By T.J. Simers
I wasn’t surprised when I read former Dodger Steve Garvey was potentially going to run as a Republican for the open Senate seat in California.
Given his track record with women and unpaid bills, Garvey has the perfect choice for campaign manager in Donald Trump.
That’s not a political statement so much as the common ground shared by the well-known popular “do whatever they like and get away with it” duo.
I figure Garvey will ultimately decide not to run, too much baggage to tote in this age of stinging social media and Garvey lacking the ability to shrug it off like his prospective campaign manager.
On the other hand, I could be totally wrong, Garvey offering the voting public one of the great redemption campaigns of our lifetime. And maybe benefitting finally from all those “Honk if you”re carrying Steve Garvey’s love child” bumper stickers, the kiddos all grown up and ready to vote.
For the record I have always enjoyed my encounters with Steve Garvey even after he ruined my night after hitting a walk-off home run for the Padres to beat my Cubs in 1984.
I was there that dramatic night, Jack Murphy Stadum louder than any other ballpark I have ever been in and Garvey running around the bases with his fist flying over his head.
If you have been around Garvey he offers a challenge; is he Mr. Clean or is he a phony? I have always believed he’s just a nice guy.
We have had many, many friendly chats and one outlandish one.
He called me in 2006 to ask me to kill a story running in the Los Angeles Times. The front-page story detailed Garvey’s history of not paying his bills. (April 9, 2006 Former Dodger Great Facing Mound of Debt by Matt Lait, if you care to GOOGLE).
The story said the Garveys had been taken to small claims court by their gardener, a mirror installer and owed attorneys $300,000. His pediatrician reportedly would only accept cash from the Garveys. And the list went on and on.
There were two problems, 1) I couldn’t even consider killing the story because it was already plastered across the front page of the LA Times and 2) I had no idea if the story was true or not.
I knew who wrote the story and knowing the reporter’s reputation I figured it was true down to the last comma and period. And what an embarrassing story, Garvey and his wife coming across as scoundrels, one lawyer who was trying to collect a $235,000 debt, saying, “Once a Dodger always a dodger.”
I have no idea how his bill-paying goes now. So, it could be totally unfair to bring up 2000 to 2006 moments in Garvey’s life, but politics makes it almost a guarantee they will resurface.
That is why I don’t think Garvey will run for office. Too much explanation required.
I liked to ask Tom Lasorda over our breakfasts at the Mini Gourmet in Placentia whether Garvey was real or not? Lasorda said you got what you got from Garvey, and when mentioning the fight between Garvey and Don Sutton, Lasorda made it clear he was pulling for Garvey.
I apparently knew Garvey’s wife before he did, delivering the DuPage County Press to her parent’s home in Wheaton, Il. I had no trouble collecting payment for the newspaper.
When we have had that opportunity over the years to chat she has been great. Yet we have never discussed the thousands and thousands of dollars allegedly unpaid to debtors with claims against them.
Have they all been paid? I really don’t care, but if Garvey runs for office, there will be people who do care. Lots of them.