A huge fan of the rock band Staind, Marlins closer Todd Jones became close friends with its members after they invited him to stand on stage with them during a 2001 concert in Biloxi, Miss. Two years later, after Staind played a gig in Houston, guitarist Mike Mushok called Jones.
“I remember saying to Todd, `I can’t imagine what it’s like walking out of the bullpen into people that are against you and the pressure it must be on you to come out and get three outs,'” Mushok said. “I know what it’s like to walk out to people that were rooting for us and wanted us there. I couldn’t imagine if they were against you.”
At Wrigley Field on Friday as Jones’ guests, the band members, part of an announced crowd of 38,902, saw how the 37-year-old closer does it.
Jones entered in the eighth with two outs and two on, facing MVP candidate and former Marlin Derrek Lee and trying to save what three innings earlier had been a seven-run lead.
Jones struck Lee out swinging and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th consecutive save as the Marlins beat the Cubs 7-5.
“This has pretty much exceeded everything I ever thought about this year,” said Jones, adding that he wants to carry the Marlins to the postseason.
“The good thing is we’re at where we’re at. You re-evaluate your goals and set new ones now … Get on [my] back and go to the playoffs.”
(the fun-loving Jonesy does his impression of Randy Johnson on Depo-Provera after the game)
Without saying anything to diminish the accomplishments of sexual libertine Todd Jones, I would like to assure Mr. Mushok that his band does indeed, have people — perhaps tens of thousands — rooting against them.