March 21, 1999 |
Major league pitching doesn't appear to pose a problem for J.D. Drew, and you won't catch him worrying about a hostile reception in Philadelphia, either. Mark McGwire just might have a new co-star in the 23-year-old can't-miss kid, who'll bat in front of him in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup this season. "He's a stud," McGwire said. "J.D. is the real deal."
August 11, 2006 |
J.D. Drew is surprisingly open to talking about a plan that would recast his role with the Dodgers. "Why?" he says. "Where do you think I should hit?" Second, he's told. Or maybe seventh. "I've never had a preference," he says. So, this should be easy. Anymore, it doesn't matter that the Dodgers paid him to hit in the middle of their order, to hit home runs and drive in runs and be an MVP candidate, which he was the year before he signed on.
April 22, 2006 |
It has always been more about potential than production. More about what he could do than what he has done. If only he could stay injury free and stay in the lineup. The Dodgers believed in that potential enough to give J.D. Drew a five-year, $55-million contract before last season. But the injury bug again took a big bite out of Drew's playing time, limiting him to 72 games. But this season, through 17 games at least, Drew has stayed out of the trainer's room.
September 19, 2004 |
It was a perennial question: What could J.D. Drew do if he actually made it through a season without getting hurt? Finally, we have the answer. Though there's still two weeks left in the regular season, Drew's had enough time to show off his enormous talents -- and silence those skeptics who questioned his willingness to play with pain. He's a .300 hitter who can hit a mammoth home run, beat out a bunt or steal a base.
September 15, 2005 |
Eric Karros was doing the Dodger game for ESPN on Wednesday and stopped by the dugout to say he had just heard the bad news. So much for keeping it secret that the wife is going to be in Dr. Phil's audience Friday. We don't talk to our neighbors anymore -- can't hear them over the yapping dogs -- so I have no idea who the blabbermouth was this time. It's not something you want people to know about the woman you decided to marry.
May 10, 1998 |
Dodger scouting director Terry Reynolds and Angel counterpart Bob Fontaine Jr. continue to pile up frequent-flier mileage, searching for talent in preparation for the amateur draft June 2. Business as usual? "There's no other way to approach it," Reynolds said. "We're proceeding as if everything is normal and assuming it will remain normal."
August 15, 2006 |
The other day, J.D. Drew singled in the first inning, and while that should've been enough to stop the game and award him the ball, he drove in a run. And I swore, as Drew rounded first base and came to a stop, I saw him clap both hands together almost as if he were excited. "Yeah, I saw it too," said Dodgers Manager Grady Little, and although Drew might've just been trying to dust off his batting gloves, any sign of life from the guy is not going to go unnoticed.
October 6, 2007 |
BOSTON -- I did my part. I said hello to J.D. Drew, and although he didn't immediately fall to the ground and curl up into the fetal position, he didn't do anything to hurt the Angels in Game 1. Before Game 2, I sought him out again, figuring it'd be fun if together we made fun of the Dodgers, forgetting for a moment that Drew lacks a pulse. "That's me," he said, while mocking himself, the same old easy-going, lifeless talent that frustrated so many in L.A.
November 12, 2006 |
I MIGHT'VE suggested a heart transplant was in order for J.D. Drew, or at least a nod to the crowd on occasion to let everyone know he was still alive. We certainly had our differences. We talked for two years about him disappearing before games and hiding from the media glare that comes with being paid like a big star. I told him I thought he lacked passion and he said it was a long season and it was more important to pace his emotions.
April 3, 2006 |
J.D. Drew has always had ample time to think. There's all that standing around in the outfield. There's all that laying around in the trainer's room. Maybe it's an unanticipated upside to the bewildering litany of injuries that have dotted his halting eight-year career. For the longest time, Drew filled the yawning gaps by contemplating his swing, a marvel of perfect mechanics and precise timing that once invited comparisons to Mickey Mantle.