After speaking with Andruw Jones, I have learned the secrets to ruining a great baseball career.
Andruw will turn 32 in April and he has already amassed some impresive career numbers, including 371 HR and 1131 RBI. If it wasnt for the last two seasons, one might think this was a player who was on his way to the Hall of Fame.
While Jones had some years when he has hit for a relatively high average, he has never been known as a great hitter for average. Still, Jones kept his average respectable hitting around the .260 to .270 range. It wasn't that long ago that Jones was still an amazing defender in center field and having productive seasons at the plate. In 2006 he hit .262 with 41 HR and 129 RBI—then everything went wrong.
In 2007 he hit .222 with 26 HR and 94 RBI, followed by hitting .158 with 3 HR and 14 RBI is 2008 in LA.
So how did he do it?
Step one is to show no concern for the physical condition. Just eat whatever you want and neglect exercise until you are noticibly out of shape. This will both diminish your defensive and offensive abilities.
Widen your batting stance to the point where it looks ridiculous. Every time you swing, you should try and hit a home run no matter what. This way it will look like your knees are going to pop out of their sockets everytime you miss. You will know your doing this correctly when you nearly fall down every time after you swing.
When your hitting coach realizes the flaws with your new approach at the plate, you should just ignore him. Instead, go home to the batting cage you installed in your massive house in Atlanta and try and hit every ball a mile.
I really hope Andruw Jones can make a comeback. He has so much natural talent, and he can still be an elite player for a number of years (he will turn 32 in April). He just needs to work at these problems.
Good luck Andruw!