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February 2008 Archives

Bowa should be constricted

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Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa, who came with new manager Joe Torre to the ballclub, has refused to follow the new major league rule that makes base coaches wear helmets.

"I'll make a real joke of it," he told the L.A. Times. Bowa said he would even be willing to write a check for whatever fine baseball would assess for the entire 162-game season.

The hot-tempered Bowa is way off base here.

The rule was put in place after Mike Coolbaugh, a first-base coach for Colorado Springs in the Rockies organization, was struck by a line drive last season and killed.

Having base coaches wear helmets is a good idea and one, ironically, that Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has promoted for decades.

For Bowa to thumb his nose not only at baseball, but at the game's most beloved broadcaster and the memory of Coolbaugh is completely classless.

Write a check to cover the whole season? What Major League Baseball should do is suspend Bowa without pay until he agrees to comply.

The Detroit WHO??

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Need to make a correction about an embarrassing -- and pretty funny -- mistake in my Tuesday column about the NBA.

I said, "The Boston Celtics are 39-9 and the Detroit Celtics are 37-13."

I know the Celtics are good, but the Pistons haven't changed their name to Celtics.

My column Friday on how much I'm irked about KCAL (Channel 9) tape-delayed Lakers games from the East Coast drew some immediate response from readers.

Most of them were in agreement with me. Rich Graffeo in Santa Barbara said he wants to know what's happening in a Lakers game as it occurs, not 90 minutes later, so he checks online. He also pointed out that nearly everyone these days has recording devices of some sort, so if they aren't home from work yet, they can record it.

Ed Crane wrote to point out he'll switch over to ESPN or TNT during Lakers halftimes and often winds up finding out the final score of the tape-delayed game. "I don't go back to KCAL after that," he wrote. "How many viewers do they think that adds up to?"

But Steve Lee of Oxnard said he has no problems whatsoever with Channel 9 putting the Lakers on tape-delay and is steamed at me for trying to influence it to put Lakers games on live. For him it's just right. "It seems reasonable to me that most fans enjoy having a dinner hour game, not a late afternoon game on a work day," he wrote.

"Sure, live games are great," he continued, "but not in this case. I believe that most of us need time after work for errands, cooking, kids, and so on before we can plop down to watch a game."

Got an opinion? Jot it down in the comments here or write me.

Pat Knight's debut as coach of the Texas Tech men's basketball team will be shown by ESPNU at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Texas Tech plays Baylor. Knight replaces his father, Bob Knight, who abruptly announced his resignation Monday.

Meanwhile, ESPN Classic will televise a 10-hour Bob Knight Marathon beginning today (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. PST through 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Another note: Eli Manning was scheduled to appear Monday night on Late Show with David Letterman, but that appearance has been postponed until Wednesday.

Dick Vitale is scheduled to return to ESPN on Wednesday night after missing two months to have vocal cord surgery. He’ll call the Duke-North Carolina with Mike Patrick and Stacey Dales on Wednesday and the Georgetown-Louisville game with Dan Shulman and Erin Andrews on Saturday.

Dick Vitale.jpgVitale told reporters Monday it was a frightening time for him when Dr. Steven Zeitels at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told him he had ulcers on his left vocal cord and there was no way of knowing if they were cancerous until surgery was performed to remove them.

“You don’t think too much about basketball, you’re thinking about a lot of other things,? Vitale said. “I thought my career was over. I got another lease on life. That’s the way I call it because my heart and soul, obviously, is basketball.

“… It was a really scary time for me and my family and I’m so happy and thrilled that I’m going to get the opportunity to walk back into an arena because of my voice.?

Vitale said his throat and voice have been bothering him for the last two or three years. He also said his recovery from surgery was complicated and prolonged by a bladder infection.

ESPN will schedule Vitale judiciously; he will do the network’s prime Saturday games and most likely one other game during the week, avoiding overuse such as back-to-back games.

Vitale said he’s working with a voice coach now in an attempt to not just speak from his throat, but from his diaphragm as well.

“I need to let the microphone do more work for me,? he said. “They’ve given me a lot of tips and things (such as) to make certain when I’m in a restaurant and there’s a lot of voice, don’t try to talk over that noise. … I’ve got to be smart about it. I’ve got to be intelligent about it because I certainly don’t want to have these things reoccur.?

Vitale is often criticized for being too over the top, but it’ll be good to have him back as a “PTPer? once again.

Giant imperfection

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Well, now. We've witnessed one of the most amazing Super Bowls — in fact, one of the incredible sporting events in U.S. history. The only thing that could have made the New York Giants' 17-14 upset of the New England Patriots more phenomenal is if it had gone into overtime. And it almost did.

And just a 17-14 score. I certainly hope you took the "under" on the game, which had an over/under line of 55 points total. Not many people expected a defensive struggle, especially after that 38-35 game in Week 17.

To have Eli Manning win the MVP just a year after brother Peyton did the same thing is one of the all-time unique accomplishments in pro sports. We'll likely never see anything like that again in any sport.

From my point of view, as the guy who covers TV-Radio, it'll be very interesting to see the ratings and viewership numbers for this game. I have no doubt it'll be the most watched television program of any kind and the ratings — which measure how many sets were tuned to it — could very well be through the roof too, even though TV is a much more fragmented thing now with so many channels to choose from.

And what do you suppose Arlen Spector thinks now? Does that interview with commissioner Roger Goodell matter quite so much now?

Well, the time has come, after this two weeks of hype and hoopla, to pick a winner. It's time to put aside the walking boots, the Spygate video cameras, the restraining orders, the Senators from Pennsylvania and the wedding gown-clad reporters, and finally think about playing the game.


As has been recalled to death, the Patriots only beat the Giants 38-35 in Week 17. The Giants did a great job, especially considering they had nothing to play for, other than to provide the Patriots with a little resistance against finishing the regular season with a perfect record.

Tom Coughlin had his club playing well and Eli Manning indeed appeared to come of age as a quarterback in the National Football League. Even with the close, entertaining victory, it wasn't anything certain that the two teams would meet again Sunday in the Super Bowl. The Giants had to win two playoff games on the road against two teams -- the Cowboys and the Packers -- who had better seasons.

But here they are and the question is: Can the Giants avenge the earlier loss, spoil the Patriots' undefeated season and win Super Bowl XLII?

Well, they could; the Patriots' margins of victory seem to be getting smaller and smaller lately. But my feeling is they won't. New England's quest of perfection will be realized.

I consider Patriots coach Bill Belichick to be, quite frankly, a weaselly human being and I really wouldn't mind that much seeing him lose. But I also consider him to be the best coach in the NFL.

Giving Belichick not only two weeks since his last game to prepare, but also to play a team he's played before, is just too much. I really don't see any way Belichick can lose in that situation.

Then there are the two quarterbacks, Manning and the Patriots' Tom Brady. The Mannings may be the "first family of football" and yes, they have sons who will have played in back-to-back Super Bowls and Eli may indeed have "found himself" since Week 17, but I just don't think he can match Brady in this one.

On top of all this is that 19-0 thingy. The Patriots, being this close to history, will be too determined to let it slip away. It would be incredibly difficult to come this far and then cope with not being able to seal the deal.

All that considered, I see Super Bowl XLII going to New England. Some people think the 12-point spread is too much, but in the end, it'll probably be just about right. Let's say Patriots 34-21.

We'll be back here Sunday night for a wrapup. Hope to see you then. PLEASE feel free to rebut my pick in the comments area.

About this blog...

Jim Carlisle writes Tuesday sports columns and Friday TV-Radio columns for The Star. He has been on the sports staff of the Star (and its Thousand Oaks predecessor, the News Chronicle) since 1983. Jim pledges in his blog not to take sports — or himself — too seriously.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2008 is the previous archive.

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