This happens when you hire from Philly

By T.J. Simers

Dear Patrick Soon-Shiong,

Whew, we averted disaster this week. So far.

I’ve been telling you about Tyler R. Tynes, the sports columnist you hired. You’ve been paying him since October, 180 days or so and he’s written once. He wrote about the Philadelphia fans and the Super Bowl, logical because he is Philadelphia born, but I hope he didn’t rip you off for a free ticket to the Super Bowl, airfare, hotel room and meals because that would make you a fool.

That story appeared in your newspaper a week after the Super Bowl; I can tell you he didn’t take the extra time to make it read like Hemingway. How long does it take to write about a bunch of morons who booed Santa Claus.

I got word last week he had written a second column, be still my beating heart, and it was about a boxer from Victorville who lost his fight more than a week ago. The story was late, of course, appearing online a few days after the bout was over.

It was almost 95 inches; we all love Plaschke but he’s never chased an ambulance with 95 inches of a worthwhile sob story to tell. I read this one, Patrick, and they did you a favor keeping this away from your newspaper readers.

I thought they would try to get the boxer column in last Sunday’s paper, making it a week late as he had done with his Philadelphia story. But here it is Tuesday, 10 days later, and I’m not sure they know how to cram that into the newspaper.

We know this, he’s identified by his byline as “Sports Culture Critic,” and that sounds very important although he has yet to pick a topic that most anyone cares about for the Los Angeles Times. In his culture, it must be OK to blow off deadlines and just check in whenever.

How come he’s not writing about the culture of the Lakers and what another parade might mean to the city of Los Angeles. Maybe he’s waiting to see if Philly gets the parade and he can tell us about how big that might be.

I heard your sports editor hired Mr. AWOL because the executive editor of the newspaper, Kevin Merida, dropped his name on her. And as insecure as she reportedly is, there is no doubt Tyler R. Tynes was going to be hired, if that’s what the big editorial boss wanted.

We just need Merida to mention to the sports editor it might be interesting to see the guy work a little more often.

We’re still waiting to get the results of another con game being pulled on you, Patrick, your soccer writer going to Uganda with a Times’ photographer to tell us about a catcher who throws bricks to get warmed up. I don’t know why your newspaper uses so much space on the Lakers when you got a Ugandan catcher waiting for his day in the L.A. sunshine.

And sending a photographer to Uganda because he saw the catcher throwing bricks on YouTube almost seems like plagiarism. I guess he also does something with huge tires, and I imagine your interest is growing. If you can’t contain it, just check out YouTube.

Now I know you are rich, Patrick, but these people need you as owner of the Los Angeles Times, and some of them are abusing you. I’m just pointing out the obvious; just think what I haven’t mentioned so far.

As always, my best.

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