Does Steve Garvey, or his campaign in California, really exist?

Does Steve Garvey, or his campaign in California, really exist?

Op-ed, Election 2024, California politics

Robin Abcarian

January 24, 2024

Many years ago I interviewed Steve Garvey’s ex-wife, Cyndy, whose memoir had just been published. She had spent years as a lonely, resentful baseball wife, wrongly blamed by fans for the breakdown of her marriage to a man whose squeaky clean image belied his philandering and emotional bankruptcy. Shortly before I sat down with her, news had broken that Steve Garvey had fathered two children with two women, while being engaged to a third.

Yes, it turns out he was a player in every sense of the word.

There were times after the divorce when Cyndy told me she even considered suicide. But the thought of Steve Garvey raising their two girls stopped her cold.

If I had died, she said, my children would have been left with a right-wing, pro-life, born-again Christian media prostitute for a father.

Well then. What a neat description, even all these years later, of the man who stood on the stage of USC’s Bovard Auditorium Monday night, spouting platitudes and nonsense during a very serious debate.


candidates for the US Senate seat in California, which was held by Dianne Feinstein until her death.

He faced a trio of talented Democratic representatives Adam


Schiff of Burbank, who led the first impeachment of then-President Trump; Barbara Lee of Oakland, the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing the war in Afghanistan three days after September 11; and Katie Porter of Irvine, a protégé of consumer champion Senator Elizabeth Warren. As they discussed their solid legislative record, their fears about a second Trump presidency, their ideas for solving California’s housing crisis, their support for universal health care

care and a humane approach to immigration, Garvey, a Republican who voted twice in favor

former president

Trump chatted on like a Little League at first

basic coach.

Let’s get back to economics

,” he said.

‘Let’s go back to basics, a free market economy. Let’s stop this rising inflation; let’s get to the point where we cut back on the excessive spending in Washington.

What’s so damning about Garvey’s bromides is that the man has been talking about his run for Senate for decades.

Literally decades.

He had a great 14-year stint with the Dodgers, retiring in 1987 after five years with the San Diego Padres when he was only 38. He is now 75 years old. This means that he has had half of his life, 37 years, to think about the problems.

Honestly, I couldn’t help but imagine that the late Saturday Night Live comedian Phil Hartman had walked into the room and pretended to be a hard-boiled politician with a Jesus complex and good hair.

When was the last time any of you went downtown and actually walked up to the homeless like I have been doing for the past three weeks? Garvey asked Democrats. I had to talk to the people. I had to talk to the homeless, went to them, touched them and listened to them. And you know what? They said, ‘It’s the first time anyone has asked us about our lives.

Lee, who is African American and once became homeless with her children after escaping an abusive marriage, nearly sputtered: I can’t believe how he described his walk and his touch and his presence with the homeless, she said as the audience warmly chuckled at Garvey’s nerves. Come on, there.

Please please.

Schiff was politely wry: This will be my one and only baseball analogy for tonight. Mr. Garvey, I’m sorry, that was a swing and a miss, that was a total whiff.

It is a sign of the desperation that California Republicans, who have faded into powerlessness, would consider a candidate so ill-suited for the position of United States Senator. And it’s downright sad that Garvey can sail to the second round based on his name


baseball career.

To me, policy is a position, Garvey once said. I have taken strong stands.

Please help me understand how the man is different from an artificial intelligence bot programmed to say the most nonsensical sentences he thinks voters want to hear: I am common sense. I am compassionate. I’m building consensus.

I think California can do better than replacing the legendary Senator Feinstein with an algorithm that pretends to be a public servant.



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