Trainer Vincent Timphony dead at 76

Vincent Timphony, trainer of the first Breeder’s Cup Classic winner Wild Again has died at 76, family members said.

Described by his ex-wife Scarlet Timphony, of Pasadena, as the “last of the Damon Runyon’ characters in the racing game, Timphony, 76, suffered a stoke prior to his hospitalization.
Memorial Services are pending. But, Scarlet Timphony said a celebration of Timphony’s life will take place in New Orleans on March 8.
“He would have loved a second line,” she said.

RIP Sparky Anderson

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My first time in a major league clubhouse involved an interview with legendary baseball manager Sparky Anderson, who died today at the age of 76.

 He was generous, funny and really helpful. Big league baseball is fraught with prima donnas. Sparky wasn’t one of them. 
I remember him eating some pre-game fried chicken during our interview and even offering me a drumstick. Because of Sparky I was able to put together a pretty decent feature on Cecil Fielder, leading the AL in RBIs and homers in 1991. I’ve never forgotten what a decent man Sparky was — when he could have been a jerk like most people in baseball.
Besides being a nice guy, Sparky was a great field general. He led the Big Red Machine to glory in the 1970s and the Detroit Tigers to a title in 1984.
When he did color for Angels games in the 1990s his knowledge and colorful descriptions really enhanced the tedious experience of watching baseball on television.
RIP Sparky

Cronkite dead at 92

Walter Cronkite.

To those of us from an earlier generation. He was THE NEWS. There was no other source. No 24-7 cable network talking heads.
He delivered the sad news that JFK had died.
He delivered the happy news that Americans had walked on the moon.
Walter Cronkite was 92.

Tuesday’s Column (Michael Jackson)

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t get the whole Michael Jackson adoration thing.

Perhaps the hundreds of thousands of people heading downtown this morning really want to take part in something that has nothing to do with the still-dead King of Pop.

If they are not going to Staples to remember Jackson, they are there to be part of something bigger than life.

It’s not clear.

But why waste an entire day stuck in traffic? Why get pushed around

by cops? Why fight sweaty dudes in wife-beaters in what is sure to be a mosh pit outside of Staples Center?

Let’s get something straight. Regardless of how much joy Jackson’s music may have brought to the masses, he was a sicko.

If there’s any proof it probably lies in the multimillion-dollar settlements Jackson reached with purported

victims. One of those claimed the singer molested him at age 7 and again at age 10.

That kid’s mother was Jackson’s maid. Jackson reportedly reached a $2.4 million settlement with the

family.

In 1993, Jackson paid $20 million to a 13-year-old who claimed the pop star sexually abused him.

The boy’s mother explained later how Jackson begged her to let him sleep with the boy, according to court documents and testimony at trial.

The star and the mom argued about it, but ultimately the boy’s mom gave in and allowed her teen to spend nights in Jackson’s bed.

After the mom relented, Jackson bought her a Cartier bracelet. Clearly, this was a man who thought he could hurt whomever he wanted and do what he wanted because he had the means to buy his way out of trouble.

The boy may have been molested over a six-month period of time after that.

In 2003, police arrested Jackson and charged him with sex crimes against a 13-year-old boy who had cancer.

At his trial in 2005, prosecutors detailed how Jackson showed porn to young boys on the grounds of his Neverland Ranch. They spelled out how he gave the kids wine, which he called “Jesus Juice.”

The state documented how Jackson preyed on the teen cancer survivor and the boy’s family – for his own self-gratification.

The victim, a resident of El Monte, told a jury how Jackson groped and fondled him.

A member of the jury that

ultimately acquitted Jackson said

later he thought Jackson was a child molester. Another said Jackson should stop sleeping with kids.

If Jackson were any other 46-year-

old man in that situation, he’d

probably still be in prison fending off predators who take no mercy on

pedophiles.

Certainly, he’d be listed on the Megan’s Law Web site once he got out of the joint.

I guarantee if he was the creepy guy living down the street from any one of us, we’d be repulsed and sickened by his behavior.

If anything, Wacko Jacko’s life story should be a cautionary tale about the price of fame and the parents who subject their kids to foul and unspeakable acts.

It’s a story about the danger of prescription drug abuse and the

doctors who are nothing more than educated street corner pushers.

It’s an epic filled with details of bad decision-making by a whole host of people – including those making a pilgrimage Downtown on this summer day.

RIP Farrah Fawcett

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Actress Farrah Fawcett has died, according to several news reports. The actress had battled with cancer for several years and was reportedly in grave condition Wednesday afternoon.

For men my age Fawcett was an icon. She starred in Charlie’s Angels and posed for a famous cheesecake shot that we oogled at Tower Records and hung on our bedroom walls.
Fawcett was 62.
Here’s Google’s news updates.

Danny Gans, former Mt. SAC baseball player, 52

From TMZ

Danny Gans died early this morning, after a family member called 911 to say Danny was having trouble breathing. By the time paramedics arrived, he was dead.

A ticket rep at Steve Wynn’s Encore hotel tells us they just got the call and the entire staff is “shocked and upset.”

Gans is a legend in Las Vegas — the self described “musical impressionist” signed a $150 million contract in 2000.

We’re told Gans died at 3:00 AM at his home in Vegas. There are reports his wife discovered his body and called for help.

Gans was named “Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year” a record 11-times in a row. He did not perform last night.

Besides being a gifted entertainer, Gans was a pretty good athlete — in fact, he was drafted by the KC Royals out of high school and played minor league ball.

UPDATE: TMZ has learned a 911 call was made by a family member at 3:44 AM for a 52-year-old man who was “having trouble breathing.” By the time medics arrived, Gans had already passed away.

Joe Sanders buried in Elk Grove

From the Sacramento Bee:

California Highway Patrolman Joseph Sanders was laid to rest today, one day after the 29-year-old officer would have successfully completed his probation period.

Sanders, a Galt High School graduate, had served just 359 days as a CHP officer – his longtime goal – before he was struck and killed one week ago today while conducting traffic in heavy rain on a Los Angeles County highway.

Hundreds of family, friends and uniformed officers gathered in Elk Grove this morning to remember Sanders, who had been assigned to the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office in Southern California. Law enforcement officers from all across the state — including a large contingent from Southern California — and as far away as Texas filled the First Baptist Church to memorialize Sanders.

Sanders’ death marks the CHP’s first line-of-duty death of 2008 and the 214th in the CHP’s 79-year history.