Open Thread: Good journalism vs. bad journalism


(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

I tend to have very little interest in players’ personal lives. It adds zero value to my life, all I worry about is what happens on the field. So when Austin Romine left camp for a few days last week for a personal reason, I thought nothing of it. Stuff comes up, who cares, none of my business. Jack Curry wrote about Romine today, and it turns out the young backstop had to leave camp to attend the funeral of his younger cousin, who was killed while participating in a combat operation in Afghanistan. “At this point in time,” said Romine, who remained in camp for ten days after learning of his cousin’s death, “I have no more tears.” It’s a great and heartfelt article that gets RAB’s highest recommendation.

Unfortunately, that side of journalism, the good side, is generally overshadowed by garbage. Instead of more columns like Curry’s, we get stuff like this complete assassination of Marcus Thames by T.J. Simers of The LA Times, a hatchet job that went so far as to attack the pronunciation of the guy’s name. Based on what we read and saw last year, Marcus was as nice a guy as they come, and if you needed any reason to root harder for him, well Simers provided it. I’m glad Thames took the high road and refused to stoop to that level, a level unfit for the hackiest of hacks.

Anyways, here is your open thread for the night. YES is playing an encore of this afternoon’s Yankees-Orioles game, and MLB Network will be doing the same with Mets-Tigers. All three hockey locals are in action as well. Talk about whatever, go nuts.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Michael Kay will be at the Rangers game tonight… decked out in full Rangers gear…

  2. JobaWockeeZ says:

    So if anyone is interested in a league using non traditional stats you should join!

    Yahoo id: 166461
    password: fangraphs

    DO IT.

  3. I called the LA Times and asked them if Simers is an “asshole” or a “whole ass”. I couldn’t get an answer from them.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Asshole with a capital A.

      And there are still some who can’t figure out why newspapers are dying. Not only do they employ hacks such as Simers, but they also employ lobotomized editors who approve such drivel.

  4. Rey22 says:

    Couldn’t even finish that article. What a prick.

    • Drew says:

      seriously whats that guys deal? if some asshole came up to me and just ask me why I wasn’t great on defense and was a complete dick about it, i wouldn’t talk to him either.

      Terrible news about Romine’s cousin my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

      • bexarama says:

        I was reading the article about it on HBT and apparently this guy’s schtick is to act like an asshole to more established stars who are at least used to this kind of shit, like Torii Hunter. Doesn’t make it okay but at least guys like that are used to it. Why pick on a bench guy, especially one who I’ve never heard anything but absolutely glowing things about personality-wise like Marcus Thames? Ugh.

        • MannyGee says:

          soooo, he’s like baseball’s Zach Galafankis? but not funny?

          dont know if that makes him a bigger douche or dick… but if Thames was as big a headcase as Simers accused him of being, Thames would have just knocked his ass out. jus sayin

  5. Stratman9652 says:

    Romine’s story in itself was already very good, but what a superb piece of writing by Jack Curry. Very very well written.

  6. I also posted this link on TYA, but another fantastic article is this one (, from the Boston Globe on Sunday, which chronicles Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland’s journey back from brain surgery.

    It’s long, but well worth the time it takes to read.

    • S says:

      With Lester and now Westmoreland, the Sox are making it really hard to dislike and to not cheer for these guys when they play…well…except for Beckett he’s still a dick.

      • Zack says:

        Papelbon and Schilling too…. having to listen to him and Mark Grace gloat this year on the 10th aniversary of the 01 World Series is going to be barrels of fun.

        • MannyGee says:

          ummm 2 guys with tumors dont make up for the other 23 dick heads. sorry, Lester & Westmoreland get passes, fk the other guys

  7. Clint Holzner says:

    I emailed T.J. Simers to complain about the article and how he portrayed Thames.

    He responded with: “The guy acted like a jerk so therefore I presented him as such; I’m not a mind reader”

    I said:”‘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.” If that is how you truly introduced yourself then to everyone else reading your column it isn’t Thames that looks like the jerk.

    He responded: “Direct question_no phony baloney”

  8. bexarama says:

    MLBN: “Many think the 2011 Red Sox will break the all-time single season runs scored record.”

    Uh… who?

    • Tom Zig says:

      Not with that bottom 3rd of the lineup.

    • MikeD says:

      I love it. Let the Red Sox be set up for failure. Expectations for the Yankees is usually off the charts, so let the Sox deal with that this year. Anything less than 117 regular-season wins, a new all-time runs-scored record, and a World Series championship will be viewed as a disappointment.

      History says disappointment is coming for the Red Sox.

      • MannyGee says:

        yeah… history and the 2010-2011 Miami Heat…

        being the sexy pick a week before the season starts rarely plays out the way you expedct it to…

    • JGS says:

      The 2010 Red Sox were 249 runs away from that record. They lost their two best hitters, and Ortiz is another year older. If they come within 100 runs of that record, I would be shocked

    • The Red Sox are set up to fail miserably under Joe Pos’ movie ratings system.

      Expectation: Four stars
      Actual experience: ???

  9. Jerome S. says:

    People like TJ Simers write crap like that all the time (see:RAB comment section after a bad loss). But what I wanna know is, what editor would let such an unnecessary piece of non-journalism be public?

    • Esteban says:

      I think when you reach a certain status as a journalist/columnist you get to write whatever you want.

    • Pasqua says:

      Honestly, I think it’s page views. Create a sensation, people read it, and online advertisers are happy.

      This is the main reason why I believe no Hall of Fame inductee will ever receive 100% of the vote. When Mariano gets in, for instance, some jackass from Topeka with a vote will refuse to vote for him because “a reliever should never be a first-ballot HoFer,” then he’ll write an article defending his point, and the Topeka Telegraph website will get a bajillion hits and some notoriety.

  10. Michael Mirabella says:

    So I’m in this espn fantasy league where I’ve got a pretty good infield, Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Chase Utley, Troy Tulowitzki, and Evan Longoria (also got Ryan Howard for 1b/3b), but a pretty crappy outfield: Jayson Werth, Hunter Pence, Jay Bruce, Mike Stanton, Vernon Wells, and Brett Gardner for utility. My pitching is so-so. CC, Jered Weaver, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Yovani Gallardo, and Broxton, Street, Nathan, Kevin Gregg, Kuroda, and Tommy Hanson. I was offered a trade of giving evan longoria and miguel cabrera for cliff lee, michael young, jayson heyward, adn phil hughes. Should I accept it?

    • Drew says:

      if you do that trade you’re an idiot

      2 of the best run producers in not only the AL league but in the entire MLB for:

      Lee – wins maybe 16-18 games

      Hughes – wins 15-18 games

      Michael Young – a utility player at the moment with the Rangers

      and Jayson Heyward – who is poised to have a sophomore slump or at best puts up 20-22 HR and 85 RBI

      Youre pitching is fine. You have strike outs and wins galore with Weaver, Latos, CC, and Gallardo

    • How many teams are in this league? Two? Four?

  11. bonestock94 says:

    I just sent TJ Simers well thought out hate mail at “” You should too.

  12. MikeD says:

    Everything I’ve read about Marcus Thames has suggested he’s a quality person. I should add that I had the opportunity to meet Marcus and spend part of an evening with him and friends a couple years back while he was still on the Tigers. He seemed like a great guy. I won’t even dignify the article by clicking on the link.

  13. Kiko Jones says:

    Thames is a class act who doesn’t deserve that kind of hatchet jog. If I recall correctly, Curtis Granderson’s folks were interviewed in the stands when the Bombers played the Sox in Chicago last season and they spoke very highly of Thames, almost like another son.

  14. hawkins44 says:

    TJ’s thing (My only guess) is he thinks we and his readers will all read and react to every stupid column he writes going forward because “he’s so controversial”…. whatever, bad is bad… I will forget about him tomorrow.

    Fantastic catch boys, I don’t always agree with your points..but you could teach that guy a thing or two about how you deliver news and perspective.

  15. V says:

    Btw, if there are any official RAB baseball leagues with openings, please shoot me an e-mail at

  16. Xstar7 says:

    I read Simers’ article and even though Thames is one of the worst defenders and The Dodgers would be better off without him, Simers didn’t have to be a dick about it. If he was really so concerned over the state of the Dodgers he should be complaining to Frank McCourt (Even though he probably wouldn’t give a fuck. McCourt is too worried over his divorce to give a flying fuck about his baseball team) instead of running his mouth on the LA Times. Marcus Thames is an inspirational man. His mother became paralyzed when he was 5 years old. His family was living off social security and what the state gave them since Thames and his 4 siblings had no father to support them. He had to join the National guard in High School to help his family financially. And through it all he became a professional athlete and a relatively successful one at that. He’s no Albert Pujols or Hanley Ramirez, but how many people can claim to have hit 100 major league home runs and play for major league baseball teams like the Yankees and Dodgers do you know? Especially with all he’s been through. Marcus Thames instantly became a personal favorite when I first learned of his story. Besides his paltry defense you can’t say a bad thing about the man. TJ Simes is a senile man for heckling Marcus Thames like that and if he can’t even pronounce the last name of the man he’s writing an article about, than what the hell is he doing even writing it?

  17. DQ says:

    Blogger taking shot at journalists. So 2008.

    • Xstar7 says:

      Reply Fail? Or are you talking about Mike Axisa?

    • hawkins44 says:

      Yep – that’s why papers are scrambling to add value to our lives as we reasonably intelligent readers stay with the blogs… just another example of what started in 2008, good call.

  18. mbonzo says:

    Anyone think Prior will make the team?

  19. Kevin in Princeton says:

    I hope the first pitch Gerrit Cole throws in the majors is promptly deposited into the stands by A-Rod. We were sooooo close to having him…

  20. Mat UK says:

    Just set up a new league called RAB Champions League. Password is riveraveblues. Followed the RAB rules at the top so should mirror that. Draft is Sunday at 7. (I’m English so late night for me) Any problems let me know.


    Is this ok with you Mike?

  21. Anyone here ever heard of TJ Simers before tonight? Mission accomplished.

    That’s why I think the only appropriate response to garbage like this is to ignore it. Don’t feed the trolls.

    • Steve H says:

      Isn’t he (or wasn’t he) on Around the Horn quite a bit? I haven’t watched in years, but I’m pretty sure he used to be. There’s a Fire TJ Simers website that is at least 5 years old, and I’m pretty sure he has a reputation as a dick anyway.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Yes, I have.

      (But that’s thanks to Fire Joe Morgan.)

      But you’re right — no point in responding to stuff like that.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Yea I guess I fell for that trap hook, line and sinker. What little I read from that article was incredibly obnoxious though, I just had to write the guy.

  22. Kiersten says:

    That Romine article made me cry.

  23. Colon then went out and was very good again last night. And what I thought is that Colon probably has limited bullets if he is going to actually be effective this year. Can you imagine him making 30 starts? I can’t. Even 20 would be a stretch. So if the Yankees really believe in what they are seeing then they need to put Colon in the rotation now. Because a lot of what they are doing with the back end of the rotation is stalling until a better alternative comes along – either in the trade market or from the minor league system. So if Colon has 10 good major league starts in his arm that gets the Yankees to June.

    My suspicion is the No. 5 spot and maybe the Nos. 4 and 5 spots will be a tag-team effort this year from the Yankees. It might look like Colon to a promoted prospect such as Adam Warren to a pitcher the Yankees obtain in a trade on July 31.

    I’m not sure Colon can’t get through a regular season, but I’m not a doctor. I don’t know how healthy he is now or the nature of his previous injuries. But if he gives us 10-12 quality starts up to the end of July, I’ll be thrilled.

    • Steve H says:

      Yeah, he’s shown that he still has enough to get MLB hitters out. That was step 1. Step 2 is getting as much out of him as possible. As you not, no one truly knows how many starts he’ll be capable of making. He was historically a healthy pitcher who provided plenty of innings until 2006. While I don’t want to ignore the weight and age issues, it’s not like Colon is a Rich Harden type who’s body is simply incapable of lasting for a full season. I agree that 10-12 solid starts would be a great outcome for Colon, but like you, I don’t want to say that’s best case scenario either.

    • MannyGee says:

      well, if ‘healthy’ = ‘wicked fat’ then yes, he should be good

      • Urban says:

        He won a Cy Young Award being wicked fat, so I don’t think that’s the part that will be the problem. It’s what’s left in the arm.

        • Steve H says:

          David Wells, CC Sabathia, Sid Fernandez, etc, etc, etc. People have their hangups over Colon’s weight, but if he’s pitching well, what the hell does it matter?

  24. Jess says:

    Can anyone tell me why the Dodgers signed a DH who should only hit against lefties as their LFer?

    Signing Thames made zero sense to me givne he cant play the field.

  25. bill says:

    awful what he wrote about thames, really was a class act for the yankees and when this guy does mash lefties like hes capable of doing he’ll be the first one to say how awesome he is. pathetic

  26. Pat D says:

    So the AT&T/T-Mobile deal gets announced on Sunday.

    Today, at my call center, we have the first of “many meetings.” We’re told that within 45 days, we will find out what the “retention” and “severance” packages are. Not when or if they’ll be offered, but what they will be.

    Why do I not have a sunny outlook?

    • Steve H says:

      Good luck. I’d get your resume ready just in case, but hopefully you keep your job or get a hell of a severance package. At least you do have 45 days to prepare. They’ll be long for sure, but it’s better than having someone from HR show up one random morning and lay off half the staff. That always sucks.

      • Pat D says:

        Yea, due to this and other things going on here, I’m pretty determined to get out if I can find something better.

        • MannyGee says:

          take it from me… polish your resume and get the hell outta Dodge… do no wait for sev or retention to be announced…

          I have been in your shoes.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Because you work at a call center?

      Seriously, though, best of luck.

    • Urban says:

      That’s interesting. They’re going to have severance packages before they even know if the deal closes? A year in advance of its close date, if it closes at all?

  27. Mike HC says:

    That Thames article was just odd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sports article take on that exact tone.

  28. Some of the comments in the Thames article:
    “Burn in hell.”

    “I hope you are attacked by a grizzly bear.”

    “Here’s to hoping T.J. Simers gets cancer!”

    “Simers has all the writing talent of a trained chimp.”

    So even LA Times readers aren’t big Simers fans.

  29. Alex K says:

    Marcus Thames was my coach in Norwich Navigators summer ball camps in the late 90s and was such a class act. I got to know him a bit and he’s still my favorite coach at any sport or level.

    I really want to email this guy telling him what a joke he is, but I won’t, because I agree with those above who point out that’s feeding the troll. So irritating. What kills me is that he really thinks Thames was a jerk to him by not answering his slanted and hostile question. How on earth does declining to answer such a question make someone a jerk?

    Is this guy just not self-aware, or does he lie through his teeth about his convictions to maintain his shtick?

    • Mike HC says:

      The guy obviously has some problems of his own. That was not a normal article from a healthy person. There is definitely something under that misguided bitterness.

  30. DSFC says:

    It’s a shame – the LA Times used to have the great Jim Murray on their sports pages. Now their marquee names are Simers and Platschke. Talk about a dropoff. It’s possible to criticize a player’s ability without being a cock about it, and he just made up the head case part.

    • Mike HC says:

      Mike A. nailed it. It was nothing more than a hatchet job. If he was looking for attention, he sure got it. I hope he does not mind every decent person out there thinking what an ass he is.

  31. Guest says:

    Why did Simmers jump to a comparison to Kenny Lofton? In the article, he said he asked his questions a certain way because “he remembered Kenny Lofton would…”

    What, in terms of baseball skills or personality, do Marcus Thames have in common? It would be like comparing Johnny Damon to Shane Spencer. Literally, they have nothing in common as baseball players or personality charachteristics.

    So why did Simmers draw this comparison?

    Oh yeah, right, THAT…

    They’re all the same, right Simmers?

  32. Jer says:

    I read that the Twins have made Kevin Slowey available and they’re looking for a late-inning reliever (rotoworld). Should the Yankees pursue? Joba?

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