On his way to Steinbrenner Field, Andruw Jones thought back to his introduction to the Yankees. It was, in a lot of ways, his introduction to the baseball public, an explosive performance in the 1996 World Series.
“When I was driving here I was thinking, wow, my manager is the catcher that I played against,” Jones said this afternoon. “That kind of makes me feel really old. It’s been a good time. Good memories of it. I wish we could have won it.”
Jones is a different player these days. His sure Hall of Fame career with the Braves has given way to a supporting role with the Dodgers, Rangers, White Sox and now the Yankees.
“A lot of opportunities came up,” Jones said. “There was a lot of talking, but I think when Scott (Boras) made the decision, he told me, he said this is going to be a good opportunity for you to go out there. You might get a chance (for) playing time. My main thing was the playing time, more than anything. He’s saying that the way the lineup is setup over here, they have quite a few lefties in the lineup. Me being a right-handed guy, I have a chance to get some at-bats. That’s why the choice was made. And I think everybody would like to play for the Yankees one of their years.”
Jones is dealing with some minor swelling in his left knee — the result of offseason workouts, he said — but he’s able to run and hit without a problem.
“Just happy to be here,” he said. “Happy to start and get things going.”
Here’s Jones speaking from his locker in the back of the clubhouse, in a row with Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson.
* By the way, yes, Jones said, “when Scott made the decision.” I have no idea whether Jones simply misspoke — maybe he meant to say something about Scott giving his option — but he certainly indicated that it was Boras who decided where he would be playing this season.
Also, I’m not sure what the problem was this evening, but the blog was down for a while. Sorry about that.
Associated Press photo