Once in a while during a slow off-season, as a writer you have to look around for some inspiration. I was doing so one day last week, when I came across a top 10 bum list from one of Fansided’s other baseball sites, Lasorda’s Lair. I thought, that is a pretty good idea, and at least could be some fun for me anyway. So a big nod to them for the idea, and please check out their list as well.
My list of Tigers bums doesn’t go back too far in history. Approximately the past 30 years or so, and while I am sure that there is going to be some dispute about the list (hint: Jason Grilli is not on it), I wanted to let you know what I was thinking before I start this list. Essentially, it’s about performance, or lack of it, coupled with the expectation that the player would perform. A player’s draft status, and/or who they were traded for played a role in deciding who was on this list. As well as what they have/had done the rest of their careers.
Without further delay, I give you the 9th biggest bum in recent Tigers history…….
The 9th biggest bum in recent Tigers history had a real short stay with the Tigers. His damage can’t be measured in poor performance over a long period of time, but it is one of the most disgusting performances over a short stay Tigers fans have ever seen. On top of that, Jacque Jones was traded for a young player in Omar Infante that went on to become an All Star, making Jones’ ineptitude stand out even more.
It was pretty well known by Tigers fans that Omar Infante wasn’t Jim Leyland’s cup of tea. In fact, Leyland preferred playing another guy that was close to making this list in Neifi Perez over Infante on a regular basis. Pretty much anybody with a set of eyeballs could see that Infante was the superior player, however, that didn’t prevent the Tigers from eagerly shipping him off after the 2007 season.
In search of a productive offensive left fielder, and a left-handed hitter, the Tigers dealt Omar Infante to the Chicago Cubs for Jones in November. On the face of it, it wasn’t that bad of a move. The Tigers were very familiar with Jones, considering he spent seven seasons with division foe, the Minnesota Twins, beating up on Tigers pitching. His career had some highlights, but for the most part, Jones was a pretty solid run producer and pedestrian with the glove in the field. The previous season in 2007 produced a .285 BA with 5 homer for the Cubs, and a .735 OPS. While that isn’t terrible, it represented a clear decline from the previous season in which Jones hit .285, but with 27 homers and an OPS of .833.
The Tigers had no idea the type of decline they would see in 2008. Jones failed in every possible way in a Tigers uniform. So much so, that he didn’t really even make it out of the first month with the Tigers. By the middle of May of 2008, the Tigers released Jones, meaning they dealt a future All Star for one month of some of the most grotesque production we as fans have ever seen from a LF.
But this isn’t just about a bad trade. They happen, and Dombrowski has made more good than bad. This is about terrible performance. Jones, who only compiled 79 at-bats with Detroit, hit a putrid .165 with the Tigers during his stay. He did hit one “bomb”, and produced an OBP of .244. He slugged a whopping .253, and had an OPS of .498. It was a disturbingly fast fall from grace for a guy who was a pretty solid major league regular.
Now, normally I wouldn’t put a guy with such a short stay on a Tigers roster on this list, however, that is the exact reason that Jones makes this list. His stay was never supposed to be that short. He was supposed to be the Tigers LF for all of 2008. The fact that his horrific play forced the Tigers to dump him after a month is the exact reason he makes #9 on the Tigers bum list.