Steve Flores

Sunday, May 11 2014 12:00 PM

STEVE FLORES: Family enjoying return to watching baseball on radio

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    Alex Horvath / The Californian Steve Flores for columnist sig

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By Steve Flores

I am mad at DIRECTV because my daughter Nikki is mad at DIRECTV.

I don't understand all the Time Warner Cable, SportsNet LA, DIRECTV licensing mumbo jumbo. All I know is my 36-year-old daughter Nikki can't watch her beloved Los Angeles Dodgers on DIRECTV this season. If she is unhappy, so is her dad.

I checked my monthly DIRECTV bill. Lo and behold. The rate is still the same. No reduction of rate for reduction of a viewing service. I wish I knew where the CEO of DIRECTV lived.

I am a casual L.A. Dodgers fan at best. How did Nikki become so enamored with the Dodgers?

We lost my live-in father-in-law, Mr. Mesa, last July. He was 91 years old and lived with my family for the last 17 years of his life...almost half my marriage to my wife, Susie. Ask anyone who knew Mr. Mesa. He was a diehard L.A. Dodgers fan. Watching the Dodgers was one of life's simple pleasures for him.

Little interest was initially expressed from my then-younger children, who include Brenna, Sean and Aaron when grandpa would insist on watching his Dodgers baseball. We enjoyed watching him watch baseball. You could tell when the game was close because he would leave his room, mumble something about those L.A. Dodgers "slugs" and take a walk to relieve the pressure and tension of a potential lose or win.

Now that Mr. Mesa is gone, my daughter Nikki is now the resident L.A. Dodgers fan. Her enthusiasm has become contagious. Just ask her husband, Carlos.

Time Warner Cable, SportsNet LA, DIRECTV inability to "just get along" has brought a new old summer baseball tradition into our home. And as though television never existed, we now sit in our darkened living room and watch baseball on radio. I know it sounds strange to say but "watching" baseball on radio somehow connects you to a time long gone...a more peaceful and relaxing time.

I remember growing up in southeast Bakersfield, my dad, Larry, barbecuing hot dogs in our back yard, listening to Vin Scully say, "Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be. Welcome to Dodger baseball." I will never forget that 1965 September night Vinny called Sandy Koufax's perfect game against the Chicago Cubs.

Because of Scully's magic with words, you could "see" on radio every pitch, every missed swing and the groan of the crowd as the bat cracked the ball foul. Many regard his play-by-play call of that game's ninth inning as the best announcing in sports history. Not just baseball. Any sport. Vin Scully made us "watch" the game on radio with our hearts.

So I guess I should be thanking Time Warner Cable, SportsNet LA and DIRECTV. I no longer need the address of DIRECTV's CEO.

Your bad mojo has brought a new chapter of togetherness into our home. Each time we "watch" baseball on radio in our living room I can thank you for bringing back those memories of long ago and melting them into what I hope to become new memories of today for my children.

And thank you Nikki for continuing to carry the L.A. Dodgers banner in our home. Each time we invite Vin Scully into our living room, we really do "watch" the L.A. Dodgers on radio with our hearts...remembering grandpa as we continue to cheer for his L.A. Dodger "slugs."

Go "Dodger Blue!

Email contributing columnist Steve Flores at floressteve32@yahoo.com. His work appears here every third Monday; the views expressed are his own.

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