I was amused at the Lakers' pitch to various free agents to join them. Reminded me of an 80-year-old man trying to convince a supermodel he used to be something in the day.
Adios, Pau Gasol. He gave the Lakers everything he had, but never was appreciated like he should have been. Instead, he became the scapegoat for all that went wrong with the team the last few years. He was regularly insulted by Coach Mike D'Antoni, Kobe Bryant ("put your big-boy pants on") and the media. The usual complaint was that Gasol wasn't "tough enough." Well, I guess he's tough enough for Chicago. Lakers fans should all wish him well. He deserves it.
About the only positive move the Lakers have made is losing Mike D'Antoni, who never should have been hired as coach in the first place. But until Jim Buss steps down, the Lakers will continue to wallow.
Brian C. Gura
Does Ben Bolch ("He'll play it by Erie") really believe that everyone should be misty-eyed because LeBron James decided to return home to play for the Cavaliers? He signed a maximum contract and gets to play with good, young players after playing for a team that got manhandled in the Finals. Very few of us feel sorry for LeBron James and even fewer of us for Dan Gilbert.
Wow! If having the second-best record in baseball makes the Angels boring (Letters, July 12), then I'll take boring all season long. Personally, I find MLB's most explosive offense, combined with superb defense, roster-wide teamwork, and 27 come-from-behind victories (plus the thrills of Trout, Richards, and all the new kids on the block) highly entertaining.
Meanwhile, up Interstate 5 ... oh, wait ... I can't get the Dodgers on my TV. Now that's boring!
Some days you wake up and the day doesn't quite work out. Yasiel Puig can attest to that, I'm sure. Sporting arguably the worst haircut in modern sports history, he then proceeded to put on the most embarrassing, anemic, dysfunctional, incoherent and pathetic Home Run Derby performance of all time and then responded that "he was just trying to have fun." Mickey Mantle, this man is not.
Did Yasiel Puig know there was no umpire behind the plate?
If they want to improve the Home Run Derby, have Adam Wainwright pitch (wink, wink) to contestants. Lord knows, Yasiel Puig might benefit from the help.
Rancho Palos Verdes
After Tuesday's All-Star game, could not the players on both sides — just for once — have congratulated each other at its close? Baseball, now and forever, seems to be unique in that its players never do that, even while in all other sports the players do. Even prizefighters have the class to shake hands afterward, while the only thing that baseball players seem to prize is the self-imposed right to sulk.
I openly dislike the uniform he wears, but as a longtime baseball fan, I admire the career of Derek Jeter. However, the canonization of him that took place at the All-Star game was a bit much. The game was full of awesome players at all stages of their careers and it was a good game. I wanted to hear more about players I never see (which is just about everyone, given the lack of baseball coverage in our area).
Derek will go to the Hall of Fame, we all know that. I would have liked more attention to the talent of today.
Off the screen
Bill Plaschke's column on the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable was spot on, in particular as to the continuing insult to Vin Scully and his fans.
What infuriates me most is that the new management, including Magic Johnson, was willing to sell us all, including Scully, to the highest bidder. These men are not beginners at this game and knew when they signed the TWC deal this was likely to happen. But didn't care enough to demand an escape clause of some kind to prevent this disastrous situation. But, of course, a demand like that would have reduced the contract value. They obviously did not care, any of them.
Were Bill Plaschke ever to actually pay to go to a Dodgers game, I suggest he first go door-to-door and ask his neighbors to subsidize the cost of his ticket. When they balk, Bill could explain that the team is a civic asset and that even the nine out of 10 who don't care a whit about the Dodgers should be honored to contribute to the cause.
DirecTV, et al. have offered to provide SportsNetLA to their customers who want to pay for it. This aligns with the free-market definition of fairness. But Time Warner Cable says no. It wants the 90-plus percent of television subscribers in an eight-county region who don'tneedmydodgers.com to subsidize the less-than-10% who do.
Plaschke wants the mayor to try to "coax a deal," which is really just a euphemism for reaching into the wallet of just about everyone between Lompoc and Blythe. How does Dodger Bill think Time Warner is going to recoup the $8.5 billion that it forked over to his favorite team?
Where Plaschke sees a civic asset, I see a private enterprise and regional liability.
Which statement is not true:
a) Time Warner Cable is holding Dodgers fans hostage by demanding unreasonable requirements on other providers.
b) TWC spurns an $80-billion dollar offer from Fox.
c) TWC is rated last among customer satisfaction for cable providers.
d) TWC is in business to serve its customers.
If my cable provider, Verizon FiOS, ever caves to TWC, I will cancel my subscription that day.
Every day I check the "Today on the Air" section of the Times sports page and every day it shows the Dodgers playing on SportsNet LA. And every day my lifelong love of the Dodgers grows a little dimmer. And dimmer. And dimmer.
It looks like The Times is taking extreme cost-cutting measures: In the chart with the Babe Ruth story last Sunday, I noticed that you decided to save ink on an asterisk next to Barry Bonds' name as home run leader.
Tuesday, the Times reported that the NCAA made a profit of $32 million in 2012-13.
What part of "nonprofit" don't I understand?
Glenn M. Langdon
Wrapping up the Cup
I don't understand all the fuss about soccer.
If I want to see a 1-0 game, I can watch Clayton Kershaw pitch.
If I want to see a lot of diving and flopping, I can go to Sea World and watch the trained seals.
If I want to see a team repeatedly punting the ball, I can watch the Jacksonville Jaguars,
If I want to see a team of foreigners winning a championship, I have the San Antonio Spurs.
And if I want to see fans crying after watching their team play, I can go to a Lakers game.
So, another World Cup has come and gone. Four years from now we'll do it all again. Well, I'm getting along in years now. With a bit of luck I won't be around to hear about it.
The World Cup is finally over, and we can now enjoy a four-year respite from moronic suggestions on how to make the world's most popular sport popular.
The U.S. should be spying on Germany's soccer team, not Angela Merkel.
LeBron James didn't need to attend the World Cup final. He already knows what happens when the best team faces the best player.
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