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Monday, July 28, 2008

Det News: Tearful Jones resigned to fate with Tigers

His stint as the closer is over, for now. Jones sounded like a guy who realized it might be over forever.

“I’ve been to the depths of everything emotionally, but this is just one of those things you have to go through, too,” Jones said, his eyes reddening. “You know, you’re born into the big leagues and then you’re born a closer and then one day you’re no longer trusted with the brunt of the load in the ninth inning. My day came—what is it, July 27?—so there’s no spilled milk here.”

Jones stopped and referenced Leyland, who always stood behind him but couldn’t do it now.

“I mean, I love that guy,” Jones said, his lip quivering, his voice cracking. Finally, he turned away.

...The defiant closer who always stood up when required and always swore he’d bounce back was different this time. He looked resigned, if not defeated.

“I’m a pro, I’m a Tiger,” Jones said. “I’m a big boy. I’m 40, so you knew this day had to come sometime. I can’t question anything (Leyland) has done because he’s done a lot for me, taken a lot of heat for me, and I’ve done a pretty good job for him too. I don’t like it but I’ll live with it because I respect the guy that told me.”

Thanks to Paul Foytakka Takka...

Repoz Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:23 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. 1k5v3L Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:34 PM (#2877676)
“I mean, I love that guy,” Jones said, his lip quivering, his voice cracking.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
   2. Craig Calcaterra Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:35 PM (#2877677)
“I’m a big boy. I’m 40


When did Oklahoma State's football coach start pitching for the Tigers?
   3. Boots Day Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:38 PM (#2877681)
Crying? "I love that guy"? What is he, gay?
   4. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:39 PM (#2877684)
Crying? "I love that guy"? What is he, gay?

So many easy jokes. If only I'd gotten here in time!
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#2877685)
I can't believe it took this long for Joe Borowski and Todd Jones to lose their closer's jobs.
   6. WillYoung Posted: July 28, 2008 at 02:45 PM (#2877692)
Did he have this same type of reaction when he signed with Colorado in 2002? For a few seasons it looked like he was already finished closing.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2877730)
Did he have this same type of reaction when he signed with Colorado in 2002? For a few seasons it looked like he was already finished closing.


He might see the end altogether arriving, hence the tears.
   8. James SC Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2877744)
A lot of easy jokes can be made on that interview, but I think it was a fairly stand up job by Jones to back his manager and show that he still cares about what he does.

Now, if Leyland would just switch to Zumaya as the closer instead of 40-pitch and 5+ ERA Rodney you would really be onto something. And I am not just saying that because he is on my fantasy team I swear :)
   9. Boileryard Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#2877761)
I decided to take a quick look over at BBRef to see how Jones compares to the other 35 pitchers with over 200 career saves. Jones has the second-worst ERA+ (111) of the group. Only Jose Mesa (100) is worse.

I'm not sure what criteria a person would use to come up with a list of the all-time worst full-time closers. Jones' numbers look a bit better when you open it up to include pitchers with 100+ saves.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2877770)
Anyone with as ridiculous a beard as Fernando Rodney has a head start on being a good closer.
   11. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:50 PM (#2877819)
Hopefully this guy will remember there's still 2 months left in the season, and maybe some playoffs if he concentrates more on pitching and less on self-pity.
   12. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:57 PM (#2877826)
I'm not sure what criteria a person would use to come up with a list of the all-time worst full-time closers.

I searched for number of seasons with at least 20 saves and an ERA+ under 100. No one has more than two (Mesa is one of them, Jones had only 1.)

At least 20 saves with a WHIP > 1.400: Mesa, Jones, Wickman, and Righetti all had 4 such seasons. I don't like Rags there, as a Yankee fan. Actually, he shouldn't come up on that list, as one of his seasons was 1.396. Poor rounding skills by the PI.
   13. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#2877828)
Of course, being the worst full-time closer isn't that bad. A worse closer than that doesn't keep closing. Hasn't Brian Fuentes lost his job about 4 times in the past couple seasons?
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:04 PM (#2877832)
So now who is the worst closer in MLB? I nominate Fernando Rodney.

How can the Tigers pass over Zumaya?
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#2877840)
I just noticed Jose Valverde has an ERA+ of 90 this year - and 26 saves. Dang, I thought that was a good trade at the time.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2877849)
Maybe Leyland realizes that it the stronger pitcher should be "available" to use earlier in the game. (That is, Zumaya, not Jones.)

I couldn't believe that whoever posted Rotoworld's commentary was so down on this move. He must own Jones.
   17. aleskel Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2877850)
So now who is the worst closer in MLB? I nominate Fernando Rodney.

I'll go with this guy
   18. BaseballObscura Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:40 PM (#2877897)
I'll go with this guy


Wrong Wilson
   19. Every Inge Counts Posted: July 28, 2008 at 04:52 PM (#2877919)
Considering that Zumaya had to leave the game early this weekend (due to tricep tightness, he is day-to-day) and his long list of injuries the past couple of seasons, I think the Tigers might not be willing to go to Zumaya on back to back days. I would say something about the amount of walks he has given up as well (16 in 17 innings) and 5 wild pitches, but it is not like Rodney has been much better.

Todd Jones...man that 9th inning home run he allowed against the White Sox this year was freaking killer, it was probably the most upset I have been this season after a Tigers game...
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:07 PM (#2877947)
Todd Jones...man that 9th inning home run he allowed against the White Sox this year was freaking killer, it was probably the most upset I have been this season after a Tigers game...

be a Cardinal fan and watch the last week of Cardinals baseball, it happened something like 4 times this week for us.
   21. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:08 PM (#2877950)
I feel confident that in a "true talent" sense, both CJ Wilson and Valverde are better than Rodney. I didn't realize Brian Wilson had such a weak track record apart from his great 23 innings in 2007.
   22. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:12 PM (#2877961)
I'll go with this guy

That's "All-Star" Brian Wilson to you, mister.
   23. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#2877996)
IF the Pirates ever win another game, we would know who their closer was, and he would probably be the worst. The pitchers on the Pirates' active roster have accumulated a total of zero saves this season. My guess is it will be Tyler Yates unless they want to showcase John Grabow's lack of platoon splits by putting him in that role.
   24. jwb Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#2878015)
I can't believe this! Todd Jones is 18-3 in save situations this season!
   25. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2878018)
Jones stopped and referenced Leyland, who always stood behind him but couldn’t do it now.

Leyland should ask his doctor if Viagra is right for him.
   26. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 28, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2878023)
I can't believe this! Todd Jones is 18-3 in save situations this season!


He wasn't bad in the same statistic last year, was he? I assume that's why he was retained. There seemed to be a sentiment around the Tigers that he would "pitch to contact" and "git R done," even though he was very hittable.

This is just one reason why you don't want your GM to have a degree from Western Michigan University.
   27. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: July 28, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2878069)
This is just one reason why you don't want your GM to have a degree from Western Michigan University.

Better a Stanford dropout, eh? 8-)
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2878084)
This is just one reason why you don't want your GM to have a degree from Western Michigan University.

Hey now.
   29. Poochie Mahoney Posted: July 28, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2878145)
I have a degree from Western Michigan University!
   30. scareduck Posted: July 28, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#2878409)
And for just a moment, I had high hopes the Dodgers had somehow finagled a deal for Andruw.
   31. jwb Posted: July 28, 2008 at 10:02 PM (#2878414)
Nah. They signed Jacques.
   32. MM1f Posted: July 28, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#2878423)
Matt, I'll just go ahead and say it.. I love Todd Jones. I know its fashionable to rip on him but hes always seemed like a standup guy to me and I think it is moving to see a guy honestly think about the end of his MLB road coming up quick on him.

He wasn't bad in the same statistic last year, was he? I assume that's why he was retained. There seemed to be a sentiment around the Tigers that he would "pitch to contact" and "git R done," even though he was very hittable.

He was probably resigned because he was still a quality reliever last year. Yes he pitched to contact, but he did in fact, usually get the job done. I don't see why bringing Jones back on a fair deal is a mark against Dombrowski.
   33. MM1f Posted: July 29, 2008 at 01:38 AM (#2878994)
Wow. The "Matt" I opened up that post with should have been "Man". Wtf?
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2008 at 01:45 AM (#2879043)
Wow. The "Matt" I opened up that post with should have been "Man". Wtf?


Thanks, I was wondering who the hell you were referring to.
   35. Esoteric Posted: July 29, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2879298)
MM1f:

I know it's unfashionable around here (and I have no defense for the stupid stuff he said about gays, although honestly it's way overblown and probably a near-universal sentiment in MLB clubhouses), but I agree with you. I like Jones, I liked his ability to hang on as a closer by pitching to contact and throwing strikes, I even liked his Sporting News columns, which were usually pretty interesting. And I remember, very clearly, when the Detroit Tigers team sexually and physically harrassed that stewardess on their team flight, how the woman made it a point to single out Todd Jones as the one guy who treated her like a gentleman and apologized for his teammates' behavior.
   36. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 29, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#2879497)
I didn't realize Brian Wilson had such a weak track record apart from his great 23 innings in 2007.


You clearly haven't heard Pet Sounds.
   37. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: July 29, 2008 at 08:10 AM (#2879717)
Of course, being the worst full-time closer isn't that bad. A worse closer than that doesn't keep closing. Hasn't Brian Fuentes lost his job about 4 times in the past couple seasons?

Once, last year, which was at least partially due to being injured.

He's a good pitcher, and has pretty good platoon splits, esp. considering he's a side-arming lefty.

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