Motor City Takes Issue with T.J. Simers Column

On Monday, LA Times columnist T.J. Simers (pictured) penned an unflattering portrait of Dodgers left fielder Marcus Thames, who played for the Detroit Tigers from 2004 to 2009. The tone of the piece has rankled both Detroit journalists and some of the player’s former teammates.

Adding her voice to the chorus of boos today is Fox Sports Detroit reporter Dana Wakiji. She takes issue with Simers’ ridiculing of Thames last name, as well as with the aggressive line of questioning he pursued for the piece:

Simers seemed proud of the fact that his first words to Thames were, “Are you that horrible on defense that teams don’t think it’s worth playing such a home run threat?” Although Thames just smiled at the rudeness, Tigers manager Jim Leyland would have had something to say to about that–none of it printable.

Instead of opting for a better line of questioning, Simers chose to ask the same question again. Because Thames, who really is a kind Southern gentleman, decided the exchange was not worthy of his time and ended up walking away, Simers wrote that, “he curled up into a ball, and I didn’t even ask him about his anemic .248 lifetime batting average.”

Sigh. And you wonder why the media gets a bad name.

Wakiji explains that she heard about the Simers column via ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson, who tweeted that “@LATimesTJSimers should be ashamed of himself.”

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.