Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

TV must find a way for nation to share in Vin Scully's final Dodgers broadcast

Vin Scully will conclude his 67-season run as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 2 in a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco. But it should be more than a local event for Scully's fans in the Los Angeles area. When baseball's greatest announcer retires, it is a national occasion.

It will be up to to TBS, Major League Baseball's partner for Sunday afternoon broadcasts, to bring the last of Scully to the rest of the country. TBS is not saying what it will do, and the network will not decide which matchup to televise until seven to 10 days beforehand.

Simulcasting the Dodgers-Giants game should be the easy choice. Not only is Scully leaving, but the game may very well have playoff implications. But it is not the only viable possibility for TBS.

David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox' designated hitter, is retiring after the season, and the Boston-Toronto race in the American League East could be decided that day. TBS may see still other possibilities: All games on the final day of the regular season start a little after 3 p.m. Eastern, so the Indians-Royals and Pirates-Cardinals games might entice the network.

TBS produces all its games and is not accustomed to picking up a local simulcast. But this is an unusual occasion, and the necessary permissions from Major League Baseball and SportsNet LA, the Dodgers' network, would most likely be granted quickly. Assuming approval was given, TBS could carry the Scully game and cut to Boston whenever Ortiz was batting.

If TBS takes the Ortiz broadcast, one of baseball's other national partners ought to get the OK to pick up the Scully game. But ESPN will be showing WNBA playoff games, ESPN2 has a college football special and an edition of E:60 scheduled, and FS1 has committed to an NHRA race. If neither can, or wants to, get out of its commitment, MLB Network should abandon its plan to cut among the 15 games being played and give viewers a final three hours or so with Scully.

What would be more appropriate for an all-baseball channel than to change its plans for Scully?

In a recent interview on TBS with Cal Ripken Jr., Scully said: "I"m not saying goodbye as much as I'm celebrating Thanksgiving. I'm so fortunate to be doing this since I've been a very young fellow. I have nothing to be sad about."

Many of his fans have been aggrieved since 2014 by their inability to watch him on SportsNet LA, which has been blacked out in a majority of the team's home market because of a pricing dispute. Many knew that Scully would not be broadcasting much longer and wanted to hear him narrate Dodgers games until his final out. And they could have reasonably believed that they would miss his parting words.

But on Friday, Charter Communications, which assumed the onerous SportsNet LA contract when it acquired Time Warner Cable this year, announced that Scully's final six games (Sept. 23-25 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2) would be simulcast on KTLA, a Los Angeles broadcast station. It is a gesture that recognizes Scully's importance, but it comes after too much time without him has passed for his fans.

It is possible that Scully's Oct. 2 game will not be his last. If the Dodgers play in the postseason, Scully could be part of the Dodgers' local radio call.

"We'll let him do what's most comfortable," said Erik Braverman, the Dodgers' vice president for marketing and broadcasting. "If he says he wants to do postseason, he'll do postseason."

TV must find a way for nation to share in Vin Scully's final Dodgers broadcast 09/05/16 [Last modified: Monday, September 5, 2016 2:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.