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T.J. SIMERS

He really hopes this Vin Scully guy makes the grade

What are the Dodgers trying to find out by surveying fans about their announcers?

August 23, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • What are the Dodgers hoping to accomplish by asking fans to rate Vin Scully's performance in the booth?
What are the Dodgers hoping to accomplish by asking fans to rate Vin Scully's… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

I cannot make this stuff up, so you know I'm writing about the Dodgers.

John Richards, a season-ticket holder from Yorba Linda, e-mailed Tuesday to let me know the Dodgers have asked him to fill out a survey.

On a scale of 1 to 5, "They wanted my opinion of Vin Scully in the following eight areas: 1. Knowledge of baseball; 2. Knowledge of Dodgers organization; 3. Objectivity; 4. Accuracy of calls; 5. Storytelling ability; 6. Focus on the game; 7. Style; 8. Overall performance.

"This is like polling Catholics about Mother Teresa's work," he said. "This is Vin's 62nd year behind the microphone in a broadcasting career that no one will ever emulate. Is this portion of the survey really necessary?

I immediately e-mailed the survey to Scully, advising him he was going up against Charley Steiner, Eric Collins, Steve Lyons and Rick Monday this week, so he better be good with grades about to be submitted.

Now ordinarily you would think the Hall of Famer would get a pass, but that would take some thought and consideration on the part of the Dodgers.

Maybe they just think he should be treated like Collins.

I e-mailed the Dodgers wanting to know if Scully's job was in jeopardy, because with these people you never know.

Jamie thought she was the team's vice chairman for life and knew the boss better than anyone, and just like that she was gone.

In my e-mail to the Dodgers I asked if the team has plans of maybe helping Scully in areas where he might not grade out as well as others.

While I waited for a response from the Dodgers, I thought I might help Richards grade Scully.

Based on 1 to 5 with 5 the top score, here goes:

1.Knowledge of baseball: 4. I can't really give Scully a 5 because when Collins mentions "the bump," I get the sneaky suspicion a blank look crosses Scully's face.

2.Knowledge of Dodgers organization: 2. I'm pretty sure when Frank McCourt mentioned that his wife had run off with the team's director of protocol, Vin had no idea he was talking about Jamie's chauffeur.

3.Objectivity: 5. Never once did I see him make a face, roll his eyes or hold his nose when Frank joined him for an inning or so on Sunday broadcasts in previous years. Vin played it right down the middle — never for a second letting on that Frank's valet, Howard Sunkin, was making faces in the background.

4.Accuracy of calls: 1. I don't think he's gotten it right yet this season when announcing the attendance.

5.Storytelling ability: 5. Anyone who can make the Dodgers sound interesting these days is just a great storyteller.

6.Focus on the game: 4. I've got to say that next to Nancy Bea Hefley, who never misses a beat, no one is more focused than Vin.

7.Style: 2. He seems to be the only one talking all the time. Let's see him share a booth with Lyons and still stand out.

8. Overall performance: 5. Is there any other reason to watch a Dodgers game?

Adding up all the numbers, that's 28 out of a possible 40, and right now I picture Collins reading the newspaper and thinking to himself, I'm good for 30 points, aren't I?

I received a copy of the survey, and I wonder if the order of announcers that they have listed here for fans to grade is the order in which they finished last year.

Rick Monday's name is first.

The Dodgers responded by e-mail to my questions and a team spokesman said Vin's job "is his as long as he wants it."

It's hard to say these days who is really the team spokesman, so I'm going to e-mail the bankruptcy judge, the Major League Baseball monitor, the divorce judge here in L.A. and Jamie, just to cover all the bases.

The Dodgers went on to say they surveyed their fans on dozens of topics all season long, apparently annoying their fans and driving them away from the stadium.

They said they are surveying their Spanish-speaking fans, so I presume Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin can enjoy the same lack of respect as Scully.

The survey also asks fans to select their overall favorite Dodgers announcer, and I wonder what the team does if it's Fernando.

I'm also curious what happens to the guy who finishes last. I'll have to remind myself to ask Lyons.

The Dodgers said they have been grading the announcers for years, which makes it difficult to understand why some of them are still employed by the team.

As for Scully, I wish him good luck this week.

THE ANGELS wanted to make a splash with the long-term signing of pitcher Jered Weaver because they've missed out on pretty much every other big-time player in the past few years.

So they staged a news conference outside the stadium and invited fans to attend.

When it came time to introduce the team's general manager, imagine my surprise when broadcaster Victor Rojas didn't call Mike Scioscia's name.

Instead he called on Tony Reagins and Angels fans booed. Rojas joked that the crowd was just trying to say, "T-o-n-y."

The fans continued to boo Reagins, though, and it's a darn good thing Vernon Wells wasn't in attendance.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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