T.J. SIMERS

It turns out he has fans rooting for him to get off disabled list

As T.J. Simers recovers from mini-stroke or whatever it was, he is grateful for well wishes from readers and folks such as Sandy Koufax and Jeff Kent. But does he think he owes the Dodgers anything?

What an experience it has been.

When it came time to recuperate from my mini-stroke or whatever it was, the family went to Las Vegas.

They said it had been really tough on them.

Don't get the wrong idea. It wasn't as if they weren't thinking of me. They brought me along so they'd have the money to eat, drink and feel better again.

The Bagger must have been really affected by what happened; he was getting his beer, six bottles to a bucket as if he might not have anyone buy beer for him again.

I was touched.

I left the hospital in Arizona a few days earlier to spend time with the family. I hear people say that all the time: I want to spend more time with my family.

Are they nuts?

The family thought it would be a good idea if G.P. took the three grandchildren to breakfast at an IHOP, where you have to wait for an open table. Arizona's version of "Survivor."

Ever try to wipe syrup off a 3-year-old's hand with a paper napkin? And she has a twin sister who also likes pancakes.

Once you've heard a 3-year old ask, "Are you better?" and a few minutes later, "Are you better?" and a few minutes later, "Are you better?" and a few minutes later … let's just say I'm sympathetic now to coaches who become irritated when asked a question repeatedly, and I won't be offended if they want to give me a timeout.

The remarkable thing I learned about getting sick is that a lot of people were still rooting for me to recover, including UCLA football Coach Jim Mora, who emailed best wishes.

Sandy Koufax called. He said he didn't miss me in Arizona because he was enjoying the company of finer writers. He remains the funniest recluse I've ever met, and when you think about that sentence, just how many recluses do you meet in life?

Jeff Kent emailed: "I thought I was going to be the first one to knock you on your ass. Guess I was wrong again — I hate that."

Then in a warm and fuzzy moment by Kent standards, he added, "I'll be watching for the next chapter in your life, so write it with two feet on the ground and not six feet under."

Lane Kiffin texted. He was concerned he would be blamed for letting the air out of my spring-training plans.

Pat Haden texted but never indicated who he thinks will last longer, Page 2 or Kiffin.

Never heard from Arte; he must be really angry.

Never heard from Jim Buss, and I thought I was his only supporter.

Never heard from Dan Guerrero, but apparently Ben Howland did.

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