Is there a fashion category that has exploded as quickly as the women’s plus-size swim market? Once a collection of “full coverage” suits in 50 shades of black with cascading peplums and skirted bottoms, plus-size swimwear has transformed in recent seasons into a cornucopia of silhouettes, textures and prints.

Think off-the-shoulder tops, cutouts and cheeky pineapple patterns, as well as updates on classics such as Brigitte Bardot-inspired gingham and the ultimate summer icon, that itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini.

It doesn’t just make for a more fashionable scene on the beach, but also a confident and inclusive one as well. With the emphasis off hiding one’s body but on expressing personal style, brands are getting more creative. They are collaborating with bloggers such as Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh, who teamed with Swimsuits for All, and celebrity stylists including Timothy Snell, who has worked with Queen Latifah, among others, who was tapped by Always for Me. These collaborators often are well-loved in the plus-size community.

Alex Michael May, a Los Angeles-based, body-positive style expert, recently modeled in Eloquii’s swimwear look book. “When I shop for swimsuits, I’m looking for the same things I seek out in clothing,” May says. “Interesting details, pieces with movement, and fun patterns — something that’s going to make me feel confident, not covered up.”

While large brands get savvier to that way of thinking (check out Lane Bryant’s textured peekaboo monokini), niche brands have continued to push the envelope. Brooklyn-based Nakimuli put out a brilliant and versatile suit, a rainbow-hued one-piece that can be tied multiple ways.

The bottom line? Just as there’s no one way to have a beach body, there’s no one way to dress yours.

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What’s in season: One of the quintessential vegetables of summer, zucchini, and other summer squash are now filling market stands. There are a number of varieties of the summer squash beyond classic green zucchini: from softball-sized, white-green Eight Ball and stout Mexican zucchini, to yellow oblong Goldmine and small, flower-shaped Sunburst squash. Exterior colors range from a lighter grayish-green and vibrant shades of yellow-orange to almost black, with sizes varying from small and slender to massive squash well over a foot in length. The season runs through the hotter months of summer, tapering off as the weather cools in fall.

A summer favorite: 12 great recipes for zucchini >>

What to cook: Smaller zucchini tend to pack more flavor than their larger counterparts and work well raw or cooked. Consider slicing or grating the squash to use in salads or slaws. Steam or stew chopped or diced squash, or throw large wedges or slices on the grill, tossing them with olive oil and chopped fresh herbs and garlic. Use larger zucchini in soups, or consider roasting, braising or even stuffing the squash as you might with peppers or tomatoes.

What’s on the horizon: Summer melons, including Tuscan cantaloupes and watermelons, are just beginning to show up, as are fresh figs.

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noelle.carter@latimes.com

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Curt Onalfo wasn’t even nine games into his stint as the Galaxy’s new coach, yet it looked as if he was already headed toward the exit.

His team hadn’t won in a month. Two weeks earlier a pair of players had refused to shake his hand after being subbed off. And now, with the Galaxy down by two goals after just 17 minutes of a May 6 game with the Chicago Fire, the StubHub Center crowd was loudly calling for his head.

In rapid succession the coach seemingly had lost his team and its fans and was about to lose his job. And that’s when he appeared to lose his mind, too, taking Jelle Van Damme, his captain and top defensive player, out of the game with 12 minutes left in the first half.

But what looked to be an act of desperation actually proved to be the move that saved the Galaxy’s season. With Van Damme in the locker room, the team rallied for two second-half goals to earn a draw, and the Galaxy (5-5-4) haven’t lost since, taking a seven-game MLS unbeaten streak, longest among Western Conference teams, into Wednesday’s road match with the Colorado Rapids.

The turnaround, many players say, began with that one substitution.

Veteran Baggio Husidic said Van Damme’s temporary benching sent a message that Onalfo was no longer going to base lineup decisions on salary or status. His future was on the line and he was going to use players who were as desperate to win as he was.

“People were like ‘oh . . . anybody can be taken out. This is Curt’s team,’” said defender Dave Romney, who replaced Van Damme in the Chicago game and hasn’t missed a game since.

“When that fire gets lit,” Romney continued, “that will wake a lot of guys up.”

The challenge now is to keep that flame burning during an exhausting stretch of five games in 14 days, one the Galaxy will enter missing seven starters due to injury or international duty. It’s also one the Galaxy will begin in the rarefied mile-high air of suburban Denver, an altitude midfielders Romain Alessandrini — the team’s leading scorer with seven goals and seven assists — and Joao Pedro haven’t dealt with before.

Plus they’ll be facing a 5-8-1 Colorado team that has won three straight and hasn’t lost at home since May 5.

The Galaxy already have weathered worse crises. When the team was reeling, Van Damme said, the players were anticipating some kind of shake-up. And while he was surprised he became the flashpoint, he played his best two games of the season in the three weeks following his benching.

“It was just something that was coming. I think everybody was waiting for it. Everybody was expecting it. You always need a turning point,” Van Damme said.

Without it, he said, last Saturday’s game, in which the Galaxy scored a tying goal four minutes into stoppage time, would have ended differently.

“We would have lost that game,” he said. “[But] guys kept going until the last minute.”

Another factor in the team’s slow start, he said, was the adjustment to a new coaching staff and more than a half-dozen new players. Onalfo agreed.

“It’s a group getting used to a new coach, a coach getting used to a new group,” said Onalfo, who has declined to publicly take credit for the turnaround. “It’s a back and forth. We just started, at that point, to really click.

“You can’t necessarily put the exact 100% reason. I just knew that at that moment we became a team. And it just kept building.”

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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Could Kenley Jansen really pitch an entire season without walking a batter?

It’s a crazy thought except, well, the season is just about halfway done and Jansen hasn’t walked anyone. The Dodgers’ closer has faced 107 batters, struck out 50 and walked none.

“It’s awesome, man,” Jansen said. “I’m not taking it for granted. I’m doing something that has never been done before.

“It’s awesome to be living in this moment.”

No pitcher has faced as many batters in a season without walking any. He has pitched 29 2/3 innings. The major league record for most innings pitched without a walk: 21, by Len Swormstedt of the 1906 Boston Americans.

“If I walk someone, I walk someone,” Jansen said. “Hey, I made a great run at it. … If, at the end of the year, it’s zero, or one or two or three or four, we’ll see.”

Jansen’s ERA is 0.91. In perhaps the most dominant relief season in modern history, Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics posted a 0.61 earned-run average in 1990, striking out 73 and walking four.

In 1992, Eckersley was the American League’s most valuable player, with a 1.91 ERA, 87 strikeouts and nine walks.

Beware the Rockies

Is it too soon to juggle a starting rotation with an eye toward the opponent? Not for the Dodgers, who decided to push back Alex Wood’s next start by one day so their top three starters — Wood, Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy — could start this weekend against the first-place Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers, Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks started play Monday with the three best records in the National League West, with each team within one game of the others. The division champion advances to a best-of-five playoff series; the two wild cards must play a sudden-death playoff game.

Happy anniversary

Monday marked the first anniversary of what so far has been one of the most lopsided trades in recent baseball history. In what appeared to be a marginal swap of triple-A players, the Dodgers sent pitcher Zach Lee to the Seattle Mariners for infielder Chris Taylor.

Lee had received a $5.25-million bonus — a team record for a drafted player — but his Dodgers career consisted of one major league game in six pro seasons.

Taylor has emerged as an invaluable player for the Dodgers, and now he’s an outfielder, a position he never played in the majors before this year. He entered play Monday with an .895 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage), third on the team behind Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger.

“You almost want to take that utility tag off him,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s essentially been an everyday player for us.”

The Mariners never did call up Lee, who went 0-9 with a 7.39 earned-run average for their triple-A Tacoma affiliate. The San Diego Padres, desperate for candidates to fill their starting rotation, claimed him on waivers last December and afforded him eight innings this season, in which he walked eight. They sent him back to triple A and, on Monday, the Padres designated him for assignment.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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Rick Vanderhook’s strategy was already in motion as he jittered in the dugout, unable to stand still. His decision would either prolong Fullerton’s season in this elimination game of the College World Series… or destroy it.

In Monday’s seventh inning, Fullerton led Florida State by one run. There were runners on second and third and no outs. Reliever Blake Workman jogged in. The Seminoles’ No. 3 hitter, Jackson Lueck, waited. He was Florida State’s best hitter, batting .320 with nine home runs.

So Vanderhook ordered Workman to walk him.

Intentionally loading the bases was aggressive: It put trust on Workman — and tremendous pressure. And so as the count ran full on the subsequent batter, Vanderhook paced. He chomped, hard, on his chewing gum. He laughed nervously.

Workman threw ball four: tie score. Vanderhook argued, earned an umpire’s warning, walked up the tunnel and back. Workman went full on the next hitter. Then he walked him, too.

The walks would be Fullerton’s undoing. The Seminoles never surrendered the lead. They won, 6-4, and survived. The Titans couldn’t protect another College World Series lead, again powered by shortstop Timmy Richards, and their season ended.

Fullerton starter John Gavin lasted just 3 1/3 innings and walked four, but he limited Florida State’s potent offense to two runs, one earned.

Still, Fullerton managed just one hit and the Seminoles led 3-1 by the sixth inning, when the bounce of a baseball changed the game. Florida State center fielder J.C. Flowers ran in for a low line drive with two outs and a runner on. He dove. His glove plucked the ball inches from the grass. But his collision with the ground rattled the ball loose, a run scored and the inning extended.

The next batter, Timmy Richards now represented the go-ahead run. He spied a breaking ball hanging high and over the plate. He gritted his teeth hard and swung hard enough that his backswing thumped the back of his uniform between the numbers. The ball easily cleared the wall in left field. On Saturday, Richards had hit a three-run home run in the first inning against Oregon State to boost the Titans to an unlikely early lead. Now, after a squandered lead had put Fullerton on the brink of elimination, his two-run home run had given Cal State Fullerton new life, and the lead.

But it would not be the last time an errant bounce in the outfield would swing fortunes in this game.

In the next inning, with a runner on, Fullerton left fielder Chris Prescott tracked a ball headed toward the fence, leaped and snared the ball in his glove. But as he smacked off the wall, the ball bounced free.

It put two runners on in the seventh inning. It was a worrisome jam. Vanderhook went to the bullpen. Then he settled on his strategy.

zach.helfand@latimes.com

Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand



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Justin Hayward wasn’t worried about showing his back to the audience.

Standing onstage Saturday night before a full house at the Hollywood Bowl, the Moody Blues’ frontman had just finished singing “The Morning: Another Morning” — a bouncy pop pastorale from the British band’s 1967 album “Days of Future Passed” — when he turned around and stayed that way for a minute or so, enthralled by the sound of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as it moved through the song’s lush instrumental coda.

At least he was enjoying himself.

In keeping with recent tradition at Los Angeles’ most iconic venue, Saturday’s opening-night concert paired the formally attired orchestra (under the direction of conductor Thomas Wilkins) with a veteran classic-rock act to kick off the Bowl’s summer season.

Last year the act was Steely Dan; the year before that, it was Journey. You can see why someone thought the Moody Blues would make a good fit, but that person was woefully mistaken.

Featuring three members from the band’s late-’60s heyday — singer-guitarist Hayward, bassist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge — the group is on tour this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Days of Future Passed.” The album included the hits “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin,” and is widely regarded as a landmark in the development of progressive rock.

The way the band tells it, the Moody Blues — initially one of countless young English groups aping American R&B — were asked by its record company to come up with an LP combining rock and classical elements that would show off the hi-fi possibilities of the company’s new record player.

What was created was an elaborate concept piece, complete with lengthy interludes and ponderous spoken bits, tracking the progression of a single day into night. “Days of Future Passed” made stars of the dreamy-eyed Hayward and his mates, and if the album never earned the acclaim of other totems of the Summer of Love — “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” springs to mind — it’s clear that it went on to inspire further explorations of symphonic rock by the likes of Electric Light Orchestra and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The members of the Moody Blues themselves stuck with that idea through the early ’70s before going more commercial in the ’80s (not unlike Yes and Genesis) with slick pop hits such as “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.”

At the Bowl, though, the main attraction was a full rendition of “Days of Future Passed,” which the band said it was performing for the first time with live orchestral accompaniment. (Elsewhere on its tour the group is playing along to pre-recorded arrangements.)

As Hayward’s reaction to “Another Morning” suggested, the sound was impressive — full-bodied but nimble, with a lively rhythmic energy that kept the strings from getting too soupy. In “Evening: The Sunset,” the orchestra added a touch of romantic mystery to the band’s spooky depiction of that moment, “when the sun goes down and the clouds all frown.”

No wonder Hayward swiveled his body several more times throughout the night to take in what Wilkins and his players were doing. This was probably the closest the Moody Blues have come to their experience recording “Days of Future Passed” with the London Festival Orchestra half a century ago.

Yet most of the album’s songs have not aged well, especially the ersatz psychedelia of “Tuesday Afternoon,” which felt far cornier than other willfully trippy visions from its era. “I’m looking at myself / Reflections of my mind,” Hayward sang, “It’s just the kind of day to leave myself behind.”

Yikes.

Cheap-looking visuals on the Bowl’s large screens didn’t help the music seem any less dated. It actively took away from one’s ability to enjoy the sumptuous sonics of “Another Morning.”

For a group of men in their 70s who performed hunched over their instruments, a video of balloons and little kids at play was probably a sadder, more jarring image than the band intended.

There was also the band’s lack of chemistry. Trading off vocals, Hayward and Lodge barely interacted onstage; behind them, Edge looked like he was merely pretending to play drums while the group’s hired-hand drummer, Billy Ashbaugh, did the actual job of driving the music.

A sense of real-time spontaneity might’ve prevented the concert from feeling as overblown as it did. That quality certainly did wonders last year for Steely Dan, whose members spoke to each other (and to the crowd) in a manner that made them appear in on the joke of their own grandiosity.

Not that we should’ve expected laughs from a band with a song called “Isn’t Life Strange,” to name one of several leaden ditties the Moody Blues played from albums other than “Days of Future Passed.”

Self-seriousness is one thing. Quite another is the self-parody this group flirted with by having the actor Jeremy Irons show up in yet another video to deliver those painful spoken passages from 1967.

“Coldhearted orb that rules the night removes the colors from our sight,” Irons intoned in one laughably pretentious sequence. “Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right — and which is an illusion.”

It was bad enough to make you hope the Hollywood Bowl looks somewhere beyond classic rock for next year’s opening night.

Unless Spinal Tap wants the gig.

That could work out OK.

mikael.wood@latimes.com

Twitter: @mikaelwood

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Paul George has made it official, according to a report.

George wants to come home.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that George’s agent, Aaron Mintz, has told Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard that he plans to opt out of his contract after the 2017-18 season. Further, George let it be known that he would like to sign with the Lakers in free agency. The report added that George’s motivation for disclosing this to Pritchard was to allow the Pacers to plan for a future without him.

It’s been a long time since a talented player has been so intent on playing for the Lakers.

They whiffed on LaMarcus Aldridge two years ago. They couldn’t even get a meeting with Kevin Durant last summer.

“That was something that I didn’t recognize,” Lakers President and co-owner Jeanie Buss said. “That wasn’t anything we’d gone through before. It hurt. It hurt that there were players that didn’t see what a great opportunity it would be to play for a premiere sports team in the best market with the best fans in a top three building in the league. It just didn’t make any sense. It was a disappointment. But I think I guess we’ll see how things go.”

She overhauled the Lakers’ front office on Feb. 21, replacing General Manager Mitch Kupchak with Rob Pelinka and replacing her brother, who was the executive vice president of basketball operations, with Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations. Since the start of their tenure, they’ve said they have felt the tide turning.

That projected No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz was willing to work out for the Lakers felt, inside the building, like a sign that the Lakers were once again an attractive destination for stars. George’s declaration offers heavier proof.

George made no secret of this at the trade deadline. It might have scared away some potential suitors, but then-Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird told The Times he was not motivated to move George at the deadline. Johnson briefly discussed it with Bird, but that conversation never advanced past a preliminary stage.

Bird stepped down from the role this spring, seemingly paving the way for moving George.

The stark truth, though, is that any team except the Lakers would likely only be getting George on a one-year rental. It’s a fact that could depress the trade market for him, to the Lakers’ advantage.

tania.ganguli@latimes.com

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli



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Never mind what the calendar tells us about the seasons. In this city, according to Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. Board Chairman Jay Rasulo, summer starts on opening night at the Hollywood Bowl.

“It’s truly the official start of summer in Los Angeles,” Rasulo said, adding, “other than that, it’s a wonderful night for music education.”

A fundraiser for the L.A. Phil’s education and community programs, the Moody Blues concert Saturday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the rock band’s groundbreaking album, “Days of Future Passed.” The evening also commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and raised $1.5 million.

The crowd

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s principal conductor, Thomas Wilkins, speaks to the audience. (Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt / Mathew Imaging)

Seated in his front-row box, director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino said that he’d been to the Hollywood Bowl four or fives times before and that this time he’d come to see the Moody Blues and because “[the opening] is a fun event.”

There too were Los Angeles County board supervisors Kathryn Barger, Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis and Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu. Title sponsor Kaiser Permanente was represented by Greg Adams and Julie Miller-Phipps, while Teena Hostovich, Doug Martinet and Michael Martinet served as gala co-chairs.

The scene

It's that time again. It's the opening night for the new Hollywood Bowl season.
It’s that time again. It’s the opening night for the new Hollywood Bowl season. (Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt / Mathew Imaging)

VIP guests mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the Hollywood Bowl’s Box Office Terrace (above the newly renovated Main Plaza), before adjourning to their tables for dinner. In keeping with the Bowl’s tradition of elegant dining, guests enjoyed Moroccan chicken tagine on tables covered in linens, topped by centerpieces of rosemary, mint or lavender plants.

The show

Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues.
Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues. (Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt / Mathew Imaging)

As the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s Thomas Wilkins conducted Peter Boyer’s “Silver Fanfare,” the big screens facing the audience showed off 17 years of opening nights with clips of Reba McEntire, John Legend, Josh Groban, Jack Black, Kristin Chenoweth, Liza Minnelli, Plácido Domingo, John Williams and other past headliners.

Members of the YOLA All-Stars then performed “Festive Overture” by Shostakovich, followed by a set of Moody Blues hits, including “Say It With Love,” from what lead singer Justin Hayward jokingly called the “pretentiously named” album “Keys of the Kingdom.”

After intermission, the band performed its entire “Days of Future Passed” album, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and at evening’s end, by a dazzling display of fireworks.

The quotes

The Moody Blues are on hand at the Hollywood Bowl, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rock band’s groundbreaking album, “Days of Future Passed.”
The Moody Blues are on hand at the Hollywood Bowl, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rock band’s groundbreaking album, “Days of Future Passed.” (Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt / Mathew Imaging)

“What’s really cool about the Moody Blues,” said Wilkins, “is that those guys get it,” meaning an understanding of music education as a “gift that can be life-altering … the endeavor to give [YOLA members] a voice through music …”

He later added, “We have to be in the business of painting doors onto brick walls, and that’s what YOLA is all about.”

Said Hayward, “It’s a special night for us because it’s the first time we’ll be doing our very first album, ‘Days of Future Passed,’ live in such esteemed company with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the fabulous, gorgeous Thomas Wilkins.”

The numbers

Opening night at the Hollywood Bowl offers the sounds of the Moody Blues and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a fireworks display and more.
Opening night at the Hollywood Bowl offers the sounds of the Moody Blues and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a fireworks display and more. (Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt / Mathew Imaging)

Tickets for the 1,200 guests in the VIP sections sold from $2,600 for a four-person garden box to $15,750 for a six-person pool circle box.

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Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News LA.

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Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Monday. In theory, the fans that cannot attend the game at Dodger Stadium can gather ‘round their television sets and enjoy another performance by the ace of the team and the face of a generation. Kershaw might well become the franchise’s first Hall of Fame player since Don Sutton, who last played for the team 29 years ago.

Alas, the Dodgers’ broadcasts go unseen by the majority of their fans. So do Kershaw’s heroics, including the Dodgers’ last no-hitter.

There is no end in sight to the dispute between DirecTV and Charter Communications, which inherited the mess when it bought Time Warner Cable. (Charter sells cable service under the Spectrum brand name.)

This is the fourth season of the Dodgers’ television blackout. The team has won the National League West in each of the previous three seasons. Meanwhile the team-owned SportsNet LA channel that carries the games has been unavailable in millions of homes in Southern California that don’t have Spectrum.

That does not mean that viewers in all those homes would tune in to the Dodgers’ games even if they could, of course. However, we can get an idea of the effect of the blackout by checking the ratings for the 10 games Charter and the Dodgers aired free on KTLA in April and May as simulcasts of the SportsNet LA broadcasts.

Has the blackout killed interest among a significant number of fans, or do people still want to watch the Dodgers?

They still want to watch. The average SportsNet LA broadcast this season has attracted 79,000 households. The 10-game KTLA package averaged 378,000 households, including the SportsNet LA viewers — an audience almost five times as large as the one for games aired only on the Dodgers’ channel.

How much of their cable television audience have the Dodgers lost since launching SportsNet LA?

About half, even counting recent improvement. In 2013, their last year on Prime Ticket — a channel available on all major cable and satellite systems in Southern California — the Dodgers averaged 154,000 households per game. The average this year reflects a 49% drop, but that’s up from the average of 57,000 households two years ago, when Charter bought Time Warner Cable and added SportsNet LA so customers of both cable companies could watch the channel.

How does that compare to other teams?

Cable and satellite ratings for every team this season are not available, but the Dodgers — in the second-largest market in the United States — ranked 15th among the 29 U.S. teams in the number of households that viewed games last season, directly behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles, teams that play in much smaller markets. The two New York teams led the way, each with an average audience close to three times larger than what the Dodgers had.

And the Angels? Have their ratings soared as the Dodgers’ blackout lingers?

Not any more. They have the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, and, unlike Kershaw, he plays every day. (He would, at least, if he were not on the disabled list now.) The Angels’ games air on Fox Sports West, a channel carried by every major cable and satellite system in town. And they still attract fewer viewers than the Dodgers’ games.

In 2014, the first season of the Dodgers’ blackout, the Angels averaged 107,000 households. That number has fallen every year since, to an average of 47,000 households this year. The Angels last made the playoffs in 2014. (Fox Sports West says the Orange County audience — measured as a part of the Los Angeles media market — is five times larger for the Angels this season than for the Dodgers.)

As long as the blackout remains in effect, why not put a few more Dodgers games on KTLA?

KTLA is interested in airing more games, but at this time Charter has no plans for additional simulcasts. The 10-game KTLA package was something of a free trial, intended to persuade fans to switch to Spectrum, hopefully in numbers significant enough to get DirecTV to strike a deal to carry SportsNet LA.

How many fans switched to Spectrum in April and May after the 10-game KTLA package?

Charter won’t say.

Charter is pitching Spectrum as the only place to see the Dodgers — “No Spectrum? No Dodgers!” — in its advertising. Are there a lot of Dodgers fans that have not switched?

Yes. The KTLA broadcasts were seen in an average of 105,000 DirecTV households and another 20,000 AT&T U-Verse households — in sum, half again as many households as see an average SportsNet LA broadcast. (AT&T is the parent company of DirecTV.)

Until DirecTV loses a critical mass of subscribers because it does not air the Dodgers, industry analysts say, there is little incentive for the company to pay Charter for the right to carry SportsNet LA.

So none of those Dodgers fans have complained to DirecTV about missing their team on TV?

Sure they have. They might even threaten to switch to Spectrum. But, whether the fans do not actually want to deal with the hassle of changing providers, or whether DirecTV persuades them to stay by giving them free NFL Sunday Ticket or other goodies, the bottom line is that too few have switched to affect DirecTV’s bottom line.

DirecTV has said it is interested in carrying SportsNet LA but Charter’s asking price is too high. When was the last time DirecTV had a negotiating session with Charter about SportsNet LA?

DirecTV won’t say.

Didn’t the Department of Justice sue DirecTV for collusion in keeping SportsNet LA off the air in as much of Southern California as possible?

Yes, but nothing much came out of it. The case was settled out of court. DirecTV was essentially put on five years’ probation, with no fine, and no requirement to carry SportsNet LA.

When the blackout first started, the asking price for SportsNet LA was about $5 per month per subscriber. So, if I get DirecTV, why can’t I just pay another $5 per month and get SportsNet LA?

The secret of cable television is that only a small percentage of viewers watches any particular channel. Charter had about 1.6 million households in the Los Angeles market last December, the most recent figure available.

That means that about 5% of Charter customers watched Dodgers games. If a similar ratio were to hold true for DirecTV, you’d have to pay $100 per month – not $5 – for Charter to make the same amount of money from DirecTV.

Major League Baseball is streaming selected games this season on Twitter and Facebook. Can I see the Dodgers that way?

The Dodgers played last Tuesday on Twitter, but you can’t catch the Dodgers on Twitter if you live in the Los Angeles area. That’s not the Dodgers’ fault; the league’s deal with Twitter is limited to “out-of-market live streaming.”

At this time, the Dodgers are not scheduled for any Facebook streaming, which is not allowed without the approval of the team and its local television partner. The “No Spectrum? No Dodgers!” strategy would be muddied by a “No Spectrum? No Dodgers, save for the occasional Facebook game” exception.

How did the Dodgers get into this mess?

Time Warner Cable agreed to pay the Dodgers a record $8.35 billion over 25 years in exchange for the exclusive right to sell SportsNet LA to other cable and satellite providers. But no carrier besides TWC and Charter agreed to carry SportsNet LA, with DirecTV the most prominent outlet to just say no.

Are the fans stuck with this contract for the next 21 years? Are the Dodgers exploring how they can modify the deal, or walk away from it in search of a deal that would end the blackout?

The Dodgers say it’s premature to conclude this deal doesn’t work if DirecTV won’t negotiate in what the team considers good faith.

If DirecTV and Charter ever do make a deal, would that satisfy all of the audience?

No. The games on KTLA were watched by an average of 44,000 households that do not subscribe to cable or satellite services.

How are those households classified?

“Rabbit ears.”

What are rabbit ears?

Go ask your parents.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin



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What’s in season: Apricots and other stone fruit are a common sight at market stands this time of year, but the flavorful fruit are really starting to come into season. Apricots, including sweet, plump Helena apricots, large Robadas, cult-favorite Blenheims and fragrant Poppy apricots, as well as crimson Flavor Royal pluots and other pluots and apriums (hybrid fruit created by crossing apricots with plums) are making a colorful show with a season that typically lasts well through the hot summer months. Green apricots — unripe apricots similar in appearance to almonds — pop up occasionally at the odd stand; these are bitter- or sour-flavored fruit often used for pickling.

Galettes, jam and more: 12 great recipes using apricots >>

What to cook: Sometimes apricots are best savored as a simple snack, with a stack of napkins handy to help with each juicy bite. Slice the fruit to add sweet notes to a quick salad, or halve and grill apricots to caramelize the sugars before serving alongside a simple scoop of ice cream. Turn the fruit into a shrub — a sweetened, vinegar-based drink also called “drinking vinegars” — or add diced fruit to a summer sangria. If adding to a tart, galette or crumble, the skins are easily removed before using: Score the base of each fruit with an X, then place in boiling water just until the skin begins to curl. Remove the fruit to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and peel the skin away as soon as the fruit is cool enough to handle.

What’s on the horizon: Tomatillos, wrapped in their delicate paper skins, are making a good show at a number of stands, and corn is just starting to show up.

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noelle.carter@latimes.com

@noellecarter



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