L.A. Times (in education)
If seven straight wins and listening to Vin doesn’t make you a Dodger fan, I’m not sure what will. Outside of the cheap shots taken at Tommy Lasorda and the McCourts, the story in today’s L.A. Times by Mike Penner was an enjoyable read and does remind us how lucky we are to have had Vin Scully talking to us all these years.
As for the sports section, the news coverage certainly seems to be about a team that just swept a six-game homestand for the first time in 12 years and won for the 15th time in the last 18 games, but Page 2 is the exception on this day.
T.J. Simers is back, now that the Clippers and Lakers are done, which means more fun for us in the coming months. And while I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, this is definitely a first for me. Today I got dubbed Nomar’s "man-servant," which definitely got a chuckle out of me and quite a laugh out of my wife. She probably agrees with T.J.
However, as Nomar’s humble servant, I must disagree with the assessment in today’s paper. The truth is, though he might not be willing to trade barbs with T.J. for the sake of selling newspapers, Nomar has quite a personality. Since May 5 when I posted a blog about him showing quite a bit of leadership in the clubhouse, the team has gone 15-3 and Nomar has the second-best average in all of baseball, batting .438 with 21 RBI. Yet it’s obvious that he doesn’t want to be the center of attention.
How do I know this? Because he’s told me so. The truth is that while he actually has exactly the type of personality that plays great with the media when he wants to, he really doesn’t want to. After a recent victory in Coors Field, the beat writers all gathered around him and tried to get him to talk about everything that he’s done during this hot streak and how he is carrying the team. He spit out a bunch of cliches and tried to deflect attention to his teammates for more than 10 minutes before they finally realized he wasn’t going to take credit for what has been accomplished.
A few minutes later, I was sitting on the bus back to the team hotel and he came over to talk to me. All he said was, "In case you can’t tell, I really don’t like to talk about myself." And that was it.
Meanwhile, I’m guessing the kids that spent time with Nomar and Kenny Lofton at Eric Gagne’s bowling event earlier this month probably had no problem getting to see their favorite players’ personalities. And even though the event was partially benefiting T.J.’s favorite charity, the Mattel Children’s Hospital, he was nowhere to be found when a dozen of our players were out in the community.
Yesterday, we made it even easier. Eric Gagne and Frank McCourt went to the L.A. Times building to spend time with the winners of the Times In Education 2006 Team Think Blue Program, which promotes literacy and creative thinking. They spent two hours at a luncheon hosted by the L.A. Times, chatting with the kids who had won the essay and art contests. But no one saw T.J. there either and there was no mention of it in today’s story.
Here’s my solution. With a readership of hundreds of thousands of people, T.J. has a chance to really make a difference with what he writes. So from now through the end of the season, for every Dodger community event that T.J. comes to cover for his paper, I’m going to personally donate $50 to the Mattel Children’s Hospital. There’s plenty of them left, so this could cost me quite a bit, but it’s worth it. My wife has even signed off on it, but she wants to make sure that it’s T.J. who comes to cover the event, not his radio co-host/daughter.
In fact, I’ll make it easy by giving a list of dates for some of the upcoming events.
June 2 Clinic at the Compton Academy
June 8 Boys & Girls Club Renovation
June 20-23 Baseball Camp benefiting the Dodgers Dream Foundation
July 27 Dodger Golf Tournament
Aug. 9 Children’s Hospital of LA Visit
These are just some of the events, but more information can be found in the community section of the Dodgers’ web site. I’ll make sure he knows about every event and keep you all posted on how many he comes out to write about. If any of you would like to make donations to Mattel Children’s Hospital or the Dodgers Dream Foundation (or any charity, for that matter), feel free to join in the fun.
In the meantime, enjoy a small break from baseball today. We’ll be right back at it again tomorrow.