Former Baltimore Orioles’ star Adam Jones is headed to Japan – this much we know. Jones announced via Instagram last night that he had signed with a Japanese league team. He won’t be a part of MLB any longer moving forward, at least for the time being.
As time’s going on, MLB and all sports appear to be valuing veterans less and less. It’s unimaginable to me that a player of Jones’ pedigree was going to be unable to find a big league team in 2020. Granted we don’t know what fully went into Jones’ decision, and the reasons could be personal as much as anything else. But many analysts have stated that this might be something that a lot of veteran players start doing.
And to be honest, it’s a trend that I’m seeing in society as a whole. When I was a kid I wanted to be older because I was of the impression that the older you were the smarter you were. I come from a generation and a time in which we valued experience and time spent. Meaning that novices had to work their way up the line.
But society appears to be changing – and not for the better in that regard, in my view. And keep in mind that sports (baseball, in this instance) often mimics life. I’ve literally been told that at 38 I’m too old to understand something. Uh excuse me, but whence I come age and experience is a virtue. I’m not going to lie, I deeply resent that mentality.
I’m nowhere near being a Baby Boomer, but the whole OK Boomer thing is an extension of this concept. And to be honest that’s something that I see as fairly offensive. You can’t possibly be more worldly at 25 (to pick a random age) than someone is in their 30’s and above. That’s just not a possibility. Furthermore not everything needs to be revolutionized.
But going back to baseball, that same emphasis on youth is translating to the diamond. This isn’t to say that young people don’t play a role, because they have to. World class athletes obviously don’t exist in their 50’s and so forth. But are we not going a bit to an extreme by suggesting that a 34-year old guy who’s had a great career to this point is too washed up to play in the big leagues?
And in fact it makes you wonder – with MLB trying to re-define it’s minor league system by cutting teams…is it not possible that they’re trying to get guys into the big leagues at younger ages? Again, youth has to play a role in sports by definition. There’s no question. But wiry veterans who’ve been around the block once or twice also have a place. While young people of today are told they can be or do anything, they still need to be shown the ropes. And by devaluing veteran players, baseball and society are doing youngsters no justice.