Letters to Sports: Critics aplenty for ‘Winning Time’ portrayals, Trevor Bauer suspension

A man at his desk in an office decorated with Lakers memorabilia
Jason Clarke portrays Jerry West in the HBO series “Winning Time.”
(Warrick Page / HBO)
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Bill Plaschke and other critics of the distorted “Winning Time” did not go far enough. They rightly deplored the negative depictions of the era’s great players and personalities. However, the show goes far beyond mere distortion. It showcases filthy language, denigrates women, and emphasizes sex and nudity. I realize that R-rated material has become standard fare in recent years. But this show features more nudity and thumping than action on the gym floor.

Walter Parks



I only once saw Jerry West in street clothes, and that was at Loyola Marymount’s gym in 2003. Loyola was hosting the University of San Francisco. My son was a Redondo Beach Youth Basketball all-star, and they had been invited to play a short exhibition during halftime. There were lots of kids present. Jerry West showed up, presumably to scout. Immediately, a long queue of kids and adults formed to get his autograph.

West sat there patiently and provided his autograph until no one was left in that line. All of those kids already knew who Jerry West the player was. Before they left, they all knew who Jerry West the man was.

Ron Merrill
Redondo Beach


Bill Plaschke is right about the “Winning Time” series portraying Jerry West in an outrageous and slanderous way. But he’s entirely too generous to the series overall, granting that it got “some things right” while pointing out that numerous other key figures are grossly distorted and cartoonish. I’m not ready to “chill” about that.

“Winning Time” is actually an insufferable loser in most respects and a monumental waste of time. As the series unfolded it was shallow, self-indulgent, tedious and pandering. Only brief scenes shifted into more serious and authentic events.


You can’t have it both ways, as the series creators and many observers want to do — claiming it’s just Hollywood fiction for fun yet loyal to the text of a book whose author supposedly based the effort on reporting. If it’s mostly fiction, the author and the series producer should not be using all the names of the key figures and the team, representing this as fact more than farce.

TR Jahns

Suspend Bauer judgment

Major League Baseball suspending Trevor Bauer for two years is ridiculous. After a months-long investigation, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office determined that insufficient evidence existed to support filing criminal charges against Bauer for the allegations made by the woman with whom he apparently engaged in rough sex. MLB therefore determined that two consenting adults participating in private intimate relations justifies punishing the man because he plays baseball. Why? When did MLB become the moral arbiter of its players’ personal lives? Bauer did nothing illegal, yet he must pay a penalty.

On the other hand, ample evidence exists which proves the Houston Astros cheated to win the World Series in 2017. But MLB did nothing. Oh wait, Houston’s general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for one season!

So when a team cheats to win the championship, the participating players suffer no penalty and two non-playing members of the franchise receive a one-year suspension. A player engages in consensual “rough” sex in which no crime was committed, and he is effectively suspended for more than three years. Boy, does MLB have its priorities fouled up.

Brian Gura
Redondo Beach



In response to Rod Lawrence’s letter stating that he would “welcome” Trevor Bauer if he were to wear the blue again, I want to point out that there is conduct that is so reprehensible, distasteful and disrespectful — while not “criminal” — that it would result in an employee of most any company/corporation (other than a pro sports team) being terminated immediately. The Dodgers face a crisis of conscience in this Bauer business — and what they stand for as a franchise is clearly at stake. Lawrence is correct: Bauer isn’t a kindergarten teacher — his sphere of influence as a pro ballplayer extends far beyond one classroom to millions of fans — including impressionable children who idolize pro athletes. It’s time that all of pro sports hold their employees accountable for dehumanizing behavior toward women.

Cathryn Boxberger
Los Angeles


Major League Baseball did the right thing by suspending Trevor Bauer. A man who takes pleasure in physically abusing women has no business in professional baseball, let alone a civilized society.

Jack Wolf



Now that it has been revealed that Trevor Bauer’s accuser texted a friend saying that after a little more rough sex with him they can travel to Europe in style, every writer that slammed him owes him an apology.

Mike Lorraine
Simi Valley

Mendoza lines

Watching the Dodgers and wondering who is the woman commenting on the game? She is fantastic. Why have we waited so long to hear a woman’s voice — not stuck on the field under all weather conditions — but finally in the commentator’s booth sounding confident and expert. I’ve waited half my life for this. Now I can stop yelling at the screen listening to former players talking about the old days or their fav Dodger dog, saying, “Shut up and just call the game.” Whoever is responsible — Thank you!

Pam Hawkes


Loved Helene Elliott’s piece on Jessica Mendoza. Being a lifelong baseball fan, and an upper-60s male, I have been enjoying her on her new Dodgers analyst gig. Ignore the noise, Jessica, you are a real pro and I look forward to seeing you work Dodgers games for many years to come.


Dan Husband
Huntington Beach


Put me down as one who has enjoyed listening to Jessica Mendoza on the Dodgers broadcasts. I’ve found Jessica to be very knowledgeable, and she obviously loves the game. After Wednesday’s game, it’s too bad she won’t be back with the Dodgers until mid-July.

Vaughn Hardenberg


Regarding the article about Jessica Mendoza, “Mendoza brings a positive perspective.” Really? Mendoza called former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers a “snitch” for coming clean about the Houston Astros cheating scandal. That speaks louder than any of her on-field accomplishments.


David Pietrasanta


I’ve been relieved in the last week or so to find that Jessica Mendoza was in the booth with Joe Davis. No longer would we have to listen to Orel Hershiser analyze every spin of every pitch. We could hear just the voices we need on a televised broadcast. On one occasion we noted (gasp!) 30 seconds of actual silence while the game went on.

Leave Hershiser in the pre- and post-game analysis and put Mendoza in the booth with Davis … please.

Reggie Kenner
Manhattan Beach

No LeBron, no playoff problem

It has been nice to have a “LeBron Free” NBA playoffs. I have enjoyed seeing excited teams and motivated players competing together. The excitement has been captivating. I love the Lakers, but LeBron plays for individual stats and crating at EVERY foul, not team wins. Seeing teams playing together is refreshing.


Parker Randall
Newport Beach

USC discipline returns

While watching USC’s spring game I was taken aback by the energy and effort on display in a showing that lacked illegal formations, senseless penalties, careless turnovers, blown assignments, excessive taunting and unnecessary celebrations. Heck, a new cohesive Trojans offense even managed to score (three!) touchdowns in the red zone.

Thankfully Lincoln Riley is demanding higher standards of accountability after taking over a program that had struggled with discipline and already it can be said the difference in culture is like night and Clay.

Steve Ross

Moments missed

Seventeen years and the first Stanley Cup ever in Southern California and Ryan Getzlaf gets a truncated wire story on page two. A monumental event and The Times wouldn’t even spend a hundred dollars for a reporter to be there. Have you no decency?

Robert Sheahen
Sherman Oaks



Very important event happened at NHRA Houston Raceway on Sunday. Two women were in the finals for pro stock. Camrie Caruso vs. Erica Enders. Enders won. No mention in sports section. Brittany Force won top fuel. Nothing. If a baseball player or football player does something stupid then we get columns. Something off here.

Eva Costello

Editor’s note: The NHRA results did appear in The Day in Sports wire report on Monday’s D6


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