Andruw Jones: Masahiro Tanaka can overpower but is not like Yu Darvish

Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka is one of the most intriguing players this offseason. The Japanese pitcher went 24-0 in 2013 and is coming over to MLB after a long period of questions about whether his Japanese team would post him. Many Japanese pitchers have been successful since coming over — Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda and Hideo Nomo are a few examples — while guys like Hideki Irabu, Kaz Ishii, and to some extent Dice-K Matsuzaka, have had struggles.

Though many expect Tanaka to be an impact pitcher, everyone wonders how well he will do. Former MLB player Andruw Jones was Tanaka’s teammate for Rakuten in Japan last season and compared Tanaka to Darvish, who was a Cy Young contender with the Texas Rangers.

Jones says the two are different types of pitchers, though he expects Tanaka to be successful.

“He didn’t strike a lot of people out like Darvish,” Jones told the New York Post. “He pitched more to contact. He wanted to get guys to hit balls on the ground.

“He can overpower and he can control,” Jones said. “He’s a very competitive guy.”

Jones also believes that Tanaka has proved his is ready for MLB after being the best pitcher in Japan the past two years. He thinks the first year will be tough because it’s an adjustment, but he believes Tanaka has a “good chance” to be successful.

Tanaka should be expected to succeed. Though his strikeouts might not compare to Darvish, he still posted a 1.27 ERA in two of the past three seasons in Japan. He only allowed 10 home runs in 385 innings of the past two seasons. He may not have the same arsenal that Darvish does and, let’s be real, very few people in the world do, but it sure looks like he’s an expert at getting people out.

Andruw Jones’ wife files for divorce following domestic violence incident

andruw-jones-mug-shotThe wife of former MLB All-Star Andruw Jones has filed for divorce about a week after she called police about an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred at their home.

According to the Associated Press, Nicole Jones filed a divorce complaint in an Atlanta court Monday saying their 10-year marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Nicole called police shortly after midnight on Christmas to say that Andruw threatened her life.

Details from the AP:

The couple fought around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 25 after Nicole Jones asked her husband to help prepare their home for Christmas morning, a Gwinnett County police report said. She tried to go upstairs, but her husband grabbed her by the ankle and dragged her down some stairs, the report said. He got on top of her and said, ”I want to kill you,” according to the report.

Nicole says she was able to push Andruw off her because he was drunk. She says she went to her parents’ home after the fight. Police took pictures of her which injuries on her neck.

The two have a 9-year-old son of whom Nicole is seeking primary custody.

Andruw broke into the big leagues in 1996 at age 19. He went on to have a 17-year career, and he was a five-time All-Star while with the Atlanta Braves. He spent the past few seasons as a reserve player, and he signed to play in Japan for the upcoming season. His deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles does not seem to be in jeopardy despite the arrest.

Andruw Jones plays catch with a fan to warm up between innings (Video)

Rather than go with the traditional routine of warming up with a teammate between innings on Monday night, Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones decided to have a catch with a fan. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a player do this, but I’m surprised we don’t see it more often. It seems like a simple enough way to improve the fan experience without players having to put much effort into it at all.

I guess you could be concerned that a fan would just keep the ball and you wouldn’t get to finish your warmup, but if a Rangers fan cooperates with a Yankees players it seems like a safe move. Pat on the back to Andruw for making someone’s night.

Andruw Jones Signs with New York Yankees, Pinstripe Moves Unremarkable

The New York Yankees signed outfielder Andrew Jones to a one-year, $2 million deal Thursday, according to the New York Post. Add to that, their signings of veterans Mark Prior and Russell Martin, and you’ll notice that this offseason for the Bombers has not exactly been filled with blockbuster additions. Oh, I almost forgot they also brought in lefty-specialist Pedro Feliciano — huge deal. The only “big name” player the Yanks brought in is set-up man Rafael Soriano, and not everyone in the organizationwas on board with that move.

Offensively, the Yankees added guys who combined to hit .251, with 24 home runs, 74 RBI and 15 stolen bases last season in Martin and Jones. Comparatively, the additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Red Sox bring a combined .302 batting average, 50 home runs, 191 RBI and 47 bags from last season. Gonzalez and Crawford each had more RBI individually than Martin and Jones did combined. So while the Yankees brought in two former All-Stars who are far from what they were, the Red Sox brought in two superstars in their prime. This is the type of offseason New Yorkers expected from the Mets, but not the Yankees.

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Delusional Andruw Jones Blames Frank McCourt for His L.A. Departure

During a weekend where the Lakers won the NBA Championship, it was easy to let other stories slip through the cracks. Luckily my boy Anders(on) Varejao came through by sharing the comments Andruw Jones made this weekend when the Dodgers were in Arlington to play the Rangers. The LA Times says Jones is still bitter about being booted from LA and blames owner Frank McCourt for his fate:

Jones said he started to get the sense that he was on his way out of Los Angeles when he met with McCourt before undergoing knee surgery last May.

“It was disrespect,” Jones said of the way McCourt spoke to him. Jones said he was upset when his agent, Scott Boras, told him in the off-season that McCourt was looking into ways to void his contract. While acknowledging that McCourt paid him a hefty salary, Jones said the owner had no right to complain about a deal that was mutually agreed upon.

“I got paid that money because that was my value,” Jones said, pointing to the numbers he posted in 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

Umm, hold on a second, correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it Andruw Jones who hit a buck fifty and not Frank McCourt? If Jones had shown up in shape and ready to play then he’d be in LA, cashing McCourt’s checks. I’m not a McCourt fan but there’s no way not to stick up for him here. What U Jones did last year was totally and utterly disrespectful to the organization. If he had any sort of decency he’d give the money back because he didn’t earn it. I can’t believe how idiotically Jones views the situation. Maybe all the Golden Sombreros are cutting off the circulation to his brain.

Andruw Jones Apologizes for Stinking Last Year, Showing Up Overweight

I will comfortably say that Andruw Jones’ legacy is forever tarnished, especially in the case of LA fans. He will never be able to get past what he did (or didn’t do) last season. After signing a two-year deal for around $36 million, he showed up to camp in horrible shape, easily 250-plus pounds, and just unprepared to play baseball. I have said that being fat doesn’t have a negative impact on ballplayers and I still believe that. It’s just that Jones clearly wasn’t ready to play and was essentially stealing money from the club. His negative play on the field just kept spiraling and spiraling to the point where he was getting booed so consistently he never turned things around. He strung together one of the worst, if not the worst, regular seasons by a position player all-time. For that, he finally apologized (to Plaschke in the LA Times):

“Are you saying you’re sorry?”

“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.”

Andruw admitted that he heard the boos all season long and that they really did bother him. He also confessed that he wasn’t really injured when he got placed on the DL at the end of the year, just that he really needed to get away from it all. Now that he’s only making 500k from the Rangers and has an incentive-driven contract, he’s trying to get back into normal shape. Clearly Jones failed to realize that baseball careers are precious in that they don’t last very long. He had the rest of his life to enjoy his millions, getting fat and lazy. The prime of his career was not the right time to get a head start.

Andruw Jones Expects to Start and Have Big Season Next Year

If Andruw Jones hasn’t given us anything for his $18 million salary this season, at least he’s provided us with plenty of laughs. That seems to be the continuing trend with Mr. Jones, who recently spoke with the LA Times and provided some needless-to-say humorous answers. As passed along by commenter Anders(on) Varejao, who no doubt is in heaven right now with the Dodgers in the NLCS and the Lakers beginning pre-season games, according to Jones:

“I had a bad season and a terrible season back-to-back,” Jones said. “I have to have a great season and show people I have baseball left in me.”
Jones said he expects to be the everyday center fielder next season.

“I’m an everyday guy or I need to move out,” he said.

You can feast on that for a second. Another point is something my Uncle raised when we last spoke: Where are Andruw Jones and Brad Penny, and why aren’t they in the dugout cheering on the team? They’re still part of the team, aren’t they? Do they really need to be away to rehab their injuries? I would figure that they could still find it in themselves to support the squad, but that’s just me. As for Andruw, I assume he’ll start the season with the job; it will be up to him to perform well enough to keep it.

UPDATE: Ben Maller tells us exactly what Brad Penny’s been up to — partying it up in Las Vegas.