October 25, 2014

Should the Dodgers Release Andruw “Tubbo” Jones?

With the Padres releasing Jim Edmunds and his $9 million salary, it begs the question: should the Dodgers do the same with Andruw “Tubbo” Jones?  The answer is clearly no, as his contract is guaranteed for another year and a half, but there are other options:

1.) Bench him indefinitely and recall Mattingly to work with this guy as a special project (isn’t that what Mattingly is on the payroll for?)  If this isn’t a “special assignment,” I don’t know what is.  Someone tell Torre to flash the Dodger logo up in the night sky. When Mattingly sees it, he will know the team’s in trouble and it’s time to return to the West Coast (“Donnie Baseball” is currently out working on an important assignment with the Great Lake Loons).

2.) Install a treadmill in the dugout and make Jones walk or run on it throughout every game.

3.) Banish him to AAA.  While this would be humiliating all the way around, it certainly would be more embarrassing for Tubbo.  Paul Oberjuerge has a great take on this as well – check it out.

Of all these options, I combination of #1 and #3 would be best (although I would LOVE to see option #2 put into place).  Think about it: sending Jones to the minors allows him time to escape the glare of the LA sports media and work on his swing with one of the true hitting legends of the game.  It allows the Dodgers to give Ethier some much needed at bats on a consistent basis and it sends a clear message to the rest of the team.  If the booing Dodger Stadium crowd wasn’t a wake-up call to Jones, an extended trip to Vegas certainly would be.  Who’s with me?

Get Over Yourself, Andruw

So lately I’ve been reading a lot of stories about our pal Andruw Jones about how he doesn’t answer to the fans when it comes to his performance.  My response is simple: get over yourself Andruw.  You, your $18 million contract and your .170 batting average (with one HR and five measly RBI) certainly do answer to the fans, especially on a team where you are the centerpiece of our offense!  The guy is fat, stubborn and a PR nightmare for the club.  Check out this quote from T.J. Simers’ column from May 10:

“I don’t care,” he said. “You play for the team, you don’t play for the fans. The fans never played the game. They don’t know.”

But they DO know Andruw.  They know when a guy has something seriously wrong with him and they do know how that $18 million annual salary impacts ticket prices, parking and food.  They also know when a guy is just going through the motions.

So get over yourself Andruw.  Lose the weight, work on your swing and for God sakes, at least pretend that you’re excited to be a professional baseball player.

Coincidence or not?

Well, after ten restful and Mai Tai-filled days and nights in Hawaii, I’m back, refreshed and ready to talk about the Dodgers! Special thanks to Alex for keeping things going here at Dodgerfan.net while I was gone.

In between sunburns, I did keep an eye on the team and loved what I saw. But is it a coincidence that the Dodgers were 8-1 while I was out of town? God, I hope so! A quick check at the scoreboard shows the team losing 7-2 going into the 9th inning today in Colorado, which means I might need to hop another flight to the islands ASAP. What can I say, I’m a giver.

According to Tony Jackson, the eight consecutive W’s is the Dodgers longest string of victories in two years. Oh, and did I mention the 70 runs scored over those eight games? What happened to that team that we started the season with? Seems that the Dodgers have finally found a way to hit, averaging over eight runs a game, but that begs the question: what the hell is wrong with Andruw Jones? The team is winning, the pressure should be off, yet Jones is still hitting just .164 with one home run and 4 RBI. This is shaping up to be another massive Ned Colletti bust unless they can figure out what is going on inside this guy’s head (or in this humble blogger’s opinion, his stomach).

The Bizzaro World of Andruw Jones

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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…

Notes from the Ravine

Was out at Dodger Stadium this afternoon for a meeting and saw a little early batting practice going on.  Brad Penny of all people parked a few balls deep into the outfield seats.  Juan Pierre also took a little early practice in the cage and was working on his bunting.  Other early arrivals included youngsters DeWitt, Hu and Billingsley.  And I could have  missed him, but I did not see any sign of Andruw Jones – the one guy who could use a little extra practice.