Wednesday, March 28, 2012

7 comments T.J. Simers Decides to Attack His Colleagues Using the Written Word, Still Has Insatiable Need to be Punched in the Face

Many of you may remember T.J. Simers' bizarre, random attack on Marcus Thames in Spring Training last year. I can't describe exactly what Simers did, so read it for yourself if you care to. Basically, he was pissed Marcus Thames plays like Marcus Thames, confronted Thames in a hostile fashion and then couldn't understand why Thames wouldn't talk to him. This year Simers decides to attack the Dodgers and just for good measure his fellow LA Times employees. I sort of buried the lede with my title, I realize that. Simers decides to semi-question why his employer even covers the Dodgers and tells us all how bad the Dodgers indeed do suck. Of course, a better writer would explain WHY the Dodgers suck, but no one expects T.J. Simers to be a better writer at this point. He's closer to "bitter" than to "better."

What is really interesting is Simers wrote his article randomly attacking Marcus Thames on March 21, 2011 and he wrote this article attacking the Dodgers and his fellow LA Times writers on March 19, 2012. Something must happen every year around this time that really pisses Simers off. One could only speculate what that could be. Oh, and don't worry, Marcus Thames is mentioned (Why? Because Simers hates Thames, that's why). No T.J. Simers article is complete without a mention of Marcus Thames, who at this point has reached the status of "war criminal" in the mind of T.J. Simers.

We all know the Dodgers may not be a great team this year, but Simers has no interest in explaining why HE believes the Dodgers will be bad. Why do that when you can just indiscriminately bash them without giving a reason why? Where's the fun in logic? More importantly, what the hell is Marcus Thames doing now? Probably giving hand jobs to homeless men for $2. What a piece of shit that Marcus Thames guy is, huh? If T.J. Simers could find out where Thames disappeared to, then he would angrily confront Thames over his refusal to acknowledge he is a terrible baseball player.

Consider the excitement, arriving here and finding Vin Scully's car parked in the stenciled spot reserved for Dodgers "ownership."

If that were only true, but like Tommy Lasorda saying he never says something he doesn't believe, things are not always so.

Great way to start off a column. Vague, snarky and immediately bitter sounding when discussing the topic at hand.

So far The Times has sent six writers here in the quest for truth.

So a major city newspaper has dispatched writers to cover the professional baseball team that plays in that city? Has anything ever been done like this before? We are in uncharted waters now, folks.

Also, The Times hasn't dispatched the writers to discover the truth but to write a bunch of special interest and fluff pieces about this year's team. It happens every year. Fans want to be excited and the newspaper wants readers to read about the local team and get excited because they means the fans of the team may buy the newspaper. Fans will eat up any story on their favorite team in Spring Training and sportswriters know this. It's a win-win.

Most of them have left Phoenix singing the praises of the Dodgers as if this team suddenly got good.

"Suddenly got good." I didn't realize there had been regular season games played already and we know which teams were definitely bad.

And believe me, you don't want to hear Dwyre sing.

That would be Bill Dwyre being referred to and the last time he had written about the Dodgers was March 7th. Dwyer has written about the Dodgers three times this year so far. Mostly, he writes for The Times sports section concerning tennis and golf. I feel like this is important to know as Simers starts calling out his colleagues for suckling at the teat of the Dodgers organization. Dwyre writes about one Dodger player and T.J. Simers takes him to task for daring to cover the local professional sports team.

Little known fictional fact: T.J. Simers has standing to mock another man's singing voice because in college his nickname was "Songbird" due to his eerily accurate Eddie Cantor impression.

But digging deeper, beyond the fact the Dodgers were waiting on a rental agency to retrieve or repossess the car, the Dodgers are the same dogs they were a year ago.

It's not like the Dodgers have faced any monetary or ownership issues, so one would have no idea why they chose to essentially keep the same team as the 2011 team that went 82-79. That team missed the Wild Card by 7.5 games and would have missed the second Wild Card (now that there is one) by 6.5 games. My point is the Dodgers weren't great, but also weren't a terrible team. I don't want facts to get in the way of Simers' whining though.

They didn't try to bring back cuddly Jamey Carroll, the team's MVP two years ago while averaging .290 in his stay.

They did lose Jamey Carroll, who is at the ripe age of 38 years old, which is a tragedy of epic proportions (losing Carroll is the tragedy, not Carroll's age). I'm going to go on a limb and suggest even though Carroll played well in his stay with the Dodgers, keeping a 38 year old utility infielder isn't high on the team's priority list on how to build for the future. The Dodgers did keep Matt Kemp, who was runner up to the NL MVP just last year while being an incredibly good hitter and still in his prime. It's good this is on the team's priority list for the future.

Instead they chose to replace him with the Automatic Out.

I didn't know the Dodgers re-signed Juan Pierre.

"Mark Ellis, he's a better offensive player than Jamey," says Don Mattingly, and it's no surprise he knew who I was talking about.

I don't know if Mark Ellis is a better or worse offensive player than Jamey Carroll. They are different offensive players (Ellis has more power, while Carroll tends to get on-base more) and Ellis is four years younger than Carroll. I do know Don Mattingly is probably thrilled T.J. Simers is grilling him about the players the Dodgers front office chose to sign or not sign in the offseason. I am sure Simers sees the signing of Ellis as being Mattingly's fault.

It also isn't a surprise Simers knew who "Jamey" was because Simers covers the Dodgers for a living and Jamey Carroll was the only "Jamey" on the Dodgers team last year. The two players also play the same position (mostly), so I would be concerned if Simers didn't know who "Jamey" was since Mattingly is directly comparing the two players. Basically, it is a safe assumption for Mattingly to make that T.J. Simers knows to whom "Jamey" is referring.

Ellis, the Dodgers' power response to the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols, hit .248 over the last two years.

Yes, but Ellis hit .291/.358/.381 two years ago. That's very similar to what Dodgers MVP Jamey Carroll hit. Or are supposed to go two years back only in order to find evidence that proves T.J. Simers is correct in saying Ellis sucks?

Also, the Angels and Dodgers play in different leagues. The Dodgers play in the National League and the Angels play in the American League. There is really no need for one team to "respond" to the other team's signing on the free agent market since they are not directly competing against each other.

"Mark Ellis is solid," says Mattingly. Yet for some reason, the El Hombre Ellis billboards have yet to appear around town.

I must have missed the Jamey Carroll billboards around town. We are a 1/3 of the way through this column and the only reason the Dodgers suck is because they didn't re-sign a 38 year old utility infielder. This is the only proof we will receive of why the Dodgers will suck. Now T.J. Simers takes on his colleagues at the LA Times for daring to cover the Dodgers and rips his colleagues an asshole for not writing articles about the Dodgers saying they suck while providing very little or no supporting evidence. Also, it appears he asks Don Mattingly hostile and leading questions and seems shocked Mattingly doesn't give him the answer he wants.

Now maybe you have been reading our Dylan Hernandez's love letters from Dodgers camp, Dwyre's slobber about catcher A.J. Ellis or Plaschke throwing his support behind Mattingly.

Is this as opposed to T.J. Simers slobbering over Ben Howland, a true man of distinction when it comes to ruining a historic college basketball program? Or is this like Simers writing repeated love letters to Chris Paul here and here? Perhaps it is similar to Simers throwing his support behind Kenyon Martin?

Regardless, T.J. Simers is an upstanding journalist just doing his job, while all of his colleagues are useless hacks just working as mouthpieces for the Dodgers and daring to write positive Spring Training stories. I hate fluff pieces as much as anyone, but it makes no sense to write an article eviscerating an entire team while giving no supporting evidence as to why the team should be eviscerated.

James Loney hits a home run the other day, but Hernandez fails to tell us whether Loney will hit more home runs this year than he did cars back in November on an L.A. freeway.

Exactly like T.J. Simers says Mark Ellis is a .248 hitter over the last two years, but fails to tell us Ellis will hit better than that this year. I don't get Simers' feeble attempt at making a point.

Dwyre begins his ode to Ellis: "If we search for a silver lining in the aftermath of the Frank McCourt scorched-earth era, we might find A.J. Ellis.''

I'd rather find Ellis playing on scorched earth in Albuquerque.

Why? Why would you rather find Ellis playing on scorched earth in Albuquerque? The title of this article begins "The truth is out there..." so let's hear the truth from T.J. Simers. I want the truth. Simers seems to have such strong opinions on the Dodgers players, yet he resorts to whining and pounding his fist angrily on the table about the ineptness of the Dodgers rather than explain in detail to what few readers he has left exactly what the hell he is talking about.

Lasorda could close his eyes, or fall asleep, and finish better than third place and 111/2 games out in one of the league's weakest divisions.

Considering Tommy Lasorda is 84 years old there is a good chance he would close his eyes AND fall asleep during games if given the chance to manage the Dodgers again. I like Tommy Lasorda too, but he shouldn't be managing at this point.

I find it interesting T.J. Simers spends the first half of this shit-ridden column complaining the Dodgers players aren't very good, then complains that Tommy Lasorda could do better than Don Mattingly. So is the Dodgers perceived ineptness the fault of Mattingly or shitty players? It's hard to tell because Simers' ramblings never actually specify the problem, other than saying EVERYONE is the problem and the only solution is to re-sign Jamey Carroll and hire Tommy Lasorda as manager.

And that's with Mattingly having a Cy Young Award winner and MVP runner-up on his side.

I love how Simers makes this fictional comparison and wants his readers to believe it is based on fact. Simers states exactly what Tommy Lasorda could hypothetically do with this team as final proof Don Mattingly sucks as a manager. Thems are facts Simers is stating! Thems is facts coming straight from the brain of Simers, a vast empty area which only houses enough complete thoughts to hate Marcus Thames and feel complete anger in the direction of nearly everyone he encounters.

But then everyone agrees Mattingly is a nice guy, Plaschke writing the same about Mike Brown to start the season. Here's hoping they both don't finish last now.

I'm not a Plaschke fan, but criticizing your LA Times colleagues in print shows a certain lack of class. Of course, T.J. Simers has never had class. We all saw that last year when he waged a one-man war on Marcus Thames.

In reading about the Dodgers before arriving, I see that Todd Coffey is comfortable being fat.

Only a person who keeps himself in peak physical shape like T.J. Simers can call someone else fat. Here is another picture of this Olympic (sized) (non) athlete. In that picture Simers appears to be irritated because the gentleman beside him ate the last donut. Glass houses. Stones. There's a saying that goes along with these phrases. Maybe T.J. Simers should gain more familiarity with this saying.

That worked so well for Jonathan Broxton.

It did work so well for Jonathan Broxton until he got a non-fatness related injury elbow injury during 2011.

But apparently Coffey is different because he likes to run from the bullpen to the mound.

As opposed to T.J. Simers, who only runs when someone he has criticized in print shows up to kick his ass.

On a bright note, with Aaron Harang, Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano in the pitching rotation, Coffey might get the chance to run himself into shape.

Again, this sentence consists of cheap shots and cited support of why these three pitchers suck so badly.

There doesn't seem much to write about around here, which explains why Hernandez concentrates on Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. He wrote 25 inches on Kemp switching to Manny Ramirez's locker.

But don't you get the irony of writing an entire column about the inane and useless items other LA Times writers are producing about the Dodgers?

One writer searching for something of note confronted Mattingly with the disturbing news Monday morning that he had heard Coffey had pitched in a secret simulated game a day earlier.

Why anyone other than Coffey's immediate family would care when the guy pitches is beyond me.

Good point. Because everyone cares about T.J. Simers' article on Garry Marshall and how he helps youth baseball. Keeping up with what Garry Marshall is doing is riveting stuff.

A year ago, Mattingly was telling these same guys how much he just loved the weapons he had to platoon in left field. Everyone believed him.

Except for T.J. Simers. He always believed that Marcus Thames was a piece of shit.

Now Mattingly says, "I had to love it," essentially admitting he lied while talking about Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames, who disappeared.

Mattingly could also essentially be admitting he had to love it because the Dodgers financial constraints presented no other options. So Mattingly could have loved it out of necessity and wasn't lying. Thames didn't disappear, he was released, probably much to T.J. Simers joy.

But is there any reason for Dodgers fans to be excited about this year's team knowing it's essentially last year's team, which wasn't very good?

The team was over .500 last year, which is better than 17 other teams could say last year. So the Dodgers were an above average baseball team. Also, I am 100% sure T.J. Simers asked the question this way and will be pissed off when he doesn't get a sufficient answer.

"This team played the game right last year," Mattingly says. "This team was a good club."

I wonder whether he's saying the team played the game right last year, because that speaks well about the guy preparing them to play.

Yes. Don Mattingly is taking this opportunity to talk about what a great manager he is and he isn't at all trying to avoid your idiotic question by giving a canned, boring response.

I know this, the Dodgers were not a good team. They were terrible.

The Dodgers won 82 games last year. That isn't terrible. Simers' writing on the other hand? His writing is terrible.

The new owner might be stuck with these guys this season, but do you think he's going to make his mark in L.A. going with Ellis & Ellis?

Well no. I'm not sure anyone is arguing Mark and A.J. Ellis are building blocks for the future. LA Times beat writers are simply writing stories about these two players because they play for the Dodgers and the beat writers have been tasked to write about the Dodgers during Spring Training.

If the new guy doesn't do better than that, those Frank McCourt parking lots are just going to sit empty.

Not that I'm complaining.

Of course. Why complain about empty parking lots when you can complain about the Dodgers without giving any context, complain about the articles your colleagues write about the Dodgers despite the fact you write the same drivel they do, and be overly hostile to nearly every single person you encounter?


rich said...

singing the praises of the Dodgers as if this team suddenly got good.

On top of the "it's spring training" argument you made:

Suddenly got good? They made back to back NLCS appearances in 2008 and 2009. Sure they were slightly below .500 in 2010 and slightly above in 2011, but "suddenly got good"?

This has a lot of the same core players as the 2008/2009 teams, so would it really be surprising if the Dodgers are actually not terrible?

Ellis, the Dodgers' power response to the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols,

No, resigning Kemp to a long term deal would be the closest thing to the Albert Pujols signing and that happened before the Pujols deal.

The Dodgers didn't need to get a Pujols type player (or Fielder) because they already have Kemp.

I know TJ Simmers is awful, but the fact that anyone tried to say that Mark Ellis (a utility type player) is a response to another team signing Pujols... I mean... that's just baffling.

We all saw that last year when he waged a one-man war on Marcus Thames.

But boy golly gee was it hilarious.

As much as I hate to say this, I think Simers is a reminder of the "new" journalism where you're paid not to write insightful things, but to piss people off.

It's sad that this business model exists, but I've encountered it in many places, and it's "don't care how you get them here, just get them here."

You look at movies, video games and music and companies will flat out lie to you just to get your money. For a lot of companies (investment banks being at the forefront), it's no longer about having a viable, worthwhile product. It's about having a product that people will buy.

Think about the iPhone. The first iPhone was great, but they admitted to withholding features so they could come out with a new phone later. That's fucked up.

Continuing this rant (thank you for indulging me), EA has absolutely killed sports games. Madden, NCAA football, NHL12 were all fucking buggy or broken. NHL12 is actually a great game... that crashes every 25 minutes or so. No shit.

It's no longer "we have a great product, please buy it," it's "here's out product, fuck you."

So basically Simers is an asshole, but he's an asshole who gets pageviews. Not pageviews from people dying to read his articles, but pageviews from people who need to see this abortion of work.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I enjoyed your rant. I may do an MLB Preview, but most things I have read have been complimentary to Don Mattingly and the Dodgers on how the situation around the team has been handled on the field. It wouldn't shock me if they got a WC berth this year. I don't think they will, but they could easily be the 2nd best team in the NL West. You are right, they suddenly didn't get good.

It is interesting that Simers is older but is representative of this new journalism. I'm afraid I see it too. It isn't important to be factually correct or have a coherent point of view, but it is important to get a reaction from the audience. Many sportswriters are paid to incite their audience. Sad as it is.

Unfortunately, it is about having a product people will buy. I know Apple held out some features, but the iPhone4 is a pretty good phone. I don't have one, because I like to interact with the world and don't want to bury my nose in a damn phone all day, but my wife has one. It's pretty neat. It's a good product...but they did hold out some features and smart consumers don't buy the iPad, but buy the later line of iPads that have been improved once the company knows there is a market for the product.

It's sad Simers gets pageviews from people there to hate him. It's like a South Park episode, "You're Getting Old," that aired last year where the boys went to see a movie and there were a bunch of trailers for Adam Sandler movies where the voiceover says "This summer Adam Sandler shits in your eyes, ears and mouth," says the name of the movie and ends with "Fuck you."

It is the second video down called "Rated Argh for Pirates." Pretty much what you are talking about. It's a crap product, they know it, but they want you to see it and that's all they care about.

That's a T.J. Simers column.

Bengoodfella said...

I'm still not over the Marcus Thames thing. That was so egregious. If a blogger did that, he would come under heavy fire from the media. He essentially accosted Thames and wanted Thames to explain why he sucks so bad.

Murray said...

Lasorta is not without flaws. Remember he never felt Pedro could be a big league starter

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, Lasorda is without flaws! Haven't you heard? Lasorda was a good manager, but I really like Simers is blind to the fact Mattingly is growing into the job and didn't do a bad job of holding the team together last year.

Justin Zeth said...

Did you ever notice what a large following of True Believers that Tommy Lasorda has? He is God to these people. Why? He was a pretty good manager that won a couple titles and also was a proto-Dusty that wrecked the promising careers of Orel Hershiser (who, God knows why, is himself a Tommy True Believer) and Ramon Martinez, among others.

Even in the category of "famously foul-mouthed prominent baseball managers" Earl Weaver has it all over Lasorda. I don't understand the hero worship Lasorda gets, as though he embodies everything that was ever good and pure about baseball.

Bengoodfella said...

Justin, I think Tommy Lasorda is a nice guy and fun to watch fall backwards as he gets hit by a bat. I also have noticed a few True Believers (as you call them) really like him. I think what is loved about him is his personality, he won two World Series as a manager, and the fact he fits what many older writers like in a manager.

There are a lot of Lasorda fans out there.