T.J. Simers is as Confused as he is Confusing


At my wife’s place of employment, they do a Secret Santa-type thing. I know who her secret Santa is. She found out that I know who that person is. So now I am tasked with dodging the inquisition-like questions and the water boarding that she is planning for later. How do I dodge these questions and torturous tactics? Read. Sometimes, I end up reading things that I regret reading after three lines. Sometimes, I read something that is so incoherent, that I simply have to finish and then share my thoughts about it with the rest of you.

This is one of those latter times.

You get no build up. You do get a link. Mostly so you can join me in my misery. Read if you wish, or just skip that on continue on with me.

"I know I’m supposed to be watching a meaningless NBA game in December and taking notes on how the Celtics’ obsessed reacted to the Clippers’ coach, but I can’t get Mark Trumbo and Michelle Obama out of mind."

That’s the opening paragraph. Michelle Obama, the Celtics, the Clippers and Mark Trumbo. Buckle-up. This could get bumpy.

"Most people can’t get through a day without being outraged by something, and usually the Angels help make it happen, but I believe the look on the first lady’s face has set a new standard in outrage."

I’m still not sure where this is going. Yes. The Angels can cause outrage. But, the first lady’s face is connected?

"I know I wouldn’t want to be her husband."

You’re getting off topic Mr. Sim…Oh, who am I kidding.

"The President and his wife were at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, several published pictures showing Barack Obama schmoozing and taking “selfies’’ of himself with Denmark blonde Prime Minister, Helle Throning Schmidt."

Add Nelson Mandela, the President and the Prime Minister of Denmark to the list of people that have nothing to do with Mark Trumbo to the list of name drops.

"There were smiles all around with one exception.Did I mention it was a memorial service, and while their behavior as world leaders appears outrageous, it was all captured on the face of the First Lady?Wouldn’t it be cool if some young entrepreneur blew up that face, which expresses outrage so well, and passed it out to Angels fans."

We’re now halfway through the first page (there are two), and all I can think about doing is punching T.J. Simers in the face for wasting even this much of my time. But, like a train wreck, I just can’t seem to pull myself away from this madness.

"And every time word arrives Trumbo has hit another home run, like fans sitting behind the basket at a NBA game, everyone just holds up the First Lady’s face and starts shaking it.Or each time one of the pitchers acquired for Trumbo gets rocked, up goes her face looking for where GM Jerry Dipoto is sitting.I’d even recommend holding up her obvious show of outrage every time Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton strikes out, Boston fans singing “Sweet Caroline’’ while Angels’ fans can become best known for disappointing the First Lady."

What about when Trumbo strikes out after getting ahead in the count 3-0? What about when he makes an error? What about when Hamilton or Pujols have a heroic moment? Will fans be given giant blown up pictures of Michelle Obama smiling? Maybe a giant picture of Jerry Dipoto doing the point-click-wink pose. Start making sense.

"Ridiculous, you say?"


"Is it any more so than the Angels having a starting rotation almost as good as the Padres, while letting Dipoto be the judge of whether a guy can pitch or not?Convince me Dipoto knows the difference between a Michael Wacha and a Joe Blanton, and I’ll give him the benefit of doubt."

My six year-old son knows the difference between Blanton and Wacha. I would however question whether Simers knows the difference between a rosin bag and a baked potato.

"I understand Trumbo struck out a lot, and Pujols’ and Hamilton’s contracts make it difficult to maneuver. I understand the Angels are in need of starting pitchers almost as badly as they need an owner who isn’t a head case.And I understand the Angels will own these young pitchers much like they do Mike Trout and pay them very little while they can.But is this the best the Angels could do in trading away proven major league power and a great clubhouse guy?"

Being a “clubhouse guy” is overrated. Pitchers who are cheap, controllable and have high-upside are hard to come by. Dipoto took advantage of Kevin Towers by getting Tyler Skaggs in return. He is obviously a warlock if he can turn a player with a career .299 OBP into a solid pitcher like Hector Santiago and a pitcher like Skaggs who has the upside of being a future number two pitcher.

"Worse yet have we now seen the best Dipoto can do?"

Considering the pieces, it is definitely impressive that Dipoto pulled the trade off.

"If he needs to do well, why is he dealing with the Diamondbacks?"

Because the meek are there to be taken advantage of.

"Is he trying to prove he knows more than Kevin Towers, who got the job as general manager when Arizona elected not to stick with Dipoto, the interim GM?"

No, he doesn’t. Towers shows his ineptitude on a regular basis.

"I think it’s pretty well understood Towers knows more, so why fight it?"

Knows more than you, Simers? Yes. But considering you seem to think on the same wavelength, I’d wager that he doesn’t know much more.

"Now we’re being told by baseball reporters, who consider themselves baseball experts, this is a great deal because the Angels needed starting pitchers and they got them.Let’s be factual here: They got guys who are called starting pitchers, like Trout and Blanton are both called baseball players."

The Angels turned a one-trick pony into two young pitchers who are both under team control for quite some time, and have options left. Also, congratulations on being the only person in existence to draw a parallel between Trout and Blanton. Please accept this sledgehammer blow to the forehead as your prize.

"Right now they’re just a roll of the dice."

One of those pitchers was the number 12 prospect in all of baseball coming into 2013. There’s a better chance that that roll comes up seven than it does of coming up snake eyes.

"But do you really want to try and end a four-year playoff drought with two-fifths of your rotation still on training wheels?"

Training wheels? Hector Santiago has two full seasons at the big league level under his belt. He’s not spectacular, but he is basically the ceiling for what the Angels could expect in return for Trumbo. Skaggs has made some starts at the big league level, and, yes, I would much rather trust him every fifth day than Joe Blanton.

"If they possess such promise then package them and send them to Tampa for David Price."

Because the Rays aren’t trying to trade Price so they can clear the projected $8M difference between his and Trumbo’s salaries. They are looking to clear all of the salary that Price is projected to make. They want prospects. Take a look at the Angels minor league rosters. They don’t have what the Rays want.

"What are the chances Dipoto builds a winner, becoming a hot property and moving on only to return to a hero’s welcome like Doc Rivers received here?"

If the Angels win? Good chance.

"Do you get the feeling Dipoto will ever be as invested as Doc, unable to talk briefly and tearing up as Doc did after the Clippers won in expressing his affection for the fans?"

Probably not. But he’s the GM. I doubt any fan is actually worried about his emotional attachment to us.

"Or throwing his arms around the local media as Doc did, which means Dipoto would have to come out from under his desk and embrace his role as organizational spokesman?"

You’re the local media, T.J. Simers. If I were Dipoto, I would treat you like a person who was afflicted with leprosy.

"What are the chances of everyone coming to their feet for Dipoto to salute him for making them just as happy while his career highlights are shown on the scoreboard between quarters?"

You covered this already. You really aren’t very good about staying on track, are you?

"OK, so the Angels don’t play quarters, or have anything really memorable yet to account for Dipoto’s time on the job.But shouldn’t this be the start?Or is it already the end?"

Mercifully, it is the end of this article.

Jerry Dipoto inherited a depleted system from Tony Reagins. He stepped into an organizations where Mike Scioscia had an unusual amount of power for a Major League manager. Into a situation where the owner is motivated equally by both pride and scouting. He has made moves that were championed in the past. Trading away Jeff Mathis. Adding Ernesto Frieri. He deserves to get panned for the moves that brought Blanton and Tommy Hanson to Anaheim, but does that mean we forget his smart moves?

I get it that T.J. Simers is paid to be ignorant. It sells subscriptions. But, he’s getting old. I’m sure his Doctor would suggest that he back off from being so negative. Or at the very least, to actually pay attention to whatever sport it is that he is covering. Or dementia is setting in. Whatever it is, I’m going to petition FanSided that we get a countdown until Simers retires added to the front page.