“You can check on this yourself,” said Fox’s Joe Buck, scheduled to do his 16th All-Star Game call for the network Tuesday, when asked about the possibility earlier this week, “but I’m not sure Vin even wants to be a part of this. It’s a logical question to ask him and not us (at Fox).”So we did. Even if we pretty much knew the answer before even inquiring.“If the game was at Dodger Stadium on SportsNet L.A., maybe I’d do it,” the 86-year-old broadcasting legend replied in his usual cordial manner from his Hidden Hills home.No need to dive deeper into that statement about how few would actually see the game if that were to actually happen.“But to be honest,” he continued, “I’m not interested in doing it any more. I’ve done enough of them. I’d feel like an intruder, really. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I just don’t want to shoulder my way into another booth.”That sounds more like the logistical reason Clark Kent might give for hanging up his Superman cape. Scully isn’t about to phone this one in.File that quote away, too, if and when the Dodgers are participating in this fall’s postseason series carried by whichever networks have snatched the rights away this time.It’s not as if Fox is really trying to go all retro-fresh in presenting a star-studded broadcast that still seems to be hit-and-miss on finding the coveted younger viewers who might not even grasp the greatness of having Scully present for such a festivity.Since this is the first Fox broadcast in 13 years that doesn’t include Tim McCarver as the analyst — he’s stepped away after doing 22 All-Star games in his career for three networks and has been replaced by Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci — Fox already might consider the benefits of a Sprint Framily plan so everyone has enough minutes to talk while they’re on the air.The Fox post-McCarver, pro-high-tech game plan has already been advertised by network prose framers as “the most sophisticated ever deployed for the Mid-Summer Classic, befitting the evening’s honorees.”Because a guy like Scully doesn’t add any sophistication?Again, it’s a moot point. Sorry for bringing it up.So while Fox unleashes an arsenal of go-go-gadgetry like Home Run Trackers, 3D strike zones and “Hyper Motion” cameras embedded in Derek Jeter’s Google glasses, there will always be that bittersweet feeling of another opportunity missed to usher Scully back for a beloved curtain call.“We all have the highest regard for Vin, and we know how historically he has wanted to shy away from the spotlight, whether it’s for an interview or the appearance that he’s inserting himself into a broadcast,” said Fox Sports executive vice president of production John Entz. “We’d all be open to doing whatever he’s comfortable with, but we all know that for the last several years, he’s wanted the spotlight to be on others. It’s never about him.“I actually got to meet him in person for the first time a few weeks ago, and he could not have been more gracious. I think he just wants to do his job and we’re lucky enough to have been able to listen to him do that. But whenever he’s opening to doing something with us, we’d love to talk to him about it and keep that open.”What Scully says he’s open to right after the Dodgers finish a four-game series against San Diego is an extended break afforded him because he doesn’t need to reappear until July 25 to catch the final three games of a road trip in San Francisco.“I know it’s not like I’m overwhelmed with doing games these days, either, but I really do like the four days off (during the All-Star break), too,” said Scully, who did his first national broadcast of an All-Star Game in 1959 for NBC and hasn’t been back to do another since the 1989 contest in Anaheim when partnered with former president and neighbor Ronald Reagan for the first inning.“The guys who have done the games all year (on Fox) should be the ones to do it. So put it all together, and I respectfully decline.”Got any new angles to counteract that response?RECORD, PAUSE, DELETEGauging the media’s high- and low-level marks of the week, and what’s ahead:TURNING THE PAGE ON ESPN’S WORLD CUPIn as much as Sunday’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina starts with an hourlong preview (10 a.m., Channel 7 and ESPN2), the three-hour window for the contest (starting at 11 a.m., Channel 7) and an hour post-match show (2 p.m., Channel 7), ESPN Senior VP and executive producer Jed Drake admitted Thursday morning from Brazil that “I wish we had six hours.” They actually do, and more, if you throw in the an hour-and-a-half edition of “World Cup Tonight” at 3 p.m. (ESPN2). “Based on ratings, I think viewers will arrive early and enjoy all the coverage up to and afterward,” said Drake, noting that if you also add all the material planned to be incorporated in “SportsCenter” during that time, the network of channels will likely pass 10 hours of programming. And then, for better or worse, Fox will take over the next three World Cup tournaments. Drake says he feels most proud for how ESPN has helped change the culture of American sports viewers to accept and appreciate an event that the rest of the world already embraced for years. “We’ve had an incredible challenge and very ambitious plans and we’ll leave a legacy on this event that will be difficult to go past for some time,” Drake said. “We love this event. We wish Fox well. But in no small way, we’ve recognized our opportunity to do our best and the collateral result is we’ve left the bar high for Fox, which was always part of our thinking. With two matches to go (including Saturday’s third-place game), I think we’ve achieved that.”TURNING THE PAGE ON BROSNANIt could have been easy to miss the news of the recent passing of Jim Brosnan, the former big-league pitcher-turned-author with his 1960 breakthrough book/diary, “The Long Season,” followed up two years later by “Pennant Race.” It’s easy to connect the dots and say that they set the stage for Jim Bouton’s classic “Ball Four,” which didn’t arrive until 10 years later. But it’s really two separate milestone moments in sports journalism. As noted in a biography that appears on the Society for American Baseball Research website, Brosnan “wrote the first honest portrayal of the life of a baseball player … his writings paved the way for many other players’ ‘autobiographies,’ usually written with considerable help, and filled with more tawdriness but less humor and heart. Fifty years on, Brosnan’s books remain the gold standard for baseball memoirs … (he) drew himself and his teammates as complicated humans struggling to make their way.” Brosnan’s writing actually started making its way into print during the 1958 season in Sports Illustrated, facilitated by longtime SI writer Robert Creamer. In 2007, Brosnan was voted into the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals, but could not make the trip out to be honored. In an interview then with David Davis for L.A. Observed, Brosnan said he was inspired to write because “I had not been happy with the baseball books that I had read when I was a kid. I had read a lot of the baseball books — they were puff pieces written by sportswriters about one player or another. I thought, ‘That’s one way to do it, but if I’m going to do it, who was I going to write about?’ Well, it came easier to write about me.” And the rest is literary history. Brosnan was 84.ONLINE:More media notes on Tom Hoffarth’s blog: www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth The formal engraved invitation was never sent.Probably because the intended invitee has made it pretty clear there was no need for it.Still, an All-Star Game without the biggest star in the sport comes off as a giant whiff.As much as there is a possibility Vin Scully could be calling baseball for the 65th and final season of his broadcasting career — the Dodgers’ Hall of Famer will wait again until August to decide if he’s fit enough to return in 2015 — it really doesn’t matter how many fans, writers or fellow announcers pine for his presence in some way during Fox’s coverage of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Minneapolis next week.
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