Los Angeles Dodgers: The Decline of Andruw Jones

Gary LloydSenior Analyst IMay 7, 2008

Andruw Jones reminds me of milk. Yes, milk.

He was really good for most of the time, got a little spoiled and ultimately became flat out bad.

That bad part is happening now.

Jones is in his 13th major league season, a number that represents bad luck. And Jones has that.

Despite his home run total dropping from 51 in 2005 to 41 in 2006 to just 26 last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to pay him just over $36 million for two seasons. His signing bonus was just over $12 million.

I realize the Dodgers have been searching for a big bat to place in the middle of their lineup, but has the Dodgers' front office and scouts not paid attention to his decline?

Heck, Jones' slugging percentage last season was .413. Not exactly a sexy number.

He batted .222 in his last season with the Braves as well. Yuck!

So far this season, Jones is batting a whopping .162 and slugging .248.

Through 32 games, Jones has struck out 36 times in 105 at-bats.

OK, well that's enough of the cellar-dweller stats. Let's get to why those stats are what they are.

I have one reason that can branch off into other reasons--work ethic. In my near decade of watching Jones smash home runs and rob others of home runs, I realized Jones' work ethic seems apathetic.

He has always gone about his game nonchalantly. He's always seen with a sarcastic grin, even when striking out. This is just my personal opinion, so correct me if I'm wrong.

His work ethic (or lack thereof) also led to him showing up to Dodgers training camp at nearly 250 pounds. He must have been training with Miguel Cabrera in the offseason.

Lastly, his overall mechanics at the plate are off. Terry Pendleton worked with Jones extensively in Atlanta at trying to improve his stance. Jones thinks of himself as strictly a pull hitter, so convincing him to attempt to hit toward the opposite field is out of the question. Joe Torre and Don Mattingly have been trying in Los Angeles, but it hasn't worked yet.

Jones is getting older, but had he taken part in any workout regimen in the offseason, I believe his results would at least be a little better. He should be in the prime of his career, but instead, he's in the decline.

I've never met the guy, but it seems he's content just collecting that large paycheck.

His work ethic is nonexistent, and in turn, so is his impact on the game.