The L.A. Times’ T.J. Simers usually dishes out shit as often to the owners of franchises in the L.A. sports market as he does to players and managers (this is someone who refers to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt as the “Parking Lot Attendant”), but in the middle of rightfully taking Andruw Jones to task for his crap hitting, he mocks this particular notion that Jones espouses:
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.
Well, Jones is right. The team needs the fans to survive and the players who get paid those high salaries need them, but essentially, he is correct in saying that he’s ultimately responsible to his coaches, his managers, and the front office directly. Fan consideration is an indirect thing, really — and players train themselves to ignore it, to put it aside. Jones’ response sounds juvenile and aloof, and it is — but it’s probably the best way to go if he’s ever going to try and break out of a slump. It’s kind of silly for Simers to ridicule him for not caring about the fans booing him because ignoring the fans and trying to concentrate on his game is what he’s supposed to do. Take him to task for his high strikeouts, bad power numbers, and miniscule batting average, but if Jones was super-concerned with the fans’ response to him, it might actually fuck him up more.