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Manny Ramirez is a big deal in L.A., if not nationally

Fox Sports scores points by broadcasting his news conference live, while the rest of the nation focuses on other subjects, like Terrell Owens.


The lead on the late ESPN "SportsCenter" Wednesday night was that the Dallas Cowboys were releasing Terrell Owens. And, oh, by the way, Manny Ramirez had reached an agreement with the Dodgers.

On the KLAC-AM (570) radio show Wednesday afternoon, there was a big discussion by host Chris Myers about the quarterback controversy with the Denver Broncos.

In 30 minutes of listening to a local station in the middle of the day I heard not a peep about Ramirez.

At least on the MLB Network, during its 4 p.m. studio show Wednesday, the Ramirez signing was up first and up again often and was accompanied by confetti and balloons before serious discussions began about where this left the National League West.

One suspects if Ramirez had signed with New York, Yankees or Mets, or Boston or World Series champion Philadelphia, there would have been an all-Manny, all-the-time feel to coverage over the last couple of days. But he didn't and so the coverage seemed almost restrained.

The media winner on Thursday was Ramirez -- and Fox Sports, which televised the Ramirez news conference live.

Ramirez was a charmer. "I'm baaack," he said. He answered questions in English and Spanish, he sparred with and smiled at the media, said he was in a happy place and why not since Manny said the fans and his teammates loved him.

Watching Ramirez live and unfiltered, without talking heads offering oodles of analysis? That was refreshing television. Wall-to-wall analysis isn't always needed.

Hurry up Vancouver

Al Michaels is returning to Olympics broadcasting and both the Vancouver Olympics and the television viewer will benefit.

Michaels will host NBC's live weekend and weekday coverage, returning to the event for the first time in 22 years.

It's still possible to get goose bumps listening to Michaels "Do you believe in miracles?" call of the U.S. hockey team's upset of the former Soviet Union in 1980.

"I've loved the Olympics since childhood," Michaels said on a conference call Thursday.

He's not the only one. Welcome back Al.

But before Vancouver

For a little taste of Summer Olympics sports, local style, Prime Ticket is doing a live telecast of the UCLA-Georgia women's gymnastics meet from Pauley Pavilion Sunday at 2 p.m.

Georgia is ranked No. 1 in the nation, UCLA is No. 4 and between them the Bulldogs and Bruins have won every NCAA title since 2003 and 11 of the last 12.

Good to watch Friday

The World Baseball Classic is on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 7:30 p.m. The game will have China playing the loser of an earlier game between Chinese Taipei and South Korea.

On Prime Ticket at 7 p.m., see Dallas at the Ducks and figure out if the Ducks have a big playoff push in them.

Good to watch Saturday

Canada plays the United States in the World Baseball Classic at 11 a.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

At 9 a.m., Pittsburgh plays Connecticut in a college basketball game that might not only decide the Big East regular-season champion but also might ensure one team a No. 1 NCAA regional seeding.

And Oregon is at UCLA at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 7.


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