Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Category: Radio

Tony Gwynn Jr., Tim Cates join Dodger Talk team

GwynnBy Jon Weisman

Former Dodger outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. has joined the Dodger Talk team for AM 570 LA Sports Radio. 

In addition, Tim Cates will host the Dodgers pregame show for the first time, incorporating reports from Rick Monday and David Vassegh leading up to the game.

Vassegh is returning for his fifth season to the Dodger Talk postgame show, where he will be joined by Gwynn with contributions from Monday, Charley Steiner, Alanna Rizzo and Ned Colletti.

Dodger Talk can be heard each night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. during Spring Training and, beginning March 31 with the Freeway Series against the Angels, following every game through the 2016 season.

Known as a top defensive outfielder, Gwynn had a .309 on-base percentage and 80 steals in 106 attempts across his 685-game big-league career from 2006-14. That includes 239 games with the Dodgers in 2011-12, when he had 10 triples and 35 steals. Gwynn tied or led the Dodgers in triples both years.

Cates tn_1200_Tim-WoodenA UCLA graduate, Cates has worked in sports talk radio for almost 20 years, covering the NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl and NCAA Final Fours, and serving as a producer, reporter and host on Fox Sports Radio Network and AM 570 LA Sports. Most recently, Cates has hosted UCLA football and basketball pregame and postgame shows, and can also be heard as the studio host for Compass Media Networks coverage of the Oakland Raiders and NCAA football and basketball.

Scully, Jarrin, Hershiser, Monday win kudos at Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers BroadcastersBy Jon Weisman

Vin Scully won two awards for best play-by-play — in radio and in television — at the 25th annual Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards, announced today at the Lakeside Golf Club.

Jaime Jarrin was named best foreign-language play-by-play announcer, while Orel Hershiser was the winner in TV color analysis and Rick Monday in radio color commentary.

Scully, Jarin and Monday are all in the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Scully has won the radio award, named in honor of Chick Hearn, 18 times since its inception in 1991, and the TV award 13 times. (Winners of three consecutive awards in a category are not eligible to repeat for one year.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.07.43 PMJarrin won his ninth career award since foreign-language broadcasters were first recognized in 2003, and Monday his fifth.

Ann Meyers Drysdale also received a special award, the Chuck Benedict/Stu Nahan President’s Award, while former Dodger executive Tommy Hawkins won the Gil Stratton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jaime Jarrin renews with Dodgers through 2018

Stefan, Jorge and Jaime Jarrin with Manny and Jose Mota (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Stefan, Jorge and Jaime Jarrin with Manny and Jose Mota (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Jaime JarrinBy Jon Weisman

Making plans to complete his sixth decade with the Dodgers, Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin has committed to returning to the Dodgers for three more seasons.

“I’ve been so blessed,” said Jarrin of his tenure with the Dodgers and his broadcasting career. “It has been such a special time sharing the broadcasts with our fans and having my son, Jorge, join me in the booth.

“I started thinking about the number 60 in my mind this season. I sat down with the Dodgers and agreed on three more years to get to my 60th year, and then we’ll see about the future at that time. I’m still having a great time and I love what I am doing. And the Dodgers and our fans have been very supportive.”

Said Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten. “Jaime is one of the most popular Dodgers among our fan base, and they look forward to his description of each and every game.”

Since joining the Dodgers in 1959, four years after he arrived in the United States from his native Ecuador, Jarrin has called three perfect games, 21 no-hitters, 28 World Series, 28 All-Star games and 31 postseason series. He officially received the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award on July 26, 1998.

We profiled the two Jarrins for Dodger Insider magazine in May (click the images below to enlarge). You can also read more about Jarrin by clicking this link.

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It’s official: Vin Scully to return to Dodgers in 2016

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

With a reveal in the second inning of tonight’s Dodger game, Vin Scully has officially announced he will return to the Dodgers broadcast booth for his 67th season in 2016.

“I talked it over with my wife, Sandi, and my family and we’ve decided to do it again in 2016,” Scully said. “There’s no place like home and Dodger Stadium and we look forward to being a part of it with all of our friends.”

Said Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten: “Vin is a national treasure, and the Dodgers couldn’t be happier to have him back at the microphone in 2016. Vin makes every broadcast special, and generation after generation of Dodger fans  have been blessed to be able to listen to him create his poetic magic since 1950. We look forward to adding many new chapters to that legacy in 2016.”

If you date the franchise back to its American Association roots in 1884, Brooklyn played 66 seasons before Scully’s arrival, and Brooklyn-Los Angeles has played 66 seasons since.

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New AM 570 LA Sports debuts today

570By Jon Weisman

Today marks the official debut of the all-new AM 570 LA Sports, co-owned by the Dodgers and iHeartMedia Los Angeles and featuring the Dodgers’ “LA” logo.

Here is the weekday schedule:

  • 6 a.m. – 9 a.m., Dan Patrick
  • 9 a.m. – 12 noon: “LA Today” with Bill Reiter and Leann Tweeden
  • 12 noon – 3 p.m.: Jay Mohr
  • 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.: “Petros and Money Show”
  • 7 p.m. and after Dodger games: “Dodger Talk” with David Vassegh and Kevin Kennedy

“We are thrilled to partner with AM 570 LA Sports,” Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a press release. “We’ve had a wonderful relationship over the years, and our new partnership will make it even stronger as we work together to bring Dodger fans the finest in L.A. Sports radio programming.”

Team Jarrin takes over Spanish radio broadcasts


AwardBy Jon Weisman

For the first time, Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin and his son Jorge will form the broadcast team for the Dodgers’ Spanish radio broadcasts on KTNQ 1020 AM.

Pepe Yniguez and Fernando Valenzuela will be the Spanish broadcast team for SportsNet LA on television, with Manny Mota contributing on both radio and TV.

On the English-language side, the broadcast teams pick up where they left off, starting with Vin Scully on SportsNet LA for Dodger home games and select road games. Scully will simulcast the first three innings on KLAC 570 AM, with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday taking over on radio in the fourth inning.

For the other games, Steiner, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra will work TV, with Monday joined by Kevin Kennedy on radio.

This is season No. 66 for Scully with the Dodgers and No. 57 for Jaime Jarrin. Monday is working his 23rd season behind the Dodger mic; Yniguez his 17th, Valenzuela his 13th and Steiner his 11th. Mota is in his sixth season as a Dodger broadcaster and 47th overall with the franchise.


KLAC renews Dodger radio rights

KLAC AM 570 has signed a multiyear agreement with the Dodgers to renew their radio broadcast rights for the team’s regular season games, select Spring training games and potential postseason games.

The deal, subject to MLB approval, includes an equity position in the station for Dodgers owners as well as the opportunity to collaborate on programming.

KLAC will also continue to provide pregame and postgame shows to the entire Dodger Radio Network, which includes 22 stations across the state and country.

— Jon Weisman

Your Opening Day public address announcer: Ross Porter

Ross Porter throwing the ceremonial first pitch August 31 (Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers, LLC 2013)

Ross Porter throws the ceremonial first pitch August 31.
(Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers, LLC 2013)

By Jon Weisman

porterYour ears won’t be deceiving you on Opening Day. That voice you will be hearing is Ross Porter.

It won’t be on your radio or TV, but rather booming through Dodger Stadium. Porter, a radio and TV voice of the Dodgers from 1977-2004, will be the honorary public address announcer for Friday’s home opener, featuring the Dodgers against the Giants and all the requisite pageantry.

“I was appreciative of the fact they asked me to do this this year,” Porter said. “It’s a special honor to do on Opening Day. That’s nice, and I’m looking forward to that. It’s gonna be exciting just to be with the fans, to be able to speak to the fans. I’m just happy to be there and be back.”

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More Opening Day Highlights

  • Auto and stadium gates open at 10 a.m.
  • Dodger Stadium Express from Union Station will operate from 10 a.m. through 45 minutes after the game.
  • Opening Day pregame entertainment throughout the stadium begins at 10 a.m.
  • Musical entertainment provided by Dixieland band Angel City in the left-field reserve plaza and classic rock music by The Trip in the right-field reserve plaza.
  • Balloon makers, face painters, caricature artists and plenty of Dodger photo opportunities with Dodger memorabilia in the left-and right-field pavilion plaza areas.
  • “Sweet” Lou Johnson will sign autographs for fans in the left-field pavilion plaza and Kenny Landreaux will hold an autograph session in the right-field pavilion plaza.
  • On-field pregame ceremonies begin at 12:00 p.m.
  • A special Opening Day video will also be part of pregame ceremonies.
  • U.S. Navy Leap Frogs will perform an aerial jump into Dodger Stadium from a C-130 aircraft.
  • Opening Day’s Veteran of the Game is U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Hunter Holmes, the winner of the Dodgers’ annual Veterans Day Batting Practice Day hitting contest.
  • Making their concessions debut this season: LA Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog (available at the Extreme Loaded Hot Dog stands) and the Major League Nachos Helmet, showcasing 64 ounces of delicious crispy tortilla chips topped with all the fixins (available on field, loge and reserve levels).
  • Tommy Lasorda will officially begin the game with “It’s Time for Dodger baseball!”

Porter reconnected with Dodger Stadium when he was invited to throw out a ceremonial first pitch August 31.

“It was really a thrill to be back there and to be able to see people and talk to people, and go downstairs and have them show me the new clubhouse and all the things they built in since I was last there,” Porter said. “And it was great to be able to bring my family and friends. The Dodgers provided us with a suite that night, which was very nice of them.

“It was just a nice experience, very positive — everything about it. It was just good to get back there.”

Porter is taking the place Friday of regular stadium P.A. announcer Eric Smith, who has a prior commitment, but this won’t be the last Dodger fans hear of Porter this year.

Beginning on KLAC AM 570 after Friday’s game and throughout the season will be “Ross Porter’s Dodger Moments,” a featurette that will include a short interview from a Dodger or famous Dodger opponent of the past.

Friday will bring Sandy Koufax talking about Dodger Stadium, followed by Willie Mays on Saturday talking about the Dodger-Giant rivalry. For Sunday, it will be Don Drysdale recalling the night his scoreless inning streak almost ended with a pitch that hit Dick Dietz, only to be overruled because Dietz didn’t try to get out of the way.

Down the road, Porter will present Rex Barney talking about his 1949 no-hitter, Gene Hermanski talking about starting a triple play in 1949 and interviews with Roy Campanella, Duke Snider and more.

“It comes out of my personal library of interviews that I kept through all those years,” Porter said. “At the moment, I have 52 of those ready to go, recorded, and I will add to them because I want to get the current players and mix them in with the former stars. I’ve still got about 25-30 other ones that I have not really edited yet, but I’ve got ’em. So we’re going to have quite a group.”

Porter remains attuned to the Dodgers of today and is optimistic about their potential.

“I’m very excited about the chances for this team,” he said. “You know and I know and people that know baseball realize, it really comes down to how many people are injured. You keep them healthy, and I think they have an excellent shot to win the National League and be in the World Series, and then it’s just who can win four.”


Orel Hershiser on the power of Vin

Los Angeles Dodgers Broadcasters/Time Warner reception

Photos: Armando Arorizo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Never underestimate the reach of Vin Scully.

When I spoke with Orel Hershiser the night of the Dodger Town Hall for an upcoming magazine piece, the new SportsNet LA analyst gave me an anecdote that caught me off guard (and I thought would be best to share online).

I was wondering how much Hershiser had gotten to hear of Scully, given that his playing days wouldn’t have offered much opportunity …

“Other than those transistor radios when you step back and you hear, ‘Hershiser winds,’ and you hear everybody’s radio,” Hershiser said. “That was amazing to be on the mound and hear his voice. Oh yeah, you could lock in and know on a day game, if they had the radios on, you could actually be doing something and hearing him announce you doing it. It was unbelievable. It was so much fun. You had to block it out, but I did hear it once in a while.”

Photo: Armando Arorizo/Los Angeles DodgersHershiser also had an interesting take on how he would approach the broadcast, given that by his own admission, he had a rooting interest in the Dodgers.

“I think I’ll feel the same way as the fans do,” he said. “I’ll feel the same way as Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten do in the front office when they put the team together. I’ll feel the same way as when Don Mattingly puts somebody up to pinch-hit to get a bunt down, and he doesn’t get it down. You’re killing yourself inside, but you figuring out a way. How do I impart knowledge? How do I vent my frustration so they can do better next time? How do I not kill this guy, though? And then when do they well, how do I keep them on a roll. Do you get in their way and compliment them when you’re around them, or do you just leave them alone?”

The 1988 Cy Young winner, famed for his endurance that season, realizes he faces a different kind of marathon with the hefty schedule of daily broadcasts.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “You have to know how to pace yourself. … I’ll be reminding myself – you’ve got a lot of time for a lot of material.”

Spring radio broadcast schedule announced

radioBy Jon Weisman

KLAC 570 AM will broadcast 15 Spring Training games for the Dodgers this year, with KTNQ 1020 AM doing eight games in Spanish.

The KLAC broadcasts will begin with Wednesday’s Spring Training opener and Thursday’s Spring Training home opener and also cover February 28 – March 2, March 5-9 (split-squad game on March 8 against Texas), March 12, March 16 and the Freeway Series games March 27-29.

KTNQ will have games February 26, March 1-2, March 8-9 (split-squad game March 8 against Seattle), March 15-16 and March 28.

Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will trade off on play-by play duties, with Monday and Garciaparra alternating as analysts.

For the full Spring Training radio schedule, see below:

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