Vin Scully supposedly turned LA against Mike Piazza in this interview (Video)

Vin Scully Mike PiazzaMike Piazza ventured into a territory generally considered off limits when he criticized iconic Dodgers announcer Vin Scully in his new book, “Long Shot.”

Piazza’s book was released this week, and news outlets have been sharing various excerpts from the autobiography. Many of the reviews have been positive, such as when it was revealed Piazza began taking karate lessons to prepare for a fight with Roger Clemens. But there has been backlash toward Piazza for his criticism of Scully.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in his book, Piazza blames Scully for turning the city of Los Angeles against him during his contract dispute with the club in 1998.

Piazza was in the final year of a two-year, $15 million deal and wanted a large contract extension. He was believed to be seeking a seven-year, $105 million deal from the team. The Dodgers were supposedly offering a six-year deal worth either $76 or $80 million, depending on whether you believe the team or Piazza. Piazza’s representative had set a Feb. 15 deadline for the team to reach an agreement with him that was not met. The contract dispute led to the Dodgers trading Piazza to the Florida Marlins in May, who in turn dealt the catcher to the New York Mets eight days later.

According to the Times, Piazza says Scully expressed displeasure with the “ultimatum” during an interview for Dodgers TV partner KTLA in 1998 (seen below):

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Rainbow appears by Dodger Stadium on Vin Scully Bobblehead night (Picture)

The Dodgers honored Vin Scully with a bobblehead giveaway on Thursday night, and the heavens honored Scully in a way he deserves: with a beautiful rainbow. The Dodgers shared the amazing photo you see above from their Twitter account on Thursday, the night the Hall of Famer was honored.

The team had been trying to do a Vin Scully bobblehead giveaway for years, but the veteran broadcaster wouldn’t agree to it. He finally relented because it’s Dodger Stadium’s 50th anniversary. The bobblehead apparently was a big hit among his family.

“They think it’s hysterical really,” Scully told the LA Times’ Helene Elliott. “There’s no honor in your home. But they will all have to to remember grandpa, if nothing else.”

Scully also had a unique first pitch that fit in perfectly with his thoughtful and classy style. Rather than throw the ball to manager Don Mattingly, he involved 15 of his 16 grandchildren:

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News anchor Rebecca Hall talking about Vin Scully: ‘Get your sh** together’ (Video)

Dodgers fans had plenty to be excited about over the weekend. For starters, their team pulled off one of the biggest transactions in MLB history and brought huge names Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to L.A. in a trade with the Red Sox. As if that wasn’t enough of a gift, the team later announced that legendary commentator Vin Scully will be returning next year for his 64th season on the job. What would a championship contender be without Vin?

As you can see from the clip above that Jimmy Traina shared on Twitter, one particular news anchor found herself a bit too excited about the Scully news. Big League Stew has identified the young lady as KTLA’s Rebecca Hall, and if you didn’t know who she was prior to this weekend you should get used to seeing her face over the next couple of days. Who typed the s-word on the teleprompter, dammit!?

Hall may not have embarrassed herself quite as badly as this news anchor did during the NBA playoffs, but it’s a blunder she’ll likely be hearing about for the rest of her life.

Vin Scully once considered Yankees announcing job

Vin Scully has been one of the most stable forces in baseball over the last 63 years. The legendary announcer is synonymous with the Dodgers after calling the team’s games since 1950 and moving with the organization from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. It’s difficult to imagine Scully as anything other than the Dodgers announcer and, while he says he never really came close to leaving the team, he did consider an offer that would have drastically changed the landscape of baseball announcers.

In a lengthy podcast interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina, Scully discussed being presented with an offer to announce Yankees games. The tidbit is mentioned in Scully’s Wikipedia page and was written about by Keith Olbermann a few years ago, but listening to the podcast was the first time I had heard about it.

Traina asked if Scully ever came close to leaving, and that’s when he mentioned the Yankees.

“Well no, not really leaving,” Scully told Traina. “I did many many years ago, shortly after we moved to California. A friend of mine in the advertising business who had to do with the Dodgers and other teams because of the major sponsorship, and he asked me if I would consider coming back to New York to broadcast the Yankees. He said, ‘Why don’t you think about it and let me know?’

“My heart was where I was. I was settled, and I said ‘I really do appreciate it, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the Yankees, but I’m going to stay where I am.’”

Scully told Traina that he could have easily stayed with either ABC or NBC, for whom he broadcast other sports on a national stage, but he did not want to give up the Dodgers.

“There was no real tug in any other direction,” Scully said. “I felt I had found my home, and I was really reluctant to leave.”

Scully rarely does interviews of this length anymore, so it was a real treat to hear him answer so many questions. He talked about blending in with today’s digital age and his brushes with Twitter. He talked about learning what a soul patch and mullet are. He also discussed many aspects of his broadcasting career and philosophy.

Scully told Traina he accepted jobs calling golf and the NFL nationally because he wanted to challenge himself, and that he decided to end his time calling football after broadcasting Dwight Clark’s “The Catch,” figuring that was an excellent point to leave. The Hall of Fame broadcaster also explained why he believes a one-man booth is the best approach, why he doesn’t listen to other announcers, and why he doesn’t fraternize with the players much.

The entire interview is well worth a listen.

Vin Scully lip-reads Jim Tracy’s ejection in hilarious fashion (Video)

It’s always nice to see umpires get together on the field to make sure they made the right call after a questionable play, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. During the seventh inning of the Dodgers-Rockies game on Monday night, Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler made what appeared to be a nice catch on a sinking liner. The call could have gone either way, as it appeared to just barely knick the ground but for the most part Fowler had it in the web of his glove. The umpire initially called it a catch.

However, Mike Estabrook changed the call to a trap after meeting with the rest of the umpiring crew. Considering how close of a play it was, they probably should have just let the call on the field stand — which appeared to be the right one. This infuriated Colorado manager Jim Tracy and led to some amazing commentary from Vin Scully, who lip-read from Tracy as he was being ejected.

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Vin Scully baffled by inability of Major League teams to execute a proper rundown

The Dodgers fell behind to the Phillies 2-0 early on Monday night before eventually losing 3-2. During the top of the third inning, the Dodgers went all Little League and botched a rundown, much to the chagrin of Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully.

Scully, who is typically mild-mannered on telecasts and always provides one of the smoothest calls, admonished the team for butchering what should have been an easy play.

“If there’s one consistent disappointment that I have had in watching Major League games, it is the inability of Major League teams to do a successful rundown,” Scully vented. “And the way they butchered that play … it’s amazing. Kids in the streets could do better rundown plays than big leaguers. Why? Maybe because they don’t practice it.

“The Dodgers join the long list of distinguished ball clubs that absolutely butcher the rundown play,” he said, disappointed.

The Dodgers screwing up that play was bad enough, but getting scolded by Vin Scully is much much worse. If I’m them, first thing I’m doing in practice is working on the rundown. And that’s not so they can execute it properly, but just to avoid incurring the wrath of Scully again.

Magic Johnson gets Vin Scully’s name wrong twice at new Dodgers owners press conference

Magic Johnson spoke enthusiastically at the Dodgers’ new owner press conference held at Chavez Ravine on Wednesday, but he made one major mistake. As LBS contributor Arsen Dadyan pointed out to us, Magic actually called legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully “Vince” on two occasions (seen at the 6:30 mark in the video above).

The former Lakers star spoke about all the great things the new owners of the Dodgers were going to accomplish. He promised that “we’re going to win again,” and “we’re committed for the long haul.”

And while Johnson did a great job leading the pep rally and giving the fans plenty of reasons to expect great things in the future, he showed that maybe he’s not quite as knowledgeable about the team as the front he’s created would indicate.

No true fan of the team would call Vin Scully “Vince.” Scully is widely regarded as the greatest announcer in baseball, and perhaps all sports. Everyone knows his name is Vin. But for someone like Magic Johnson, who comes across more as a figurehead paraded out in front of the masses as the ownership’s representative because of his legendary status in LA is comforting to the fans, this seems like a sure sign that he’s been fudging it all along.