December 21, 2014

Kershaw Wins, Jones Loses, Dodgers Sweep

Wow. Today was a crazy day for the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw has certainly been coming along, and today’s 2-0 win, which featured six innings without any runs, was the best outing yet in his 10 game major league career.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, make it back to the .500 mark but still trail the D-Backs by a game as everyone in the NL west seems to win and lose in synchronicity these days.

In other news, Andruw “Tubbo” Jones finally got a $36 million dollar wake-up call. Jones and his .166 batting average will be riding the pine as the Dodgers take on the Giants in their upcoming series. He got a brief appearance against the Nationals but Andre Ethier is the man who has been asked to do what Jones can’t – hit the ball. Jones has been told to spend time with the hitting coaches and that those with better batting averages will be filling his spot until further notice.

Knee Injury Sidelines Andruw Jones for 4-6 Weeks

Knee Surgery

Well, Andruw Jones is officially out for 4-6 weeks, and I think I heard a cry of joy from Dodger Fans across the country. He’s headed under the knife and will miss approximately 4-6 weeks for rehab.

Now, having knee surgery probably won’t help Jones’ ongoing weight challenges any, but it does firm up a solid outfield lineup for the Dodgers in the meantime. Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier should be good to go for the next four weeks at a minimum, and create a situation where Jones may have some motivation to get back in shape before rejoining the team to improve his prospects for the starting lineup.

A technical note – the Dodgers put Jones on the 15-day DL right before game time today, and nabbed Terry Tiffee from AAA Las Vegas for their official roster (likely to act as a PH). This bumps our friend Nomar to the 60-day DL, so he’s going to be away even longer than expected.

The Bizzaro World of Andruw Jones

OK – a point of clarification before I get started here. I grew up in the 1970s. I loved cartoons. My absolute favorite cartoon was the Superfriends. Every Saturday morning, I got to see all of my favorite superheroes battle it out against their arch-nemeses and learn a valuable lesson about sharing, not speaking to strangers, or some other kid-friendly advice (cue the music from “The More You Know” PSAs on NBC here).

Superman’s arch nemesis on the show was Bizzaro, a convoluted version of Superman for whom everything was reversed. He originally appeared in a Superman comic in 1958, but for our pursposes he surfaced on TV in the mid to late 1970s. “Good” meant “bad”, up was down, etc. You get the idea. I could never wrap my mind around Bizarro – I only know I didn’t like him very much and was waiting for Batman and Robin’s PSA to tell me not to accept a ride from strangers whenever Bizarro graced my TV.

Fast-forward to Andruw Jones’ recent appearance in Atlanta. The prodigal son returns to Atlanta and receives…a standing ovation. Huh? OK, this happens sometimes, but this guy up and left for a fat paycheck. Jones even described the situation while in Atlanta as follows:

It’s just different. You wish you could keep with the team you came up with. Everybody wants to be with one team for his whole career. But this is a business, and it happened. And sometimes you have to move on and start something new

Wow – an ovation. That’s southern hospitality for ya.

Now, let’s return to Jones’ recent predicament in L.A.. He’s a good 30 pounds heavier than when he was in Atlanta, his hitting productivity is in the toilet (he was hitting a whopping .157 as of last weekend) and had steadily moved from 4th in the lineup all the way down to 7th. Jones was even getting booed in Dodger Stadium. You heard me right, booed. I know we have some die-hard fans that make the pilgramage to Chavez ravine, but we have a lot of “arrive by the 3rd, leave by the 7th” bandwagoners as well. What gives?

My guess – this isn’t a Bizarro superhero clash at all. Atlanta fans aren’t showing any southern hospitality either. They’re cheering the Dodgers for taking Jones off their hands and saddling themselves with a fat paycheck to boot. Only time will tell who gets the last laugh (and playoff spot) out of this one.

Then again, he did get one hit and one run in both Friday and Saturday night’s games. Maybe the applause is working…