LAT baseball writer Bill Shaikin asked television writer Scott Kaufer to analyze the Dodgers season as if it were a series being filmed on the Paramount lot. Matt Kemp is the role player who becomes the unexpected star, like Henry Winkler's Fonz character did on "Happy Days." More samples:
The Dodgers ditched Grady Little as fast as they could say "Joe Torre," introducing the new manager in a widely televised and highly choreographed news conference, then plastering his picture on billboards around town.
Star power, baby.
"Stunt casting," Kaufer said. "It's the oldest TV trick in the book. If the show's not working, you bring in a new face."
Now [Jeff] Kent is recovering from knee surgery, out of the lineup and out of a starring role.
"He gets his script every week and flips through it," Kaufer said, "and he doesn't see any lines for himself."
We asked Kaufer to script an ending for this season. He envisions a dramatic circle, with the Dodgers facing the Boston Red Sox in the same place the teams played in March -- at the Coliseum, after city officials uncover seismic deficiencies at Dodger Stadium and force McCourt to find an alternate location for the World Series.
"If McCourt can get 137,682 people in there, you don't think he'd play there?" Kaufer said.
Kaufer, the former editor of California magazine, has been a writer or producer on "Boston Legal," "Murphy Brown," "The Chris Isaak Show" and "Arli$$," among other shows. He is the host of an influential monthly gathering of Los Angeles (and visiting) media types at Yamashiro in Hollywood. The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost to the Giants Sunday 1-0 and their division lead shrunk to 2½ games.
Yankee Stadium memoir: Times book editor David Ulin returned to the stadium of his youth for one last visit before they tear the place down. Nice piece.