The relationship between Little League and Touchdown Productions has soured to the point where the local access television program is no longer welcome at Nevada City Little League games, Little League District 11 supervisor Dick Gold said Wednesday.
Gold, who has been the District 11 supervisor since 2001, cut his contract with TouchDown Productions due to “reasons between me and Gil,” he said, referring to the program’s executive producer and owner Gil Dominguez.
Gold also threatened to move the remaining Nevada City Little League games to Lincoln if Dominguez and his crew don’t move their equipment by 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, which did not occur.
“If he refuses to remove his stuff, I have no other choice,” Gold said over the phone Wednesday.
Dominguez and Gold have been in a bitter fight over broadcasting contracts since Gold became the district supervisor. The two have shared nasty e-mails between each other since 2005, which have been shared with The Union and reveal a general dislike between the two men and their causes.
The main sticking point between the two men is the program’s paying fees ranging from $25 to $100 to Little League for the rights to broadcast each game.
Gold’s district oversees games from Rocklin to Nevada City. Local tournament directors and other Little League officials do not necessarily agree with his stance on this issue.
“We are neutral and simply hosting the tournament,” Nevada City Little League’s tournament director Heather Garrity said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“Inasmuch as we support Gil in his business endeavor and the community service it has historically provided, in that this is a district tournament, we must follow District 11 rules and regulations.”
“It’s really between Dick and Gil,” said Garrity, who was speaking as a parent. “We’re the host of the tournament but it’s really not our tournament.
“If it were Nevada City’s call, we’d love to have (TouchDown Productions) there,” Garrity continued. “The kids love it and the parents love it and I think it’s great for the community.”
The relationship between Little League and TouchDown Productions took a hit this year when the program’s photographer Lyn Dominguez – as well as other local photographers including The Union’s John Hart – were kicked off the field during a game by Gold because “too many people were on the field.”
“I don’t know anything about newspapers and television,” Gold said. “All I know is Little League.”
According to e-mails obtained by The Union, Gold said his reason for terminating the contract was because TouchDown Productions is about the money.
“I have elected not to enter into a contract with you due to your continued efforts to (my opinion) (sic) cover these games just for monetary reasons,” Gold wrote to Dominguez.
Said Dominguez: “We’re gonna go out there and we’re not gonna record it. We’ve already called his bluff about moving the games. If we turn on the cameras he’s telling Heather (Garrity) to stop the games.”
“We have a philosophical difference over whether or not we should pay to cover the games,” Dominguez continued. “He’s got the power to waive those fees so the community can enjoy these games and he doesn’t want to do that. We’ve agreed to disagree on that.”
Gold has also taken offense to TouchDown Productions posting photos on their Web site for sale, something which according to Gold is not allowed.
“I don’t have a problem with him,” Dominguez said. “It’s only when he tries to stop us from what we feel we should be doing. I don’t think Dick is acting in the best interest of baseball or our community.”
Meanwhile, the kids and local organizers are caught in the midst of this tussle.
“It’s hard for us because it’s not Nevada City’s call,” said Garrity, stressing that she was speaking as a parent. “If it were, we’d say stay. A lot of us want the benefit of having pictures of our kids. I think Dominguez does a huge service to the community. It’s too bad that whatever’s happened, happened.”
To contact Sports Writer Zuri Berry, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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