Alexander: Who’s hurt? Who’s healthy? Who knows?

The world according to Jim:

• If you aren’t a subscriber to the new “Game Day” newsletter produced by Kevin Modesti – and if you aren’t getting it in your inbox every morning, what are you waiting for? – you missed a discussion on Thursday morning on injury information, how different Southern California teams disclose (or don’t) that information, and what it means. …

• The upshot: Only one team seems more open than the rest when it comes to disclosing or discussing injuries. Angels head athletic trainer Mike Frostad holds regular briefings with the team’s media contingent regarding injuries, rehabs and the like, a practice that was once routine but now rare.

He was, in fact, the one who confirmed that the Mike Trout injury originally described as back spasms or a ribcage strain was in fact a rare back condition that he might have to manage for the rest of his career. …

• As for the rest of our region’s major league and major college teams, disclosure of injury/recovery news falls between the manager or head coach either legitimately offering updates or opting for secrecy. (The exception is the NFL with its daily in-season injury reports, manipulated as they might be internally.) …

• College coaches have been known to fall back on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations as an excuse for non-disclosure. But I suspect injuries in competition, particularly those incurred in front of paying customers, aren’t exactly the focus of these Clinton-era HIPAA rules. …

• The impetus for this conversation was last weekend’s UCLA-Alabama State game, when running back Zach Charbonnet didn’t play and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was pulled early in the game. When asked if they were hurt afterward Chip Kelly would only say they were “unavailable.”

In reality, there was no reason for either to play a lot against an overmatched opponent. Kelly could have said that just as easily (and DTR, in fact, confirmed that he wasn’t hurt but that his coaches wanted backup Ethan Garbers to play). Instead, obfuscation was the order of the day, as it often is with UCLA’s coach. …

As we wrote at the start of this month, Kelly operates as if he’d prefer no attention at all for him and his team. Given UCLA football attendance figures since he arrived, it sounds like that’s going pretty much according to plan, which makes the school’s new four-year commitment to him all the more puzzling. …

• Remember a week ago, when we suggested the 2022 Chargers might be good enough to retire the verb referring to the franchise’s penchant for self-inflicted damage?

Nah. They “Chargered” in the second half Thursday night in Kansas City. Failing to get your tight end out of the game for a breather when he’s visibly tired – which led to the Chiefs’ 99-yard pick-six – qualifies. So does allowing your franchise quarterback to take a beating, though injuries on the offensive line contributed greatly to Justin Herbert’s rib injury. …

• Then again, the highlight of the night might have been Derwin James bodyslamming Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Who knew? …

• Greater L.A., at least, was spared the angst of figuring out how to see the game since Channel 11 showed the Amazon Prime broadcast, per the NFL policy of putting games on over-the-air affiliates in local markets. (It looked and sounded good, by the way.) Next Thursday, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns play, someone somewhere – and not just people of a particular generation – will say: “What channel’s the game on? It’s on Ama-WHAT?” …

• For Dodgers and Giants fans, the Apple TV+ exclusive coverage on Friday night is another version of the same issue, leagues grabbing the cash as opposed to getting the product in front of as many eyeballs as possible. (Teams haven’t been innocent, either, as those who suffered through the SportsNet LA blackout on DirecTV and non-Spectrum cable systems can attest).

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If leagues and teams persist in excluding those who won’t or can’t afford to subscribe to multiple streaming services, they shouldn’t complain years down the road if interest and audience sizes shrink. …

• So with the Pac-12 pondering its media rights options and evidently seriously considering putting the bulk or all of its game inventory on Amazon, we advise caution. Fans’ ability to find and watch the games will be less important than potential recruits’ access.

This is part of the reason the conference is already looking up at the rest of the Power Five. If it sells its entire inventory to a streaming service with few to no games on linear TV, the cash will be nice but the ultimate effect could be that the best recruits in its footprint go elsewhere and play for teams they’ve already been watching.

It could be Pac-12 Networks II, in other words. …

• This has been a tough month for GOATs. Serena Williams is done. Roger Federer walked away Thursday (and it’s worth noting that Serena wrote, “Welcome to the retirement club” in her Instagram salute to Roger).

Serena Williams’ IG post on Roger Federer:

“Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people — including me — and we will never forget.”

— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) September 16, 2022

And the Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird deserves just as large a sendoff, after 19 WNBA seasons, four championships (to go with two NCAA titles at Connecticut), 13 All-Star appearances, five Olympic gold medals and a societal influence that might have transcended her play.

These are tough legacies to follow.

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