Yesterday I slammed T.J. Simers for apparently prejudging the Dodgers owners in advance of his conference call with them yesterday morning. He seemed to be doing his Simers thing: looking to pick a fight and put his subject on the defensive, then turn around and say “god, what a bunch of clowns” rather than actually try to learn anything from his subject. Which is what he always does, of course.
And based on the column describing the call, that’s exactly what he did. Focusing on petty things like the fact that Magic Johnson sat next to Frank McCourt at a game last month, which Simers has been harping on ever since. I guess Johnson could have punched out McCourt — woulda made Simers happy — but it may have presented some problems getting the deal closed.
But beyond a couple of those sorts of things, to the extent this went poorly for the Dodgers owners, it wasn’t all on Simers. It sounded like Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten didn’t exactly do their best to come off well:
I asked Magic about the owners’ introductory news conference. It appeared he had misled folks or was not aware of the parking-lot lease that will benefit McCourt.
Magic told the media McCourt wasn’t going to get a dime.
“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Magic said.
“I was expecting an apology,” I said.
“About misleading people in thinking Frank won’t get a dime.” I read to him what he had said at the news conference.
“I already told the truth; we’ll move on to the next question,” he said.
As I noted last week, it does appear that Johnson was either misleading or was simply uninformed when he said what he said. And being snippy about it later, even if taunted into being so by Simers, is not the best stance to take. There were several other testy exchanges in which the owners didn’t come off particularly well.
T.J. Simers is likely not an easy person to deal with, but most players don’t take his bait and get into it with him like this. They usually smile and deflect him, probably having been given a briefing about his schtick during spring training. One would think that the team’s owners would have someone brief them on him too.