August 21, 2014

Congratulations to Jon Weisman!

Some of the big news in the Dodger blogosphere today didn’t have any anything to do with the team itself.  Instead, the big news involved one of our own: Jon Weisman, founder of the influential Dodger Thoughts, is taking his blog from the Los Angeles Times (its home for the past year) and moving over to the new ESPN Los Angeles site, starting on Monday.  Tony Jackson will continue on as the Dodger beat writer for the site.

The move has been rumored for some time, and we’re thrilled to see Jon take his column to the next level.  No news yet on who is taking over to the LA Times’ blogger slot for the Dodgers.

ESPN Los Angeles Launches Dodgers Coverage

ESPN Los Angeles launched this evening, and as previously reported, Tony Jackson is on board with his first story.  Welcome aboard Tony – we’re happy for you and look forward to continuing to enjoying your coverage of the team!

That said, it’s interesting and somewhat conspicuous to see that as of tonight there is no blogger coverage for the Dodgers on the site.  The Kametzky Brothers are on board with the Land O’ Lakers blog (which at a passing glance looks like a thoroughly entertaining series of posts).  There’s also a Clippers blog and a USC blog.   But why no Angels or Dodgers blog?  I suspect timing is to blame, with these additions coming very soon.  Nevertheless, the Dodgers coverage seems lacking when compared to the Lakers – off-season or not.

Food for thought: do the Raiders deserve a slot on the site?  After all, they were the last NFL team to reside in LA, and we know the passion for the Silver & Black runs deep in So Cal.  Hell, if ESPN is going to include the Angels and the Ducks, shouldn’t they also include Raider Nation?  Full disclosure: I love the Raiders and always will.  I know, I know.  My friends and family can’t understand it either.  Let’s just say I owe it all to Lyle Alzado.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing what ESPN Los Angeles brings to the table and how they contribute to the greater conversation among Dodger fans everywhere.

Rumored ESPN Los Angeles Team is Full of All-Stars

Like all MLB trade rumors, let’s take the following with a grain of salt until all parties have confirmed or denied the accuracy of The Big Lead’s story below.

From The Big Lead:

A source has leaked us the staff for the new ESPNLA.com team, and Eric Neel, the site’s managing editor, has assembled a talented group of writers. ESPN has done some serious poaching, allegedly stealing writers from the LA Times, LA Daily News, and Sports Illustrated.com. If all the following names are correct, this lineup is stronger than what ESPNBoston, ESPNDallas and ESPNChicago have assembled. The site launches Monday … just in time for ABC to relentlessly promote it during Lakers-Cavaliers on Christmas Day.

According to our source, this is the assembled team:

* J.A. Adande will be a columnist
* Ramona Shelburne is leaving her columnist position at the LA Daily News to be a staff writer
* Andrew Kamenetzky, who was/is a freelancer for ESPN the Magazine and LA Times Lakers blogger will be an ESPNLA staff writer*
* Brian Kamenetzky, who is/was a freelancer for ESPN the Magazine and LA Times Lakers blogger will be an ESPNLA staff writer*
* Dave McMenamin, who is/was at NBA.com, will cover the Lakers
* Jon Weisman, who blogs about the Dodgers for the LA Times 
* Arash Markazi, who is SI.com’s pop culture maven/resident party guy will be a staff writer
* Tony Jackson, formerly of the LA Daily News, will cover the Dodgers for ESPNLA
[UPDATE]: * We hear that Mark Saxon of the OC Register has been hired to cover USC and the Anaheim Angels.

If true, this is one hell of a collection of some of LA’s best sportswriters and a real coup for ESPNLosAngeles.com in collecting so many of them under one banner (or Web address).  If the site shakes out as outlined above, it really does have the opportunity to eventually change the way in which LA fans get news and communicate about their teams.

So far, in the last hour and a half, both Ramona Shelbourme and Arash Markazi have confirmed their moves via Twitter.  Tony Jackson was confirmed about 10 days ago.  Diamond Leung (long a favorite of Dodger fans everywhere) is also going over to ESPN.com as a college hoops writer.

My question is: what about Jon Weisman?  Either way, we’re lucky to have him covering the Dodgers!