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<b>DODGER BLUES:</b>  With Cox incommunicado on Dodger games, fans are missing the ups and downs of outfielder Yasiel Puig’s career.

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DODGER BLUES: With Cox incommunicado on Dodger games, fans are missing the ups and downs of outfielder Yasiel Puig’s career.


Striking Out in the Cox Monopoly

Suffering the Dodgers-Blackout Blues


BOOB TUBE LOSER: I love to watch the Dodgers on TV ​— ​or I used to. These days I can’t, at home anyway. I’m in the wrong cable monopoly.

Santa Barbara long ago awarded its cable monopoly to Cox, and when it comes to the Boys in Blue, Cox whiffed, fanned … struck out. The Cox corporate suits, which for reasons not clear to me other than greed, have turned their noses up at the Dodgers for a second year.

But just over the invisible county line on the Rincon, Venturans have no problem tuning in to the first-place former Trolley Dodgers of Brooklyn. Ventura, see, is served by Time Warner Cable, which made a big Big Bucks deal with the Dodgers to screen the games. Cox did not but keeps claiming (yawn) to be working on one. I am not optimistic.

Barney Brantingham

I suppose if I had a mind to, I could take a scenic drive to Cronies Sports Grill at 2855 Johnson Drive in a quaint Ventura shopping mall. There, I’m informed, the Dodgers are on the tube daily. The gang there can gather for a cold one or two and slap high fives at Yasiel Puig’s homers or yell in disbelief at his base-running goofs.

Sure beats Fox News.

The Dodgers are relishing being in first place (at this writing) in the National League West, headed for (I’m sure) the World Series. It sure must be fun at Cronies these days.

But there’s no joy at my house. I fixed up the garage with a huge flat screen and sofas, all the better to watch the games in leisure. Banished the car to the driveway. But now it’s just a dark cavern. I don’t even want to go in there.

I called over to Cronies the other night, just to make sure. “You have them on every night?” I asked, incredulously. “Yes we do,” the friendly barkeep assured me. “Every night.” Buffalo wings, burgers, beer, the whole nutritional menu.

Even Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood carries the Bums. Look, San Joaquin Valley rednecks have no trouble watching the Dodgers on the tube. Folks in places like lovely Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Taft, and Delano can blow the dust off the couch, slump down, grab a Bud, and watch the Dodgers lose to the St. Louis Cardinals once again. That’s because a small cable company called Bright House made a deal with Time Warner to serve the region ​— ​up to but not including Santa Barbara.

So when will the Santa Barbara Cox blackout end? I talked to one of its operatives. We’re working on it, she told me. Really? I fear that Puig will be shagging foul balls in some Pismo Beach senior league before the Bums hit my tube.

In the meantime, I pay Cox serious money monthly for shows like Swamp People, Ice Road Truckers, Alaskan Bush People, Appalachian Outlaws, Hardcore Pawn, Hoarders, Mountain Men, Ancient Aliens, Highway Thru Hell, Naked and Afraid (in Belize), and Mermaids: The New Evidence.

I’ve heard there are ways digital hipsters use to sneak around the Cox Dodgers blackout, but I don’t want the Cox suits coming after me, banging on my garage door.

Maybe I’ll just put the car back in.

OIL MONEY: I see where BP has reached an $18.7 billion settlement over its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Barry Cappello (he just sued Plains over our spill), are you listening?

TWO TO TANGO: With the summer doldrums upon us, political junkies are taking great interest in the ongoing battle between Demos Mayor Helene Schneider and 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal to take over nine-term Rep. Lois Capps’s House seat.

I can’t recall the last time two high-profile local politicians from the same party took each other on for Congress. Capps announced her retirement in early April, with 18 whole months left in her term. Schneider and Carbajal jumped right into the scrum within 24 hours and have been raising tons of money, gathering endorsements, and sending off regular press releases. Capps soon endorsed Carbajal, which struck some as unusually early, seeing as how the primary won’t take place until next June. Just how much liberals Schneider and Carbajal will differ on campaign issues remains to be seen. So far, not much. They’re both against the oil spill.



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