Wednesday, August 10, 2005

APOCALYPSE NOW! T.J. Simers Likes Jeff Kent!

I’ve never been a fan of T.J. Simers’ tongue-in-cheek bulldogging journalism on page 2 of the Los Angeles Times sports section. Ultimately, it was Bill Plaschke’s writing that sent me into the arms of the Daily News, but I’ve always found Simers too much of too little of a good thing, about an eighth as funny as he thinks he is, and always less than insightful about his favorite whipping boys, the Dodgers. Today, however, Simers writes about his contentious relationship with Jeff Kent and—what’s this?—actually allows for some real human feeling to come through, from Kent and himself. The article is a real keeper, not only because Simers shows some restraint in the anti-Dodgers/DePodesta/McCourt department, but because he portrays unusual insight into a player most journalists, and most fans, would describe in almost any other way than hospitable or outgoing. Simers’ acid sensibility is still in evidence—there’s never any inkling that the piece will devolve into any sort of maudlin Plaschkean hand-wringing—but so is there a fresh angle on how players relate to an antagonistic media, and how that media can distinguish between a Jeff Kent and, say, a Kevin Brown. I never, ever thought I’d say this, but, thanks to T.J. Simers for keeping today’s page 2 of the Los Angeles Times from its usual fish-wrap fate and instead elevating it to scrapbook status.


As for me, I admit I’ve been lax in my blogging duties over the last week or so. A couple of references to other people’s pieces does not a satisfied blogger (or a satisfied reader, I’d be willing to project) make. If it’s necessary, please forgive me. This is, annually, not a good week for me, but I do have a bit of a working vacation planned for the coming weekend, during which I intend to write copiously (and, hopefully, intelligibly) from within the borders of the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon. I’m counting on the clean air and the 40% chance of showers for some blogging inspiration and to lubricate the typing fingers. I hope to have a couple of other things up before I fly out on Friday night too, just so I can avoid the tag of “Hopeless Slacker” for a few more weeks at least. As always, thanks for stopping by and for hanging in there with me.


P.S. I’ve noticed a few of my other blogger friends doing this lately, so I think I will too. If you’re someone who’s just dropping by for the first time, would you mind letting me know how you stumbled upon this address? And if you’re a regular lurker and have never left a comment, for whatever reason, I invite you to do so—just a note to say who you are, what you think of what I’m doing (or not doing) here, and anything else that strikes you would be so very much appreciated. Hope to hear from ALL of you soon!


Mr Gomez said...

Dennis...I envy you. A few days in Portland sounds wonderful right now. What does fresh air taste like? I'm sorta afraid to contemplate leaving the confines of this great metropolis for fear that I would not know what to do with myself. I'd probably feel like Beldar Conhead from the planet Remulak. Still, I would love to give it a go. You asked about newbie visitors or occassional visitors leaving you a post on how we stumbled upon your blog. Well my reason is easy. SocalDIMS was my reason, but you know that. I really enjoy your candid perspective on what seems to be a wide variety of subjects. I mean't that in a good way. I have to say I really enjoyed that picture of the woman in black lingerie. A truely inspiring image. I've always wanted to start my own blog but I'm afraid I am one of the few who happens to be HTML illiterate. Anyway, you have a good trip, get your fingers well lubricated and get back to writing damnit. I'm off to consume mass quantities of chicken embryos.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Sal: I was HTML illiterate too when I first started this thing, but I found it was a pretty easy thing to get a handle on. And if I can do it... That lingerie-clad siren is none other than Sophia Loren, from a movie seen frequently (although not within the next three months, alas, according to their schedule) on TCM called Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, costarring Marcello Mastroianni (for whom she is doing the striptease in the photo you referenced). It's a good 'un! Thanks for dropping in.
I hope you become a regular visitor/commenter.

Beege said...

Wow. SoCal MUST be bad if you're dreaming of the fresh air of Portland. ;) Have a good trip--I hope you find what you're looking for.

Oh. And you found me. ;) I just followed you home, and because you fed me, refuse to leave.

Anonymous said...

I came in thru 'Dodger Thoughts' but enjoyed the film commentary, especially on "Los Angeles Plays Itself".
I'm a local product that works in the entertainment business.
Enjoy Portland.

Anonymous said...

I know that I am not a new person to this site, but like jim (hitchcock?) I wondered in from Dodger Thoughts. Considering the amount of traffic that site gets (and it must be alot) the link in Jon's sidebar must provide you with some window traffic.

Nice article by Simers, I think the only thing good you can say about Simers usually is that he doesn't take himself too seriously. Why bother with the LA Times Dodger coverage when you can read Jon and the lively boys at DT? By the way do you ever post on Dodger Thoughts Dennis?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Welcome, Jim, and of course Beege, and welcome back, Benaiah.

Beege, I think of Portland not in a utopian idealized kind of way so much as just being amidst all the mountains, rivers, forests and coastline that I so love. So to me, even sitting in traffic on 82nd Street, it seems like a breath of fresh(er) air. And really, it is a wonderful, and beautiful city, in its own right. I hope the amount of posts you'll see here over the weekend will in some way reflect the kind of effect the place has on me. First stop: the 99W Drive-in in Newberg!

Benaiah: I really do appreciate the sidebar on Dodger Thoughts. I think Jon was the first person to give my little enterprise that privilege, and I have no doubt that increases my traffic considerably. And I used to post on Dodger Thoughts fairly regularly, though I was never up to the level (intellectually or productively) of a Bob Timmerman or DzzrtRatt or SamDC or any of those guys. But this year, between my job (which is very busy right now), this blog (which I try to write at least three pieces a week) and my two kids (one of which is now in kindergarten, and playing soccer), I rarely have time to get into a long string there anymore (those comment strings have topped 700 posts regularly this year!) Jon has been kind enough to blurb me directly in some of his posts when he sees something of interest going on here that he thinks his audience might like, and I often post a comment or two when that happens. But this year I have been much more a lurker than a productive contributor to Dodger Thoughts, and I have to admit the Dodgers' lackluster season might have something to do with that too. It all just gives me even more respect for Jon and the high standard he has set for himself, and his readership, because I know he's not exactly laying back on his elbows and having grapes peeled for him when he's not blogging either. I'll always be grateful to Jon and DT for the great read, though, and the connections it has provided for this site, yourself among them. I like to think of this site someday building up even a fraction of the regular readers/contributors that Jon's site enjoys, and having you, Blaaagh, Virgil Hilts, and now Sal, Beege, Jim, Sharon, Alison and several others I'm forgetting making SLIFR a regular stop is about the best start I could hope for as I approach my first anniversary as a blogger.

Lester said...

Portland! HuHuh! Have fun at the Drive-In.

Anonymous said...

I don't wish to register with the Times, so I'll take your word for it that the Kent article by Simers was good. Must be hard times at the newspaper if they have to count on Simers as their premium content.

On Tuesday night, after he walked and averted equaling a team record for strikeouts in a game, I noticed that Kent had a look on his face that I surmised was a result of hearing some catcalls from the few fans left in the stands around the first base dugout. He just had that "aw, I'm sick of you-all, shut up and go away" look on his face. If he weren't such a good hitter, I'd say he was in the wrong profession.

Virgil Hilts

P.S. - what did I tell you about Brazoban? A few more of these outings and he'll be close to Shawn Chacon closer status.

Loxjet said...

I'd always liked Plashke, Dennis. What is it about him you don't like? The Times, along with family and friends, including certain denizens of a dark room in a decrepit former bakery, is one of the things I miss about the endless suburb with the endless summer. Especially Plashke, Adande and Bonk, the golf writer. Anyhoo, have a Hammerhead Ale for me while you're in Stumptown. And make sure you get up there one more time this year so you get a taste of fall. You'll be amazed how much you miss autumn once you get a couple lungs full of crisp air. And speaking of fall, I understand someone over at the University of Montana got a little greedy and scheduled a football game against the Ducks on September 10. In Eugene. (The Green Bay Packers must've been busy that weekend, I guess.) I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask for points if we're to do any wagering.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Portland! Especially in the Fall...try walking all the way up Thurman Street (the street I grew up on, so I'm partial) on a crisp Fall day. Or any old day of the year, for that matter, for a taste of how loveable Portland is...take a drink from the old stone fountain at Thurman and 31st (I think that's right), and look back (on a clear day) at an awesome view of Mt. Hood. Can you tell I miss the place?
As for Jeff Kent, Virgil, that look you noticed on his face is just a hint of the attitude that made a lot of us Giants fans relieved to be rid of him, despite his occasional greatness. Not that, er, we probably couldn't use him at the moment, crappy-ass attitude or not.