September 02, 2005

'Druw Can Do It

At the beginning of this season, everyone in the Braves camp was predicting a huge season for Andruw Jones. The signs were all there: At age 28, he was reaching his prime years. He had adjusted his batting stance (moving his feet further apart to avoid lunging at offspeed pitches), finally heeding the advice of hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who had long been urging Andruw to make the change. And the results this spring were huge -- the Braves' center fielder blasted 10 homers in spring training. No question, this was the year he would finally reach the insane expectations he had carried for so long.

But the season started more or less dreadfully. After an 0-for-4 on April 26th, he was hitting just .182 with 2 home runs. The next day, he hit his third, and outside of a three-week slump in late May/early June, Andruw Jones has been, quite simply, unstoppable. Last night I got chills watching him round the bases after a 10th inning, walk-off blast, a rare occurence in a regular season game (the chills, not the walk-off homer).

Entering play on Friday, the doughy center fielder from Curacao led all major leaguers in home runs (with 44) and led the NL in RBI's (110). Add in his spectacular center field defense, and (I swear I never thought I'd be saying this) at this precise moment, Andruw Jones is the MVP of the National League. Unbelievable.

-Breaking news: Robert Traylor has
failed his physical and will not be joining the Nets for 2005-06. You don't say! I'm absolutely stunned. Honestly, what were Rod Thorn and the Nets expecting? Has anyone looked at Robert Traylor recently? The man has lost weight and he still weighs 790 pounds. Failing physicals is just what he does, plain and simple. You're not hiring the man to be freaking Richard Simmons in terms of physical fitness; you're looking for an enforcer in the paint to give you some nice minutes off the bench. Admittedly I have no idea what's ailing Traylor -- for all I know it's a serious injury -- but in the wake of the Nets getting cold feet and deciding not to trade for Shareef Abdur-Rahim earlier this month, I'm thinking it might be time to go looking for a new team doctor.

-Quote of the Unspecified Time Period Until I Find a Better One:
"I don't care if you found out that he has a jet engine in his anus. He's the best that's ever been. Leave it alone."
-The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, addressing the French sports newspaper L'Equipe's recent doping allegations against Lance Armstrong


Blogger jimmyrad said...

dude, those 1st two posters sounded very sincere.

6:07 PM, September 02, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

I think those were (gasp!) advertisements. I deleted them.

8:49 AM, September 03, 2005  
Blogger jdg said...

1. Braves fans say that about Jones every spring.

2. It's hard to argue against Pujols for MVP. And Lee as a close second. Cabrera and Andruw might be next.

6:50 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

True about Pujols. He's a strong candidate. But I can argue for Andruw over him for three reasons: more HR's, more RBI's, and a much bigger impact on the defensive end.

As for D. Lee, his team isn't very good. A great season, but he's out of the running in my opinion. (Though the voters won't necessarily think that way.)

8:14 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger jimmyrad said...

Braves said that about Andruw for about 3 straight years. After 3 years of dissapointment, we took the last 3 off. This year, his spring did nothing to make me think anything had changed. Luke Scott had 7 jacks. And I felt extremely proud of myself for not jumping on Andruw's spring and grabbing him for the old fantasy team for the 1st month.

But then, before we knew it, it was 'Druw, Julio, and a bunch of rookies (not Francoer) for about 4 weeks as the Braves dealt with injuries to Raffy, Giles and Chipper. This was one of the prime strethces for both Andruw and the Braves. Take Andruw out of the Braves lineup, and they're not a .500 team. The Cards would be in the wildcard race without Pujols, in my opinion, though I'm sure he'll win the MVP anyway. His stats, as always, are pretty stellar. I won't call it robbery, but I won't feel like a homer arguing that it's wrong.

8:50 PM, September 05, 2005  

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