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T.J. Simers’ annual cheap shot column

Mar 20, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

Simers

It was a year ago tomorrow that L.A. Times’ columnist T.J. Simers filed what was one of the worst, low-rent columns I’ve seen in a while. Ripping Marcus Thames for being exactly what he is: a platoon/bench outfielder who is not an All-Star.

It wasn’t some meta thing. He wasn’t making a larger point. He simply confronted Thames in the clubhouse and asked him where he got off not being Ryan Braun. Oh, and when Thames refused to take his bait and snap back at him, Simers ripped him for “being unable to talk about his shortcomings.”  It was quite impressive, I tell you.

Well, apparently this is an annual thing for Simers, as today he has another installment of  his “I show up, rip everyone in sight in the laziest way possible, put people on the spot with my hostile questions and offer no baseball insight whatsoever” column.

He’d like to tell you that the Dodgers are terrible. He provides no context for this. No discussion of where the Dodgers stand on the success cycle, what their actual strengths and weaknesses are or anything like that. He just says they suck and that Tommy Lasorda could do better. Oh, I take it back, he did offer one bit of “analysis”: Jamey Carroll was the team’s MVP in 2010, so why isn’t he back?

He then goes on to rip his own L.A. Times colleagues — by name — for, you know, reporting on the Dodgers. Because that’s not worth anyone’s time, see, so aren’t they a bunch of idiots. I’ll agree with the broader point: the Times is wasting their time and money on one of their writers. But here’s a hint: It’s not Dylan Hernandez, Kevin Baxter or Bill Shaikin.

Anyway, just one to bookmark the next time someone goes after the bloggers for wasting any access given them, needlessly ripping people, having no understanding of the game and lowering the level of the discourse.

  1. larryboodry - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Living in Illinois, I’ve never read this guy’s columns…He sounds like an idjit.

    • paperlions - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Dang, I haven’t heard anyone called an “idjit” in a long long time (grew up in Illinois across the river from StL)…and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word written. Good stuff.

      • freddieoh - Mar 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Simers is a legitimate satirist in today’s day and age. I think it’s hilarious that he goes to Spring Training and refuses to be spoon-fed the drivel that other local writers pass off as “news.” This column is simply his answer to the annual “it’s a great new season and we’re all tied for first place now” piece. He’ll give credit where credit is due, but only if and when it is due. Simers is certainly no Calcaterra (or even OldGator) when it comes to excellence in writing, but he’s got his niche and is pretty damn funny, all things considered. Yes his bit on Thames last year was rotten, but he did issue a mea culpa of sorts not too long after – his “point” there was to point out to his readership when he encounters an athlete who is rude and arrogant (no shortage of those in LA or any other city for that matter), and he misread Thames as he later admitted. Look for him to mention the positive sides of both Ellis & Ellis in later columns. Anyway, let loose with your downthumbs now…

      • protius - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        …—… …—…

  2. larryboodry - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    He’s like Jay Mariotti, except without the sense of humor.

    • historicfacepalm - Mar 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Mariotti had a sense of humor?

  3. cup0pizza - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Simers is a better writer than you.

    • paperlions - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      It doesn’t matter how well someone writes (and I’m not saying Simers writes well, most newspaper columnists do not) if they have nothing to say worth reading.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Yeah no considering Simers studying at the Bill Plaschke 1-2 Sentences per Paragraph School of Writing that seems so prevalent now. Craig could write about nothing but lolcats and run circles around Simers.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        I find it completely irresponsible that so many sports writers have taken to getting into pissing battles with each other like Simers did with his collegues and Calcaterra has done with Simers, but both completely ignore a movie like Ed in their columns. It’s a monkey playing baseball for God’s sake!!! A monkey playing baseball!

    • Old Gator - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Cup0pizza has graced us with his absence for quite some time now. It figures that his reappearance would be to rise to the defense of a fellow witless lowlife.

      • bigharold - Mar 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Don’t hold back Gator, .. say what you really think.

      • protius - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        The pot calling the kettle black.

  4. jwbiii - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Dylan Hernandez seems to me to be about as good a beat writer as there is; Bill Shaikin has done a great job of covering the McCourts’ Crash and Burn (Story idea: Go to L.A. Buy Shaikin lots of drinks. Find out what he knows and hasn’t printed about the McCourt debacle. Attribute it to a “knowledgeable source.”). Simers and Bill Plaschke seem to be at their best when they write human interest stories and stay away from sports. These are odd strengths and weaknesses for sports columnists.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    So Craig…you are a big fan of the Guy huh? LOL!

  6. Jonny 5 - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM

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

    I actually love to see the guy pitch. And the way he runs out to the mound is even more entertaining. He’s a pretty good relief pitcher. Simers is just a grouch.

    • jimbo1949 - Mar 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      -gr +d +e

  7. shaggylocks - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Good Lord, I hope this guy doesn’t have a Hall of Fame vote. But who knows, if they give HOF votes to bloggers like Murray Chass, they’ll give ‘em to anybody.

  8. frankvzappa - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Craig Calcaterra’s annual TJ Simers bashing column > TJ Simers’ annual cheap shot column

  9. yahmule - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Simers is a hack, but he’s hardly unique as a media figure. There are countless print journalists and TV talking heads and talk radio hosts whose existence is basically predicated upon stirring people up with inflammatory statements.

    The legendary Jim Murray was famous for penning articles about different cities where he disparaged everything about the place. He did this with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer and most people knew they weren’t intended to be taken seriously. Except for some of the more humorless residents of the locales in question, of course. Safe to say, singular talents like Murray cannot be easily emulated and hacks like Simers couldn’t carry his typewriter. That doesn’t stop editors from greenlighting articles like the ones that are Simers’ specialty. Our culture is much ruder and more in your face than ever before and guys like this are largely a reflection of that society.

    • jwbiii - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      One of Michael Wilbon’s chores early in his career was to carry Shirley Povich’s typewriter. This is the closest that he has ever come to intelligent sports commentary.

      • jwbiii - Mar 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        Shirley Povich was a great sportswriter and two of his three kids turned out ok.

  10. saucepaws - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Wow. I can only imagine what kind of reaction I would get from my employers if I bashed my co-workers for doing their jobs. Simers needs to get off his high horse and stick to what he knows: basketball. Well, actually, he doesn’t seem to understand that game very well either. Maybe he should just start writing the Dancing with the Stars recaps instead.

    Here’s hoping Hernandez, Dwyre and Plaschke stuff him into a garbage can a the Times’ office.

  11. The Science Guy - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Craig- thanks for bringing this guy to our attention. Now I’m a fan of Plaschke, Dwyre and Hernandez. And I don’t even read the L.A. news.

    I’m looking forward to your Simers-bashing article next year.

    • professor59 - Mar 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      I’m looking forward to the lack of necessity for a Simers-bashing article next year.

      Wow, that man writes as if he hates himself and his job. LA Times, put him out of his misery!

    • Cris E - Mar 20, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down there. You may want to do a little sampling of Plaschke before you dive into any fandom. He’s got his quirks as well.

  12. shawndc04 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    As an east coaster I had never heard of this guy. Now I’m sorry that I have.

  13. blabidibla - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    For Simers, this isn’t an annual thing. It’s his entire schtick. Every column is the same. He’s that guy you only invite to a party if you want to create drama. He’s that asshole uncle you have to listen to at every Thanksgiving meal. There isn’t a person in LA I know that reads or likes his stuff.

  14. jimmyp70 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Your headline makes it seem like Simers writes another type of column. Does he?

    I guess if you count “mailing it in by writing garbage” a type of column. He does that, too. Geez, does LA have anyone that can write worth a damn?

    • Kevin S. - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Yeah, the aforementioned Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez. Also Sam Miller, if you’re counting Orange County.

  15. hushbrother - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Jamey Carroll was worth more intangible wins than Kemp or Kershaw

  16. yankeesfanlen - Mar 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    I’m glad the west coast has a Mike Lupica as well

  17. Kyle - Mar 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Jamey Carroll…. Hahahahahah.

  18. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Dude makes Perez Hilton look like Ernest Hemingway. What a dolt.

  19. randygnyc - Mar 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Friedioh, did he attack Thames for being arrogant, or bash him for being mediocre because he thought Thames was arrogant. If it’s the former, he’s at least being honest (even if the opinion was wrong). If it’s the latter, well, then he’s just a douchebag, hack.

  20. cur68 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I remember his drivel from last year about Thames. This is the same crap, reheated and garnished with his colleagues. Its badly thought out, poorly written, and in execrable taste. How’s he have a job after this?

    • protius - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      LMAO

  21. jkaflagg - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Craig who ?

    As T.J. entitles his columns containing his reader’s rants, ” these people live among you”….Of course, the ultimate irony is that all these people who seem to hate Simers apparently still read him….

    If you don’t like it or don’t get it, just don’t read it…it’s that simple. And don’t worry about the bruised feelings of Marcus Thames etc. – remember they make millions for playing a child’s game.

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