By T.J. Simers
Patrick Soon-Shiong refused comment to the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper he owns, and I just love that.
It’s been reported that Soon-Shiong is exploring the opportunity to buy the Los Angeles Angels, the baseball team his newspaper doesn’t cover with any consistency, and I just love that.
If I can figure out something else to write, I can be annoyingly repetitive like Bill Plaschke, and I just love that.
The Angels are expected to be sold for more than $2 billion, and I’m happy to report that the Times’ Bill Shaikin says Soon-Shiong has about $6.9 billion, which should be plenty for the Angeles and me.
That’s right, if Charles can take on the duties of the king at age 73, and both Biden and Trump are older than I am, why shouldn’t I return as Page 2 columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
The Times’ rep has already paid more than $1.2 million into an escrow account for my lawyers and myself, and as soon as they hand over the remaining $3 million or so they owe us, I can return to work.
I’m not sure who I should call to find out what days I will be writing or what games I will be attending, but as boring as the sports section has become, I’d like to try and spice it up.
I recognize one problem, there is no Page 2 anymore. When the space is offered as part of its enewspaper, sometimes it is page 27 or so. When the printed newspaper is delivered home, it’s the last page of the California section, like B10. There are also days when it begins its own section, D1.
When it runs online, sometimes the column runs there, but they wait a day before putting it in the newspaper.
It’s really a ramshackle operation, certainly not designed to help Times’ readers, and you might be wondering why I would like to return at age 72. Well, that’s what bothers me. I’m still going strong without blood pressure medication and there is a void on the second page of the sports section. I think I can offer the experience needed to get more out of the Lakers. I think I can offer more than Westbrook, and are you going to argue with me?
Dave Roberts is going to need help as the Series approaches, and it’s a good bet USC or UCLA are going to need a good spanking down the road.
The readers of the Times deserve a muckraker, troll or whatever you want to call it, but as wretched as the Times tried to portray me in court, the newspaper never fired me. In fact, as court testimony shows the newspaper tried to give me my Page 2 column back, but I just didn’t trust the editors.
The Times later agreed, firing both of those editors, but rather than wait for one of Patrick’s lieutenants to call me, I thought I’d let the newspaper know I’ll be asking for my old job back.
I wonder if Soon-Shiong will offer comment on that.
I’m serious. As soon as Alden Capital, the hedge fund paying the Times’ legal obligations pays me, I’ll be willing to return to the Times. My problem was never with the newspaper, just the editors and I recognize that Soon-Shiong saved the newspaper and now wants to do the same with the Angels.
I can suck up if that’s what is required to return. At least for awhile.
It’s been more than nine years since I wrote for the newspaper, and I noticed they hired a guy to fill Page 2 or whatever they called it a few years back, but it didn’t work out. He just couldn’t write.
Minor detail given some of the newspaper’s other hirings, but that’s why I love Shaikin’s report. He’s one of the very best, and on occasion the Times still employs the very best.
The Times’ sports section, though, has put a lot of effort in going soft the past few years, a Lakers’ beat reporter dedicated to flattering the Lakers’ front office so they will take his calls. I hate to see stuff like that, knowing people pay money to get the straight scoop from the newspaper.
But I also know Soon-Shiong is a minority owner of the Lakers, and I hope I don’t find out he’s behind the house organ the Times now has covering the Lakers.
I guess I could keep my lawyers on retainer.
That’s something we’ll probably have to discuss before I formally return.