has a Case

Cleveland Browns receiver Dante Stallworth was just released from Ohio's Gilbert Knight Corrections Facility after serving a medieval-level sentence of 24 days for being drunk and high, running over a woman in his Bentley and killing her. At the trial, Dante made it clear on the witness stand that "she just ran out into the street." Dante Stallworth happens to be a professional athlete. The stress from having to perform at such a high professional level will have a brother needing to down a few cocktails and blow a little weed, if only to let off steam and keep his sanity. Things happen. He did not mean to kill her. That's why call them accidents. 24 days in jail simply outrageous and yet another example of a judicial system trying to make an example out of a public figure. If you or I were to get drunk and kill somebody with our car, I doubt we'd spend more than a week in jail. I believe the judge was jealous of Dante with a twinge of "let me show darkie." I pray for Dante and hope that as soon as he gets his feet back on the ground, he'll consider filing a civil rights lawsuit because that's not justice. How can he ever get that 24-day chunk of his life back?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seriously Chapter 31: Buttoning Up My Friend Michael Jackson

Seriously is a sports guy but has received countless e-mails asking for comments on the Michael Jackson Memorial Service which he attended Tuesday as a guest of the Jackson family. I've known Katherine, Joe and the family for going on two decades and, sadly, I've never seen them so united as one. It took several minutes for all of us to file in and then a few minutes more to bring in Michael. After my dear friend Smokey Robinson opened with reading the D. Ross and Mandela messages, there was a 30 minute pause which was more us sitting with Michael for one last time versus the networks having lost their audio feed. From there, the celebration proceeded without a glitch. We stood, we clapped, we laughed, we cried and we said our amens. And even though we've watched Michael's moves for decades, seeing them in such sublime montage and hearing all the music once more only reminded us of the man's phenomenal artistry and how great this loss has been. I won't single out the performers, most of them are friends, but it was truly wonderful to bump into my old friend, Stevie Wonder, who was somehow in the brightest of spirits before the ceremony and yet so vintage Stevie in his sweetly somber musical homage. I can't go much further than that, it really was too personal to relate. Let me just say that I cried.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Seriously Chapter 30: The Fightin's Is Frightenin'

Seriously and Sports Seriously have concluded today that the Philadelphia Phillies are the best team in the National League this year. Yes, this would be our official call. Seriously and the entire staff have been under pressure to release the call before the All-Star break even though, per tradition, we don't usually release until the second week of August. It's not just the ceaseless hectoring of Dodger Tony that brought this decision but with the quietly staggering economy there is a general sense of uneasiness in the air. (Even Seriously's stocks have said, "Throw me a sack of rocks." I've lost more money in the last two weeks than Farmer John has lost dogs. And yeah, I don't mind writing things that aren't quite funny.) In this difficult climate people who are faced with such incredible uncertainty in their everyday lives should at least feel that their baseball thoughts are of strong rudder (as those of us who skipper boats might say.)
Philadelphia's .531 winning percentage pales in comparison to the Dodgers' incessant, non-stop, maddening ability to win constantly and continuously but the Phillies, with their punishing offense, are destined to pick up another starting pitcher and the karma gods will likely kick in in L.A. They have the best defense in baseball, a great veteran bullpen and haven't had Raul Ibanez for who knows how long though he'll be back in time to start for the National League in the All-Star game. There's also the little matter of being defending World Series Champions. We see the Dodgers cruising to the best record in the National League and then having an interesting time against a wild-card Giants team featuring a one-two punch of Lincecum-Cain (with Sadowski a third?) Hmm.
Truth be told, we value your opinions more than our own and look forward to your thoughts.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seriously Chapter 29: What More Can Juan Do?

The appalling Dodgers roll out Manny Ramirez tomorrow, further desecrating the game of baseball and sending their finest and most deserving player to the bench.

Yes, the above headline and attending animosity stems from Sports Seriously's fundamental dislike of the Dodger brand, that goes without saying. That the Dodgers are the best team in baseball and yet worthy of scorn, of course! But I'm mainly speaking here today from the perspective of - What is professional? How, as a news agency owner, can I behave at all times as a professional? And beyond that, is it fair to expect the same from other organizations that I choose to do business with?

From The Dodgers - See Ya!!

Seriously just had a very difficult conversation with an old friend having just gotten off the phone with Dodger's Vice-President, Kim Ng, whom I've known since she was 22 years-old handling out hot towels at Benihana's on La Cienega. Kim informed me with a straight face and no apology that Seriously, the Sports Seriously staff and all of our correspondents have been banned from Dodger Stadium and the premises. Not because of anything we've done but because of what we said or should I say, asked. Our people have spent the last 49 days crawling all over the organization, asking every Dodger official from Frank McCourt to Nancy B. Heffley, a question which we simply can't get an answer for - What is this organization's message to kids/people regarding those who cheat the game?

While I do use the Clippers as my gold standard, I have always held the Dodgers and their staff in extremely high regard. This agency will continue, as always, to get the story/stories out, EVEN THE DODGER STORY, but pardon us if we admit to a sad moment.

Opinions welcome. Without you, we're nothing.