You might know LA Times columnist T.J. Simers from such memorable pieces as T.J. Simers Goes After Marcus Thames For No Apparent Reason and, this weekend, T.J. Simers Humanizes Vernon Wells. Simers was at Angel Stadium today, and he wanted to ask Mike Scioscia something about the game against the Rangers. And this is how it went. 

Simers: Is this a big game?
Scioscia: In your heart, deep down in your heart, if you really care, I'll answer that.
Simers: I really care cause I have one more column before my vacation starts. So yes.
Scioscia: That's the reason why?
Simers: That's the only reason.
Scioscia: If you really care, if you really really care.
Simers: I really really care
Scioscia: With a straight face.
Simers: /inaudible
Scioscia: I don't believe you. I don't believe you.
Simers: Are you declining to answer my question?
Scioscia: I just don't think you really care.
Simers: What difference does it make whether I care?
Scioscia: It does! It does! I want you to ask something from your heart. Ask from your heart.
Simers: Anytime I ask a question I care cause I have to write a column and I have to fill it up.
Simers: Would I rather be home now? Yes.
Scioscia: You're honest.
Simers: So is this a big game?
Scioscia: It's a game on the schedule. 

So that's how it went. (And ever onward after that. Godot never arrived.)

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Good to know he cares. Sort of.
Wow. I love all this honesty creeping into sports "journalism". This dialogue was part of a Simers column, so I have to give Simers some credit for showing what a fool he is. Only he probably doesn't think that's what he's doing. It seems more that he is trying to point out that it is Scioscia who is the fool for not going along with the sports cliche he wanted to write about. All Simers did with his Marcus Thames article is show what an awful person he himself can be. He wasn't asking Thames a question he was in any position to answer. A player doesn't decide when he plays. Simers was just hurling an insult at him. Put that together with this Scioscia interview and you have to suspect it is Simers who is the head case not the likes of career greats Kevin Brown and Kenny Loften (11 years with the Indians alone) - or an overachiever such as F.P. Santangelo. Thanks for your bravery, Sam, in slyly pointing out the ineptitude of another sportswriter. I know their are professional and legal reasons for shying away from that. (In a way, Bill James took on the entire sports journalism industry a few decades ago.) It used to be sportscasters never disagreed with each other no matter how ridiculous the statement might be. That is one of the things that drives me so crazy about watching baseball on television, that I can rarely bring myself to do it. A few weeks ago Tango Tiger linked from his blog on air broadcast where Mark Cuban pointed out the typically shoddy basketball analysis from one of his hosts. It provoked a heated exchange, while Cuban kept his cool (if that makes sense). How refreshing! You guys who automatically ding me don't deserve this, but you can find the clip from this link:
Oops. I always get that mixed up. It's Lofton not Loften. Hmmm. we should think of two wheels - two "o"s - for speedy Lofton.
My day job is as a reporter, and it's funny to see Scioscia turn the question back on him... But then Simers' response is just so ridiculously unprofessional and stupid. That might be the real reason, and I imagine it is, but man... The initial question he asks isn't great either, but if he did care about doing a decent job, it's easy enough to support via some follow-up statements. "Well, I'm a reporter, so I don't personally care. But a lot of people who read my column are fans, and they want to know if this game could be a turning point or critical test in the season, or if it's just Game X of 162."