photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
You all know the internet acronym LOL. It means “laughing out loud”, and can be used to indicate slight amusement but not literal laughing out loud, or it can hold true to its original use, which was to tell people across the internet, who obviously cannot see you, that something has made you literally laugh out loud all alone at your computer like an enormous dork.
It’s rare that something tame enough to get published on the official site makes me LOL in the literal sense, but Todd Jones managed it.
“It’s not fun to be the butt of everybody’s jokes, talking about our bullpen,” Jones said.
“We’re down there trying to make pitches, and I should take a little more responsibility, because I’m the oldest guy in the ‘pen and I’ve got the most experience. I feel like I am the most accountable…
…I should be held to a different standard, because I’m older and I’ve got more experience. I’m just supposed to be able to go out there and do it. For the most part this year, I’ve done it. And when I don’t do it, it looks really bad, because I’m the last one there.”
Well said, Mr. Jones. THIS, this RIGHT HERE, is exactly why I don’t flip out about a bad Todd Jones outing as much as I did/do about a bad Fernando Rodney outing. Does Fernando take responsibility for his shoddy pitching? Not like that, he doesn’t. Granted, it does sound like Jonesy is being a LITTLE too hard on himself (newsflash, Todd: when Jason Grilli gets shelled, he looks just as bad as you do), but he’s also straight-up admitting that he pitched like wank, and he feels awful about it.
That’s more mature and admirable than it is LOL-worthy, although if you picture Todd Jones as an emo kid with lots of shaggy dyed black hair and tight jeans, giving that exact quote while artfully pouting and with My Chemical Romance playing in the background, it becomes significantly more LOL-worthy.
The best thing about Todd Jones is not that he takes responsibility like this regularly. The best thing about Todd Jones is that he goes out after an outing like he just had, after admitting to the press that he Failed with the Formal Capital F and everything, and does what he did today.
One inning, two groundouts, a strikeout, and a save.
That is not just talk, that is backing up words with ACTIONS. It’s also a perfect example of Todd Jones living up to his Rollercoaster nickname to the fullest, but at least he’s on a peak for this particular game. And honestly? In 23 save opportunities, Todd Jones has successfully saved 19 of them. That’s 83%. Mariano Rivera has saved 82% of his games this year. Jonathan Papelbon has saved 95% but Jonathan Papelbon is also like half the age of those guys.
I was gonna throw in JJ Putz’s numbers to show that I didn’t have some kind of wacky east coast bias but then I looked at them and they made me want to cry many many tears because we don’t have him, so bollocks to that.
And yes, I know that Jonesy has screwed up a number of games that were NOT save opportunities, and he has made a lot of not-close games into heart-attack-inducingly-close games and he’s not JJ Putz, but he’s also not the Voldemort of baseball, as I’ve heard some people basically insinuating. So calm down, folks, is what I’m sayin’ here.
He is A LOT of fun to Photoshop, though. So I hope he doesn’t REALLY mind being the butt of everyone’s jokes when it comes to the bullpen, because this may be the first time Todd Jones has had his face put on a small girl with a spacehopper, but in the spirit of fun (not mean-ness…. usually), it may not be the last.