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The Inside Track | T.J. Simers

Brand Name Is Granny's Choice on Shopping Trip

April 16, 2006|T.J. Simers | T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.

The Bagger, Mrs. Bagger and the 7-Eleven Kid have moved into our home along with most of their belongings, and if you include the workmen remodeling the bathrooms, there's no place like home, all right.

That's why Granny and I went out Friday night, making it a date night at Ralphs, buying 82 bottles of baby food -- something like a three days' supply for the 7-Eleven Chubbo -- and did you know powdered milk costs $28.99 a can? The wife had breast-fed our kids, which I realize now allowed us to drive a nicer car.

I still have a bad knee because we get our medical care through an HMO, so going home after our visit to Ralphs was risky, what with Elmo and his friends sprawled across the living-room floor.

The other option was staying out with Granny and, I don't know, maybe talk or something. We've been together for more than 37 years, so I don't know what else there is to be said.

We were in the car and someone on sports-talk radio said, "Who should be the NBA's MVP this year?" So I asked Granny what she thought.

"I'd prefer music," she said.

"I have it narrowed down to five or six, beginning with Steve Nash, LeBron James and then Dirk Nowitzki, Chauncey Billups, maybe Dwyane Wade or even Tony Parker."

"But you left him out!" Granny shrieked -- surprised to find her still awake.

"I know he's had a terrific year, and they wouldn't be in the playoffs without him, but I can't go with Elton Brand."

Granny has been a Clipper fan for years. She was a Cub fan growing up, so you can see why she's a Clipper fan. She began to go on and on about Brand's grand season, and I thought it was a really good time to turn on the music.

*

FIRST PERSON I ran into in the Dodger clubhouse was Derek Lowe. And the first thing he said was, "So it's Kobe for MVP, right?"

"I don't put Kobe Bryant in my top five -- not with 43 team wins," I said. "The Suns were goners without Amare Stoudemire, but Nash had Phoenix winning a title. Look how hobbled Tim Duncan has been, but Parker drove the Spurs to 60 wins."

Lowe's response: "Kobe should win it."

I asked him if this had anything to do with the medication he's been taking, prompting him to make a playful move for my bad knee, but since he's a pitcher and not much of an athlete, I was never in danger.

I moved to Kenny Lofton because I needed a laugh. He said he wasn't talking, but then wouldn't stop. He said he remains upset because I won't put everything he says in the paper. I reminded him how boring he is but how I intend to talk to him regularly so I don't miss it if he does say something interesting.

"Do what you want," Lofton said. "The pen is mightier than the sword."

"Thank heavens you don't have a sword," I said.

"You're right about that," Lofton said with a glare. "But I have some people who do."

I checked with Nomar Garciaparra. "Do you happen to know anyone who has a sword?"

"Not that I know of," he said, and so it looks like I'll be spending a lot more time with Garciaparra -- just in case he has anything interesting to say.

*

GARCIAPARRA WALKED onto the field, making it the first thing I've seen him do for the Old Timers, and told him I was impressed with the way he walked.

"You missed it, I was already out there taking infield," he said. "Give me your pager number and I'll page you the next time I go out there."

I'm beginning to worry. The word on Garciaparra was he was humorless and even cranky. If he wasn't hurt, I'd worry the Dodgers got the wrong guy.

*

VISITED MY old pal, Jeff Kent, and although it's only April, he's given me the best quote of the year albeit delivered in fun. I think.

"Why don't you go talk to Barry [Bonds] and bother him?"

*

THE DEROGATORY "Barry ... " chants at Dodger Stadium are a good way of identifying the idiots in the stands. It's also one more reminder why young kids might be out of place at major sports events these days.

*

SOMEONE ASKED Dodger Manager Grady Little if he had TiVo for the "Bonds on Bonds" TV show at 3:30 p.m., and he said he couldn't afford TiVo, so I asked if he was trying to say the McCourts were cheap.

"I'm trying to say my wife is blond, she's home at 3 and doesn't know how to do it," he said, and I sure hope she also doesn't know how to read.

*

I MET the doctor who is going to treat my knee and he tells me he's a former boxer. Is there a proper way to ask how many times he got hit in the head and has he noticed any dementia symptoms?

*

THE WHOLE family is going to do Easter brunch so the 9-month-old granddaughter can put on a dress. G.P. will shell out $65 a head, and even knowing the 7-Eleven Kid won't eat a single bite, it'll be worth every penny. And I'll have the pictures to prove it.

*

TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Steve Williams, Los Angeles Dodger supporter, Los Angeles Laker supporter, Los Angeles Spark supporter, Los Angeles King supporter:

"You did it again! You managed to offend Los Angeles natives with your lack of knowledge on a subject. You are clueless to the issues between the Coach [John Wooden] and the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Would someone at The Times finally get a clue and get rid of this guy. He obviously dislikes Los Angeles."

I'll have you know I'm a Los Angeles Angel supporter.

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