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T.J. SIMERS

Dodgers didn't receive care package with Jones

May 11, 2008|T.J. SIMERS

Since offering to go on a diet with Andruw Jones and getting nowhere with him, I've lost 14 pounds, so I checked in with the Tubbo on Saturday night to see how he was doing on his own.

"Have you lost anything?"

"I don't care," he said.

I shook my head in disbelief, and he said, "I don't care what you think."

"Do you care what anyone thinks?"

"I don't care," Jones said.

Saturday night the fans in Dodger Stadium booed Jones' name when the starting lineup was announced. "Don't you care that the fans in Dodger Stadium have turned on you?"

"No," he said. "That's their problem."

I suggested that it's not human for someone not to be bothered by booing fans in their own stadium, and he stuck out his tongue and made some noise.

"How do I write that down?" I said.

All together now: "I don't care," he said.

Without the fans, I said, there's no reason for you to be here in Los Angeles playing baseball and no way you're getting paid $36 million over the next two years.

"I don't care," he said. "You play for the team, you don't play for the fans. The fans never played the game. They don't know."

Both a Tubbo and clueless, which really isn't a very good combination for the player with the highest annual salary in Dodgers history.

I tried to tell him he was taking the wrong approach with the fans here by saying really dumb things and reporting to work fat.

"Don't you understand why people are upset with you? You sign a big contract and report to spring training out of shape. . . ."

"I disagree with you," Jones said.

So I checked in with Joe Torre, and he said, "I think he could have been in better shape."

I reminded Jones that I had lost 14 pounds and even had eaten a doughnut with the 7-Eleven Kid, and how does it look when the team's center fielder has a bigger belly than the columnist writing about the team?

"Look at your belly hanging out of your shirt," Jones said. "You're probably going to die tomorrow."

"Not before I write this column," I said.

When I told Torre about some of the things Jones had said, he shook his head. "I think he may be saying one thing and feeling another."

Why lie about such things?

"I don't know if it's lying," Torre said. "I know when I have a conversation with him, he says, 'I'm OK, I'm OK,' so in essence, he's lying to me too. Because I know better."

At best, Jones might say "I don't care" because it's a defensive mechanism, but at worst, he lacks common sense, striking out with the fans once again.

As for his play on the field, the Tubbo has one home run, and so far it looks as if he has only warning-track power, which suggests he has lost something.

"If you think that's what I've got, warning-track power, then write it down," Jones said, and it always helps when I have a player's permission to criticize him. "I lost my power, I suck, I should retire."

"I hope you're not waiting for me to disagree with you," I said.

Then Jones went out, and struck out on three pitches in his first appearance at the plate. I wonder if he cared.

PAMELA ANDERSON was at the Dodgers game and hugging bench coach Bob Schaefer. I'm just here to report the facts and not interpret them. Like everyone else, I'll just have to wait for the video.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT a while ago that a statue of Oscar De La Hoya was going up outside Staples Center before Jerry West or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn't make sense until this week when the Anschutz Empire bought a stake in Golden Boy Promotions.

MOST KIDS are probably frightened to check into a hospital, so I took the Boogey Man to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles on Friday to show them some things aren't as scary as they might first seem.

Just as I suspected, Jeff Kent was a big hit with the kids. He got the chance to visit the bone marrow unit, and while the rooms are usually sealed off, 17-year-old Brenda was far enough along in her recovery that Kent could stand in the doorway.

Brenda began fidgeting in her bed, moving her blanket this way and that, her mother finally wanting to know what she was doing.

"I'm getting up to take a picture with Jeff Kent," she said, while working to get herself out of bed. And people think Kent is tough.

Kent had made it clear -- any day, any time -- and he'd visit the hospital to help shoot a video to better explain why Scully & Wooden agreed to donate their time and appear in the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 13.

Tickets remain on sale at ticketmaster.com, by the way, and why wouldn't everyone want to catch Scully & Wooden together on Father's Day weekend?

Eleven-year-old Raul, wearing a "leukemia sucks" T-shirt, took a Dodgers cap from Kent and immediately gave it to one of his visiting cousins. Kent offered another, and another, and another and Raul had a lot of cousins.

When they had all been taken care of, he agreed to take one for himself -- in turn giving Kent a personalized framed painting of a penguin. I do believe the Boogey Man was touched.

AMAZING, OR is it, the number of generous folks out there?

Avengers team owner Casey Wasserman donated $10,000 to make sure everyone at Mattel's who wishes to hear Scully & Wooden gets the chance.

The Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and Clippers, among so many others trying to help the kids' cancer cause, have each bought $25,000 tables for a dinner to precede the event.

We checked, of course, and the Tubbo will be out of town with the rest of the Dodgers, so we won't run out of food.

MISSED THE Lakers' weekend in Salt Lake City to go out for dopos with the granddaughter, who was carried off in the middle of the night to Arizona a few months ago by the Grocery Store Bagger and former daughter. Just how bad is it living in Arizona?

Over doughnuts, when I asked the 7-Eleven Kid, she told me, "My favorite place is Home Depot."

--

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

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