For More Information you can email us at
You can follow us on Twitter @mariasports
Welcome to 2022!
Sports in Los Angeles in 2022 is still alive but far from normal. While Covid surges with new variants fans are masked but they are going to games. And the biggest game in town will still happen at Sofi Stadium on February 13th...Superbowl.
The Rams are still looking to play in that game but the Chargers could not make it past the Raiders...and there is alot more on that game.
Since December 1st 2021, MLB has decided they cannot come to terms on a new contract between players and owners so they are LOCKED OUT.
The Lakers and Clippers are playing at what is now called Crypto. Staples is no longer and the name change was touted as something between a funeral and a coming out party.
There will be a NASCAR event the LA Memorial Coliseum and the Long Beach Grand Prix will return in April.
Finally 2022 will also be a year where Diversity and Inclusion will happen. It will be visual. Maybe not how you might imagine but you will see they are leaving out a very large group of people. The same group that most businesses say they never discriminate against, but almost never hire. So lets start there.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION in Sports
My name is Maria Serrao. If you are reading this, you might already know who I am and what I do for a living. I am a sports reporter in Los Angeles and have been for 20 years.
I also use a wheelchair to get around. It has never prevented me from doing my job, but it has prevented me from getting a job.
The same executives who post that they do not discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race or disability DO DISCRIMINATE against hiring me.
My resume speaks for itself from covering the Dodgers in the World Series to the Rams in the Superbowl, the Lakers in the Finals, the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Indy 500. This includes everyday reporting for every professional sports team in Los Angeles.
You know who has never discriminated against me? Athletes and Professional Sports Teams. Never. Never treated me different than any other reporter who covers their teams.
Its all about lack of knowledge and ignorance. Statistics show that 25% of all people have a disability or injury. That INCLUDES and does not discriminate against Sex, Race, Religion or Gender. Across the board 25%.
I thought by now people in power would be more cutting edge. More open to new ideas. ESPN claims they are the Worldwide leader in Sports. The NFL is all about overcoming adversity even hiring coaches in wheelchairs. MLB and the NBA are being more inclusive to women in power positions than ever before. NBC Sports covers Olympic Games that include Paralympics. IndyCar has an owner of a race team who is a quadriplegic.
I am in the process of meeting with every Diversity and Inclusion department at all of the entities mentioned above. Mainly because I need to find a new way in past the little thinkers who can't find their way out of the box.
As you may have figured out I am not a quitter. This is the year I will be covering sports at a National Level. Stay Tuned...
DODGERS LEAD THE WAY...
As we turn the page on August, the Dodgers are the best team in baseball. There is still another month to play but it looks as if the Boys in Blue will remain leaders in the NL west. But they have their sights set on much more than that. Manager Dave Roberts did predict they would win the World Series if the team stays healthy. That is a big "IF". Most players in MLB are banged up heading into September but that is to be expected. What the Dodgers have been exceptionally good at is Finding a Way and Next Man Up Mentality. The good news is Clayton Kershaw is coming back this week and the return of Dustin May has been successful in a small sample size. Got to hand it to GM Andrew Friedman he has been able to put the right moving parts in place. Bringing back Trayce Thompson has proven to be a perfect fit for the team and even Joey Gallo who was written off in NY has had a resurgence as of late. There is something to be said for team chemistry so stay tuned...
ANGELS ARE FOR SALE
This has been such an odd season for the Angels. They began April with the best record in the AL West. At the end of May they hit a 12 game losing streak and GM Perry Manasian fired Manager Joe Maddon. Huh? Manasian said the players needed a new voice in the locker room. That voice would be that of bench coach Phil Nevin. The team did a downward spiral losing even more games and losing Mike Trout with an injury. It was another lost season for the team with 2 of the best players in MLB. How do you put this puzzle back together so that Superstar Shohei Ohtani will stay (his deal is up after next season) and Mike Trout will play in a meaningful game in October? It looks like it will not happen with owner Arti Moreno. After 20 years at the helm in Anaheim the Angels put out a statement saying that Moreno is looking to sell the team. What is interesting is since it was announced that the team would be put up for sale, they have won 4 games in a row. Only in baseball.
THE RAMS LOOK TO REPEAT...
When you win a Championship the only thing you want is to do it again...and again. It's not so easy as we have seen in virtually every sport. Having been with the Los Angeles Rams for the past few years, I can share with you a very interesting observation, No one in this organization is thinking about thier current title, Superbowl Champions. That was last year, head coach Sean McVay will tell you. There is a new team in place and although there are the usual suspects in Stafford, Donald and Kupp not one of them talks about the Superbowl. More like how do we get this done with new players in the mix? That mix is set for week one. New players like WR Allen Robinson and LB Bobby Wagner who are beyond thrilled to be Rams. While veteran OT Andrew Whitworth has retired to the booth that means after 8 years OT Rob Havenstein will take over as leader of the O line. We know the team you start with is rarely the same one you will finish with and GM Les Snead is a master at trading away pics for veteran players mid season. One such player is OBJ. He was added last year and was a dynamic addition which many say propelled them to the Superbowl. He was unfortunately hurt in the big game and still rehabbing. He did crash head coach Sean McVays wedding in June so there might be a return to the team for Beckham. We will just have to wait and see what Les Snead has up his sleeve.
CHARGERS ARE MAKING SOME MOVES
The Los Angeles Chargers seem to be moving in the right direction. GM Tom Telesco went out in the off season and did some shopping. Adding players on Defense like Khalil Mack and Sebastian Joseph-Day are very good company for Joey Bosa. During training camp Bosa and Mack were always together. That is a very good sign. Head Coach Brandon Staley and QB Justin Herbert have another year under their belts and both seem like the game is slowing down. When you talk to anyone about Herbert, words like spectacular and next level come out. One reporter asked veteran WR Keenan Allen how much better he thought Herbert could be, he said, "He's already pretty good out there". His throws are more accurate. His ability to move around out of the pocket when he needs to is more fluid. This division, the AFC West could be the most competitive in the league. The Raiders and Broncos both made big splashes and the Chiefs are well, the Chiefs. The Chargers have to find ways to win games to compete in a division that could be the most competitive we have seen ever.
Playing The Field can be seen on COX-TV on Channel 3, RPVtv Channel 33 and Verizon Channel 38 and on PLAYINGTHEFIELDTV.COM