Times’ employees to boo, picket newspaper’s editor

By T.J. Simers

I don’t know if Los Angeles Times’ editor Kevin Merida has been told, but some of his staff plan to make his life miserable tomorrow.

The employees in the LAT Guild have been urged to don their distinctive banana-colored union shirts, meet at The California Club, wave signs and make noise while their boss tries to speak on the “hilariously titled” speech as a memo given to the staff suggested, “The Future of Journalism.”

Merida is scheduled to talk at 11:30 am to the Los Angeles world Affairs Council & Town Hall, although there is concern from Times’ employees The California Club may be difficult to penetrate.

The memo says, “Kevin is not qualified to speak on the “Future” of journalism, not after he just sent us back to the 1980s by slaughtering our audio and audience engagement divisions, ensuring we can be whatever the opposite of competitive is online.”

Ouch! Good thing the guild is protecting “JQ,” who wrote the memo because the writing could use some help.

JQ also mentioned the Times’ reporters will be passing out leaflets “To raise public awareness to Kevin’s lack of leadership.”

Double ouch!! But I wonder what Merida’s reaction will be when recognizing staffers booing him. We’ll see how many employees show up.

The Times’ newsroom is reportedly very upset with Merida, whose judgment is already being second-guessed here for his role in the hiring of Culture Critic Tyle R. Tynes.

For the record, Times’ editors in recent years haven’t lasted very long. We’ll see how upset the newsroom is with Merida and whether owner Patrick Soon-Shiong notices.

The union employees are divided in some cases by way of their caucuses, ie: a Latino caucus or Black caucus, and they all think Merida has done them wrong.

“This disenchantment with Merida is all about race,” said one Times’ employee.

Or as the Guild newsletter given to employees said, “Our analysis of the company’s numbers shows that management targeted the most diverse large group of Guild members in our newsroom:” the copy editors responsible for much of our digital product.

I know the Times editorializes about racial problems; I didn’t know they had them.

That probably makes for a very unhealthy newsroom under Merida’s leadership.

Word is Merida has not lived up to previous promises to make the newsroom more diverse. There are certain diversity percentages that have been assured, but they are now sliding the opposite way.

“The company previously pledged publicly and privately,” the newsletter says, “to improve diversity…but will undo much of its progress with one brute swing of the layoff ax.”

The Times laid off 74 employees last week, 56 Guild workers, and the Guild was pushing instead for a company-wide buyout opportunity.

And I suggested to owner Patrick Soon-Shiong I might be interested in going back to work there. What a mess. There has been no talk about how to improve the product.

Merida also irritated those who weren’t laid off with disingenuous remarks about how upset he and other editors were with the layoffs. Merida said it wasn’t time for management layoffs because someone has to run the paper.

Yes, run the paper into the ground.

Times lays off copy editors so writer can go to London

By T.J.Simers

The LA Times is now playing owner Patrick Soon-Shiong for a clueless dope.

Bad enough that sports writer Kevin Baxter flies everywhere, including Uganda, to write about soccer, but then he writes about soccer.

Now we get our favorite writer in the Times, Culture Critic Tyler R. Tynes going to London to write Thierry Henry.

Who? All the way to London and the newspaper won’t cover Ohtani and Trout in Oakland.

Garbage. No use pretending anymore. It’s just plain garbage, our Culture Critic writing paragraphs that are longer than Baxter’s mush.

Our Culture Critic proclaims that he got to see Henry naked, which explains why Soon-Shiong paid to have him fly to London.

You would think someone who gets an invite to see him naked would get an insight into who he is interviewing. But in the five stories now that Tyler R. Tynes has written for the Times in the past eight months there hasn’t been a whiff of insight.

I’m still shocked. The Times laid off 74 employees last week while the sports culture critic was probably munching on biscuits and having a pint while trying to organize his Henry notes into a cogent story. Not everything always works out in a pub.

How do you justify 74 exits with a flight to London to write about a guy begging for a job as manager?

Patrick, Patrick, you aren’t paying attention to your product. Who spends millions and millions and then doesn’t care how it impacts his reputation: Patrick Soon-Shiong!

You might be doing wonderful work in the lab, but you suck so far as newspaper owner.

You sent a guy who can’t write all the way to London to demonstrate he can’t write. This is a guy, who was recommended by your editor Kevin Merida, which makes his journalism judgment suspect.

We’re told in Tynes overwritten piece, that Thierry Henry was the American equivalent to Kobe Bryant. Everyone in the world knew Kobe. Come to Yorba Linda, no one has heard of Henry or they will soon be asked to move.

From what I could tell in treading through all the big words and hyped copy, Henry hasn’t played in 10 years. And that’s what you paid for, Patrick, a guy who has been retired. He’s a broadcaster.

No one reads your newspaper in Orange County but there would be more interest in Angels’ broadcaster Mark Gubicza.

Did I mention how bad the writing is? Tynes, our Culture Critic, tells us: “He was as fly as a Frenchman could be, faster than any man in the world who dared to share the pitch with him; perhaps more marvelous than any Black man with the ball I have ever seen.”

Perhaps, but I don’t know about being as fly as any Frenchmen.

Did you know Henry was born in Les Ulis? Yeah, I didn’t care either.

He was born to Antoine and Maryse, in “les quartiers difficiles,” Tynes writes. I finally understand why he’s our Culture writer.

The story goes on and on because if you’re going to play Soon-Shiong for a sap who is paying all the bills you have to give him something, like lots and lots of words.

If you use that many words you probably need help from a copy editor. I wonder if the Times has any left.

Layoffs? No, Sports is bankrupting poor Soon-Shiong

By T.J. Simers

Dear Patrick Soon-Shiong,

I hate it when anybody is laid off, a journalist waking up one morning and learning their career is over.

Pat, and I think I can call you that by now, I have no problem with you as owner of the Los Angeles Times trying to save some bucks. In a moment I will try to help you with that.

But yesterday you reportedly were getting rid of 74 employees, most from the copy desk as I have now been told, because someone has the crazy idea a universal copy desk would be more economical. The economist, who came up with that idea, obviously does not understand newspapers and should be immediately laid off.

That’s 74 people who had been working hard for years who are now out of work in an industry that doesn’t do a lot of hiring. That’s 74 people who did nothing more wrong than sitting on a copy desk correcting the work done by reporters. That’s 74 people who supported their families working hard for you.

Unfortunately, it shows how clueless you are as an owner, Pat. Where’s the recognition of talent, effort and a career of dedication? You have a former sports editor on your payroll making a good buck who is in charge of your video studios which no longer make videos. He’s in charge of a staff of zero, and how he fills his day would make a good story.

You have a horse racing writer who lives in Florida, undoubtedly charging you whatever it costs to fly to California to write horse stories. It would be interesting to see if he makes it first class. He also flies to Kentucky for the Derby, Baltimore for the Preakness, New York for the Belmont, California for the Breeder’s Cup—-all expenses on you, Pat.

And he was a former assistant sports editor who is a friend of your current sports editor thereby earning the favorable treatment.

You have three sports writers on your payroll who write less than once a month. And when they do write they usually present work that is unreadable. They get to stay home all day, and I guess practice what it’s like to be laid off. I believe their first names are Tyler, Brady and David.

Pat, you might want to ask your sports editor what you are getting for your investment.

The sports editor won’t know because there is no accountability in her department. Her No. 1 assistant, who was her friend before being hired, is living and working in Portland. I know more and more people are working from home, but if there’s no accountability in the department, here’s a good starting point.

He’s stealing money from the Times while living on the cheap.

Your sports columnists, and I’m not counting Helene because I don’t know anyone who does, are the lifeblood of your section. Plaschke and Hernandez can still make the Times’ sports section interesting to read, but I believe each one of them has appeared once in the newspaper in the last 11 days.

They no longer have assigned days to write so they can be lazy. Back when Dwyre was running sports, columnists had assigned days to write, like Monday, Thursday and Sunday. Two columnists then gave you six columns in the newspaper each week.

That allowed readers to stomach Helene on occasion.

Yes, your sports editor is dreadful. Talk to the veterans on your sports staff about how disorganized she is. She has surrounded herself with friends and sycophants.

How did Tyler R. Tynes survive the purge, four stories in eighth months? She was your editor Kevin Merida’s pick, so your sports editor will never dare irritate Tynes and his benefactor, Merida.

I was encouraged to hear Tynes expressed concern to another employee about his journalism future as the layoffs were being announced, and that he made an appearance on a sports Zoom call. It shows he has a pulse, maybe even a conscience while collecting his checks.

Sarah Valenzuela would not be able to get a job covering the Angels for the Times if she didn’t have an in with the sports editor. The Los Angeles Times, Pat, was so much better than what everybody is getting. You should be demanding better; it’s embarrassing.

If I was a copy editor being notified I was being laid off and Sarah Valenzuela remained employed I would question why I ever chose journalism as a career.

And that’s the problem, 74 people getting laid off reportedly and the decision based on how best to fill their void now with a universal copy desk instead of evaluating talent, scam artists and those shirking work already on the payroll.

That’s where you can save money, Pat.

Otherwise the public gets screwed, the product going to be poorer because, Pat, you aren’t paying attention. If you want to save money, how about demanding the talented who are not working to show up and produce.

I would imagine there are 74 people right now who would be willing to do whatever it takes without complaint.

OK, so they were copy editors and they would complain, but you get the point.

Why isn’t Plaschke calling for U.S. Open boycott here?

By T.J. Simers

Gee whiz golly gee, golf went where the money is.

Who cares? All this hand-wringing about who gives Jordan Speith millions is unbelievable. People must really be starved looking for a controversy to comment on.

Most of us don’t give a care about golf beyond the Masters, the U.S. Open and maybe the Ryder Cup. I know I can’t take much more of Jim Nantz.

Our resident knee-jerk reactionary, Bill Plaschke from the Los Angeles Times, stepped right up to the tee; “The next time you spend a Sunday curled up on the couch watching the dramatic end of a PGA Tour event…”

As Wednesday morning laughs go, that would be the first time. Come on, can you picture Plaschke curled up on the couch living and dying with a Sunday golf finish?

That would explain why he doesn’t cover the Dodgers and Angels more, but come on, that’s like the sound of gunshots he hears when covering an inner city football practice.

Plaschke’s point is the finish to these golf tournaments will “have been bought by a country with no free speech, no religious freedom and a history of discriminating against women.”

I’m sorry, but there are so many injustices in the world, I can’t keep track any more. There are starving children in this country probably not far from the local country club. Who made sports writers today’s crusders?

Plaschke says this is happening to a sport that we “knew and loved.”

Huh? It’s OK, but I would rather watch a football game on Sunday.

I’ve been to lots of golf tournaments, interviewed the very best and the name Jamal Khashoggi never came up. That would be my fault, of course, but am I supposed to apologize for wearing blinders when I watch sports?

They are an escape, and out of my hands, the only men’s golf we’ll be watching from now on will be the combined efforts of the PGA and LIV. If you believe anything Plaschke has written, every golf tournament from this date on should be boycotted.

Let’s see Plaschke call for a boycott of the U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club beginning Monday. In the name of Khashoggi, Plaschke, show some courage.

Does he cover the tournament? Does he write about Khashoggi, asking golfers if they are upset about taking tainted money? Of course he does.

But does he eventually write about the winner, making himself look more like a hypocrite?

There is so much talk here about hypocrisy from sports writers. They are out of their league. In this case the word is being used to explain a complex world in simplistic terms. Didn’t we just finish up a World Cup in Qatar, a country allegedly violating human rights?

The Times sent a reporter to Qatar who wrote a million words like soccer is important.

Golfers are mercenaries, always have been and apparently will be. Their job is to chase the money or they don’t make any, the sponsorships coming after they have won.

Some of them were being paid with tainted money; now they all will be and within a matter of weeks none of them will care where any of it came from. Mercenaries don’t sweat the details; tournament organizers do and it seems hard for sports writers to grasp the concept.

“This merger,” continues Plaschke like someone who really does need his blankie, “feels like a missed two-foot putt.”

My friends don’t make me make two-foot putts.

I think I understand now why he’s so upset.

Times breaks news about Miami

By T.J. Simers

Dear Patrick Soon-Shiong,

So, your newspaper buries Game 1 of the NBA Finals inside the sports section, letting everyone know how important Denver and Miami are to the people of Los Angeles. And then….

Your newspaper runs one of the longest stories to ever appear in the sports section, beginning on the front page of sports re: Game 2 promoting the guy who runs the nightclub in the basement of the Miami arena. Complete with pictures you paid for.

Miami. The nightclub is in Miami. What a stunner they have a Forum Club inside their basketball arena. Wow.

By now you have probably guessed, Patrick, or have already seen his expense account and know this is the handiwork of Times’ Culture Critic, Tyler R. Tynes.

So far your Culture Critics has been clueless when it comes to culture in the Los Angeles area. He wrote about Philadelphia fans, a losing fighter from Victorville and almost no one cares about boxing anymore, and Brittney Griner without getting an interview with her.

Now add everything you might want to know about a guy who works in a Miami nightclub. Consider it breaking news.

You know who I am talking about, the guy Editor Kevin Merida recommended and sports editor Iliana Limon Romero hired to keep Merida happy. The guy who has written four bloated stories to date, one so long they couldn’t even get it into the newspaper.

They never allow for comments below any of Tyler R. Tynes’ stories like they do columnists Bill Plaschke and Dylan Hernandez. I wonder why?

There’s a picture on the front sports page of the guy who runs the nightclub, and on the two pages of more writing about the club—yes two pages and God knows how many killed trees—-there’s a picture of bar patrons and female bartenders missing part of their uniforms. The cutline reads: “Courtside Club bustles with activity beginning hours before Miami Heat games and continuing hours after.”

This revelation that Miami has a Forum Club must have really excited Lakers’ fans, although I might have a suggested using the space to write about a week spent with Austin Reaves and his growing acclaim.

There’s another picture of young lovelies, all of them with arms raised above their heads to celebrate their good fortune of being featured in the LA Times. You paid for that picture, Patrick.

The Times sports editor had already declared no interest in the basketball game between Denver and Miami, but this solved a problem.

Our Culture Critic had been working on this story since being hired last October and that’s a lot of time to spend in a bar without getting much in return.

He hasn’t written much so this would show he can write, well, wax poetic about nothing we care about.

What good fortune Miami made it to the Finals, or it might have been a really rough start for Tyler R. Tynes and Merida and Romero.


Trump ideal campaign manager for Garvey

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.

Take a lesson from the Kissing Lesbians

By. T.J. Simers

Dear Patrick Soon-Shiong,

KUDOS to the Times.

Dylan Hernandez wrote an excellent, strongly-worded, opinioned column for the LA Times recently on the Dodgers decision to cancel an invite to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence during the team’s upcoming Pride Night game.

He disagreed with the Dodgers and wrote the controversial column before waiting to see how others might react. That took some newspaper courage.

In the last few days Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw has said in a measured response that he opposes the Dodgers’ decision to reinstate the nun’s event while urging the team to bring back a Christian-faith night.

You couldn’t find two better spokesmen than each representing their point of view.

But I think they are also both dead wrong.

There is only one reason to honor groups brought to the ballpark, and that is to sell more tickets.

The same goes for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League teams and Rotary Clubs. The Dodgers want to sell more tickets, and that’s business. I guess it’s offensive to some to be in the hot dog line or finding their seats while the LGBTQ+ community parades on the field.

Maybe that’s why Dodgers crowds are so late-arriving.

In 2000, before I think Hernandez was even born, I covered the “Kissing Lesbians” fiasco at Dodger Stadium. Three women were tossed from the stadium for kissing each other after a Dodger home run. As you might imagine, everyone was shocked a Dodger hit a home run, and so there were all kinds of reactions

The Dodgers publicly apologized later for breaking up the smooch-fest. “We felt we wanted to send a strong message that everyone is welcome to Dodger Stadium,” said team president Bob Graziano. “and subject to equal treatment.”

Equal treatment is how it’s gone ever since. I have been to thousands of baseball games and most pregame festivities are ignored, the stadium essentially still empty as honored groups take a bow.

As for Kershaw if he doesn’t want to see the nuns, stay in the training room like so many players do before a game. As you have probably noticed seldom does a player you recognize take part in the pregame festivities.

Kershaw said this has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community, and you know why? That would make it a really big argument. With a ton more controversy.

He confined his criticism to a group of nuns I have never heard of. I was taught by nuns. On first glance this doesn’t seem anything like them unless they suddenly start smacking people with rulers, so I don’t know anyhing about them or care to know. I have no interest in them or Kershaw’s event. If I go to a Dodger game, and bless me Father for even mentioning such a possibility, it would be to watch Kershaw pitch.

To be honest, I attended many of those faith-based events while covering the Dodgers because they held them in the stands after a game while we wrote our stories about the Dodgers. I had no choice. I would have preferred silence, but the media always remained respectful.

That’s the only thing Hernandez and Kershaw should be calling for: respect, and as solid as they are as communicators that’s what they seem to be doing even if they disagree.

If the Dodgers want to be digging deep to sell more seats, why is that a problem? If it is, just don’t go that night.

Griner Tortured By LA Times

By T.J. Simers

Dear Patrick Soon-Shiong,

Did you know, Patrick, that your newspaper is currently developing a bells and whistles system designed to go off whenever sports culture critic, Tyler R. Tynes, writes?

As you might know you have paid him to write three times since being hired in October last year. And I missed the third time.

Apparently the story ran inside the sports section recently, not worthy of Page 1 sports display and it was late again—-Two days after Brittney Griner played in Los Angeles.

An odd place to put a Brittney Griner exclusive.

OK, so it wasn’t exclusive, which begs the question not? Why is Tyler R. Tynes is writing it and not your Angels’ hack? You hire a sports culture columnist and I imagine your expectations would be that such a writer would come in handy with something like this.

I’m told the editor of the Times, Kevin Merida, who was the driving force behind hiring the waste of space that has been Tyler R. Tynes so far, told the sports department he wanted Tyler R. Tynes included in the coverage of the Lakers’ playoff run.

Two problems with that, the edict coming down before Game 4 and Tyler R. Tynes failed to show up for the assignment and the Lakers would not play again in the playoffs after Game 4.

I was told the guy showed up for the National Championship college football game a little tipsy after spending time with TCU fans, but I would imagine you would have to be tipsy to sit with TCU fans, And why should the writers in the press box be any different than the fans in the stands?

That’s what a source told me, and I see the Times loves anonymous sources using them everywhere in its USC athletic director story, and maybe we have the same sources.

Patrick, if you remember I suggested assigning your culture critic to the Lakers’ beat, so he might write something that might be read. His first two non-efforts, a story on Philadelphia football fans a week after the Super Bowl and a Victorville boxer knocked out in his fight were amateur hour attempts. The boxer story never made it into the newspaper, too long, too late and too much of nothing.

Editor Kevin Merida obviously has an eye for talent, spotting Tyler R. Tynes on one of those rare opportunities Tyler wrote elsewhere and recommending him to sports editor Iliana Limon Romero. Romero is in the business to impress the bosses so she immediately hired him.

But so far, and it’s only been three stories—two of which have made it into the paper—the writing is nothing but pompous puffery. She might want to act like an editor and help him.

If you are going to write a story on Griner as the Times’ Culture Critic, shouldn’t you do everything in your lofty media position to score an interview with her? He got nothing, and that’s nothing from her that anyone writing about her wouldn’t get.

“Well, I’m here, as Ms. Griner requested of us,” wrote Tynes to begin his story. “All of us, I may add. Fans, press, patrons and phonies — the entirety, included, Come, now. Don’t make that noise. There’s plenty of room for us in the cold corners of the Crypt. And anywhere would be a welkin…”

Would be a WELKIN? Cold corners of the Crypt? What noise?

Total overwritten garbage and Plaschke didn’t write it.

He’s goes on to write, “She was no Odysseus, I assure you.” Does that have something to do with Russell Westbrook?

“I could’ve sworn,” Tyler R. Tynes wrote, ” I saw a god with the flicker of the underworld’s blue embers, still trying to figure out how her new normal worked.”

They set Griner free in Russia and this is what she has to confront now in the United States?

Secret Meeting Dooms Times

By T.J. Simers

Patrick, Patrick, Patrick!

Your newspaper hasn’t told all reporters yet, but it plans to commit suicide.

The editors were informed Thursday that the newspapers’ deadline to submit stories for publication will be 6 p.m. in the future when they have to shift to new presses. They got rid of their own.

When I wrote for the Times, my deadline was 10:45, Plaschke could take that to 11 for a playoff game or USC contest.

The editors were also told to condition readers to the change, thereby removing Major League box scores from the newspaper beginning around this season’s All-Star break.

They attempted to do that once before more than a decade ago but an outcry from readers forced them to reconsider.

On the bright side, Patrick, I don’t think that will happen because there just aren’t that many subscribers.

Back in the days when the newspaper had more heft in size and community impact the circulations on Sundays exceeded 1.5 million and the rest of the week it would often be close to one million.

Tough to get to 200,000 now and watch those numbers dip when the deadline is 6 p.m. and the quality of news slips reporting because there just won’t be any way to get stuff in the newspaper.

That means last night’s Lakers playoff game wouldn’t make the newspaper in any form until two days later.

Why buy it? Exactly.

The Times sports department will also transfer David Warton, Steve Henson and one of the copyeditors out of sports to a new breaking news desk. I presume breaking news no longer has anything to do with the newspaper after 6 p.m.

If the newspaper is successful in getting rid of the box scores, there isn’t anything that will be considered untouchable.

As it is now, the sports columnists have been writing for a newspaper that comes out 24 hours after the day’s next report on the Lakers and Kings.

In the final analysis it’s tough to say whether readers who don’t care about columns running so late have allowed the 6 p.m. deadlines or the newspaper is just hellbent in getting rid of the printed product.

This will be the end of the Times’ sports section, as Los Angeles had come to know it over a lifetime.

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.