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Andruw Jones still a far better player than Terence Moore is a writer

Dec 21, 2012, 8:45 PM EDT

Terence Moore should be ashamed to have published such a hack job.

Former Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Terence Moore takes on Andruw Jones today as only he can:

The bottom line: Jones is only assured of joining the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame of Disappointment.

The majority of Jones’ lowlights came later.

With apologies to Simon & Garfunkel, where have you gone, Andruw Jones, and how did you lose your way to Cooperstown?

Not only was Jones supposed to waltz from Yankee Stadium in October 1996 to the Hall of Fame, he was supposed to do so as a lifetime member of the Braves.

Sad. Really sad.

And I thought I was obsessed with the Hall of Fame.

Honestly, that’s mostly what there is to it. There’s certainly nothing new there, unless you want to see a John Smoltz quote saying Jones had “it!”. Moore even regurgitates the story about the one time in 17 years Jones was benched for not hustling to catch a flyball. There’s no insight at all; nothing into what caused Jones’ inconsistency or early-30s swoon. Really, the whole article is a lesson into what one could do with access to a baseball player’s wikipedia page and an intro to writing course. There’s certainly nothing there that suggests Moore actually covered Jones for the bulk of his career.

And that’s what really makes this pathetic. Moore should have all of the artillery necessary to bash Jones if there’s anything there to bash. The only real takeaway from the column is that Moore expected Jones to hit 500 homers and become a first-ballot Hall of Famer and he’s taking it personally that it didn’t happen.

Sad. Really sad.


Actually, this is even worse than I originally thought. It turns out Moore’s column today is essentially a rewriting of Moore’s Jan. 4, 2012 column on Jones. And barely rewritten. He’s even got the same Simon & Garfunkel line in there, and he ends the previous piece with a “How sad,” as opposed to today’s “Sad. Really sad.”

  1. Glenn - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    The rigors to become a hack sports writer are not the same as to become a darn good baseball player. Jeff Francoeur may be the exception that proves the rule, though. On a parallel note, why do local reporters get so much wrong? Any time that I have been involved in a local story, the newspaper reporter mangles basic facts and quotes. How hard is it to be observant and write coherently?

    • cur68 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      why do local reporters get so much wrong?

      Probably because talent rises and hack doesn’t. If the author had any talent at all as a writer or reporter he’d have moved on to bigger and better. Instead what you get is this hatchet job passing itself off as either “news” or “opinion”, can’t tell which. Moore’s basically blaming Jones for ageing and having injuries. I wonder what his excuse is for sucking at HIS job? At least Andruw Jones can always say that for a time in his career he was amongst the best there was. It is extremely unlikely that anyone can or will say that of Moore.

      • professormaddog31 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:31 PM

        I don’t know, there’s a guy here at the Wisconsin State Journal who is pretty decent and he’s been here for years. However, he chose to stay here, because he likes covering Wisconsin sports. I don’t know about Moore or his qualifications; I know that when I was still entertaining the idea of staying in Journalism, my only goals were to either write for the ChiTrib or the AJC. Maybe this dude likes working in Atlanta?

        That being said, yes, this is definitely a hatchet job. Makes you wonder if Andruw Jones once snubbed this guy for an interview and he’s taken it really hard ever since?

      • cur68 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        I can’t say as I think much of any “news” source that allows this to go forth under their banner. I’m not surprised he’s described as “Former Atlanta Journal Constitution writer, Terrence Moore”. I guess the Constitution didn’t care so much for his work, either. But, whatever’s going on, Moore appears to be taking Andruw Jone’s ageing and declining personally. It probably WAS a snub for an autograph.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        Beaver are pissy.

      • Old Gator - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM

        That’s how they establish their territory. I suppose you feel superior to them because you have to pay a lawyer three grand to file a mortgage for you?

      • historiophiliac - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        Sweetheart, I’m strictly squatter’s rights.

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:02 AM

        Deary deary me. We stoop to bathroom humour now, eh? i like to think we’re the keepers of the high minded repartee in these parts. But then I recall some of the things I’ve said . . . not so much high-minded as just high.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        sorry, drinking

      • raysfan1 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:56 AM

        Don’t apologize, it was funny.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      remembering the slender 18-19year old Andruw Jones reminds me of the scene in On the Waterfront where Rod Steiger, I think, is tellling MarlonBrando “At 160 pounds you were beautiful.” Or something of that nature.

  2. Kevin S. - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Yeah, and Jones was supposed to accept below-market deals to stay with the Braves twice. What a tool.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      There is only 1 player who stayed with the Braves start to finish through their glory years until retirement and thats Chipper Jones. Whats more is how many other first ballot Hall Of Famers that are still playing ended up staying with one team their entire career? Jeter comes to mind, really cant think of another who would retire before switching teams. Shows even more what a stupid comment that was.

  3. kirkvanhouten - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Outside of Jim Edmonds (who had a much better peak than almost anyone realizes), Jones was the best all-around center fielder in baseball from 2000-2005*. Six years as, at worst, the 2nd best player at your position and this guy can fill an entire article complaining about him?

    What is the career of Andruw Jones? A pretty good hitter (lots of power, but a not so hot .337 OBP and very respectable111 OPS+) combined with arguably the best center field glove in baseball history. What a disappointment!

    *Edmonds, 2000-2005: .989 OPS, 154 OPS+, 35.2 WAR
    Jones 2000-2005: .861 OPS, 118 OPS+, 33 WAR
    Jim Edmonds was a very good, though overrated fielder. He was obviously a much better hitter. Andruw Jones was such an incredible fielder that the difference between his and Edmonds glove almost made up for their large gap in hitting!

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      He was a really good player but the way he hit in that world series when he was young it seemed like he would be one of the all time greats. Obviously it was a small sample size but with all the hype and ability his career was slightly disappointing. And honestly defense isn’t that exciting in baseball. Plus the commenters and writers kinda over rate it. In all honesty if you had to assign importance by %’s to baseball teams being successful I would say 50% hitting 40% pitching and 10% defense is how I would break down value. Here come the thumbs down! Because I’m sure you guys are gonna try to say defense is just as important as hitting. It isn’t! Not even close!

      • djpostl - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

        40% pitching lol.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM

        If you were to assign a % to pitching importance what number would you put? instead of just saying “lol” give an actual answer.

      • djpostl - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:02 PM

        Actually the lol should suffice. But if you must have a % I’d put it at 60+.

        Hardball Times did a great job going over this last year w/ .

        It looked at the data and came up with this:

        “There have only been three teams in 106 chances who have won a World Series when their regular season ERA+ was less than 100. They are the 1987 Minnesota Twins, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1913 Philadelphia A’s. A team of below-average pitching has only won it all 2.83 percent of the time, which I personally find to be mind-blowing.

        More often than not, the team that wins it all is going to land in the top right portion of the graph, which means they’ll have both good pitching and good hitting. But, a team can be below average offensively and still win it all, as 33 of the 106 winners have proven (33.02% percent).

        I think this really hammers home the point that pitching really does win championships; that you need at least an adequate stable of arms to have a prayer. Trying to win the Fall Classic without league-average pitching has proven to be about as fruitful as attempting to drive a car without gas. You’re not going to get very far.

        So, if you had to choose which is more important between offense and pitching, the answer is obvious: run prevention.

        I looked at the data a lot of ways, so here are some others:

        •Only 22 of 106 winners had better hitting than pitching (20.75 percent)
        •Only eight of 40 winners had better hitting than pitching in the divisional era (20 percent)
        •Only two of 16 winners had better hitting than pitching in the dead-ball era (12.50 percent)
        •Since the offensive-centric Reds of the 1970s, aka The Big Red Machine, only five of 33 have had better hitting than pitching (15.15 percent)
        • The average World Series winner had an OPS+ of 103.47 and a median of 104
        •The average World Series winner had an ERA+ of 113.84 and a median of 113
        •Thus, on average, the winner has an ERA+ of 10.37 more than its OPS+”

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM

        dj, you made my day. The Beaver Men appear to have AWESOME pitching and a KILLER hitting lineup to boot.

      • Jeremy T - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        But if you’re going by ERA+, wouldn’t that be a combination of pitching and defense? I wonder how that would look using FIP?

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Well if you take out defense then you have the FIP. I dunno how it would look. I’m just saying that if you think about it… almost every ball hit is a routine fly or grounder that 100% of all major leaguers can field. Even the worst defensive players can make the routine plays. So having a good defense only helps a few times a game. Hitting is so much more important. It just is. Are you guys that are giving me the thumbs down saying that defense is 33% of the game?

      • djpostl - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        I do tend to agree with you on your assessment of defense vs hitting, just not the pitching part of your equation.

        The piece I linked goes into detail about just how many incredible plays a team would have to make, ten fold above what the best of defensive teams do in a typical year, to have the same impact as a marginally better hitting team.

        Defense shouldn’t be neglected but it is best used to mitigate your own offensive shortcomings, i.e. if a dude can’t hit well he better be able to pick it.

        But when looking at all three categories pitching is easily the most important. One-third of World Series champions have had offenses that were below league average. Only a handful of WS winners had pitching that was less than league average.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        I think it’s hilarious how many thumbs down I got for that comment. More proof that people don’t think, they just have knee jerk reactions. I’m glad you at least agree with me on the fielding part. And I agree with you too when it comes to post season series. I said pitching is just as if not more important in a short series. But I’m talking about if I were building a team I would gear it towards 50/40/10. But I found something that helps my case, and Im not saying that Bill James is the final authority on these matters but he said this…” According to James, baseball is on average and a very unstable average, 45% hitting, 36% pitching, 16% fielding and 3% baserunning. These are the percentages by which each aspect of the game affect the outcomes of games. So according to James, who has indisputably done the research, hitting affects the game more than does pitching.”

      • djpostl - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Probably pretty close over course of the season but in all likelihood you’d be getting a Yankees style disappointment with a quick exit in the playoffs lol.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        Probably. But honestly the playoffs are a crap shoot. Such a small sample size. I don’t think it matters that much once you get in the playoffs whether you are built on pitching or hitting. It’s just a matter if your players are hot. The rangers were clearly the best team in baseball the last 2 years and were so unlucky to lose but they ran up against a hot david freese etc. Also if pitching made it THAT easy to win in the playoffs then the Braves would’ve won every year in the 90’s instead of just once.

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      Yeah I will agree with you that pitching is more important than 40% in a playoff series. But honestly in a short series anything can happen. Even the worst teams could beat the best teams in a 7 game series. For instance the giants would only be a 60/40 or so favorite over the mariners in a 7 game series. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.. and I was meaning to say the 50/40/10 was the breakdown over the long haul and how I would want to build my roster for multiple seasons, not for post season series. And I talked about this on twitter with Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and he said the 50/40/10 numbers were pretty damn close to accurate in his opinion.

      • badintent - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM

        Don’t worry about the thumbs down, you’ve asked the bloggers here to think, that just adds to their concussion brain damage from typing. ………Happy Holidays

        But Hey, I wish I was Andrew Jones heading to Japan, all that fresh sushi and Wagyu beef steaks, those racing girls and small ballparks to hit in.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        haha thanks. And yeah I wish I was going to play baseball in Japan also. My friend moved there and he loves it.

  4. Glenn - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Basically, we resent athletes who wasted their potential, especially those who could have been great or all-time great. Of course we pass these judgements ignoring our own transgressions. Who among us are being all we can be? Posting to a blog on a Friday night is probably not maxing out my own potential.

    • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:01 AM

      Yeah, except what is the evidence that Jones wasted his potential? He was an elite defender over a long career, which doesn’t suggest laziness to me.

      The real problem was unrealistic expectations imposed by people reading way too much into his two world series home runs (and it was at Yankee Stadium, too! Gasp!). As it turns out, two plate appearances is not a large enough sample size from which to project a player’s entire career.

      Also, even with Jones’s early decline, he still has a decent Hall of Fame case. He is 19th all time by defensive WAR, in addition to solidly above-average hitting (434 home runs is not bad, either). Not that I’m saying he should be in, but he’s not as far off as the article suggests.

    • cktai - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      I remember this one documentary* about Andruw Jones which showed that he had a batting cage and a pitching machine in his own home so that he could get keep practicing whenever he wanted. If that’s not commitment to realise ones baseball potential, I don’t know what is.

      *this “documentary” may or may not have been MTV’s cribs.

  5. butchhuskey - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    The weird thing about the article is that it talks about a lot of Jones’ accomplishments and praise from Bobby Cox. Then in the last paragraph or so it suddenly turns into “Oh…and then he declined.” Frankly, Moore does a better job of highlighting Andruw Jones’ career highlights than showing what a supposed bust he was.

  6. tashkalucy - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    When Andrew Jones played his first few years it was like there might be a mini-Willie Mays on the way. People said he was the best CF they ever saw. And of course the HR’s in the WS.

    It might be nice to know what happened to the young man. The again, there were guys like Jimmy Wynn and Cesar Cedeno that came up with Houston that seemed poised for greatness, and it never happened.

    There is a story to be written about dozens of players like that. And it should make all baseball fans appreciate the true greats of the game, when one shows up. My favorite for years has been Derek Jeter – and I grew up hating the Yankees. The guy gets rapped for everything – he can’t play SS (nonsense), he plays around, the national media gives him a break because he plays in NYC – etc. The man has been clutch and money – easily the best player of the last 20 years – a lifetime .313 BA and .382 .OPS – should be 9th on the all-time hit list 3 weeks into the 2013 season. Always leading the team, taking the pressure off the other players with the media. The first to greet a new Yankee onto the team, and the first to greet a Yankee that just scored in the dugout – no one else in MLB does anything like that for very long. While he played in the steroid era, there has never been a question of his doing what he did fairly. The phone call to Connecticut this week is something the man has been doing for 20 years, usually without publicity.

    It would be wonderful to see a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper become one of the greats. Time will tell. Part of the fun of following MLB.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      The man has been clutch and money – easily the best player of the last 20 years

      Yeah, not even close. Bonds, Arod, Clemens, Maddux and Johnson are all easily better than Jeter. What kind of voodoo math did you use to rate Jeter #1?

      and the first to greet a Yankee that just scored in the dugout

      The statements before this one are mostly wrong, but this one is egregious. Arod is actually the first out of the dugout. What Yankee games are you watching?

    • tashkalucy - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM


      The “voodoo math” I use?

      I’m an old timer.

      1. Winning. Making them and their teammates better.

      2. The first 3 guys you listed cheated with drugs, and they still didn’t influence their teams winning for as many years as Jeter. Sorry, but there are a lot of Johnson’s out there – and unless you’re talking about Magic I’m staying with Jeter (actually having watched magic in LA his entire career, he and Jeter remind me of one another). I loved to watch Maddox pitch – but to say that he influenced his teams like Derek Jeter did is just plain crazy. And it’s nice that the man is going to play his entire career with one team.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sorry, but I don’t play fantasy baseball – I like to watch (and play) the real thing.

      (To compare greatness you really want to compare what Derek Jeter has done in the post-season to what ARod has done?)

      • raysfan1 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Okay, I’ll bite:
        A-Rod’s career postseason stats show a .369 OBP, a .464 SLG, and a .833 OPS
        Jeter’s career postseason stats show a .374 OBP, a .465 SLG, and a .838 OPS

        The only real difference between the two is the Jeter has played his whole career with theYankees and thus has played in 15 more postseason series. Their success rates once in the playoffs, however, are actually virtually identical.

        Now, I admire Jeter greatly, but too many fans consistently underrate A-Rod.

      • Reflex - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        I’m having trouble believing that Jeter has ever even been the best player on his own team. The past few years I’d say that CC has probably been their most valuable overall player, and if we are just looking at offense and defense, sorry but Cano is superior as well.

        Prior to 2009 I’d have to go with A-Rod as the most valuable Yankee, and for a time Jeter looks very similar to Matsui in overall contribution to the team. In the early 2000’s, you are looking at Giambi and Soriano as the prime contributors to the Yanks offense, and before that Posada/Bernie/Tino all probably produced more. A solid Jeter case can be made for 1998 and 1999, at least on the offensive side, but before that point really Tino drove that offense.

        Is Jeter a HOFer? Absolutely, no doubt. But his reason is for consistent excellence at a demanding position over a long period of time. He’s been a consistent producer, and elite at his position for well over the decade usually considered the standard for the HOF. But he’s not even close to the ‘best player of the past 20 years’ even if you do want to knock out steroid cheats. There are lots of guys I’d take over him in that time frame.

      • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:35 AM

        @Reflex, sometimes Jeter is so overrated that he becomes underrated. Guys like Matsui and Soriano never came close to his value.

        Jeter has led the Yankees in WAR 3 times and was the best position player 2 other times. Not bad considering the level of talent on the team.

      • cktai - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        Derek Jeter is actually a perfect player specifically for fantasy baseball. It obscures his poor defense, his below average power, and his lack of clutch in the postseason. For real baseball, A-Rod is a much better player.

      • Reflex - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        dan –

        You are kind of making my point. The assertion was that he was the best player of the past 20 years. He is not, and most of the time he is not the best player on his own team. He is, however, a consistently elite player on a consistently elite team, and a certain first ballot HOFer. But that does not make him the best player of the past 20 years.

      • dan1111 - Dec 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        @reflex, I do agree that he is not close to being the best player of the last 20 years.

      • badintent - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        Never mind the thumbs down, see my comment above, keep posting, the world didn’t end ( too bad, we would have have less lower class primates yapping on Hardball)

  7. deathmonkey41 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I wrote a similiar article about Alvaro Espinoza. The world was his, until he let it all slip away.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    As I look at the picture of Moore I can only think, “Why does this skinny and old Gary Sheffield hate on Andruw so much?”

  9. genericcommenter - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    I think Shef is his agent.

  10. theonlynolan - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Just going off memory here but if recollection serves the man had something like 10 or so Gold Gloves, an MVP award, over 70 WAR and 400 some odd homers? Sounds like a pretty good HOF case to me. Sure the 2nd half of his career is a disappointment and he appeared to let himself go halfway through the aughts but the guy still prolly belongs in Cooperstown even if those who vote won’t give him the honor.

  11. wwttww - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Andruw channels Josh Smith now. He never really left Atlanta.

  12. raffy7 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    While I agree that Moore’s piece is mean-spirited towards Andruw Jones (and that the far too lengthy section on having “it” is nearly incoherent), it also accurately recaps the major storylines of Jones’ career. The great start and the rapid decline are crucial to the arc of Andruw Jones’ time in the big leagues. Bobby Cox pulling Jones from a game is just one small glimpse into the thing that dogged Jones’ reputation through his whole career – that despite his tremendous talent, he just did not care enough. How could any writer honestly report on Jones’ career without noting that the end result was dramatically disappointing considering the way Jones played his string of seasons in Atlanta?

    I cannot understand why Matthew Pouliot takes such offense to Moore’s piece.
    Jones emerged early as an indisputably substantial talent, and despite postseason heroics, a 50 homer season and a closetful of gold gloves, he was stunningly washed up before he was 31.

    What I find humorous about Pouliot’s tone in this piece is the fact that he commonly, as a tired literary tool, disparages every non-star player involved in a transaction. If the player signing is not Josh Hamilton or Zack Grienke, Pouliot generally leads with an inevitably sarcastic comment along the lines of “Well, we finally have a major story today,” before going on to degrade an average or below-average player who signed a new contract or was traded, emphasizing that the signing/trade is unimportant. It gets old and is very demeaning. Just report the story to me, Matt, without the self-important tone.

    I literally laughed out loud when I saw Pouliot criticizing Moore’s piece for only showing access to a wikipedia page and an intro to writing course, before Pouliot himself embarrassingly attempts to convey poignance, by overdramatically quoting Moore’s final line for lasting effect. “Sad. Really Sad.”

    What a hypocrite.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:48 AM

      A question, raffy7.

      Every comment you’ve ever made on this site is a complaint on the tone of an article, yet this has been going on for two years now. Why do you keep coming back? I don’t normally try to chase willing readers away, but really, you’d probably be happier elsewhere.

      Seriously, the whole point of this blog is to add a little something to the news, whether it be analysis, humor or even the occasional rant. If you just want the story, here’s a link to our baseball AP feed.

      As for this entry, you saw the headline. You had a very good idea of what you were getting when you clicked on the link. And, well, you obviously read to the end anyway.


      Bobby Cox pulling Jones from a game is just one small glimpse into the thing that dogged Jones’ reputation through his whole career – that despite his tremendous talent, he just did not care enough.

      And if Moore had followed through with that, he might have had a column. But he never did. In fact, he didn’t use the word care once. He didn’t use the word desire once. Instead, he wrote two non-specific sentences about that one incident that everyone has heard about a million times.

      • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:45 AM

        Yes, and strangely when he covers that incident, he goes out of his way to AVOID blaming Jones for a lack hustle:

        “It was a move the manager later said he regretted. He spent the rest of Jones’ career dishing out high praise…”

        The overall effect is a column that blames Jones for being a disappointment, without actually pointing to anything blameworthy that he did. I guess it’s Jones’s fault that he wasn’t as talented as Moore thought he was.

  13. gbar22 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    I actually sort of agree with Terence’s overall idea behind his article. Jones looked like he would go down as one of the greatest of all time and then as another poster pointed out all of sudden just fizzled out and became a nomad bench player. Sad when one think of what could have been but as a mets fan happy for any plight that befalls a one time brave. Just happy so happy.

    • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:53 AM

      Jones’s disastrous 2008 was a shock. However, he did rebound. In 2010 and 2011 he was quite valuable, albeit as a part-time player. When taken as a whole, his stats show a fairly typical decline. It came earlier than it does for some players, but even that is not too surprising for a guy that always struck out a lot and didn’t have particularly good plate discipline.

      In any case, even if Moore’s take on his career is true, the article doesn’t offer any analysis or insight into why it was a disappointing career.

  14. getsome99 - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Fast start. Quick decline. Between ’98 and ’08. Isn’t it obvious that Jones was on the juice in the beginning of his career?

    • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:58 AM

      In 2010-2011, Jones’s production was better than his career average through 2007. The perception that he had a “quick decline” is exaggerated because his 2008 was so bad.

      Of course steroids are always a possibility, but it is not “obvious”. Lots of good players decline in their early 30’s.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      Alternatively, Jones may have been a huge natural talent who decided against using steroids to extend his career.

      In the old days, it wasn’t uncommon at all for excellent players to fall apart in their early 30s. Even if you just go back to the 80s, you can take Lynn, Mattingly, Murphy, Parker, Strawberry and Simmons as guys who appeared well on their way to the HOF through age 30.

  15. louhudson23 - Dec 22, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Long and winding and but there it is……”And honestly,defense is not that exciting in baseball”….please….without delving into importance,I find few things more exciting than a great defensive play. I can watch the greatest homers in history and they are memorable only for their timing and situation(which is no small thing) But watching Bobby Thomson,or Maz or Fisk or Carter’s shots are wondrous for when they happened.And no doubt Ibanez’ heroics this year for the Yankees are as exciting as they come. But watched next year and they blur. But Brooks Robinson or Mays or Ozzie will always be as seen the art that they are.Mike Trout drew more gasps with his glove and arm than anything his hitting numbers could do to a spread sheet. Watching a long run and catch up the wall or a slick diving and leaping double play is indeed art. Hitting is an art ,but a technical one. I watched Hank Aaron my entire life. His masterful hitting remains a beautiful to me. But Clemente whirling and firing? Dave Parker to Jim Sundberg in the All Star Game? .Even watching a catcher like Pat Borders work his trade is more interesting than a Bonds at bat. I find the game much less exciting as televised today because the multitude of close shots takes away the movement and angles that make baseball the game that it is and showcase defense in a realistic manner…which is the reason that I believe so many people find looking at a bunch of numbers and reciting them to be more exciting than actually watching a game(as a contest of baseball and not a number generator,random or otherwise) and hitting being so easily quantitatively ranked and defense being much more subjective makse one attractive and the other a mindless filler between pitches(to think people find Darwin hard to fathom but buy into zone rating is hilarious to me)
    27 outs.Keep it to that and you tend to win. Give them 29 or 30 and things get very difficult…….steroids and superball baseball sucked to me and I am glad it is relatively a bygone era. TV baseball is disappointing in the most beautiful of games is reduced to a parade of isolated shots and jump cuts…runner ball and fielder rarley appearing in the same shot and only at the last step…..and for ten minutes I had no thoughts of guns or bullets…thank you or that….

  16. wpjohnson - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    My family and i have closely followed Andruw Jones since he was a 17 year old playing for the Danville Braves in the Appalachian League. Even then he showed talent that indicated that he was special. Also, and equally important, he was always congenial and accommodating to fans. The years passed but he remained a kid at heart.

    Andruw Jones had Hall of Fame talent. He did not have Hall of Fame self discipline.We continue to love Andruw Jones and will keep up with him in Japan.. However, we are disappointed that his ticket to Cooperstown has been lost along the way.

  17. indaburg - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    So Moore regurgitates pretty much the same article, using almost the exact same verbiage, this time around because it’s “sad, really sad” that Jones signed with the Rakuten Eagles. It’s “sad” to play for a Japanese team? That’s more than a bit condescending, isn’t it? It’s sad to make $3.5 million for a year of playing professional baseball?

  18. bravojawja - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    It’s nice to see consistency in a writer: Moore was terrible at the AJC, he’s still terrible for MLB.

    Andruw Jones was the best center fielder I’ve ever seen. If a ball was hit anywhere between left-center and right-center, you could bet Andruw was camped under it before you could say “Swing and a miss at a ball in the dirt outside for strike three,” which Skip Caray said at the end of not a few of Andruw’s at bats. He took away more bloop singles by playing so shallow than anybody. And could go back on balls, too.

    Not sure if he’s HOF material, but he’s in the conversation.

  19. ndirishfan1 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I once saw Terrance Moore go on television and talk about how the Lions not being able to win a Super Bowl is the greatest mystery since who shot JFK… Just an idiot.

  20. madhatternalice - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Lynn Hoppes approves of this rewriting.

  21. bigmeechy74 - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Haha wow all these knowledgeable baseball fans are honestly trying to tell me that defense is just as important as hitting. Ha! So by that rational you’d just as soon have brendan ryan than Miguel Cabrera. Absurd! Miguel Cabrera is a below average fielder and that really killed the tigers! And all those yankee teams that make the playoffs the last few years are stacked with elite defenders! Not! HITTING AND PITCHING WIN

  22. ronaldjones - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    This is a cheap attempt to create baseball “news” when there’s nothing there. I come to this site to read about baseball, not some smug, bitter criticism of writers with higher paying and more visible jobs than the PBT guys. (This article really comes across as “Hey look, this guy isn’t a very good writer and can you believe he gets to write for and I don’t!?!?”) I have no idea why this warranted an entry on this site. Sad. Really sad.

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