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Airwaves: TV schedule released as spring baseball nears

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Lost in the headlines this past week was the announcements by Comcast SportsNet of the upcoming television schedules for the A’s and Giants. While the world watched the Daytona 500, the AT&T at Pebble Beach, the NBA All-Star Game and of course, the Olympics, Comcast released the 2010 television schedule for the Bay Area’s baseball teams.

The Giants will be on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. The network will televise 139 games this year — three exhibition games and 136 regular-season games. Rich Aurilia and F.P. Santangelo will be part of the pregame show. Both are talented guys, but I really enjoy F.P. He is “real” as they say, and not afraid to call it the way it is. Being an ex-player who seems like a free spirit, he reminds me of Tom Tolbert in some ways. Tolbert — the ex-NBA player — is part of “The Razor and Mr. T” show on KNBR (680 AM). Needless to say, that show is among the best radio sports-talk shows in the country. Yes, I said country.

The A’s will be on Comcast SportsNet California. It will broadcast 147 games this year, two exhibition games and 145 regular-season games. The first game will be on March 24 against Joe Torre’s Dodgers. Carney Lansford will join Mindi Bach, Matt Morrison and Shooty Babitt for the A’s pregame show. In addition, on select Tuesdays CSN will broadcast from the Coliseum and call the show “Tailgate Tuesdays.”

– Although old and tragic news, the Olympics suffered a nightmare last week with the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. NBC did the right thing in how they presented this horrific accident. It had to show numerous replays because it was news. However, it did not overdo it, and it maintained the social consciousness by not trying to capitalize on it. NBC hit the right balance.

– Over 108,000 people attended the NBA All-Star Game last week in Dallas. You think Jerry Jones isn’t a great businessman?

Wow, what a combination: Mark Cuban, the host NBA owner, and J.J., the host with the party in his house. I would love to know the bottom line of how much dough they made on this little hoops game.


NBC doing a bang-up job on Olympics

Leave NBC alone. It’s been driving me nuts this week to hear fans and media critics rip NBC for its coverage of this year’s Winter Olympics.

Granted, there is a debate that we will not get into about tape delays in some of the coverage. However, without question, the Winter Olympics are the most difficult sporting events in the world to televise. It is not like the Super Bowl where all the action is in one place. It is not like the Summer Olympics where a ton of the action is inside a gym or a pool. The Winter Games take on a whole new challenge. Cameras and cameramen are on mountains, in the rain, snow and cold. One never knows what the weather will be. Can you imagine editing tape and replays on the side of some frigid mountain in a foreign country?

The other issue that must be taken into account is that these sports are very unusual events. We all know football and baseball and the basics of these games. But who knows the rules of curling? What is a biathlon? I don’t know. That kind of info just doesn’t roll off of our tongues.

NBC is doing a great job of bringing all these moving parts to our boob tubes. The pictures are clear. The colors are powerful and vibrant. And of course, the announcing teams for the most part have been outstanding.
Hey critics, lay off the PEACOCK!

– Unreal TV this past week with the showing of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Sadie is this year’s No. 1 dog. Of the 2,573 dogs that were judged, she is the Drew Brees of the canine world. She is a Scottish Terrier. Now, I only watched portions of this event, but how does one decide who is the best looking dog? Hmm! One suggestion to the Westminster people. Get some hot-looking chicks to be the dog handlers. Maybe team up with the “Girls Gone Wild” video group and liven this thing up.


On target

Give the Raiders some love on this one. Sebastian Janikowski this week was given a new four-year, $16 million contract. Word is only $9 million is guaranteed. Well, if anyone was going to do something like this, it was going to be Al Davis. Good for him. The best two players on the team are now among the richest, Sebass and punter Shane Lechler.

Who said it


Dwight Howard
“I got to get one for my house,” quipped the Orlando Magic center when he first saw the gigantic screen that hangs in the middle of Cowboys Stadium. For the record, it is bigger than a basketball court. The 11,520-square-foot scoreboard surpasses the 8,736-square-foot screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., as the world’s largest.

Mike Krzyzewski
“The guy’s Russian, right? You think he’d hire a Polish guy?” cracked the Duke coach when asked if he was interested in the New Jersey Nets’ coaching job. The “Russian” Coach K was referring to is Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets new owner who hails from Russia and is a zillionaire.

One to watch

The 36-hole final of the Accenture Match Play Championship takes place today in Marana, Ariz. The event is always one of the most unpredictable of the golf season, as evidenced by top-seed Steve Stricker’s ousting in the first round Wednesday. Early action can be seen on the Golf Channel at 7 a.m., while CBS picks up the action beginning at 11 a.m.


Sports by numbers


23.6 million Viewers who watched “American Idol” on Tuesday

19.7 million Viewers who watched the Olympics Tuesday during the two hours “Idol” aired

20.3 million Viewers who tuned in to the Olympics after “Idol” was off the air

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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