Tag: Vin Scully

Vin Scully Won’t Announce Dodgers Playoff Games: Latest Comments and Reaction

Vin Scully has one of the most familiar voices in sports, but it won’t be heard in the 2016 MLB postseason.

While the longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer had already called this his final year in the booth, he explained his final game will be the regular-season finale on Oct. 2, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times

“Otherwise, I’d be saying goodbye like in grand opera, where you say goodbye 12 different times,” Scully said.

“I’m going to say goodbye at Dodger Stadium the last game with Colorado. I will say goodbye in San Francisco. And then that will be it,” Scully added. “And then I will go home.”

The Dodgers have a four-game lead in the National League West. According to ESPN.com, they have a 99.9 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason either as the division winner or through the Wild Card.

The 88-year-old announcer began his career with the Dodgers in 1950, calling a number of the biggest moments in baseball over the last 67 years. He announced perfect games from Don Larsen, Sandy Koufax and Dennis Martinez as well as a handful of World Series games, including Kirk Gibson’s famous walk-off home run in 1988.

He also announced Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run and Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st single-season home run.

MLB Network provided a heartfelt tribute to the legendary broadcaster:

By electing to forgo the postseason, Scully’s retirement won’t be dependent the Dodgers’ success in the playoffs, giving the veteran announcer the sendoff he deserves.

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Dodgers Ask Fans to Rank Vin Scully’s Top 20 Calls, Will Reveal Winner in Sept.

Veteran announcer Vin Scully has had too many iconic calls to count.

But on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers asked fans to rank the 88-year-old’s top 20, which include perfect games by Don Larsen (1956) and Sandy Koufax (1965) and Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter (2014). Also featured are Hank Aaron’s 715th home run (1974) and the team’s first game after Sept. 11 (2001).

The club will reveal the rankings of the calls (from “greatest to great”) starting Aug. 13 and ending Sept. 23, which is Vin Scully Appreciation Night.


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Vin Scully Declines Offer to Take Part in Broadcasting 2016 MLB All-Star Game

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who is in his 67th and final season calling games, has declined Fox Sports’ offer to work the MLB All-Star Game on July 12 in San Diego, SI.com’s Richard Deitsch reported Wednesday. 

Brad Zager, who has known Scully since his time with Prime Ticket and KCAL-TV in the early 2000s, made the offer, per Deitsch.    

He noted Scully was “appreciative” but “felt it was not his place to be in someone else’s broadcast booth.”

Scully even told Zager, “I’m not Kobe Bryant. I’m just out there calling games.”

The 88-year-old last called an All-Star Game in 1989, remembered for Bo Jackson’s leadoff home run while President Ronald Reagan was in the booth:

Scully began his Hall of Fame career as a 22-year-old in 1950 when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and has been the golden voice of baseball ever since, receiving the highest of praises from many sporting personalities, including Sports Illustrated‘s Tom Verducci:

Vin Scully is only the finest, most-listened-to baseball broadcaster that ever lived, and even that honorific does not approach proper justice to the man. He ranks with Walter Cronkite among America’s most-trusted media personalities, with Frank Sinatra and James Earl Jones among its most-iconic voices, and with Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor and Ken Burns among its preeminent storytellers.

He’s been at the epicenter of the largest moments in sports, ranging from Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974, to Mookie Wilson’s ground ball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series to Kirk Gibson’s game-winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series:

In doing so, Scully became a familiar, friendly voice to millions of baseball fans who had a picture of every nuance the game had to offer thanks to him. 

Like many fans who pair Scully’s voice with the game, Zager is trying to keep the broadcaster around the booth a bit longer, offering him a chance to work on postseason games, per Deitsch.

But Zager doesn’t find it likely that he’ll be calling games in October: “Knowing Vin the way I do, I don’t think it will happen. If the Dodgers are there in the postseason, I think we would look to at least talk again. But I honestly don’t think he’d want to call his last Dodgers game—and then call games in the postseason.”

So for fans around the nation and around the world who want to hear Scully do what he’s done best for almost 70 years, tuning in to the local feeds of Dodgers games will be their best opportunity to do so. 

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Vin Scully to Have Street Leading to Dodger Stadium Named for Him

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is getting honored with a street bearing his name that leads to Dodger Stadium.  

According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Los Angeles City Council on Friday unanimously approved the moniker “Vin Scully Avenue” to be used in place of Elysian Park Avenue. 

Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo proposed the name change, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com.

Per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, even though Scully has resisted these kinds of accolades and tributes in the past, he was “on board” with this proposal. 

Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten released a statement regarding the proposal before it was voted on, per Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times: “There’s no better way to recognize such an iconic Dodger as Hall of Famer Vin Scully than naming a street after him. We appreciate Gil Cedillo and city officials bringing this to the forefront, and we look forward to the day when everyone can drive on Vin Scully Avenue when they enter Dodger Stadium.”

It would be hard to think of a better way to honor arguably the most iconic announcer in Major League Baseball history. The 88-year-old Scully, who has said 2016 will likely be his final season in the booth, has been with the Dodgers since 1950 and calls games by himself with no color commentator. 

Accolades are nothing new for Scully, who was given the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He’s one of the great voices in sports, always able to call games with a natural ease and tell stories from past decades that relate to what is happening on the field. 

Since it’s probably impossible to get the entire city of Los Angeles named after Scully, a street that leads directly to Chavez Ravine is a pretty good consolation prize. 

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Vin Scully Will Miss Dodgers Playoffs After Undergoing Medical Procedure

The voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers will not call the team’s 2015 postseason games.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, announcer Vin Scully underwent a medical procedure and will miss the playoffs.

The team made an announcement on its Twitter page: “Vin Scully underwent a recommended medical procedure this morning and is resting comfortably. On the advice of his doctors, Scully will miss the Dodgers’ postseason games to rest up but is looking forward to returning in 2016. Everyone in the Dodgers organization wishes Vin the speediest of recoveries.”     

Scully is a baseball institution and announced earlier this season he will return to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season. The 87-year-old broadcaster doesn’t work many road games anymore but is a fixture at home contests in Dodger Stadium. The team made the announcement he will return on the scoreboard with some help from Magic Johnson and Jimmy Kimmel earlier this season:

Per the Associated Press (via the New York Daily News), Scully is the longest-tenured game-caller with one team and started his career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers:

He has called three perfect games, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games. He was behind the microphone for Kirk Gibson’s Game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run and Sandy Koufax’s four no-hitters, including a perfect game.

Scully was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com pointed out the Dodgers broadcaster was named the Top Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association.

The Dodgers’ postseason run just won’t feel the same without the legendary Scully behind the microphone.

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Vin Scully Will Return for 67th Season as Dodgers Broadcaster

Vin Scully, 87 years young, will return to call games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. 

The team made it official Friday night:

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register provided comments from Scully, who indicated 2016 will be his last season:

The Dodgers called upon both Magic Johnson and Jimmy Kimmel to make the reveal to thousands of grateful Dodgers fans inside Dodger Stadium:

Baseball fans in general knew an announcement one way or the other was imminent after Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon spilled the beans a little bit. While Maddon didn’t outright say Scully would remain in the booth next year, he certainly intimated as much, per Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Baseball writer Diane Firstman shared this staggering statistic regarding Scully’s longevity:

ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell posted the box score from Scully’s first game with the Dodgers, and needless to say, quite a bit has changed:

Those who follow the game know the day will come when Scully decides to walk away from the job he has known for nearly 70 years. But luckily, that day hasn’t arrived.

For generations, Scully’s dulcet tones have both informed and entertained fans. Few, if any, sports broadcasters remain as beloved. 

Neither Scully nor the team specified whether he will continue with his current workload or limit his appearances on Dodgers broadcasts, a step he undertook years ago.

Even if he does in fact opt to go with a lighter schedule in 2016, everybody will agree a little Vin Scully is better than no Vin Scully at all.

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Vin Scully Announces Through LA Earthquake Tremors During Angels-Dodgers Game

During the Freeway Series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels on Friday, March 28, fans and players began to react to earthquake tremors. 

Dodgers announcer Vin Scully didn’t seem too worried, however, as he calmly continued to talk through the tremors like a true professional. You can watch the whole thing in the video below.

Play never stopped, and the Dodgers wound up winning in the 10th inning.


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Being There: An Ode to Baseball

You have dreamed of this moment before you bought your ticket. Indeed, it was the thought of buying the ticket that was the germinating seed of this dream. You have a smile on your face, because you know that you are about to witness a historical, traditional, rarified love…a baseball game. 

Maybe you are with your wife. Maybe you are with your kids. Maybe you are with a bunch of your rowdy friends and you can’t wait to get in the stands to be rowdy with the rest of your “friends” who all root for the same team. Maybe, like myself, you even go alone because once you get there, you are not alone. 

Whichever is the case, you’re ecstatic. The feeling of joy intensifies as you pass through the gate, handing off the ticket to your dreams. The collective hope and joy is all around in the buzz of the stadium and you can feel the immensity of it. 

Then it happens. You have checked your ticket for where you will be sitting then as the concrete walkways and walls give way you look through the first section that you come upon and there it is: The diamond.

Lush and green, with white lines, four bases and a fence that defines the game. It is as if you have walked into a temple. Depending on your perspective, if it is in line with mine, you have. 

We come and unconsciously worship the ghosts of legend. Conjuring up the spirit of those who have come before us and laid the groundwork for this amazing tradition. We do this because we understand that without Babe Ruth, there’s no Roger Maris nor Mark McGwire.

Likewise, we understand emphatically that without Josh Gibson there is no Jackie Robinson and that we would have surely missed out on the greatness of Willie and Hank. Furthermore, without the courageous spirit of Branch Rickey, we couldn’t enjoy it together, as one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. 

When we are truly in the spirit of the legacy of love called baseball this unconscious worship of legend plants the seed in our collective consciousness that asks, who will be the next legend whose name will be inscribed on the consciousness of future generations? What amazing feat has yet to materialize in this game that will be enshrined in the hearts of those unborn? Will it happen today? While I’m here? 

Thus, you run, quickly—so as not to miss a thing—to buy your traditional beer, dog, Cracker Jack, maybe some fries, never minding the ridiculous cost because…it’s baseball.

Upon finding your section, row and seat you squeeze in with 40,000 other folks, the vast majority of which are of the “casual fan” variety. You pay them no mind, because you know that you are in the vast minority of men, women and children that actually “get it.” 

Yes, you are of the other variety of fans. You’re like the elder guy two rows ahead of you that listens to the game on his handheld radio, or like his wife sitting next to him who owns a book of scorecards and is currently going through passed games that she has kept score of. 

You are the fan that nobody understands. They ask, why do fans do such things like listen to the game on the radio, or keep score, or never leave their seat from the first pitch to the last and get annoyed when people want to talk at the most critical stage of the game? 

But imagine what it would have been like if you were able to be in the stadium behind home plate the day that Sandy Koufax pitched arguably the greatest perfect game in the history of baseball. Imagine what it would have been like to be at that game, with a scorecard, to record the moment so that you could frame it and pass it down through your family.

Even more, imagine if you could have been at the game and heard Vin Scully calling those last 6 strikeouts of Koufax’s legendary moment. Priceless.

It is the sound of the bat, the awaiting of the next pitch like the next breath in meditation, the “head game” of trying to out think the person that stands before you and strategizing ways to manipulate your opponent into losing. It is fans who all of a sudden become coaches and writers that live as trickster critics.

It is the long legacy that got us here and the beauty of people from around the world coming to the United States to play this game as this is the stage of the embodiment of the greatest game on earth.

It is “the catch,” “the shot heard around the world,” 100+ years of baseball futility for the Chicago Cubs and 27 championships for the Yankees. It is “Teddy Ballgame” and the legend of .406 and Satchel Paige pitching three innings of shutout baseball at the age of 59.

It is the legend of Josh Gibson hitting a game winning home run in Pittsburgh that landed in the glove of an opposing player the next day in Washington. It is another Gibson, Bob, who managed to average allowing a measly 1.12 earned runs per 9 innings in 1968. 

It is yet another Gibson, Kirk, fist pumping on two bad legs around second base after a game winning home run against Dennis Eckersley. 

It is Joe Carter’s World Series winning home run, the summer of ’98, Curt Schilling’s debated bloody sock and the Red Sox shocking the world to come back from a three game deficit to the Yankees only to sweep my beloved Cardinals in the World Series.

And, yes…it is the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, as much as it is the Dodgers/Giants, Cubs/Cardinals and every team vs. the Yankees. 

It is myth, legend, lore, statistics, hall of fame credentials and potential, endless debates about the who’s, what’s and why’s and above all…it is about the game…and you wouldn’t want to miss any moment of it. 

Yes, you get it. You understand that as Dan Millman learned in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior that, “There are no ordinary moments” and that at any given moment…the extraordinary could happen. You realize that this may be the moment that you get to tell your friends and family of the experience of being there. 

After all, you know, baseball is love. Baseball is a reflection of life. Maybe you relate with the batter that digs his feet in knowing that best in the game only get a hit 3.5 times out of 10, and as he grips the bat with the intention of helping his team toward victory, he understands that it is him against nine guys and the odds of winning are slimmer than the odds of success. Do you feel like him sometimes? 

Maybe in this mirror of life you feel like the pitcher who stares down that very same batter knowing that he has an arsenal of weaponry to slim that guys chances of getting a hit even more. Beyond that, maybe as you relate with the pitcher, you realize that you have a supporting cast of family and friends who have “got your back”—literally. 

Baseball is beautiful, isn’t it? Here you are with thousands of other people that you don’t know from anywhere, that you may have passed on the street and didn’t recognize, and the common thread that is bringing you together at this moment in history is this amazing game played inside (and outside) the lines.  

Indeed, this beautiful sport has nearly everything that life offers; passion, intelligence, philosophy, athletic agility, camaraderie, love, compassion, magic, hatred (of the Red Sox, Yankees and their fans, ha!), hope, promise, integration, humility, entertainment and escape from the worldly politics into the politics of the game. Sure it misses in some areas, but even the perfect game isn’t “perfect” (Sandy threw a wild pitch that sent his hat flying in that last inning). 

So, you sit there, awaiting the first pitch, not thinking about the last, watching with the understanding that being there is an event all to itself.

Whether you are at the stadium or even at home watching it on TV or listening on the radio, as you focus your energies sharply, baseball’s truth springs into your awareness and you are quite metaphorically in the game. 

And that, my friends, is a beautiful place to be. That…is a dream materialized. 

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Los Angeles Dodgers: What the Team Needs To Do To Win

As I watched the last inning of the Dodgers’ last game of the season on TV, three things came to mind:

1.  That it was nice to see them end the year with a win.

2.  The way they hit—or more accurately, didn’t hit—they were lucky to have won 80 games, and…

3.  Their biggest highlight was Vin Scully, the greatest broadcaster of all time, announcing that he will return for his 62nd season.

The turning point for the Dodgers in 2010 was in the weeks after the All-Star break. Being in solid contention at that time, they proceeded to go on several losing streaks, including a couple stretching six games with some ninth inning blown saves thrown in.

Add to that some sub-par batting averages from some key players and Manny Ramirez (who by Sept. 1 was no longer a Dodger) clearly showing that he is on the decline to the equation, and you have a second division ball club.

Having said that, here’s what L.A. should do to make things better in 2011…

The first thing that new manager Don Mattingly needs to do is to hire Tim Wallach as batting instructor.

Wallach did an outstanding job managing in Triple A Albuquerque and has Dodger ties, having played for them in the early ’90s. Wallach deserves to coach at the big league level, and he also deserves to manage the Dodgers should Mattingly not work out.

Second, L.A. needs to keep Jay Gibbons and Ted Lilly, and sign them for at least next year.

Gibbons performed brilliantly after being out of baseball for a while and spending some time in the minors, batting a solid .280 with five home runs in his roughly six weeks on the club. He would fit in well in left field and give the Dodgers a capable slugging bat.

As for Lilly, he provided some good innings on the mound after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs, and he would provide some stability in the rotation. Vincente Padilla should be kept as well; when healthy, he eats up innings, too.

Rod Barajas likewise did well in filling in at catcher when Russell Martin went down. I would insist that Barajas be signed for 2011, but Martin is expected back and the Dodgers are high on young A.J. Ellis. Barajas would be seen as a backup, and I have a feeling that he wants to play regularly.

Third, the core of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Rafael Furcal, Chad Billingsley, and Clayton Kershaw must be kept together.

While each of those players could have had better overall numbers—Kemp batting a mere .249 on the season as an example—they did do some good things…

Ethier batted .292 after being among the league leaders in most hitting categories early on. Loney led the team in RBIs. Kershaw had over 200 strikeouts for the first time, and Kemp showed what kind of superstar he could be by going deep the last five consecutive games.

Though he’s not completely to blame for L.A’s sub-.500 record, closer Jonathan Broxton need to bear some of the cross. The majority of his seven blown saves came in the second half, and with his ERA being well above what it should be, I consider him a thrower rather than a pitcher.

He may be able to reach 100 miles an hour on the radar gun, but not only does he not throw enough strikes, he has no effective breaking ball. Major leaguers can hit 100 mile-an-hour fastballs, and that’s exactly what happened this year as he blew save after save, eventually giving up the closer role to Hong Chi Kuo.

I’d normally call for the Dodgers to go after some free agents such as Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays, who will be highly sought after this winter.

However, the divorce of co-owners Frank and Jamie McCourt has pretty much killed that, as the money that could be spent to improve the team is tied up in court.

So as the old saying goes, “We have to play with the hand we’re dealt.”

If the fans at Chavez Ravine are going to see a contending team in 2011, they need better overall production from their now-veterans like Kemp, Loney and Ethier, and Billingsley.

And in addition to that, young players such as pitchers Kelsey Jansen, John Ely, Ronald Bellasario, and Ramon Troncoso most continue to develop.

The worst case scenario if none of that happens and the Dodgers are also-rans again. Well, at least Vin Scully will be in the booth for another year.


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Los Angeles Dodgers: The 10 Brightest Spots of an Otherwise Disappointing Season

Many words may be used to characterize the ups and downs of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2010 season, but from the standpoint of the fans, the best fitting description would be nothing short of “disappointing.”

Normally, most teams who don’t achieve the goals and ambitions that were set in spring training have the entire offseason to rebuild and regain focus, but in the case of the Dodgers, there are numerous off-field situations that seemingly need resolving before the team can move forward.

The decision regarding current manager Joe Torre’s future in Dodger Blue may be coming in the next week or two once Los Angeles is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs; however, all signs are pointing to the fact that the organization is still undecided on Joe’s replacement if he does indeed decide to pack his bags.

Unless Frank and Jamie McCourt reach a settlement before their divorce trial resumes on September 20, the court’s ruling regarding future ownership of the club may not be arriving until sometime in December.

Also, with the uncertainty as to whom will be controlling the team in 2011 comes the question marks of the payroll parameters heading into next season.

More than a handful of current Los Angeles players are facing possible arbitration with the team, yet with next year’s budget still unpredictable, the Dodgers may even decide not to negotiate with these players at all.

Regardless what happens in the winter, the Boys in Blue hope to develop a new, sharper focus, and build on the positives that were displayed in 2010.

The following slides illustrate 10 of those bright spots and offer a few words of commentary as to how the Dodgers’ organization will benefit from them moving forward.

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