Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Charley Steiner

‘Welcome to my Thanksgiving’: In moving ceremony, Los Angeles begins its final farewell to Vin Scully

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By Jon Weisman

We might need time. We might need 67 years to get over this one.

Emotionally charged from the opening video salute to the final blue-carpet walk lined by Dodger players and coaches, tribute was paid to Vin Scully tonight, in an hour-long ceremony infused with heartstopping thoughts from guest speakers and heartwarming words from the man himself.

It was a valediction for Vinny, and a validation of our love.

In an evening that would conclude with John Williams conducting members of the Los Angeles Philarmonic in the National Anthem, so many moments played like perfect notes in a symphony.

“Vin is that favorite sweater of yours that you can’t wait to put on on a chilly day,” said Dick Enberg in the video.

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Steiner-Monday duo coming back for more

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Rick Monday and Charley Steiner have signed new multiyear contracts to remain the Dodgers’ radio broadcast team.

“Rick and Charley have been a great team in the broadcast booth,” Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said. “The combination of the two talents over the past 12 years has provided Dodger fans a thoroughly enjoyable journey through each and every game. We look forward to them continuing for many years to come.”

The pair will continue calling games on the Dodgers’ flagship station AM 570 LA Sports and across the Dodger radio network.

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All avenues lead to Vin Scully

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

At the end of the street formerly known as Elysian Park Avenue, we witnessed today what happens when an unstoppable force meets a moved city.

In the driveway of his home away from home at Dodger Stadium, a broadcaster without equal acknowledged the formal dedication of Vin Scully Avenue, thanking the grateful fan base that has hung on his words since 1950.

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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.

In case you missed it nightcap: Up, down and away

By Jon Weisman

Today’s resounding comeback victory — 10-5 after trailing 4-0 — didn’t forestall Austin Barnes, O’Koyea Dickson or Erisbel Arruebarrena being optioned to minor league camp after the game.

Here are some notes and news to take in before bedtime …

  • It’s a fantabulous night for a moondance, and for reading this Eric Nusbaum profile at Vice Sports about “The Likable, Unlikely Career of Juan Uribe.”
  • Zack Greinke went back to his old slider grip during an outing today that he considered an improvement, reports True Blue L.A.’s Eric Stephen, who adds an interesting quote from Greinke about the Alamo and Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Chad Gaudin hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2013, but count him among the relievers making a strong bid to be a factor in the bullpen this year, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Gaudin pitched a perfect sixth inning today, striking out Stephen Vogt and Mark Canha.
  • Yimi Garcia, who threw a scoreless inning today, has retired 13 of 15 batters he has faced this spring.
  • New commissioner Rob Manfred visited the Dodgers today, as Gurnick notes, and part of the conversation was the long-overdue return of the All-Star Game to Los Angeles. No MLB team has gone longer without one than the Dodgers, who last hosted in 1980.
  • The official dedication of the Charley Steiner School of Sports Communication at Bradley will be held March 31.
  • Two oldie but goodie former Dodgers each signed minor-league deals today: 37-year-old Rafael Furcal with the Royals and 38-year-old Randy Wolf with the Blue Jays.
  • At ESPN.com, Anna McDonald writes about how Major League Baseball is dealing with anxiety and depression among its players.

 

Team Jarrin takes over Spanish radio broadcasts

2008 GOLDEN MIKE AWARDS

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.

 

Vin Scully and Co. celebrate baseball

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By Jon Weisman

The video above captures the flavor of celebration at Saturday’s Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation dinner in Century City, with Vin Scully, Chan Ho Park, Peter O’Malley, Dusty Baker and Tommy Lasorda among the interviewees.

Next is a less Dodger-centric snapshot, with more focus on the transition between retiring MLB commisioner Bud Selig and his successor, Rob Manfred:

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Below, filmed at the same event, Stan Kasten and Charley Steiner talk about the Dodgers’ offseason changes …

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Bradley University names school of sports communication in honor of Charley Steiner

SteinerBy Jon Weisman

This is a big honor, to say the least. The school of communications at Bradley University is being named after Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner.

The Charley Steiner School of Sports Communication becomes the first named sports communication school in the nation. It was announced during Bradley’s 15th annual Hollywood Gala Reception at the Skirball Center tonight.

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In case you missed it: Put your hands in the air

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

By Jon Weisman

There’s many more images from Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting of the outfield plazas and subsequent team workout, thanks to Jon SooHoo and his LA Photog Blog.

In other news …

  • Though he is missing his start Sunday, Clayton Kershaw is a candidate to start the home opener April 4, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Kershaw said he “didn’t think” the flight to Australia “had anything to do with” his injury.
  • Carl Crawford and Brandon League arrived Wednesday from Arizona, Gurnick reports.
  • MLB’s At the Ballpark app has been updated — read about all the many virtues at MLB.com.
  • Here’s a different app you might find fun: No-Hitter Alerts (via David Pinto of Baseball Musings).
  • Former Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal, aiming to come back at age 36 from Tommy John surgery that forced him out of action in 2013, will start the season on the Marlins’ disabled list — with a strained hamstring.
  • Randy Wolf is the latest former Dodger to get a Spring Training release, though his departure from Seattle came under quite unusual circumstances.
  • The 1961 Union Oil Family Booklet perspective on Johnny Podres is at Ernest Reyes’ Blue Heaven.
  • Charley Steiner talked to Gurnick about the coming year.
  • A.J. Ellis has joined in the 108stitches.com Strike Out Cancer effort, writes Gurnick.
  • Tale a peek at MLB’s new state-of-the-art instant replay center, via Paul Hagen’s piece at MLB.com. More on the new instant replay from Will Leitch at Sports on Earth and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Video surfaced of what happens to be the first game of Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-game streak. The featured subject of the video is Babe Ruth, who twists in the batter’s box like a precursor to Juan Uribe.

Thoughts from Charley Steiner ahead of his 10th season with Dodgers

SNLA crew at Town Hall

By Jon Weisman

Charley Steiner hasn’t gotten that much attention this offseason among Dodger announcers, given the spotlight on the new members of the Dodger broadcast team at SportsNet LA (Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung) and the focus that rightfully always falls on Vin Scully.

But Steiner, believe it or not, is entering his 10th season as a Dodger play-by-play man (the only one who does 162 games a year in that role). It’s not only a milestone, it also dwarfs his tenure doing New York Yankee games and is beginning to catch up to his long-running stint at ESPN.

I always find Steiner a warm, positive presence, someone who enjoys the game and appreciates it but never takes it excessively seriously. So I took the opportunity before Monday’s Town Hall to chat with him for a few minutes.

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Steiner is always quick to credit Scully for inspiring his love for radio and career as a sportscaster.

“Radio was the first thing that attracted me to broadcasting,” Steiner said, “when I was 7 years old – listening to Vin, in New York.”

That’s why Steiner has always been comfortable even in years – unlike the coming year – when he has been paired with Rick Monday on radio and hasn’t done games for television. But he’s happy to switch between the two formats – and is eager to work with Hershiser on TV.

“It’s the difference between softball and hardball,” he said. “You still have to score runs, and you still have to put people on base. … In television, obviously, the picture tells the story, and in radio, it’s your responsibility to paint the picture. So we are backselling a play. Everybody has seen it, then it will be up to Orel to explain why we saw what we just saw, whether it’s a pitch or how a team is defending a given player. On radio, we have to do that all in a hurry.

“Orel is a really bright guy, who above and beyond the experience and career he had as a player, has coaching experience, front-office experience, television experience. His baseball IQ is way off the charts. So getting to work with him and getting to learn from him – we’ve spent a fair amount of time already in the offseason – it’s exciting. It’s exciting for me, that I’ll be able to just basically throw him BP fastballs and listen to him. He’s gonna be something.”

It won’t hurt that the Dodgers figure to be anything but dull in 2014. 

“This is just a wonderful confluence of events,” Steiner said. “Ownership. A franchise that has really been reborn. Then you throw into the mix this unbelievable television network that’s about to start.

“What I find so remarkable about beginning SportsNet LA is the people we are beginning it with. A: Vin – let’s set that aside. But the group that they’ve put together – Orel and I will get to do a ton of television games, and get to do a little with Nomar. Alanna’s a great talent; we all saw her at the MLB network. John Hartung has been in town forever and he’s just a perfectly cast quarterback – how’s that for a mixed metaphor – for the set. We’re working for and with one of the elite, iconic franchises in all of sports. We’re starting fresh and new with essentially an All-Star team. It’s hard to beat.”

SportsNet LA officially set for February 25 launch

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By Jon Weisman

Today brings the official announcement that the new 24/7 Dodgers channel, SportsNet LA, will launch February 25, along with the official introduction of its on-air talent team: Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Charley Steiner, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung, along with of course the previously announced master of it all, Vin Scully.

In addition to televising more than 140 live regular season games and every Spring Training game (with the exception of split squads) in its inaugural season, SportsNet LA will air classic games, live studio shows, numerous original programs and more.

Scully will call all Dodger home games and road games for SportsNet LA in California and Arizona. Steiner and Hershiser will team up on the other SportsNet LA games, with Hershiser appearing on the pregame and postgame shows when Scully is broadcasting.

Steiner and Rick Monday will be the radio team for Dodger games that Scully is manning for television, following the simulcast portion.

Garciaparra (who will provide color commentary next to Monday’s play-by-play on the remaining road radio games) and Hairston will contribute to the pregame and postgame. Rizzo will host those shows from Dodger Stadium, while also serving as an in-game reporter for the Steiner-Hershiser telecasts.

Hartung will be the in-studio host for Sports Net LA’s live studio shows.

Time Warner Cable is committed to carrying SportsNetLA when it launches, and discussions are taking place with other distributors, such as DirecTV. To make your voice heard on this matter, visit sportsnetla.com or call your provider to tell them you need the network.

In the meantime, you can follow SportsNet LA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

BroadcastTeam

In case you missed it: Steiner to emcee ceremony honoring Wyman

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By Jon Weisman

I don’t know about you, but Spring Training feels like it’s sprinting toward us.

On to today’s links …

  • Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner will emcee the 2014 Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductions luncheon Sunday in Bel Air. Honorees include indispensable Dodger historical figure Roz Wyman, the Los Angeles City Councilwoman who was instrumental in bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and longtime Dodger publicist Toby Zwikel. (A tribute video for Wyman from last year, narrated by Steiner, appears above.)
  • Whatever happens with Masahiro Tanaka, you can’t say the neogiations haven’t been unique, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Olney adds some background information about agent of the moment Casey Close, while Daniel Brim at Dodgers Digest attempts to put Tanaka’s Japanese statistics in an MLB context.
  • Orel Hershiser’s contract situation post-1988 was not all that different from Clayton Kershaw’s post-2013. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. researches the comparison.
  • Ken Burns is doing a documentary on Jackie Robinson scheduled to air on PBS next year, notes Lisa De Moraes of Deadline. Meanwhile, Mike Oz posts a letter from Robinson to King at Big League Stew.
  • Speaking of documentaries, the Sundance Film Festival introduced “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” a project about the independent Portland Mavericks. Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere has more.
  • Kenny Landreaux was among those offering guidance to young people on Martin Luther King Day at the Compton Urban Youth Academy, writes Lyle Spencer of MLB.com. “I’m trying to teach these kids how to handle adversity and deal with any situation in life,” Landreaux said.
  • SABR Day is coming Saturday, and Emma Amaya writes about it at Dodger Blue World.
  • What have our neighbors to the south been up to this winter? Jay Jaffe of SI.com gives the Padres’ offseason a C+.
  • Hundreds paid tribute Monday at the funeral of Michael Weiner, the head of the MLB Players’ Association, including former Dodgers Chris Capuano and Craig Counsell.
  • If you think the Dodger Stadium field is being transformed with this week’s hockey extravaganza, just remember it has only been two years since motocross took over the ballpark. (Mark Langill provided the pic below.)

Motocross

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