Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Defending Marcus Thames Against an Awful Hatchet Job

Not all baseball players can’t be as talented as Miguel Cabrera on the field. Only a complete fool would think otherwise. And while most decent teams will have a star or two in the Cabrera fashion, they will have many more guys that are pretty much role players, whether they be slick fielders, guys that can make consistent contact, or whatever.

Now, being a humor blog, DesigNate Robertson likes to take some of the Tiger role players and poke fun at them. Brandon Inge, Clete Thomas, Will Rhymes, and Don Kelly are probably the best current examples. But a child of six (and it usually is a child of six) can tell you that Inge has value due to his amazing defense. Anyone that has seen him play can tell you that Clete has a cannon for an arm. Watch Tinkerbell for a week and you have to be impressed with his scrappy play enthusiasm and ability to move runners over. And even Don Kelly…owns a lot of different fielding gloves.

Point is, former Tiger and new Los Angeles Dodger, Marcus Thames was and is a role player. The “Country Strong Big Fella”, as Rod Allen would affectionately call him, is an impressive sight at 6’2 and 220 pounds of muscle. While never a consistent, productive starter, Thames was and is a great option to come off the bench or fill in for an injured starter for a period of time and hit the occasional jaw dropping home run. He has also shown that he can be capable of carrying a team for short stints as he did in Detroit from June 11th through June 18th, 2008 by hitting eight home runs in seven games, and also in New York where he hit 6 homers and 11 RBI from August 24-30, 2010. He has freakish power and has always been a positive influence in the clubhouse from all reports I’ve seen. In addition, rarely will you find a player that is nicer to fans, from my experiences at the ballpark.

He is also 34 years old. He is a liability on defense, like most lumbering power hitting outfielders are. And furthermore, Marcus has never been a high batting average guy. He is nothing more than a slugging role player, not a five-tool guy, by any means. But still, I would love to have Thames coming off of our bench again because he his good at what his role is.

T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times does not agree with me. He has written a piece called “Marcus Thames can’t field, can’t hit righties, won’t talk about it…are you excited yet?” It is the worst piece of writing that I can remember having the displeasure of reading. Please go read it and get back to me. I can wait. I’ll stare at pictures of Jennie Finch and curse Casey Daigle’s name while you’re gone.

Done? Welcome back. Are you as pissed off as I am? How do you attack Marcus Thames, perhaps the nicest guy in the major leagues, for no reason? How do you attack Marcus Thames, the gentle giant who served in the National Guard from 1994-1998, that came from humble beginnings in Louisville, Mississippi, only to make his paralyzed mother Veterine so proud of her boy in the big leagues?

You do this by being an ignorant f-cking prick of the highest order like T.J. Simers of the LA Times is. After the jump, we’ll dive into this one. Props to reader Brandon for sending this one my way.

They stay for a while, sharing the common trait of taking themselves very seriously, before they just disappear.

Who? Terrible sports writers? Agreed.

Go right down the list of head cases, and I won't even mention the name of Gary Matthews Jr.

You just did.

But how about Kevin Brown, Chad Kreuter, F.P. Santangelo, Kenny Lofton, Esteban Loaiza, Brian Jordan, George Sherrill, Jason Phillips, Odalis Perez, Andruw Jones

Is every bad free agent signing the Dodgers have ever made automatically a “head case”? I’m confused. With the exception of Brown being kind of a nut sometimes, I don’t remember any of these guys being headcases. Granted, I’m not a Dodger fan, so I’m not an expert. But like 80% of Dodger fans, I haven’t watched more than three innings of Dodger baseball since Kirk Gibson was on the team. So maybe I am an expert, after all.

Hmm. Let’s try to go through them one by one, just to be fair to Simers.

Kevin Brown: LA signed Brown to a ridiculous 7 year, $105 million deal after the ’98 season despite Brown already being in his mid-30’s and the offer being $40 million higher than the next closest deal. He responded by going 18-9, with a 3.00 ERA and 221 K’s his first year. Injuries would trouble him the rest of the time spent in LA before being traded to the Yankees in 2003. Later, he would be named in the infamous Mitchell Report.

Chad Kreuter: Backup catcher extraordinaire, and former Tiger, Kreuter caught 194 games for the Dodgers from 2000-2002. He did an okay job and later coached baseball at USC for four years, hardly a job you’d give to a headcase. (Headcases coach football at USC…harf.) The only thing I can find odd on Kreuter’s time in LA is that he was sued by former teammate Chan Ho Park and a guy named Ken Collier for non-repayment of a $460,000 loan.

F.P. Santangelo: F.P. played in 81 games for LA in 2000 and managed to hit only .197 in 142 at bats. In seven years in the majors, he was nothing more than a utility player, kind of like Don Kelly. He could play anywhere, just not well. After his career, he went into broadcasting and is currently the color guy for the Nationals on MASN. He is married to a Playboy Playmate. Awesome. He’s also another guy named in the Mitchell Report. Not awesome.

Kenny Lofton: Eleven teams had Lofton as a member of their roster over his 17 year career. He’s a god in Cleveland to this day, but only spent 129 games as a Dodger in 2006 hitting .301, stealing 32 bases, and having 12 triples at the age of 39. What’s so bad about that?

You know what? I’m getting bored with this. Let’s just assume that for whatever reason, Simers just doesn’t like these guys. Maybe they didn’t kiss his ass or something. All I care about is Marcus anyway.

and now Marcus Thames?

Marcus who?

Thames. Like the f-cking river, you ass. He’s an awesome guy to have on your team if you give him a chance. Ask Yankee fans, and they're horrible. Thames was a beast for them last year off the bench.

According to Dodgers' propaganda, this no-name thumper hits a home run every 15.58 at-bats — ranking him 27th in baseball history. Yowza!

Actual stats equal propaganda? No-za! They don't.

Now you would think anyone ranked 27th in baseball history in anything would be a household name,

Ever hear of Bill Dahlen? Me neither. He’s 27th in baseball history with 547 stolen bases.

I know Harold Baines, but is he a household name? He’s 27th in history in at bats.

How about complete games? Red Ruffing isn’t well known and he’s 27th all-time with 335.

I think what I’m trying to say is that you are a cock wallet.

but in his own clubhouse no one seems quite sure how to pronounce his name.

The players on the Dodgers are assholes. Noted. (Although I doubt you actually talked to any Dodger players about Thames' name)

The Dodgers, while gushing about his stats, instructed everyone in their propaganda to call him "Tims,"

So are the people in the Dodgers front office. Again, noted.

while Tims tells everyone else his name is pronounced "Tems."

Okay, so Marcus set the record straight. You think you’d know by now. In only 9 career at bats against the Dodgers, Thames has 3 home runs. But really, are you writing an article about how you’re bad at your job and don’t know the name of one of your team’s free agent signings despite being a month into spring training? Man, and I thought Lynn Henning of the Detroit News was bad. Sorry, Lynn.

I just know this: It's hard to believe such a monster with the bat would be available as a free agent and so cheaply the Dodgers could afford to sign him.

He’s a role player. Who has ever presented Marcus as anything other than that? You’ve got Matt Kemp in center, Andre Ethier in right, and are platooning Marcus with Jay Gibbons and/or Tony Gwynn Jr. in left. What’s the problem here? You don’t see Tom Gage all confused about Ryan Raburn’s role on the Tigers.

It can't be long before Frank McCourt starts selling tickets to Thameswood.

What could Marcus have done to piss this clown off so much? Ugh, I hate the LA media. Everyone out there is awful, except for J.A. Adande occasionally sounding sane.

So I thought I might talk to Tims/Tems on Monday.

What a cock. Too bad Marcus didn’t hit him.

Ordinarily I don't like to start off a week talking to stiffs, but that leaves so few Dodgers to interview these days.

Again, what a pompous ass. Can you believe the LA Times employs this man? I’m amazed anyone on the Dodgers would be willing to speak to him. Who’s the “headcase” again?

And besides, the Dodgers have assured me this stiff is different from all the others they have lined up to play left field. This guy can hit home runs with more regularity than anyone else they have.

Well, obviously. Gibbons and Gwynn aren’t very good. Why are you blaming Thames for the Dodgers making poor free agent signings?

In fact, he's only 442 behind Manny Ramirez.

Oh. You miss Manny...who you helped run out of town. I get it. That’s twice you’ve referred to him. But isn’t Manny possibly the biggest “headcase” in the game today? You’re awful.

As big a hitter as the Dodgers' propaganda suggests,

Again with the propaganda. It’s a stat. If you don’t like it, move on. I haven’t seen anyone this bitter in a long time, my friends. Why does the LA Times pay someone to write about baseball that seems to hate it so much?

it's odd, though, that he's bounced around between the Yankees, Rangers, Tigers and Yankees again during the last nine years before coming to the Dodgers.

It’s not odd if you aren’t a f-cking idiot. Marcus isn’t great on defense and doesn’t hit enough to justify playing him out there every day. He’s good off the bench, though, and can hit you 15-20 homers in limited time. He's a piece of a puzzle and that piece doesn't always fit. How is this so hard to understand?

By the way, this is where you will start to get angry, fair reader.

Maybe it's because he's averaged only 44 games a season on defense, prompting an obvious question.

"Are you that horrible on defense that teams don't think it's worth playing such a home run threat?'' I asked by way of introduction.

What an introduction. I’m not sure how I’d handle the local media introducing themselves to me like that. I’m pretty sure the words “f-ck” and “off” would be involved, though.

Maybe somebody else wastes time schmoozing with Tims/Tems,

But not me, babe. I’m a badass. I play by my own rules.

In all seriousness…is this twat for real?

but he's a one-year rental who has some explaining to do.

Says who? You, you frigging gash? My lord, what has Marcus Thames gotten himself into?

This is like if Henning, Gage, or someone else from a Detroit paper walked up to Johnny Damon three weeks into spring training last year and introduced themself by saying “So why didn’t the Yankees overpay for you again? Is it because you’re getting old and suck on defense? Also is your wife the humungous c-nt she seems to be? You OWE me answers, you f-cking rental!”

How bad are you on defense that teams don't dare risk playing you?

/pulls remaining hair out

If there is a worse sports journalist in the United States right now, I have no clue who he is. Congrats, T.J. Simers. You are the worst of the worst. I am in awe, sir.

Tims/Tems just smiled.

I would kill a newborn kitten to know what he was thinking.

I asked again, because I remember my dealings with Lofton, who would never answer the first question.

Imagine that. Who wouldn’t be eager to answer your wonderful, insightful, well thought out, professional questions? Is this why Kenny was a “headcase”? Because he didn’t want to deal with your bullsh-t?

Eventually he would, while also complaining, "You never write down what I say."

In a world of athletes’ quotes always being taken out of context and every word they say being magnified a hundred times, it’s no wonder Lofton said that. Especially if the reporter is a hack piece of sh-t like this guy is.

I always told him the same thing. "You're boring, but I come back hoping one day you might say something of interest."

Again. I’m in awe of this douche.

Look, I make fun of guys like Inge, Clete, Kelly and company for free on a silly blog to make you guys laugh. This guy is a serious reporter for the LA F-cking Times that gets paid. W…T…F?

When I came back on Tims/Tems,

Your little joke got old quick, dude. I can only assume that you are too busy smelling your own sh-t to notice.

he sat silent. I can see one problem he might have on defense if everyone is relying on him to yell "I got it."

I’ve read this over and over and still sit here confused. Marcus’ problem on defense is that he’s getting older and is a plodding big man. Jose Canseco, Carlos Quenton, Adam Dunn, and countless other slugging outfielders were slugs on defense, too. Did the LA “propaganda” have something in it saying that Tims/Tems was supposed to be Torii Hunter on D?

He said he wasn't going to talk to me because I hadn't introduced myself. That would have allowed him to pull out the little card the Dodgers' PR department provides players advising them how to get a running start on Page 2.

I wouldn’t talk to some schmuck that randomly walked up to me being an ass, either. Good for Marcus. In fact, I’d probably be facing assault charges now.

I can't imagine this is the first time in 10 years that Tims/Tems has been asked why he stinks on defense, thereby limiting his time as a regular player.

I can imagine that it is. Most reporters don’t make a first impression by being the biggest dick they can possibly be.

Unable to answer, he just stood and walked away.

All he would have had to say was, "It's now a Dodgers tradition to play left fielders who can't play defense," and everyone would have gotten one last laugh at Manny's expense.

Manny reference #3. So bitter.

Or, he could have said it's all part of GM Ned Colletti's master plan to get the team ready for the World Series when the Dodgers will require a DH. Or, he could have said, "Plaschke wanted Bynum traded, but I was with Page 2 all the way."

Or, he could have said “Go f-ck yourself.” That would have been awesome.

Instead he curled up into a ball, and I didn't even ask him about his anemic .248 lifetime batting average.

Did Marcus Thames call a press conference that I missed and proclaim himself to be God’s gift to baseball? I don’t think so. This is the most amazing piece of sports writing I have ever read. Whenever I think sports journalism in this country can’t get any worse, someone points out garbage like this. I weep for the reporting on the sport I love. This is an embarrassment to writers everywhere.

Now it's one thing to think outside the box when you don't have much money to spend, but does Colletti understand designated hitters are best employed in the American League?

Ask Colletti about that. Don’t harass a new player whose name you don't have the decency to learn before you start insulting him.

When I ask Don Mattingly about Tims/Tems' horrific problems on defense, the manager says, "I'm not going to say he's [crummy] on defense. He's not a Gold Glove outfielder . . . he's OK. All we've asked Marcus to do is what he's supposed to do."

You can see what a motivational speaker Mattingly can be when it's necessary.

"All we will ask him to do," Mattingly says in giving it another try, "is to play up to his capabilities."

Thank you Don Mattingly, the only voice of reason in the city of angels.

So right away I want to know, "Who won't you ask to play up to their capabilities?" I'm expecting him to say Matt Kemp, but he says he wants the best out of everyone.

This is a relief to me. I’m glad he’s a dick to Donnie Baseball, too. I’d feel really bad if it were just Marcus.

He goes on to say Tims/Tems' problems go way beyond criticism of his defense. "Maybe it's because he doesn't hit righties as good as lefties," Mattingly says.

So now we understand the Dodgers have a guy in left who can't catch, can't hit right-handed pitchers and can't answer questions about his obvious shortcomings.

And folks considered Manny a mess.

Manny reference #4. You are worse than Dan Shaughnessy. I never thought I would say that about any sportswriter.

Is Thames great on defense? No. But he’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. That would be Manny. Ha…

Can he hit right handers? Sure. Last year he hit .268 with 7 home runs and 19 RBI against righties in only 82 at bats. Not bad at all. It took me 3 seconds to see that in a search on yahoo. But this f-ckhead isn’t interested in facts. Just slamming a ballplayer he doesn’t know because he’s bitter against the baseball team he’s PAID to cover.

Can Marcus answer questions about his shortcomings? Of course. But he probably doesn’t want to do so to a condescending pile of festering sh-t like you, you f-ck.

Colletti says the team has a hot prospect in Jerry Sands, so he didn't want to "clog up" left field with players who could play, thus the present mishmash.

The Dodgers haven't won a title in 23 years, so what's the rush?

Must be because of left field. Yup. Asshole. Take it out on the new guy. I can’t imagine why all the big stars wouldn’t’ want to come out there and talk to you every day.

Mattingly says Tims/Tems will start against left-handers, while indicating he has no idea who will start against right-handers. He probably has to call Joe Torre first.

Take that baseball legend Don Mattingly! That’ll show you how I treat people that answer my questions!

But as you can see, excitement is building for opening day — maybe opening day a year or two from now.

And there you have it. This is the worst piece of sports journalism I have ever read.

I feel sorry for Marcus Thames. I’ve never seen a player with so much class treated so poorly by a reporter. It’s days like this that I’m proud to just be a crappy guy with a blog than a member of the “legit” media.

Good luck in La-La Land, Mr. TEMS. Don’t end up sinking to their level. We’re still rooting for you in the D, Big Fella. Here's to hoping you get traded to a team whose media hasn't sunk lower than a snake's fupa in an attempt to get attention.  Perhaps to a city where the reporter reports on the news instead of trying to become the news.

As for you, T.J. Simers?


Brandon said...

I ran across this on on my lunch break yesterday. After I was done reading the article and got over how mad it made me that someone could be like this, especially to someone who seems like such a nice guy, I decided that it needed your touch. Well done Rogo, well done!

Anonymous said...

What an assbag. I just got done sending him hatemail....and I encourage everyone else to do so as well.

Anonymous said...

I sent him some hate mail too. Heres how the converstation has gone.

What is wrong with you? You are by far, the WORST sports writer that I have ever had the displeasure of reading from. You bash Marcus Thames beyond belief after asking him questions/making statements such as "You're boring, but I come back hoping one day you might say something of interest." and "Are you that horrible on defense that teams don't think it's worth playing such a home run threat?'' What is this? How you ever recieved a job in the first place is beyond me, but by the looks of your work, you do not deserve one in the media. I'd like to show you a link to a set of comments on what people really think of you:

I hope you read that. You're terrible.

He then replyed with...

The worst? You know how hasrd it is to be the worst? Thanks for the compliment

Julie said...

I want to spit nails after reading this. I would take Marcus back on the Tigers over any of those scrap-ilicious guys we have now. He may have been a bench player, but how many bench players do you put fear into a pitcher whenever they come up to the plate? This guy is such a d-bag, I'm surprised he didn't go after Marcus' mother while he was at it.

Marcus, you will ALWAYS be a Tiger.

Russ said...

"This is the most amazing piece of sports writing I have ever read. Whenever I think sports journalism in this country can’t get any worse, someone points out garbage like this. I weep for the reporting on the sport I love. This is an embarrassment to writers everywhere."

Most accurate statement since water is wet.

Who the blue fuck does this guy think he is? At first I just thought this was a blog, but no this is the LA TIMES!!!!!

How does this guy get paid to do this is beyond me.

And T.J Simers, if you are reading this comment (fingers crossed) Please die like Owen Hart.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't waste time writing to the idiot "reporter". Instead, I would write to his boss, the LA Times Sports Editor, Mike James, at Mike.James (at)

Ed Tigertracks said...

Yikes!...just when you thought people could sloop no lower...this sort of person comes up...
Good work pointing this out...seen you getting a few kiddos from mainstream media on this...they must be so embarrass to have someone write this kind of

Josh said...

Just as a note — If you want to get a writer into the shit, don't complain to them, complain to their editor. The ed is the one who should have suctioned this abortion off the sports page. Writers don't know they're stupid.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody ever seen TJ Simers? He is a fat four eyed pussy bitch. (I wear glasses so dont get upset, I actually played sports growing up however unlike this hack reporter).

Anonymous said...

Im gonna follow everybodys lead and send a letter to his editor. I hope this sick cheapshot schmuck piece of crap scribe gets fired.

Anonymous said...

Its a crying shame that T.J Simers mom didnt have an abortion.

Dan said...

Yeah I posted this article on espns tigers boards so people could see it earlier this week.

It sickens me to no end. I met Marcus in 2008 during a very hot day in August, I was in sec 140 right on the field. He talked to us and signed some stuff, classiest guy all day.

This writer is the biggest piece of Dog $hi!e out there, period!

Dan said...

I just sent this to the editor via the email that was posted here,

"Mr. James,

First let me refresh your memory.

Are you seriously posting these kinds of articles to your newspaper? You should be ashamed of your self and your staff, especially one T.J. Simers!

Marcus Thames is one of the classiest people in the majors. I've met the man before the guys as down to earth and fan friendly as there is and you let someone write an article like this about him? Let me retract that statement, an article is a published though, what Simers wrote was and should be a career killer for a writer.

Simers has no idea how Thames last name is pronounced let alone his value to a team. All MLB teams have role players, Thames is certainly gifted at his craft, he's a run producer. He has one of the most powerful bats in all of the big leagues, sure he doesn't hit for contact that. He's a HR threat off the bench with occasional starting gigs throughout the year that's what a role player does, spot start.

How you would publish something that lambastes a guy for being a role player and personally attacking him is rediculous. Very, VERY distasteful, if there is not a retraction soon I surely hope that's because Simers was fired before it was written.

An actual MLB fan,

P.S. Next time you think about having someone do a baseball related article make sure they actually have an interest in the sport."

Anonymous said...

Sad thing is, he gets off on all this negative attention when you all send the hate mail. It's an L.A. thing.

Sadder: I was enraged by this article. I let this piece of ßhit ruin my good mood. This guy must be a mirror for the NY Post in L.A. terms.

Well done, DesigNate. Excellent blog.

Greg Eno said...

Marcus Thames has more class in his powerful biceps than TEN TJ Simerses line up in a row.

What a mean-spirited piece of garbage.

Rob said...

I saw this the other day and I thought it was one of those joke pieces, like Gerry Dee or the guy who does the bit on Sunday Football Preview. I am absolutely infuriated that this was supposed to be a "real" reporter doing this...unbelievable that this man is paid to write such trash, and the LA Times should be ashamed for employing him