Andruw Jones: Why?

Sam RobinsonCorrespondent IMay 11, 2008

I was opposed to the signing from the second I heard the rumor of the Dodgers seeking Andruw Jones.

While I knew there was no chance of winning Torii Hunter over the overbidding (over the overbidding?) Angels, that is no excuse for what the Dodgers did.

Yes, Andruw Jones has won 10 Gold Gloves in a row.

Yes, he has hit at least 25 home runs in his past 10 seasons.

BUT, when the same player, in a contract season, hits for a .222 batting average and has his OPS drop 100 points below his career average, you are supposed to put a warning flag next to his name.

You are NOT supposed give him $18 MILLION a year to play outfield in a Dodgers organization with two young talents in the outfield (Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp), and when you have a starting center fielder whom you signed to a five-year, $44 million deal the year before (Juan Pierre).

The optimists say things like, "the Dodgers needed home runs, and Jones will hit 25 in an off year." True, the Dodgers have been starved for long balls for a few years now, but with rising stars such as Loney and Kemp, they could have spent their money elsewhere.

If they really wanted another outfielder, at least could have made a better effort of landing Fukudome, who has done nothing but light it up for the Cubs this year.

To say this is the first time the Dodgers have thrown money away would be a foolish remark (See Kevin Brown, Jason Schmidt, etc.). But the numbers speak for themselves.

In 35 games this year, Jones is hitting an appalling .170, with one home run and four RBI. Those are the most expensive RBI in the history of baseball. At this rate, he will finish with 5 home runs and 21 RBI.

Pitcher Micah Owings is outhitting Andruw Jones. You would be hard-pressed to find a player in the MLB who is hitting worse (Jim Edmonds was just released, so nice try).

Meanwhile, Matt Kemp is hitting .315, Pierre is at .288 but getting hotter, and Ethier was hitting in the .300's before Jones took his spot into the lineup after missing a few games for "allergies. Personally, I think Jones is allergic to hitting the baseball.

If I were GM of the Dodgers, I would have included certain clauses in this contract: If Andruw doesn't hit at least 20 home runs, he loses one-third of his contract money.

If he finishes the season below .200 (which might honestly happen at this rate), he loses next year's money and gets thrown into Watts and dealt with by disgruntled Dodger fans (or anyone in the area who is disgruntled in general and wants to vent their rage on someone). 

The Braves have been beating up on the Dodgers since their glory days in the '90s. Now, they are sabotaging the Dodgers from the inside out. 

Why, Andruw Jones, why?