Andruw Jones has experienced one of the steepest, most dramatic career drop-offs ... well, I was going to say "in recent years," but that seems like an understatement. Jones appeared to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer as recently as 2006, before his OPS+ that year, 126, dropped off a cliff to 88 in 2007. His split stats followed suit. Things got ugly.
Bottom line: The decline was sudden, dramatic, and painful, and much of it was borne by the Dodgers last year, after GM Ned Colletti decided to ignore the warning signs and give Jones a two-year, $36.2 million contract. Oops. Bad idea. Now, after an injury-plagued and generally worthless year, Jones has a message for his fans and former employers: he's sorry.
The Dodgers gave you $36.2 million, and in exchange you gave them a batting average of .158, three home runs and 25 extra pounds, and so you're finally sorry?
Andruw Jones pauses. He looks down. He wraps his fingers tight around the handle of a bat. He nods.
"Yes, you could put it that way," he says. "Yes, in fact, put it exactly that way."
"Put it what way?"
"I am sorry I didn't stand up to my reputation," he says. "I am sorry for what I put everyone through. I am sorry I did not make it work."
That was reported by L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who later took the apology to Colletti. Colletti is hilariously angry:
Now it is Colletti's turn to pause, to look down, to tighten his grip.
"Humbleness is a nice trait," he finally says, and leaves it at that.
Haha. Oh Ned. Sure, it's fair to be mad at Andruw for a lot of things -- his attitude, his weight problem, his general physical unfitness. There's stuff to be angry about. But reserve the contract-related anger for yourself: In an offseason where no one would touch the suddenly toxic Jones with a ten-foot pole, you swept in and gave him upwards of $40 million. You didn't even need Jones. You hadoutfielders already. I mean, come on, man. It's your fault too, you know?
Also, um, it's humility. Humility is the word you're looking for.