Bonds Is A Valuable Commodity
Barry Bonds will be remembered as a great player with a terrible attitude.Â Got on base a lot; clubhouse distraction.Â Broke the Hammerâ€™s record; got in fights with Jeff Kent.Â See?Â
All of those writers and fans who scream that Bonds is a clubhouse cancer are in many ways incessantly rambling, mostly because none of us can really know how he acted in the clubhouse.Â Jeff Kent was a jerk everywhere he went and he always had problems.Â Other than Kent, can you name one other team of Bondsâ€™ that disliked him?Â Iâ€™ll give you a few days.
Bonds, even in his geezer days, is an absolute offensive machine, comparable to what could reasonably be expected from Mark Teixeira (about a .940 OPS).Â Thatâ€™s unbelievably valuable, so much more than Andruw Jonesâ€™ rosiest projection.
Jones is the classic case of a player getting a little money and suddenly finding no desire to work.Â Jones signed a tiny (in baseball terms) 2 year, 30 million-ish deal and immediately reported to camp 20 pounds overweight.Â Dâ€™oh!
Andruw made his reputation off being good defensively, which he was... three or four years ago.Â Jones still possesses what made him unbelievable, his instincts, but his body is so large (I couldâ€™ve said fat) that he no longer has any range.Â His arm was never great and is below average now.
Any of you that suggest he could DH obviously didnâ€™t care to check his numbers.Â Comparing him to Adam Dunn, as Iâ€™ve seen, is totally ludicrous and shows a lack of understanding for what really creates runs.Â Batting Average Does Not Equal Production.Â Dunn gets on base; Jones doesnâ€™t.Â Dunn slugs and slugs and slugs; Jones doesnâ€™t.
Bonds is a valuable commodity, and Jones, considering his cost, is potentially the most useless player in baseball.
Andruw Jones Can Still Contribute
You can say whatever negative you want about Andruw Jones but he has never been classified by teammates or organizations as a â€ścancer in the clubhouse,â€ť or had anyone say â€śthat itâ€™s all about Andruw,â€ť and heâ€™s certainly not likely to miss a good chunk of 2009 trying to avoid jail time.
No, Andruw Jones has always been a reliable player, even if not always called a great team player.Â But can he still contribute somewhere?Â The answer should unquestionably be yes.
Sure Andruw Jones has struggled the last two seasons but you can throw a lot of last year out the window due to knee problems which put him on the disabled list three times and badly affected his swing.Â That limited him to only 209 at bats and never allowed him to find a groove.Â So, while less than stellar a look at his 2007 numbers might be a more accurate gauge - that would have been .222-26-94, and his knee probably was bothering him even then.
While those numbers might well look like Adam Dunn lite, that was a huge fall off from the previous two seasons where he averaged .263-46-129 (.263-51-128 in â€™06 and .263-41-129 in â€™07).Â Those numbers might be a reach to hope for, but heck, there are plenty of teams whoâ€™d be thrilled with Adam Dunn lite - especially if the Dodgers are picking up the majority of the contract money.
Yes, there are reasons to doubt, allegations that Jones was one of those players whose production fell off at the same time that steroid testing was implemented, but rumors are just that, and well, when the alternative is Barry - whose steroid history is rather concrete.
The bottom line is that Jones still has upside but whatever team grabs him is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and grab him for a rebound year, when he returns to form as a fearsome hitter and at age 31 the odds arenâ€™t too bad.