Fire Jim Tracy

Friday, March 04, 2005

Oh Mom! More Bill Plaschke! Do I Have Ta? I Added Some Simers Today, Dear.

Before we get to Bill Plaschke, has anyone noticed that T.J. Simers completely devolved into unintentional self-parody today? He took several paragraphs of space to BEG JAMIE MCCOURT TO CALL HIM BACK!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Paragraphs and paragraphs of rambling, nonsensical text self-promoting his talk show, throwing in another cheap joke (talk about your cliches), followed by a series of banalities. All for the purpose of catching Jamie McCourt's attention. I think he was really jealous when Valentine's Day came and went.

Now then:

Joey Amalfitano leaves -- a nation mourns.

Don't get me wrong, DePodesta screwed up. When employees call, you should return their call. But aren't you all wondering why Bill Plaschke wrote this particular column? For instance, back in his infamous January 30, 2004 piece discussing the Dodger sale, Bill Plaschke quoted McCourt:

"I want to bring that winning legacy back"

To which Plaschke responded:

Terrific. Get on the phone with Sandy Koufax.

And on February 23, 2005, the Times reported:

Dodger legend Sandy Koufax, 69, made his first appearance in Dodgertown. Koufax, who lives in Vero Beach, provides instruction to pitchers on occasion.

Which one is more newsworthy, the guy who threw the no-hitter, or the guy who struck out with one out in the ninth during the no-hitter (Thanks, Rob, by the way)? I guess it depends on the kind of story you' tell. And has Mr. Human Interest ever written about Sandy Koufax's return to Vero Beach? Not that I could find.

Or there was the one a few months ago about the guy who designed the "Game Over" T-shirts. Which one was more important to Dodger fans? That guy, or paying the guy ON the "Game Over" T-shirts $19 million? But which one did Bill Plaschke see fit to write about? Not the latter.

And there is one passage that is unconscionable, and tells you everything you need to know about Bill Plaschke.

"I thought he knew he would be back," DePodesta says. "I thought it was just business as usual."

Yeah, shame on this 71-year-old man with no contract and no paycheck and no phone call for three months for thinking he didn't have a job.

DEPODESTA DIDN'T SAY THAT! He didn't say anything close to what Plaschke is insinuating. He didn't blame Amalifitano. The sentence started with "I." "I thought..." This is Plaschke's bias shining through for all to see. If this is what self-introspection gets you from Bill Plaschke, I can see why people don't go through it very often.

The problem is not with the story. The problem is with the story-teller. It took every power of objective reasoning I had to sit back, divorce myself from Plaschke-World, and say "You know, a boss should really call back an employee who calls him. That's part of the job. It's what makes you the boss. People who work for you deserve the common respect of communication when it is requested." I shouldn't have to work that hard to sort through Plaschke's tangled web of biases, grudges, and lies to come to that truth. The story is an embarrassment to DePodesta, but it is also an embarrassment to its author.

And there is more on this in the comments here. A lot of insightful things are being written about this particular issue, and the next step, hopefully, is to do something more about it than just write. I welcome ideas.

UPDATE: I would have linked to Simers' piece, but my computer decided that, metaphysically, it couldn't link to nothing.

UPDATE 2: Anticipation mounting for a meaningless Spring Training game. Play ball.

UPDATE 3: Even more on this here.


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