It’s Funny Because It’s Truthy

Reader Malcolm forwards an inspired piece penned by Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers that sings the praises of Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. Ken Tremendous at Fire Joe Morgan picks the article apart nicely (F-bomb warning) and is left wondering whether it is parody or straight reporting.

This, of course, is the best kind of humor. If it’s easy to understand, the joke just isn’t that funny. But when you’re left kind of scratching your head and maybe a little unsettled, the person telling the tale has done a masterful job.

I love this passage:

…Colletti looked like a goner before [Casey] Blake and [Manny] Ramirez arrived.

“I didn’t feel it,” Colletti said, and as a general rule — dead men don’t feel anything.

Not that you need me to explain humor, but the use of “as a general rule” in that sentence just kills. Still, my favorite part comes later, on the second page:

THE PADRES are an embarrassment to professional baseball, Colletti a Hall of Famer by way of comparison to San Diego’s duo of dolts, Kevin Towers and Sandy Alderson.

Any dolt can see this. Colletti had the foresight to sign the likes of Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones to big contracts, and now he is reaping the rewards. His team is playing .500 baseball and giving another .500 team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, a serious run in the battle for supremacy of the Division That Relevance Forgot (TM).


No, man, I mean AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!!

But Towers and Alderson have four World Series appearances between them.

Dude, that is so ’90s. You’re living in the past. Next you’re going to start talking about the time you saw Jewel at Inner Change or Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver at the Casbah (not the new one, mind you, but the tiny old one that became Velvet). Or God help us, you’ll be dropping Anchorman references.

I feel like such a dolt. Anyone want to join me, so we can be a duo of dolts?

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18 Responses »

  1. T.J. Simers is the greatest sportswriter in the world.


    Hey, I saw Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver at the old Casbah AND at The Velvet. At the “new” Casbah, too.

  2. Ken Tremendous, meet TJ Simers. It is a joke, whatever you make think of the execution. Regular Simers readers – I am one – know this. Professional agit-clown Simers frequently pokes his cattle prod toward Ned, and Ned has long since learned to play along. Simers’ columns have been great since Manny arrived.

  3. First things first:
    For my money, this article is TJ’s version of a back handed slam. The real message is that Colletti lucked out with Manny and Blake. The around the horn approach, is TJ trying to show us how sharp and witty he is.

    Second things second:
    TJ’s past rants against Paul DePodesta and quantitative analysis in general, dovetail nicely with declaring Alderson and Towers dolts. Obviously the Padres are having a terrible season, and it is open season on the decision makers. They are big boys and they can take it. What I do not understand is ranting against an all rookie lineup. Is this the first time a bad club has dumped veterans, and taken a short term hit?

  4. I think it’s completely satirical and over the top. Good for TJ Simers for having a sense of humor. That’s great comedy. Ned Colletti may not like it, though.

    You are a dolt, Geoff. You are such a dolt, you embarrassed the heck out of other dolts. Perhaps, you are undeserving to be a half of a duo of dolts. Other dolts are insulted when they heard you’ve been called one. And….and….hmmm….

    OK, I give up. Writing is hard, man. I’m such a dolt. Be a duo with me?

  5. Hmmm, that was a strange one from Simers. Did Manny really cost nothing? CY almost had a perfect, that was cool. Chargers forgot the foot on neck theory of the NFL.

    knock, knock, knock. is this thing on?

  6. “Anchorman” was released in 2004.

    I have many leather-bound books.

  7. Eh, that’s just TJ being TJ. Remember this is the guy who Jim McMahon used as a Kleenex, and has probably been threatened by every player he’s ever covered. He told Kobe that his daughter was a better shooter than Kobe was – which, having seen the girl play, may not have been hyperbole. But that’s what he does.

  8. #2@Stephen: I don’t get to read his stuff as often as I’d like, but this served as a great reminder that I should make a point to do so. The guy is brilliant. It’s really hard to do what he does, and do it well.

    #4@Didi: Thanks for defending my honor. ;-)

  9. 9: Of course, my friend, of course.

    BTW, Baek is making it hard to cut him in the off season. I’m thinking more and more that he’ll be back next season…and I’m OK with that. Strange isn’t it?

    His arsenal are decent and if he can get to harness them for more than 5 IP/G, he’ll be perfect for 5th starter/long relief.

  10. #9@Geoff Young: Brilliant? Check out today’s article. Is he joking? I honestly don’t think so, but I’ve learned to stop reading Simers (it will sound like an excuse, but I swear my buddy sent me today’s article. No, really!).

    It sounds like I’m in the minority here, but I don’t find Simers funny. He has stated before that his schtick (sp?) is to show that people take sports too seriously. Yes, they do. But I’m not sure how belittling people proves this point or gets a chuckle. But like I said, clearly I am in the minority.

  11. #10@Didi: Last night was the first time Baek has impressed me. He abused Manny Ramirez in the sixth.

    #11@BigWorm: Yeah, Simers isn’t for everyone, but I enjoy his work. He seeks to get a rise out of folks and generally succeeds. He has a plan and is able to execute it, which is more than can be said for many writers. And sorry, I’m laughing at today’s article. It’s just so… over the top.

  12. 11: I don’t like Simers when he writes about other teams – the mocking tone gets to be too much. But I do like his writing when he’s clearly making fun of the hometeam. Still as good as he is at writing his stuff, it does tend to be a one-trick pony style of writing.

  13. 12: You got to be impressed with the adjustments that Baek and the pitching coaches came up with against the lineup that killed him not a week ago. That he was able to execute them shows a good improvement as a pitcher. I’m saying he’ll be better than Germano or Geer or Stauffer as #5.

  14. Where was the old Casbah located? I was thinking it was up on Kettner just south of Washington or Sassafras exits off I-5, is that right?

  15. GY posted a link to a TJ Simers column yesterday but he had an even better one today:,0,5622161.column

    Here’s the title: “San Diego is a town filled with losers”

    Again, it’s nearly impossible to say whether he’s serious or not. He is a blowhard so he might be serious but then again, an article with the statement “What a treat for the small-town losers in San Diego, the local yokels saddled with bad football and baseball teams again, but catching a break finally and getting a glimpse of the Los Angeles Dodgers as they move toward yet another World Series title” has to be a joke.

  16. #12@Geoff Young: For whatever reason, I have always been completely turned off by those who seek to just get a rise out of people. They remind me of the 7th grade bully. Although you are correct, he is better at what he does than 80% of people out there.

  17. #6@Kevin: And it was set in the ’70s, which is even further back than the ’90s.

    #15@Schlom: Honestly, my recollection of that era is a little fuzzy. I just remember it was tiny.

    #17@BigWorm: I usually am, too, but he’s just so over the top that I can’t help myself. Call it a guilty pleasure. ;-)