Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The DNR 25: #23 Todd Jones
Todd Barton Givin Jones
Jacksonville State University
1989, First Round (27th pick), Houston Astros
58-63, 319 SV, 3.97 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 111 ERA+
2000 All Star
2000: 1st in saves (42)
2004: 1st in relief wins (11)
All Time: 14th in saves (319)
Best Tiger Season
Though 2000 was Jonesey’s year as an All-Star, I think ’97 was his best year as a Tiger. He only saved 31 games compared to the 42 in 2000, but his ERA was better (3.09 vs. 3.52), his WHIP was better (1.357 vs. 1.438), and his ERA+ was awesome in ’97 (148 vs. 133). Sadly, it would go overlooked as the Tigers were terrible for so long.
Little Known Fact
Although Todd is a right handed pitcher, he bats left handed. He never does anything the easy way.
Reason For Being On The List
More than any player I’ve ever watched (with the possible exception of Alan Trammell), there’s never been a guy more proud to be a Detroit Tiger. Jones actually cried in a press conference when he was traded to Minnesota in 2001 for Mark Redman. Granted, I wouldn’t want to play in the Metrodome, either, but for Todd it was upsetting because he loved Detroit and the Tiger fans so much. You don’t see that much anymore in today’s players.
And though I’ve made it clear that I think saves are overrated, Todd is the Tigers all-time leader in the category. When you mention the word “closer” to a Tiger fan, they’ll probably come up with the names of Hiller or Hernandez. But Jonesey has more saves than any of them.
He always had a great sense of humor (as you can see in the above pic imitating Magglio) and was always available to the fans. While the guy could be a roller coaster on the mound much of the time, Jones was a guy that you felt good rooting for. And he was a better pitcher than he got credit for, much of the time, too.
What Happened To Him?
Injuries and age caught up to Todd in 2008 leading him to retire before the end of the season, ushering in the brief Fernando Rodney era in Detroit. He still writes for “The Sporting News” in every issue and works as an advisor to the local high school and middle school baseball teams in Pell City, Alabama where he lives with his wife, Michelle, and their children, Alex and Abigail.
Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.