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T.J. Simers’ interview with the Dodgers owners went about as well as expected

May 15, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

New Los Angeles Dodgers owners Patton, Jr., Kasten,Walter, Johnson, Guber and Boehly pose after a news conference to announce the new ownership of the Major League Baseball team at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

Yesterday I slammed T.J. Simers for apparently prejudging the Dodgers owners in advance of his conference call with them yesterday morning. He seemed to be doing his Simers thing: looking to pick a fight and put his subject on the defensive, then turn around and say “god, what a bunch of clowns” rather than actually try to learn anything from his subject. Which is what he always does, of course.

And based on the column describing the call, that’s exactly what he did.  Focusing on petty things like the fact that Magic Johnson sat next to Frank McCourt at a game last month, which Simers has been harping on ever since. I guess Johnson could have punched out McCourt — woulda made Simers happy — but it may have presented some problems getting the deal closed.

But beyond a couple of those sorts of things, to the extent this went poorly for the Dodgers owners, it wasn’t all on Simers. It sounded like Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten didn’t exactly do their best to come off well:

I asked Magic about the owners’ introductory news conference. It appeared he had misled folks or was not aware of the parking-lot lease that will benefit McCourt.

Magic told the media McCourt wasn’t going to get a dime.

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Magic said.

“I was expecting an apology,” I said.

“About what?”

“About misleading people in thinking Frank won’t get a dime.” I read to him what he had said at the news conference.

“I already told the truth; we’ll move on to the next question,” he said.

As I noted last week, it does appear that Johnson was either misleading or was simply uninformed when he said what he said. And being snippy about it later, even if taunted into being so by Simers, is not the best stance to take. There were several other testy exchanges in which the owners didn’t come off particularly well.

T.J. Simers is likely not an easy person to deal with, but most players don’t take his bait and get into it with him like this. They usually smile and deflect him, probably having been given a briefing about his schtick during spring training.  One would think that the team’s owners would have someone brief them on him too.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - May 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    My guess is a guy like Magic Johnson probably isn’t all that worried about his image in LA being tarnished by a guy like T.J. Simers.

    • natstowngreg - May 15, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Also guessing that this isn’t the first time Simers has interviewed Magic.

    • lanflfan - May 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      I imagine Magic’s opinion of pond scum is more positive than his opinion of TJ Simers.

  2. andreweac - May 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    McCourt gets $14 million from the Dodgers for use of the parking lots. The money can be paid from ticket sales, so technically he isn’t getting parking revenue. Technically.

    This quickly could turn into a PR disaster for new ownership if they claim they’re being transparent yet when challenged resort to technicalities. Fans don’t care about technicalities. Fans want a good product on the field and to like/respect ownership. The new ownership group’s unforced errors (these aren’t trivial matters) make the 2nd part harder to accomplish.

    • andreweac - May 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      $14 million annually.

  3. jimbo1949 - May 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    “guess Johnson could have punched out McCourt”
    .
    or Simers?

    • mcsnide - May 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Hard to do by phone…

    • lanflfan - May 15, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      I’d pay to see both those events.

  4. js20011041 - May 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Why do the Dodgers even let that clown in the clubhouse? What they should do is tell the LA Times that as long as Simers is covering the Dodgers as a beat writer for them, the LA Times gets no access to the team. Simers works for a dying industry and the newspaper needs the Dodgers a lot more than they need the newspaper.

  5. The Common Man - May 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I wish TJ Simers was in charge of the Dodgers. That might make TJ Simers happy. It’d probably make the rest of the world miserable, however.

  6. dsmaxsucks - May 15, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I expect TJ Simers to apologize to me for presuming I had delegated the apology I am entitled to (as a person) from Magic Johnson. In no way did I authorize him to represent me, and I will demand my apology in my own way and own time, and through a more reputable representative than TJ Simers. Now, what is it he owes me an apology for again? A fact error. Oh yeah, I’ll let TJ handle that for me.

  7. stampofdisapproval - May 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    TJ Simers is no Oscar Madison.

    He’s not even Felix Unger.

    • natstowngreg - May 15, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Thumbs up for Odd Couple reference. Even if Oscar did cover the Mets.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - May 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        A triple play!!

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