People & Personalities: Should Dodgers Start Thinking About Life After Vin Scully?
In L.A., Dylan Hernandez reports Dodgers radio announcer Vin Scully "won't call the Dodgers' series opener against the San Diego Padres on Friday night, marking the fourth consecutive game he'll miss because of a cold." A team spokesperson said that Scully "could return to the booth as early as this weekend" (LATIMES.com, 4/12). Also in L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes the Dodgers should "begin accounting for the time when (gasp) Scully disappears." The Dodgers "can keep using a combination" of broadcasters Charley Steiner, Steve Lyons, Eric Collins or Rick Monday, but "all that seems to be is a scripted fire drill." MLB Network studio host Matt Vasgersian "must remain on the radar," while ESPN "Sunday Night Baseball" play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman also "has been mentioned." Hoffarth: "Just look at how the Lakers are still, 10 years later, trying to establish a regular play-by-play man in the wake of Chick Hearn's passing" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/13).
GET WELL SOON: In Boston, Chad Finn notes Patriots radio announcer Gil Santos "has been battling a severe case of pneumonia for much of the winter" and it "remains to be seen whether he will be able to return to the booth" when the '12 NFL season begins. Sources said that Santos, "a longtime smoker who turns 72 on Monday, was in such dire condition at one point that he lost feeling in his extremities and had to be put into a medically induced coma." Patriots radio rights-holder WBZ-FM "has not made any formal decisions" on the status of Santos and analyst Gino Cappelletti. If Santos "is well enough to handle the job ... it is expected that CBS Radio would accede to his wish to return for at least this year." Sources said that WBZ "intends to give Santos as much time as possible to progress in his recovery before turning to an alternate plan" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/13).
NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Aditi Kinkhabwala writes Michael Strahan's "recognizability is taking another leap as he contends to become a legitimate crossover personality." Strahan is in the "pool of candidates to replace Regis Philbin and sit alongside Kelly Ripa" on ABC's "Live! with Kelly." Kinkhabwala: "As unexpected as this latest foray into daytime talk is, Strahan has been a natural." ABC's "Live! with Kelly" Exec Producer Michael Gellman said, "He's a big guy, but not an imposing guy. We realized he wanted to have fun and he wasn't afraid to let loose and be silly. We enjoy him and Kelly gets a kick out of him" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/13).
JOINING THE CREW: Former MLBer Dale Murphy will join Chip Caray and Joe Simpson in the booth for a minimum of 14 Braves telecasts on FS South, FS Carolinas, FS Tennessee, SportSouth and Peachtree TV during the ’12 MLB season (Fox Sports South). In Atlanta, David O’Brien noted Murphy “gave it a test run during several spring training games, his first significant broadcasting experience” (ACJ.com, 4/11). MLB.com’s Mark Bowman noted additional games could be added to Murphy’s schedule “as the season progresses” (MLB.com, 4/11).
NEW GIGS AND DIGS: YES Network’s Kimberly Jones, the Boston Herald’s Ian Rapoport, Pro Football Talk’s Gregg Rosenthal and the Wall Street Journal’s Kinkhabwala have joined the NFL Media team. After seven years with YES, Jones joins NFL Network as its N.Y.-based correspondent. Kinkhabwala will relocate to Pittsburgh, while Rapoport has been relocated to Dallas. Rosenthal joins NFL.com as senior editor after eight years covering the NFL for RotoWorld.com, ProFootballTalk.com and NBCSports.com (NFL).
DYING BREED? In Albany, Pete Dougherty writes even with ESPN's announcement this week that Lisa Salters would join "MNF" as a sideline reporter this season, "you wonder about the importance" of the position. For every Salters and Erin Andrews, “you get sideline imposters such as Jenn Brown and Tony Siragusa.” Dougherty: “Rarely does the viewer get any relevant information unless it pertains to injuries. Only the truly skilled -- and I would include Salters, Andrews, Tom Rinaldi, Armen Keteyian and maybe a few others in this category -- are prepared enough to ask solid questions that will elicit meaningful responses” (Albany TIMES UNION, 4/13).