• Kudos to Turner and Magic

    By T.J. Simers

    I just loved a story in the LA Times newspaper’s sports section Tuesday morning.

    It wasn’t on the first page of sports because there was no story there, just some artist showing off with fake art.

    Nothing on the second page, and a Dodgers’ farm system story on page 3. I believe it’s the third-straight day of minor league Dodgers’ baseball and one day was too much.

    Who cares who the Dodgers might throw into a trade they are not going to make for Ohtani.

    It wasn’t on page 4 because that was all soccer with Kevin Baxter writing from Auckland, New Zealand about a pink-haired Angel City player who dyed her hair black to play for Japan in the World Cup. He wrote a second story about what I don’t know after reading it, but it was soccer.

    That leaves only page 5 in the 5-page sports section, and there it was, a story I wanted to read: “Johnson stresses weight of new ownership role.”

    I might have used “Magic,” in the headline instead of Johnson, but there I go being picky again.

    I like/love reading about Los Angeles icons. Not all that crazy about Magic, the puffed-up team owner, but kudos to the Times’ Broderick Turner (a.k.a. Brad) for tracking Magic down on his yacht in Europe for an update.

    Turner is the voice of authority when it comes to the NBA for the Times. He did a Q&A with Magic, and while Turner had to do a certain amount of sucking up because otherwise he would lose Magic’s cell access, he asked about Magic’s ownership in the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS and WNBA.

    I’m a horse owner, 1% in Kiddy Up, and I’m not sure beyond the fact it’s just one horse and loose change, that is much different than owning a piece of the Commanders, Lakers, Dodgers, Sparks and the LAFC.

    But again, whatever my questions and doubts for Magic and his input in ownership, they are irrelevant. What matters here is Brad Turner giving newspaper readers something to read.

    Why the Times buried it inside shows more of a disregard for its readers than Magic.

    I used to interview Lasorda, Scully and Wooden every chance I had because they were LA icons. They might say something really interesting and maybe not, but it was Lasorda, Scully and Wooden.

    This is Magic. A breath of fresh (hot) air after all the soccer, minor league baseball and boxing we have been force fed in the Times. Finally, a name we know and always want to know more about.

    I was once involved in a newspaper survey, asking readers what they wanted to read. Shocking, I know.

    Columns graded high, but the highest marks went to any story featuring a well-known sports figure. If it was a story about Fouts or Mickelson or Kobe, the readers couldn’t wait to gobble it up although there was no guarantee of anything new.

    People want to know and read more about the people who have brought them so many thrills in their lives.

    The Times has been more focused on the obscure lately, but then comes along Brad Turner with his phone call to Magic and Times’ readers are winners.

    It should have been the page 1 story rather than buried inside. But congratulations to Turner for not letting that deter him from doing such a great job.

  • UCLA reporter doesn’t enjoy being treated like Kelly

    By T.J. Simers

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn one of my six or seven blog readers is LA Times UCLA beat reporter Ben Bolch.

    I’ve been blogging, and I find it ridiculous to say I’m doing something so trite, but I still believe in journalism and do not favor the kind of journalism I have been reading on occasion in the LA Times.

    I have no idea if Chip Kelly deserves to keep his job as UCLA football coach, but I thought Bolch’s daily reporting was sorely one-sided and anti-Kelly. And Bolch is a reporter; not a columnist like Plaschke who is allowed by his job description to be opinionated and wrong. Plaschke is very good at that.

    But as a beat man, Bolch has to be more under control, and with newspapers folding at an alarming rate that is no excuse to not do the job properly.

    I mentioned that in a series of blogs just like Bolch was doing in a series of stories putting Kelly under the gun most every time he wrote.

    USC fans probably loved Bolch’s reporting, and the LA Times does like to keep USC fans happy, but someday he might be assigned to cover Lincoln Riley.

    Apparently Bolch didn’t take kindly to my repetitive criticism and fired back with a nasty tweet. I wonder if Kelly ever fired back at Bolch.

    Bolch tweeted to say I wasn’t accurate in writing that Plaschke and Bolch had urged the dismissal of Kelly and the Times had done nothing wrong. Then, he added this: “As far as I’m concerned, the Times only failure was not instructing its lawyers to talk to me before your B.S. lawsuit.’’

    I don’t recall Bolch being in the courtroom any time in the past decade while I litigated a lawsuit against the Times and for some reason the Times never called Bolch to testify. He sounds like he thinks he could have helped the Times’ case.

    The Times probably does wish they had talked to somebody who could save them from spending millions in a court verdict and court costs, but Bolch’s name never came up.

    As for the B.S. lawsuit, and I hope Ben never has to fight for his job, three different juries concluded we had good reason to bring it to their attention. I admit 3-0 in Los Angeles Superior Court and 1-2 with judges doesn’t sound like much without living it, but then I don’t recommend living it.

    But as someone who once attracted a fair share of hate mail, I don’t recommend striking back with such personal venom. There I go again trying to help a journalist, but after all these people do live among you.

  • By T.J. Simers

    I got on Facebook a few months ago because Elon Musk screwed up Twitter and I wanted to write a blog that might be read more than anything Tyler R. Tynes wrote for the LA Times.

    So, I’m still learning some of the nuances associated with Facebook, a little surprised, though, when I got a friends request from Tommy Lasorda Monday.

    I just figured he was thinking about turkey and Thanksgiving Day, but there were no cuss words mentioned so I wasn’t sure it was from Tommy,

    And besides, I thought he would be busy explaining to Rosalynn Carter why he had Tom Niedenfuer pitch to Jack Clark, while showing her around the place.

    I know everyone wasn’t a fan of Lasorda, friend Frank Pace coming to mind and it’s a shame how good people can be so wrong.

    But I found him to be one of the very few memorable people—Pace, too—you’re fortunate to meet in life and consider them a friend.

    And I know this, if anyone could wrangle a three-day pass out of the Big Guy it would be Tommy, but when I pressed the button to accept his Facebook friends’ request all I got was a wave. That’s so unTommy-like.

    I miss Tommy and our breakfasts at Mini Gourmet in Yorba Linda because they were usually free. I still recall going to Las Vegas on Tommy’s request to hear him speak to some large group. What a showman; he was waving the American Flag and had those people so inspired they didn’t mind losing a gambling hour of their day.

    I also listened to Lasorda speak to the grade school kids at St. Francis of Assisi in Yorba Linda. He was used to dealing with professional athletes so it wasn’t that much of a stretch, but they were mesmerized.

    I was hoping one of the little darlings would ask him what he thought of Kingman’s performance, but no such luck.

    I’m not really a big fan of people dying so I think it’s kind of cool that I could still be Facebook friends with Lasorda just like I am with Taylor Swift.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if someone could figure out how we could be Facebook friends with all those people floating around up there. I’d like to catch up with Scully and my mom.

    If they would have to charge more for Facebook, like premium TV channels, I’d pay it.

    I’d like to know Lasorda has said anything to Bobby Knight since he arrived, and you will notice how optimistic I am, suggesting no one is heading south for an angry life lived.

    Netflix is good at this kind of stuff. We had Wooden & Scully on stage together; why not direct from up there, Lasorda & Knight. I’m not ready yet to be the emcee, but thanks for the suggestion as I’m sure someone will make, but we’ve lost so much.

    I don’t know what prompted me, but I just did an Internet search on R.D. Hubbard only to learn he was dead. More than three years ago. Inexcusable. He was going to put the Raiders in a new stadium at Hollywood Park.

    He loved horse racing at a time when the sport was known for more than just dead horses. He was an amazing colorful character, and Lasorda was, too. I’ve made that mistake before, not checking on someone who as so prominent in my life, and learning next they were dead. Chuck Knox comes to mind.

    But it’s nice that they are all in the same place now, although it would be better if we didn’t have to go so far to renew old acquaintances.

    Thanks to the Facebook friends request from Lasorda it was good for a time to harken back to better days and not waste so much time fretting about how Chip Kelly & Lincoln Riley disappointed Plaschke.

    I got a feeling no one up there really cares. I’ll let you know as soon as Lasorda sends me a message.

  • Barbie Would Not Be Pleased

    By T.J. Simers

    I loved Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.

    Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto guided me around the hospital and she inspired so many to donate to the kids’ cancer ward. We never kept track of how much, but it was close to $2 million with Scully & Wooden also raising donations for City of Hope and Children’s Hospital L.A.

    I witnessed miracles, a youngster coming to the hospital, losing part of his leg to bone cancer, and embracing the prosthesis that allowed him a fresh start to life.

    Dr. Sakamoto introduced me to Dr. Noah Federman, the first hero I had ever met and I had spent a lifetime covering sports stars. He’s the annoying guy who was singing in the next hospital room while almost drowning out the sounds of a crying child.

    It wasn’t so much that he had a bad singing voice, and wow he did, but chirping as he was in such a sad place seemed so out of place. That is until he told me, I know most of these children are going to go home happy after they get the care needed.

    Tell me anything you did as noteworthy recently—never mind.

    I loved what Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA did for so many kids, and I can hear Coach Wooden in my ear—“kids are baby goats, call them what they are—children.”

    The LA Times, however, wasn’t so high on Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. Before he was fired, Editor Davan Maharaj told me, “It’s not your job to help the misfortunate.” I thought that would be a great motto for a wannabe community newspaper.

    He forbid me to mention the hospital in my column, so when I wrote a story about a youngster being honored at a UCLA basketball game and meeting his mother who slept at the hospital every night to be close to her child, I couldn’t be specific.

    I still wrote the story, the who and the what but not the where.

    When Maharaj took away my column, he said he saw a video of me wearing a Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA baseball cap and suggested that was my way of giving him the finger. I had never thought of that, but it works for me now.

    So, I have some history with Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, which drew me to a Times’ headline this week: “Mattel stiffed UCLA on $49-million children’s hospital donation, lawsuit claims.”

    The guy who said it wasn’t my job to help the misfortunate had asked me earlier what was I going to do if Mattel or the hospital were ever involved in a scandal?

    I’d like to think the newspaper would treat Mattel’s just like it did the editor when he took $2.5 million to remain silent after recording anti-Semitic comments allegedly made by the company’s largest shareholder. Publicize it.

    How would you like to sit on that jury for Mattel vs children’s hospital?

    Instead of Mattel, maybe the place should be named Federman Children’s Hospital at UCLA to make good on any promises not kept. He’s worth more than $49 million, but I’d still hold out for the dough.

    I know this, when I see the name Mattel from now on, I will only think of a “reneged donation.” A win in court isn’t going to change that. Better that they honor their commitment, regain respectability and give the doctors the publicity.

    As it is, I’m doing everything I can not to go see Barbie.

  • Who is the SOB who has Lasorda No.8?

    By T.J. Simers

    So I am going to tell you the LA Times’ top sports story Wednesday morning was a trite, silly waste of space— Dodgers’ question: Who is the greatest Dodger of all time?

    Radio talk shows do this kind of stuff all the time to kill time. You’ve listened to Fred Roggin, haven’t you?

    Newspapers do this when the columnists don’t write, andthat happens a lot these days with the LA Times. Or, they have nothing else to put in the newspaper other than a puff piece on Lincoln Riley, telling us he was a crummy coach 11 years ago, but he pulled himself out of a hole so surely he will do it again.

    Even the Times’ editors didn’t think the puff piece was worthy of showcase viewership, going to the exacto knives again to show us the Dodger possibilities in front-page cutouts.

    It’s stupid, lazy and not worthy of a mention, if it hadn’t ticked me off so much.

    Why would I even consider acknowledging it?

    Well, Sandy Koufax comes out No. 1 and how many great years did he have? Where’s the longevity for achieving greatness?

    Jackie Robinson finishes No. 2 in the BS poll, and I don’t know about him being the best Dodger of all time, but he certainly deserves No. 1 pioneer plaudits.

    Lik you I’m surprised I read this far, a tribute to the Times’ troll Houston Mitchell for hooking me in the first place to this kind of brain-numbing, meaningless story that I detest.

    But No. 3 is Vin Scully, and I had both Koufax and Scully on the Nokia Theatre stage for charity and the editor of the Times told me it wasn’t my job to help the misfortunate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his name on a list of greatness.

    Scully loved helping the misfortunate, considering me misfortunate to be working with John Wood and Scully without having any idea what I was doing as an emcee.

    I’d put Scully No. 1 on that list form bringing the Dodgers into the homes of so many for so many years. But he didn’t play the game, so I could be argued put of it and slap me for even suggesting I would argue about something the troll wrote.

    No. 4 on the ridiculous list is Clayton Kershaw and did people misunderstand the question to read? Who was the Dodgers’ biggest disappointment?

    I really liked Kershaw as a young Dodger pitcher, admired the way he conducted himself but cringed whenever he took the mound in the post-season. I was like a fan secretly rooting for him, but he stunk and he’s listed as the best Dodger overall at No. 4. Says a lot about the disappointing Dodgers.

    No. 5 is Duke Snider, and I have a pretty simple rule: I don’t honor athletes I never saw play.

    Jackie Robinson falls in that category but baseball reminds us every year what he contributed to the game with players wearing his number. No idea what Duke’s number was.

    No. 6 is Don Drysdale, the third pitcher to get a mention and I thought those stupid car commercials Orel Hershiser has been doing would hurt his Dodger legacy. Don’t know why Fernando is getting overlooked, and I can hear Roggin making a big deal out of that whether he thought it was an issue or not.

    No. 7, and this list is so bogus because I’ve bought into it enough to get this far is Roy Campanella who follows under my Duke Snider rule. Never saw him play.


    Are you kidding me, No. 8?

    Like Scully, Lasorda spent a life time pumping up the Dodgers, every bit of his energy dedicated to eating and dripping Dodger blue. I spent a lot of time around him after he had finished managing and I saw the look on the faces of those who met him. He poised for pictures, and more pictures, slapped the men on the back, hugged the women and talked to the little ones.

    I witnessed him speaking to kindergartners, and he had their attention, while never once swearing.

    The Dodgers under owner Bob Daly tried to shove Lasorda into the background, sending him repeatedly to Japan for goodwill trips. Loyal but sad to know he wasn’t wanted, he kept pushing the Dodger brand.

    Everything he did was to show his affection for Dodger Blue, his detractors contending it was all a play for attention, but go soak your head. He was a Dodgers’ constant, a Hall of Fame manager who just wanted to hang around with the team long after it forced him from the game with heart trouble.

    I once told him he was full of it for suggesting he could take a bunch of college players to the Olympics and win a Gold Medal. When his team won the Gold I told him I was still half right; he’s full of it.

    But everyone knew that, his good cheer and dribble making Dodger fans feel good about their team for more than seven decades.

    He suffered the gut-wrenching death of his son, denying his son was gay, columnist Bill Plaschke, the muckraker, on Wikipedia suggesting Lasorda was lying. Who cares if his son was gay or old-school Lasorda was in denial?

    “Whenever my wife mentions our son, I cry,” Lasorda told me at a breakfast in Yorba Linda. “I’ve cried a lot.”

    That speaks to his private space, but some sportswriters thought he had to come clean about his son.

    And he did, talking about his death-bed farewell to his son.

    “He kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, Daddy, that I had to get sick,’ and I remember telling him, “Son, I thank God you were alive all these years.’ And then he was gone.”

    Yeah, but did he have AIDS, the muckrakers wanted to know, and go soak your head.

    Hook him up to a lie detector and maybe that machine blows up, but how many Dodger fans walked away with the highlight of their lives because Lasorda wanted to spend time with them?

    He certainly wasn’t perfect, gawd dammit, as he would tell you, but I would tell you he was the greatest Dodger of all time.

    Who cares who was No.9 or No. 10? Email the Times’ troll.

  • Hang him. Right now!

    By T.J. Simers

    I’ve been there, slinging questions at a coach who is under pressure to keep his job. I didn’t always show a lot of empathy, demanding answers to questions that could not be answered.

    Maybe I felt empowered because I felt as if I was speaking on behalf of an unhappy fan base, or maybe I was just empowered to go for the jugular of a coach who had been arrogant and condescending, knowing now he could not do that.

    If I was still on the job maybe I would be doing that now, riding Chip Kelly unmercifully as Times’ beat reporter Ben Bolch did in the newspaper Tuesday morning.

    I didn’t cover UCLA with Kelly on the job, but reading the LA Times and the coverage offered by Ben Bolch, it read like Kelly was arrogant, distant and not a very pleasant guy to spend time around as a journalist.

    Now it reads like a reporter gleefully leading a coach to the gallows, and that’s a black mark on journalism. I know Ben, and he’s always been a black and white reporter, eliminating the gray area to leave no doubt on what he is writing.

    I’ve watched him ask questions and have watched him work himself into one of the best beat reporters at the LA Times. He didn’t have the gift of gab when I worked the same stories with him, but he would dig deep to try and get the best story for the newspaper.

    Some folks, and mostly other journalists, are going to say it’s not right to criticize another reporter. Journalists say that all the time because they don’t want to be criticized. But why should they be immune from the same treatment they give to the people they are covering?

    I don’t know Kelly. Never covered him except from a USC or UCLA perspective when he was coaching at Oregon. The facts suggest his UCLA record is disappointing, but I know he just played a game with his third- and fourth-string quarterbacks and lost, prompting a sudden emphatic firestorm to get rid of him.

    Plaschke the columnist can offer his Chip must go commentary and isn’t Brandon Staley happy UCLA lost or it would have been a Brandon Staley must go column.

    I wasn’t fired, but I was pushed out and I don’t care how arrogant or condescending one might be, it hurts. Millions of dollars in a payoff might cushion the fall, but a man doesn’t work as many hours in building such a skill level as Kelly with it not hurting.

    Kevin Malone, the former Dodgers general manager, lost the job he loved. I helped make that happen by relentlessly asking the question why the Dodgers were so bad and documenting his often-silly answers and the mistakes made.

    I was right, but wrong in my zeal to prove I was right at Malone’s expense. He’s doing wonderful things in life now, but I see the lack of empathy in Ben Bolch’s writing that i now see upon reflection in my own.

    The same with Plaschke, who loves to write about the ailing, but doesn’t mind savaging those he thinks should be fired. If someone observed Plaschke’s mistakes this past year would it be surprising if they called for his firing?

    I know it’s just sports and calling for someone’s head is good sport for the talking heads on TV and an easy column to write for some.

    But I expect more from Ben Bolch and other beat reporters who shape the news. Bolch began his story likening Kelly’s situation to that of Jim Mora who was fired four days after sounding like Kelly.

    Bolch is ratchetting up the expectations and pressure on Kelly to be fired because Plaschke’s column gave him the right to make a story out of the Kelly must go chatter.

    Fans are quick to scream for a fresh start. It’s already started at USC with Lincoln Riley who was being touted as one of the best college coaches in the land after last season. How successful would he have been playing USC’s third- and fourth-string quarterbacks?

    He had the Heisman winner, and Plaschke was handing another Heisman to Williams a few weeks ago.

    Journalists have become extremists because their stories are now measured in Internet hits. Too few hits, and Tyler R. Tynes might want to think about writing fewer boxing stories, and there might be questions about someone’s productivity.

    More readers will read about UCLA football is there is a coaching change. It’s exciting, the different names to ponder and all that.

    Ben Bolch tells us a 33-33 record is “far worse” than a 46-30 record to hammer home the point Kelly should go. He asks Kelly if he heard the boos in the Rose Bowl last week, and I didn’t see the game, but I’d probably be booing an offense that can’t score with a third or fourth string quarterback as well.

    “Did Kelly fear,”’ Ben Bolch asks, fear being the operative word that he might be coaching his last game this coming Saturday? The classic, “do you beat your wife?” question.

    Ben Bolch tells us “Preparation was not among the Bruins’ strengths last weekend during a 17-7 loss,” and how prepared could someone make a third- and fourth-string quarterbacks? Add up the hits.

    The Bruins were upset by an inferior team if the Bruins were playing at full strength. They lost, it happens every week in sports, and now Ben Bolch makes the point “Kelly was unwilling to reflect” on his record, which gives reporters a right to hint at his ouster.

    Kelly said his job is to prepare UCLA for USC, but as Ben Bolch wrote, “A reporter’s final attempt to get Kelly to assess his performance,” failed.

    Been there and done that, and I was wrong.

  • Patrick, time to sell LA Times

    By T.J. Simers

    I gave up a few months ago on the Los Angeles Times and Patrick Soon-Shiong’s clueless ownership of the newspaper.

    I was apparently not alone.

    If you Google the LA Times’ circulation numbers, it had a circulation of 1.3 million on weekdays a couple years back and 2.5 million on Sundays.

    Well, it did but now according to Statista, as of March 2023, the Times had a daily circulation 118,760.

    And that was before the sports section eliminated box scores and stopped covering the Dodgers and Lakers if their games started after 3 p.m.

    Since then, has the Los Angeles Times’ circulation dropped below 100,000? Shouldn’t that be reported as a crime?

    Crime? Did someone mention the Times’ sports culture critic Tyler R. Tynes? In Tynes first 12 months on the job, he wrote nine stories, two of them about Philadelphia because that’s where he grew up, three forgettable boxing features and stories on Brittney Griner, who he didn’t interview and Deion Sanders, who he did not interview.

    All together he wrote nine uninteresting stories and Times’ circulation is dwindling.

    His first story in his second year on the job arrived this weekend, a boxing Q&A snoozer that reads like a free ad for something called DAZN, a streaming boxing service. The story is based on the premise boxing is dying but this DAZN CEO says his company can change all that. Of course, it can. You expect the CEO to say he can’t.

    I just wonder if Tynes has accepted a PR job with DAZN to work in all the free time he has not writing for the LA Times?

    Or is it free advertising like the PR release just written by Times’ reporter Sarah Valenzuela on a film about Shohei Ohtani to be shown exclusively on ESPN+?

    Looks like Times’ reporters are being used by outside PR efforts like the ones that led to Awash Markazi’s dismissal.

    The Times’ sports editor Iliana Romero has put together a sub-standard staff, including Tynes and Valenzula.

    It helps explain the once great LA Times dramatic demise and owner Patrick Soon-Shiong’s lack of interest.

    The Times has also fallen far short of Soon-Shiong’s stated goal of one million digital subscribers by the end of 2022. It’s been reported the Times had 550,000 digital subscribers before falling to 450,00.

    The New York Times has 8.6 million.

    Editor Kevin Merida, who hired Tynes, and Sports Editor Iliana Romero have reduced the sports section to an outdated magazine and cut short deadlines even though there was no reason to do so because they know the newspaper is in a death spiral.

    Doesn’t Patrick Soon-Shiong have to sell the newspaper to get out of this money pit and preserve his own public face? The newspaper lacks a union contract and an internal battle for a new one is just another Soon-Shiong headache.

    Under his leadership, and I’m hearing his own daughter no longer works for the newspaper, the Times has turned to crap.

    The big picture taking up the whole first page of sports many mornings often looks like it has been prepared by eighth graders who have been given exacto knives to work on their yearbook.

    Given Romero’s track record to date and inability to offer quality journalism—just try reading the work of the Angels’ beat reporter she hired—shouldn’t sports columnist Bill Plaschke be calling for her firing? He’s fired everyone else in town.

  • Too many typos in first blog…republishing

    By T.J. Simers

    I have written a book, which wouldn’t have been exciting news to the editors of the Los Angeles Times, but the two of them have already been fired.

    I have written about Kobe, Wooden, Scully, Lasorda and assorted bums. I might have to update it already to include Lincoln Riley.

    “T. J. Here,” which is the way I always answered the phone, so folks knew who they were cussing out, hasn’t been published yet.

    I had a book agent in New York, but he couldn’t find any publisher who had heard of me. Too bad they don’t have publishers in Memphis.

    I’ve talked to a local talent agency, but they seem to require talent.

    They tell me books written by sportswriters don’t sell; most sportswriters I know are boring so it figures what they would write would be boring as well.

    I knew Casey Wasserman as a young man. Now he’s a media czar but the phone number I had for him must have changed. Or have been disconnected. How did he know I would be asking about publishing?

    It looks like self-publishing is the way to go. I obviously have the ego to qualify for most vanity outfits.

    But I am at a loss to know which one to pick, and it’s important because I will be spending money to be read.

    I remember seeing Sharon Stone on the field at Dodger Stadium. I had no idea what to ask her, but it was the wrong time to be struck dumb. I lost out on Sharon, but I can’t let it happen this time; I need to make a connection.

    I understand I may set the price, and I know what you’re thinking, just because I’ve always felt it was my job to offer my two cents, I’m expecting a little more.

  • Kobe, Wooden and assorted bums

    By T.J. Simers

    I have written a book, which wouldn’t have been exciting news to the editors of the Los Angeles Times, but the two of them have already been fired.

    I have written about Kobe, Wooden, Scully, Lasorda and assorted bums. I might have to update it already to include Lincoln Riley.

    “T. J. Here,” which is the way I always answered the phone, so folks knew who they were cussing out, hasn’t been published yet.

    I had a book agent in New York, but he couldn’t find any publisher who had heard of me. Too bad they don’t have publishers in Memphis.

    I’ve talked to a local talent agency, but they seem to require talent.

    They tell me books written by sportswriters don’t sell; most sportswriters I know are boring so it figures what they would write would be boring as well.

    I knew Casey Wasserman as a young man. Now he’s a media czar but the phone number I had for him must have changed. Or have been disconnected. How did he know I would be asking about publishing?

    It looks like self-publishing is the way to go. I obviously have the ego to qualify for most vanity outfits.

    But I am at a loss to know which one to pick, and it’s important because I will be spending money to be read.

    I remember seeing Sharon Stone on the field at Dodger Stadium. I had no idea what to ask her, but it was the wrong time to be struck dumb. I lost out on Sharon, but I can’t let it happen this time; I need to make a connection.

    I understand I may set the price, and I know what you’re thinking, just because I’ve always felt it was my job to offer my two cents, I’m expecting a little more.

  • Williams proves to be whiny, self-absorbed brat

    By T.J. Simers

    Debbie has proclaimed herself my No. 1 fan, in part because there is no competition.

    She was unhappy because I stopped writing blogs as I finish up a book. I noticed no one else complained other than my No. 1 fan.

    But how could I pass up writing the University of Spoiled Children once again making a mockery of entitlement with Caleb Williams speaking to his lofty standing as a human being because he could play football.

    Williams got his butt kicked at Notre Dame, thousands and thousands of Notre Dame students rushing the field after the game. One of those excited teenagers apparently danced up to Williams with cell phone in hand and ridiculed USC’s carpetbagger quarterback.

    Stunning. Imagine that. Can you believe it. A college student acting like an immature college student after a glorious night sitting in the stands.

    Williams told the media later, “Everyone wants to be in these two 12.5 shoes here.”

    What a whiny insufferable self-absorbed brat.

    He eats nothing but accolades in the LA Times sports section every day, three weeks ago the newspaper’s lead sports columnist suggesting they give Williams the Heisman Trophy right now.

    That was before his three interceptions against Notre Dame.

    He explained to reporters this week he was too busy to listen to a Notre Dame teenager although that’s exactly what he was doing and why it became news.

    ‘”I’ve got a lot of guys over here that I’ve got to lead,” Williams said. “So some opinion of a sheep, lions don’t worry about that.”

    I thought it was the lambs who were led to slaughter in Notre Dame Stadium last week, but I guess he pictures himself a lion and others not worthy to step into his shoes.

    Tough to reside in the real world when USC is giving you a free education and you’re getting paid more than $2 million in NIL money.

    “That’s one game in the past three years that I’ve had a bad game,” Williams said, and I guess going on the defensive is better than asking his teammates to play some. “So, you don’t let that one game bring you down and cause you doubt.”

    No, you just let one excited Notre Dame teenager you will never see again get to you.

    I wouldn’t have written any of this that had Debbie not pressured me to write something. Don’t think she had USC in mind, knowing what a serious Trojan she is when I opted to single out Williams for being a whiny, insufferable self-absorbed brat, but dear Debbie, it’s tough to remain No. 1 in anything in life.

    Just ask Williams.

  • Welcome Back Choking Dogs

    by T.J. SIMERS

    I thought it was pretty clever on the part of the Choking Dogs and Freddie Freeman to come up with the Surrender Dance to add a little spice to the Dogs annual swoon.

    You know what I am talking about. They were showing it on TV all week leading up to the Dogs first playoff game, the arms high above the head, a little silly wiggle thrown in for entertainment and then yelling. “I surrender.”

    I was in bed, but I’m told the Dogs’ David Peralta did the Surrender Dance late into Saturday night’s game; I can’t imagine him celebrating anything. That would be silly.

    If you are a Dodgers’ fan you have to expect a playoff opener like Saturday night’s. There is no excuse for arriving late or sitting in traffic. And yet the Dogs were down something like 8 or 9 to nothing before some folks had parked their cars.

    It was going to be a night of eating; the baseball was unwatchable.

    Given Dodger parking lot history why does anyone arrive late looking for a place to park? Doesn’t speak highly of the intellect of Dogs’ fans, seeking the misery that comes with driving around the parking lot after the game has started.

    On a positive note, you never saw Clayton Kershaw at work.

    As Plaschke told us the Dogs are going to win the World Series, so no worries. But for a moment it wasn’t looking good there in Plaschke’s quest to be loved by the local fans.

    Plaschke had written the Trojans were going to win all their games this season, but they had to go into triple overtime to beat a mediocre Arizona team on Saturday night.

    How would Plaschke have handled a loss by the Dogs and the Trojans on the same day? He likes sob stories, but I don’t know if that includes tears from the columnist.

    The Dodgers just have to stop winning so many meaningless regular-season games, allowing them to take a week off before opening the playoffs and listening to all the TV hype and newspaper mush extolling how great they are.

    I thought I had heard the Dogs had like only one starting pitcher, so anyone picking them to win the World Series had to be really sucking up to the locals.

    I read so much about Kershaw before the first playoff game, I thought someone had something new to report. I was wrong.

    Pretty soon we should be reading in the Times, well, maybe you will still be reading, that the Lakers will go undefeated and win the NBA title.