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Paid Not To Write

June 11, 2022

           T.J. Simers here to answer the question: “Whatever happened to that troll?’’

          Well, the L.A. Times paid more than $1 million to stop me from writing for Page 2. I would have just fired me, but they never did that.

I’m also projected to receive several million in recouped court costs for winning a lawsuit against the Times. Look out billionaire LeBron, here I come.

         The Times’ editors thought I was too tough on Angry Arte, the owner of the Angels, the dump that is the city of Memphis and Mark McGwire. In truth, as the jury ruled, the Times was just cutting back on old men.

         It took three trials and nine years to get a resolve. If you think the Lakers are dysfunctional, try our legal system.

      Tommy Lasorda testified and was an absolute hoot, and as he told the story, the jury gave him a standing ovation. I wonder if the Big Dodger in the sky has heard all of Tommy’s stories yet.

           Judge William MacLaughlin took away the jury award of $7.1 million in Trial No. 1, $15.4 million in Trial No. 2 and then retired, presumably exhausted from being both judge and jury.

I had a chance there to get paid as much as your average USC quarterback.

MacLaughlin told the juries they were performing a public service vital to the American way and then ignored their verdicts.

The judge wouldn’t allow Chris Paul, Billie Jean King, Jeff Kent or Kobe Bryant to be subpoenaed and testify in Trial No. 1 on my behalf, fearful they might be prejudicial and say nice things about me.  I’m sure that would have gotten a big laugh from Kobe.

       The judge wouldn’t allow Peter O’Malley or Bob Arum to testify in Trial No. 2 and it had nothing to do with Arum saying previously: “Yesterday I was lying; today I’m telling the truth.’’

I have no doubt he would have been open to Kevin Brown testifying.

By the way, O’Malley is the finest man along with John Wooden, that I ever had the good fortune to meet.

       Joe Torre testified on my behalf in Trial No. 3 and did so without a subpoena.

Ultimately, the jury awarded more than $1 million with the Times’ lawyer admitting to the jury the newspaper had done me wrong. It wasn’t the same as Salma Hayek apologizing for not being available, but I appreciated the sentiment.

To make up for cutting my career short, the Times’ lawyer suggested to the jury they give me a new home in Orange County and throw in an Escalade as well. The Times can be so nice.

Now the stories I could tell on Page 2 if it still existed. One of my lawyers was accused of poisoning hamburger meat to feed to a dog to make it easier for her escaped convict husband to take someone to the desert and cut off his manhood.

I’ll say this, she could take a mean deposition.

One of the appeals’ judges ruling on my case was accused by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne of being her husband Tom Girardi’s mistress.

        More on all that in a forthcoming book.

Some might think I have something against the Times, but nine years off and now paying me for that afforded me the lifetime chance of spending time with the grandkids. The 7-Eleven Kid is going to be a senior in high school and is already one of Arizona’s premier three-point shooters. We’re all excited she might try playing some defense this year.

As for the Times, the top two editors who engineered the Page Two coup were fired, and the same can be said for the guy who was hired to fill the Page Two void. Boy, he must’ve really made Arte mad.

       I understand there is no more Page Two in the paper, as there is no more pull-out sports section in the Times. Sounds like it has become a shopper.

       On a positive note, I hesitate to mention the friendship of former Times’ sports editor Bill Dwyre and Times’ columnist Dylan Hernandez for fear the USC yahoos might mock them between losses.

But imagine the courage it took for Hernandez to stand up in court and testify on behalf of the former Page Two columnist while the Times’ top two editors sat a few feet away.

     In retaliation, the Times held back on officially giving Dylan his column or paying him columnist wages until after they had been fired. I wish he’d shave and use his Japanese skills to give us more insight from Ohtani, but here’s hoping you have friends like Hernandez in your life.

As for Dwyre the Times lost so much as it continues to this day trying to find a sports editor to fill his golf shoes.  

        As good a friend as he is and still writing for the Times, I stopped reading the newspaper like most of you. But I gave it a try recently; I even read a Plaschke column. Almost finished it.

Plaschke is this generation’s Jim Murray, and a tremendous survivor given how many great journalists are no longer with the Times. So many losses, though, including any semblance of entertainment in the sports section, and the devastating death of Chris Dufresne.

Text me, or whatever you do on twitter if I missed some entertainment in the sports section.

     But now as I move on, I have an incredibly tough decision to make as I begin anew with this blog. I will want to comment on what is happening in sports, but will it be worth it to get the online sports news from the L.A. Times—spending as much as $1 for a six months subscription?

      Seems pretty pricey for what you get anymore.

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