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T. J. Simers hates St. Louis, Cardinal fans, and probably this kitten too

October 13, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but T. J. Simers, formerly of the Los Angeles Times and recently of the Orange County Register, doesn’t like us Cardinal fans very much:

The feeling around the Cardinals is that they do everything right….The local newspaper calls it, “The Cardinals’ Way.”

Hey, I was just thinking that what this postseason definitely needed was a few more people bitching with poor punctuation skills about the Cardinals and their holier-than-thou straw-fans. Can we count on you to come through for us, T.J.? I THINK WE CAN:

Now I’m not the sort to take offense to another city’s attempt to come across as being superior. If the yokels here want to aggrandize a king-size croquet wicket and call it the Getaway Arch, so be it.

With T.J., you can never be sure if stuff like “Getaway Arch” is a mistake because he doesn’t know, a typo because he doesn’t care, or a failed attempt at humor because he isn’t funny. You should, however, be reassured that “yokels” is just as lazy a diss of the folks in flyover country as it appears to be. Don’t feel bad, St. Louisans—he hates Memphis too, and Philadelphia, and Nebraska, and baby pandas, and war widows, and Doctors Without Borders [citations needed].

But there is a certain smugness about this place. Folks like to say the people here are the smartest baseball fans in the whole world….If they are so smart why were they on their feet cheering for a hopped-up Mark McGwire all those years? Are they now pleading ignorance?

Oh, now he’s asking the tough questions! While I prepare my defense, I have a couple to ask him in return: Mr. Simers, by the time Manny Ramirez played for the Dodgers, you were a professional sportswriter and the steroid epidemic in baseball had already been out of the shadows for a number of years. Was it ignorance that prompted you to pen a series of drooling paeans—like this one and this one—to him? How about that time you said “Manny Ramirez was the best thing to hit Los Angeles. And nothing that has happened recently changes that”….after he’d been busted (twice) for PEDs and arrested for hitting his wife?

The answer, of course, is that T.J. couldn’t care less what Cardinal fans thought of Mark McGwire, just as he doesn’t really have any particular animosity toward St. Louis. But he does have a deadline, and syntactically-challenged, internally inconsistent stream-of-consciousness taunting is his shtick, so doggone it, that’s what he’s going to do.

Back to baseball:

I’m not here to defend our well-paid mercenaries. They got clubs in their hands and they’ll do just fine.

Just my two cents, but maybe T.J. should worry less about what the Dodgers do in the visiting team’s restroom and more about the fact that they don’t seem to be hitting.

Right now all the smart folks are on their feet clapping and screaming for eight horses pulling a wagon filled with cases of beer around the park. Apparently they are also the easiest fans in the whole word to entertain. I’m guessing many of them still have their pet rocks.

….Someone has to work for what it costs to get into Disneyland these days, and so if the Register will have me for another month or so, that should take care of it.

Some might say that a guy who pays $100 to see a dude in a mouse costume isn’t in a position to call other people “easily entertained.”

(Those two excerpts are a few paragraphs apart in the column, but don’t worry, they make just as little sense in context as out of it.)

You can understand now why there was a county fair-like frenzy in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 2-2 game when the locals started chanting, “Yady, Yady.” Of course I can remember a time when Dodger fans were chanting, “Hee-Seop Choi, Hee-Seop Choi.”

T.J. spells “Yadi” two different ways in this column, and neither one is the right one. That’s because he doesn’t actually follow baseball. If he did, he would know that Hee-Seop Choi (career WAR: 2.6) is to Yadier Molina (career WAR: 26.8) as Simers is to Roger Angell.

But I worry about folks who are urged to scream as loud as they can and do so because TBS is going live to the rest of the country. Why would the smartest baseball fans in the world agree to be used as TV props? Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, folks living much of their lives in anonymity and thrilled to see a camera pointed their way. Can you just imagine the collective swoon if Alex Trebek showed up for Game 2?

“I’ll take ‘Professional Trolls’ for $400, Alex.”

“Answer: Some say the douchiest sports-scribe west of Joe Strauss is this lazy dolt who was recently fired by the Los Angeles Times.”

[Buzz] “Umm…who is Bill Plaschke?”

“Oooh, I’m sorry. The key words here were ‘douchiest’ and ‘fired.’ Obviously the correct response is T.J. Simers. Simers.”

Now you would think I wouldn’t be enamored with the millionaires who get paid for playing baseball in Los Angeles, while I work to pay off Mickey. It’s true that six of our eight position players get paid more than their Cardinals’ counterparts. Our starting pitcher makes $16 million more to get batters out than St. Louis’ starter. But halleluiah, I say, that’s the Dodgers’ Way. It beats the days when the money went to Jamie McCourt’s spiritual healer. The Dodgers paid Juan Uribe $21 million over the past three years, and that’s just the going rate for a NLDS clinching home run. Unfortunately he just hit into a double play, the fans going wild here as if they just witnessed something never done before. And people say they are the smartest fans in baseball.

ibbu blo90nhhhhhhhhhhhhhh offfffffffffffof3tr44676

Whoops, Carlos the foster kitten (pictured above) just walked across the computer keyboard. I’m leaving it because I want to offer T.J. a standard of journalism to aspire to.

The Cardinals win with a Beltran hit, a millionaire of their own doing the damage and I guess that’s the Cardinals’ Way, any old way just fine by them.

Oh, for crying out loud. Here’s the thing: I can handle criticism of the Cardinals, or their fans, or St. Louis, and I can even enjoy it if it’s smart and/or funny. But I can’t handle sentences like this one, which is constructed about as well as the Angels’ 2013 roster. I can’t handle sluggish, hackneyed jokes about Midwestern hayseeds, which are about as fresh as Yaddy’s knees must have felt after 22 innings of baseball in 25 hours. I can’t handle knowing that I have at least five un- or under-employed friends who write better and know more about sports than Simers.

I can’t blame him for the fact that major newspapers keep paying him to be a troll. I can, however, blame him for being absolutely terrible at it.

And that’s coming from someone who’s entertained by a bunch of draft horses pulling a wagon of crappy beer.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. nick permalink
    October 13, 2013 1:59 pm

    wait, i guess dodgers fans won’t cheer if/WHEN cardinals batters GIDP? wtf.

    • October 13, 2013 2:04 pm

      No, see, they’ll cheer, but it won’t be the highlight of their meaningless lives as it is in St. Louis, because Californians are infinitely more sophisticated than Midwesterners, even if they ARE the ones who invented pet rocks in the first place.

  2. Not Amused permalink
    October 13, 2013 6:20 pm

    It is generally presumed that journalists who are paid by a newspaper to write an article are both knowledgeable about their topic as well as skilled writers. This poor excuse for a piece which is nothing more than biased reflections on Cardinals fans by a poor loser gives this reader insight into why T. J. Simers is “formerly of the Los Angeles Times and recently of the Orange County Register”. As one who was born in LA and who lived over twenty years in St. Louis, I can speak with authority about the Cardinals fans, who are no more “yokels” than Dodger fans are hicks. They are, however, proud of their city; proud of their baseball team; proud of their Clydesdales; proud of their world-class botanical garden; proud of their world-class zoo (free to the public), proud of their symphony (which has consistently ranked in the top-tier of orchestras in the US, and was making outstanding music 39 years before the LA Philharmonic was born), and proud of their two world-class medical schools–all for good reason. These are fans whose generosity of spirit extends to applauding a good play by an opposing team–because it’s the right thing to do. Apparently T.J. represents that body of Californians who superiority complex is based in ignorance about the rest of the country. Their idea of entertainment is to sit for hours in gridlock on LA freeways, watching nothing move. I’m sorry for your loss, T. J., but at least you could be a bit more sportsmanlike in your writing. Or is unsportsmanlike behavior, in fact, what distinguishes you from those Cardinal fans you deride?

  3. Jamie McDonald permalink
    October 14, 2013 4:03 pm

    Simers’ article is more embarrassing than Puig’s post-season record. As a “professional” sports writer, can we possibly stick to writing about the sport??


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