Last month on The Blog we told you about the AWESOME confrontation between LA Times columnist T.J. Simers and Dodgers center fielder Andruw Jones. During that particular run-in Simers taunted Jones into getting on a scale in front of him and found out Jones weighs 248 pounds. Ever since, Simers has been referring to Andruw Jones as “that tubbo in center field.” He even offered to go on a diet with the .170 hitting outfielder.
After a brief respit covering the Lakers, Simers is after Jones again. Only now he simply refers to him as “tubbo.” Unlike sissy columnists like Skip Bayless and Jay Mariotti who NEVER venture into locker rooms, Simers was once again in the Dodgers clubhouse and AGAIN confronted Jones. To his face. The result was the following exchange which Simers gleefully put in today’s column:
Since offering to go on a diet with Andruw Jones and getting nowhere with him, I’ve lost 14 pounds, so I checked in with the Tubbo on Saturday night to see how he was doing on his own.
“Have you lost anything?”
I don’t care,” he said.
I shook my head in disbelief, and he said, “I don’t care what you think.”
“Do you care what anyone thinks?”
“I don’t care,” Jones said.
Saturday night the fans in Dodger Stadium booed Jones’ name when the starting lineup was announced. “Don’t you care that the fans in Dodger Stadium have turned on you?”
“No,” he said. “That’s their problem.”
I suggested that it’s not human for someone not to be bothered by booing fans in their own stadium, and he stuck out his tongue and made some noise.
“How do I write that down?” I said.
All together now: “I don’t care,” he said.
Without the fans, I said, there’s no reason for you to be here in Los Angeles playing baseball and no way you’re getting paid $36 million over the next two years.
“I don’t care,” he said. “You play for the team, you don’t play for the fans. The fans never played the game. They don’t know.”
Both a Tubbo and clueless, which really isn’t a very good combination for the player with the highest annual salary in Dodgers history.
With columns like this, Simers has done something never accomplished before in Los Angeles sports history. He’s actually managed to get the world’s most apathetic and laid back fans to HATE somebody.
I’ve said this before, but Andruw Jones will NEVER recover from this. His career is finished. We’re well into May and Jones is hitting .170 with exactly 1 homer and 0 stolen bases. Worse, he obviously no longer cares. Last year Jones may have been the only athlete in history who put together his worst season heading into a contract year.
Simers’ column feeds every negative stereotype that fans have about athletes. This perception of the over-paid athlete who doesn’t care is virtually never true. Unfortunately in the case of Andruw Jones it is.
DODGERS CENTER FIELDER “TUBBO” JONES