PHOENIX -- With news of Time Warner Cable lowering its asking price for SportsNet LA on a one-year deal, a few in positions of power have decided to chime in with empty statements that make it look like they will have had a part in helping the Dodgers network get on the air for a majority of Los Angeles.
First was Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who issued a statement on Thursday morning:
"Dodgers fans across L.A. deserve to watch our team play - not just subscribers to one cable system, but everyone who bleeds Dodger blue. Over the last few years I have met with carriers and repeatedly called on them to end the unfortunate stalemate that has prevented Angelenos from seeing their beloved team. I am hopeful that we are close to breaking the deadlock and finally doing the right things for Dodgers fans. If nothing else, let's do it for Vin Scully."
Garcetti wasn't the only one to use Scully's name in their screed as the legendary announcer enters his 67th and final season calling Dodgers games. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned Vin as well in his statement:
"The distribution dispute involving DirecTV, AT&T, COX and Verizon has gone on too long. The Dodgers’ massive fan base deserves to be able to watch Dodger games regardless of their choice of provider. The situation is particularly acute given that this is Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully’s final season. Time Warner has made a significant economic move that I hope will be accepted by the providers."
The commissioner in the past has called the Dodgers network carriage dispute a local issue, even telling ESPN reporters in February 2015, "I have no role or leverage in terms of inducing anybody to do anything in that process."
Now that the heavy lifting if a shift in negotiations for SportsNet LA has been done, Manfred and Garcetti have the luxury of giving statements that make it look like they helped get the deal across the goal line. But we know better.
UPDATE: The Dodgers later Wednesday released a statement from CEO Stan Kasten as well. Guess what: he's in favor of the various hold out carriers to take Time Warner's offer:
"We think it's a wonderful gesture from Time Warner Cable, particularly out of respect for Vin Scully. It's a big win for the fans and, frankly, a big win for the cable and satellite providers. There could be no better way to honor Vin in his final year than for them to quickly accept this offer and get the games on TV."