I’m in Los Angeles this afternoon, where there are a few things that never seem to change. Seeing a sign that reads “Flynt Aviation” always makes me wonder if I’d really trust Larry Flynt to run an airline. The jukebox at Barney’s Beanery still plays Dramarama (hard enough to understand the first time around) and Bill Plaschke (above) is still pretending he said something to an athlete’s face that would provoke physical assault in most cases. Former Dodgers OF Andruw Jones, currently toiling at Rangers’ spring training, “seems to sense that no matter what happens, last season will follow him like a swatch of toilet paper stuck to his cleats” writes Plaschke in Tuesday’s LA Times. Perhaps Jones feels this way because he’s (allegedly) being subjected to “20 minutes” of Plaschke interrogation.
Are you saying you’re sorry?”
Are you sorry for showing up at spring training looking like a blue manatee? Sorry for not working hard enough to fix that weight? Sorry for ripping the fans who booed you for that weight? Sorry for asking to be put on the disabled list so you could disappear from those boos?
The Dodgers gave you $36.2 million, and in exchange you gave them a batting average of .158, three home runs and 25 extra pounds, and so you’re finally sorry?
Andruw Jones pauses. He looks down. He wraps his fingers tight around the handle of a bat. He nods.
“Yes, you could put it that way,” he says. “Yes, in fact, put it exactly that way.”
“Put it what way?”
“I am sorry I didn’t stand up to my reputation,” he says. “I am sorry for what I put everyone through. I am sorry I did not make it work.”
A couple of hours later Monday, upstairs in a spartan suite, I convey this apology to Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti.
Now it is Colletti’s turn to pause, to look down, to tighten his grip.
“Humbleness is a nice trait,” he finally says, and leaves it at that.