You know, it’s not that easy to hit a round ball with a round bat. Combine that with that whole no salary cap thing, and once-bigtime superstars can quickly become liabilities.
Aside: I’m not even going to talk about steroids within this post. I mean, OK, A-Rod tested positive in 2003. Keep in mind at that time steroids WEREN’T EVEN A BANNED SUBSTANCE IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. So, he didn’t actually do anything wrong at the time. Morally reprehensible? Sure. Is he a liar? Yes. Illegal in baseball at the time? No. That will be all.
Anyway, this brings us to the beautifully horrific case of Andruw Jones. What’s the image of Jones going through your head right now? Is it of the smooth-fielding, young center fielder that eventually transformed into a slugger or is it the guy from the last couple years who looked lost at the plate, got huge and became an awful player?
It’s probably the latter.
With the Braves in 2007, Jones hit .222 with 26 home runs and 94 RBIs in 154 games. OK, fine.
In 2008 with the Dodgers, things bottomed out. Mr. Jones hit just .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games. Uh, yeah. Throw in knee surgery early last season and it paints a pretty ugly picture.
The Dodgers, you may have heard, have this thing for Manny Ramirez, so Jones’ options for this season, after the last couple, were, shall we say, limited.
So, naturally, he turns down an offer to compete for an outfield spot with the Yankees and instead signs a minor-league deal with the Rangers that will pay him $500,000 if he makes the club and up to $1 million if he reaches the incentives.
I’m not exactly sure how a guy who didn’t even sniff the Mendoza Line last year can turn down any offer — even if it’s from the Schaumburg Flyers.
But, to sum it up, within four years Jones has gone from second place in the Most Valuable Player voting to signing a minor league deal with the Rangers looking to resurrect his floundering career.
Ah, baseball takes another victim.