Jones is critical of McCourt
Sitting at his corner locker in the Texas Rangers’ clubhouse Friday, Andruw Jones said the main reason he asked the Dodgers to release him this winter wasn’t his desire for a change of scenery.
He said he asked out mainly because of the way he was treated by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
“He wasn’t standing behind me, I think,” Jones said, adding that if McCourt had shown him more respect, “I almost definitely would be part of the L.A. Dodgers right now.”
McCourt was unavailable for comment.
Jones’ season with the Dodgers was an unmitigated disappointment, as he reported to camp overweight for the first year of his two-year, $36.2-million contract.
He batted.158 with three home runs and 14 runs batted in and was granted his release over the winter by agreeing to defer a significant portion of the $22 million remaining on his deal.
“As things were going along, I didn’t think I was in their plans,” Jones said. “I had to make a decision and move on.
“I know they had Matt Kemp, who was going to play center field all the time, so I didn’t feel like I was in their plans.”
Jones said he started to get the sense that he was on his way out of Los Angeles when he met with McCourt before undergoing knee surgery last May.
“It was disrespect,” Jones said of the way McCourt spoke to him.
Jones said he was upset when his agent, Scott Boras, told him in the off-season that McCourt was looking into ways to void his contract.
While acknowledging that McCourt paid him a hefty salary, Jones said the owner had no right to complain about a deal that was mutually agreed upon.
“I got paid that money because that was my value,” Jones said, pointing to the numbers he posted in 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
Jones said McCourt was too involved in the Dodgers’ baseball operations.
“I know it’s his money but sometimes they need to stay away from what’s going on in the field. He never played baseball before. He might have a sense of it from running the team but he can’t be too involved like that.”
Jones acknowledged that his performance caused the issues to surface.
“It could’ve been different if I was playing the way I was playing normally,” he said.
Playing part-time as the Rangers’ fourth outfielder, Jones is working with famed hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo to regain the form that made him a five-time All-Star with the Braves. In 30 games, Jones has hit .248 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in.
“Things are working out pretty good right now,” Jones said. “It’s still early. It’s hard when you’re not playing every day. I’ve never been in a situation like that.”
Baby Broxton born
The Dodgers opened their three-game series in Texas without closer Jonathan Broxton, who returned to his Georgia home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. The boy, named Jonathan, was born Thursday afternoon.
Broxton is scheduled rejoin the team today, according to Manager Joe Torre.
Sidelined pitchers Eric Milton and Will Ohman threw bullpen sessions. Another pitcher on the disabled list, Eric Stults, is still experiencing stiffness in his sprained thumb. . . . Several players’ fathers are with the Dodgers on this three-game trip. The idea to invite them was that of General Manager Ned Colletti, who is trying to start a new Father’s Day tradition.