Results tagged ‘ Adam Jones ’
For now, there’s no real news out of former Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones. Jones of course held his annual Stay Hungry Tailgate before a Baltimore Ravens game, raising lots of money for charity. There’s no word on whether he intends to continue the tradition assuming his days with the Orioles are over.
Jones has stated on many instances that he feels he still has some gas left in the tank. And I would agree with him. My personal opinion is that his days in Baltimore are over. And I think he seems to sense that as well. However if he remained unsigned would the Orioles consider bringing him back for the right price?
The answer to that has to be YES. It has to be. Because Jones isn’t wrong when he says that he still has something left. However odds are he’s going to look for more money than the Orioles are going to be willing to pay him, and justifiably so. But if we see an off season in MLB like we did last year (where teams flat out didn’t sign anyone), could the Orioles possibly end up with Jones returning?
Again, the answer to that has to be yes. I just wouldn’t hold my break on it happening. Ironically outfield is one area in which the Orioles do have some depth. And with the likes of Mullins and Mancini remaining, I suspect that the future is bright. However I think that the future is bright for Adam Jones as well. And wherever he ends up is a team and fan base that will be lucky to have him. I suspect he’d be an asset wherever he goes, and in any role.
How active will the Baltimore Orioles be in free agency going into 2019? If ownership’s comments are to be believed, the answer is not very active. We know that the Orioles want to cut payroll by a country mile, which is mainly what would prevent Adam Jones from coming back.
If Jones has no suitors and the price drops, I suspect that the Orioles would be amenable to bringing him back. But that’s a big if. We all remember what happened last year.
But whether it’s Jones or anyone else, I don’t see the Orioles making classic Duquette-era signings as spring training closes. I take them at their word for the time being. The goal is to get younger.
However again, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a move, provided that the player came cheap. And that could be for Adam Jones or anyone else. The fact is that even on a young team you still need someone to show young guys the way. That’s one of the reasons I thought it was a mistake to get rid of Jones.
But I digress. The Birds will probably be active in the Rule 5 draft again, where they could presumably acquire another young player. Does all of that mean that the 2019 Opening Day lineup might resemble that of the final game of 2018? Possibly. But time will tell.
The Baltimore Orioles and Adam Jones will tell you about Boston fans. Now in general, Fenway Park has some of the best fans you’ll find in any sport. But there are exceptions to every rule. And many of those exceptions happen to come in Boston sports events.
On Sunday a Kansas City Chiefs player scored a touchdown in their game against the New England Patriots. The player ran out of the endzone and towards the stands, where he was flipped the bird. While vulgar, it’s probably not over-the-line for fans at a game. What is over-the-line however is what came with the flipping of the bird…
…the player had beer thrown on him. By a fan. Yes, you read that right (if you hadn’t already heard the story). A fan actually threw beer on a player. Maybe I’m cut from a different cloth than some people, but I’d never do that to someone. If someone did it to me I’d view it as akin to throwing a first punch.
There’s no circumstance in which this is EVER acceptable. But it’s not the first time Boston sports fans have shown this ugly side of themselves. As I said, for the most part the fans at Fenway Park are some of the best in the business. But we all remember the situation last year in which Adam Jones dealt with racial slurs in the outfield.
Again, there are lines you don’t cross. Telling an opposing player that they’re no good or have no business being on the field is one thing. Right or not, that’s part of what professional athletes sign up for. It’s part of the job. But racial slurs are well over the line. And again, that happened in the same city that threw beer at an opponent last night.
On top of that, Joel Ward (an African-American) of the Washington Capitals had a similar experience to Jones when he scored the series-winning goal to defeat the Boston Bruins in a playoff series a few years ago. As stand-alone incidents each one of these are unacceptable. But put them together, and it speaks to a louder problem. Whether anyone chooses to admit it or not, Boston may have a race problem.
So should opposing players fear playing there? The Orioles are about to have a lot of young players; what are they to think? The best and only way to address this is for the decent fans of Boston to police the situation. If they see something, they need to say something. And that goes for all cities – including Baltimore for that matter. Am I suggesting that people should rat out their own when it comes to these types of things? That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Yesterday was both amazing and tough for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans alike. Especially the likes of Adam Jones and Buck Showalter. Neither is expected to return, although we should always throw in the term but you never know. And if the love fest we saw yesterday is any indication, I think most fans would be fine with that.
Specifically regarding Showalter, rumor has it that a formal decision and/or announcement is expected sooner rather than later. So in theory that could come as early as today. If in fact Buck’s out, I wouldn’t necessarily expect a new manager to be hired immediately. Most teams wait until the conclusion of the World Series to make those hires, first off because odds are some of the coaches involved could be candidates. But it allows the post-season to take center stage as opposed to a team not involved.
Showalter’s contract runs through the end of October, so he’s not going anywhere in the immediacy of today. And he’ll still be on hand and have the title of manager on October 27th when he and his wife Angela host the annual Kids Peace Trick-or-Trot. While yesterday’s festivities focused more on Adam Jones, that might be a great opportunity for fans to say goodbye to Buck if in fact he’s out.
This season was trying on everyone involved, yes including writers. There were times back in June where I looked to this day. However the Orioles always have a way of pulling you back in, and we certainly saw that yesterday. And regardless of whether a season was good or bad, there’s always a sad finality when the tarp goes on the field for the final time.
But that’s especially true this year with the circumstances surrounding the end of the season. I said this a lot yesterday, but nobody does nostalgia like the Orioles. And that’s quite frankly due to the fact that Baltimore is special. The people are special, and the teams are special. When the litany of trades went down this past summer I reminded fans that Baltimore really loves to embrace it’s athletes. And the next generation of athletes waiting to be embraced may well have been acquired in those trades.
The nickname “Smalltimore” doesn’t exist for nothing. Players come here, and in many cases become a part of the community. Adam Jones certainly did. They start families here, their kids go to school with your kids, you attend community meetings with them, etc. That’s what makes days like yesterday so hard. But it should also serve as a reminder that this isn’t just any team or any city. It’s the Baltimore Orioles. And they’re a special part of a special community.
There is a silver lining to 2018 for those who love regular season baseball. It doesn’t involve the Orioles, but the regular season isn’t quite done yet. Milwaukee will travel to Wrigley Field to play the Chicago Cubs at 1 PM this afternoon, and Colorado will travel to Chavez Ravine to play the LA Dodgers at 4 PM. Those games will decide the NL Central and West champions respectively. The losers will square off in the NL Wild Card game – tomorrow.
These games are playoff games for all intents and purposes. They’re certainly being treated as such, and justifiably so. But on paper, they actually go down as “regular season game 163.” Former 2018 Orioles Jonathan Schoop (Milwaukee) and Manny Machado (LAD) will be playing today. And the 2018 post-season is littered with former Orioles.
As for me, the season never really ends. Anyone who’s read me for some time knows that I’ll give you a full season recap at some point this week. It may not be pretty, but I’ll do it. I always take a few days after the season ends before doing that however, if for no other reason than to “digest” the entire thing. But you’ll get it – later this week, as I said.
In closing for today, I do want to thank you the fans. Certainly this season wasn’t what we thought it would be, but I appreciate any and all who read this column even once. And stick with me, as in typical Baltimore fashion, I don’t take days off!
At the end of the day for Adam Jones, Buck Showalter, the rest of the Baltimore Orioles, and the Orioles’ fans, it was the memories that counted. Certainly not of this forgettable season. But of the past ten or so years. Nobody does nostalgia like the Orioles, and that was on display once again in this afternoon’s series finale.
For the record, the O’s took the series finale with Houston and the season finale, 4-0. Lost in the shuffle of this game’s backstory is the fact that the three Oriole pitchers combined for a one-hitter. This stellar effort was spearheaded by starter Jimmy Yacabonis, who certainly made a strong case to have a shot at a starting rotation spot coming out of spring training next year. Yacabonis’ line: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.
Again, the details are unimportant. But the Birds put up their four runs in the fourth inning. And that was all they needed. Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single gave them a 1-0 lead, and he would later score on Tim Beckham‘s RBI-double. Renato Nunez would add an RBI-double of his own, and he would later score on a wild pitch. And as they say, that’s your ballgame!
Well…not quite. Everyone knows the stakes, and they certainly had nothing to do with today’s game. Buck Showalter started the day by putting Adam Jones in center field for one last time, albeit just for the first inning before he went back to right. That meant that Jones would get to lead the team onto the field, potentially for the final time. However when the time came, Jones realized that his teammates had stayed back…
…Jones was the only person on the field, and his teammates stood behind him applauding from the dugout – along with the almost 25K people in attendance. It was a poignant moment; as I said, nobody does nostalgia like the Orioles. The Houston dugout stood and applauded along with the Orioles, as did…the umpires. THE UMPIRES were standing at home plate politely clapping for Adam Jones. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen that.
Jones was given a well-deserved standing ovation everytime he came to the plate. The stat book shows that he went 0-for-4, but who among us really cares? Jones on the the day (all quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I appreciate everybody’s support. I just show up to work every day, so I appreciate the people who appreciate it.
Eleven years here, a lot of games, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, so I greatly appreciate it from the fans’ standpoint. My teammates for sending me out there on an island all by myself. I didn’t know that was going to happen. Buck for letting me have an inning in center field, where I started at.
It’s been a cool weekend. Like I said, I’m very appreciative and humbled that people concur. Now the game’s over, the season’s over and the next chapter starts. Time to be a full-time father.
Speaking of Buck, he in theory was the day’s other “honoree.” Needless to say, it’s tough to honor managers the way that the crowd did with Adam Jones. And Buck’s not the type of guy who would want that. According to multiple reports, he met with an ownership representative late last night. It’s unclear what that means, but if his comments are to be believed he himself is unsure of his status for next year even now.
There was one “Buck moment.” He came out to argue a HBP, and a smattering of applause gained some momentum. When asked about it after the game, Showalter stayed true to form:
We won the game. They were happy we won. I’m not going to go there. Thanks. You know how much it means to me.
Needless to say, Buck Showalter will always mean something to the fans here in Baltimore. He managed the Orioles for longer than he managed any other franchise. He also managed Adam Jones for longer than he ever managed any other player. The connection will always be strong.
Buck sent Jones back out for the ninth inning in right field, but before the inning could begin he substituted for him, allowing the fans to pay homage to Jones. The game stopped for about five minutes, while Jones embraced each of his teammates and coaches, while the crowd gave him a final Standing O. Needless to say, it was a moment that nobody (player, coach, fan, or writer) who was there will ever forget.
Let the record state the as miserable as the 2018 season was for the Baltimore Orioles, they won on the last day. But again, today it was the memories that counted more than anything else. Adam Jones and Buck Showalter are forever a part of Baltimore. And Baltimore’s forever a part of them. Does that mean they’re irreplaceable? Absolutely not. They would never suggest that they are. But they, along with the memories of the past 8-10 years are a part of the Baltimore story.
And incidentally, it’s a beautiful story. I’d like to hope and believe that I tell my part of it as well as I can. But while time will go on, today was hard for a lot of people. It was hard in a beautiful kind of way. Yet while time goes on, let us not forget the closing strains of a well-known Boyz II Men song:
And I’ll take with me the memories, to be my sunshine after the rain. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
Make no mistake that today’s game will long be remembered by Baltimore Orioles fans. And while we can’t say right now that it won’t be remembered for the game itself or for the final score, odds are that’s the case. All of the signs point to today being the final game for Adam Jones and manager Buck Showalter in an Orioles’ uniform.
I’ve touched on this more and more as September’s gone on. And odds are we’ll touch on it more after the season. We’ve seen “heavy figures” come to the end of the line in Baltimore before – Ripken, Weaver, Murray, and others. They were all sent off with a proud hand.
Where today’s festivities rank in Orioles’ lore is up to the individual. However assuming in fact that these two titans in Oriole history are seeing their final moments in the orange and black today, they’ll stand together as the faces of this era of Orioles baseball. And make no mistake, regardless of the team’s record, they go out winners.
In his typical aw shucks manner, Buck Showalter once said that “it was ready to pop when I got here.” Meaning that the Orioles had a good team already, and were on the rise. And that’s probably true in a way. However he added the one thing that had been missing since 1997: PRIDE.
He restored pride in the organization – not only for the players on the roster, but also for the fans. While other managers certainly meant well, it was Buck who pulled the proverbial sword out of the stone. His was a name that came with automatic credibility. And people bought in almost immediately. One of those people? Adam Jones.
Showalter and Jones were the perfect match. Buck was a skilled instructor who took pride in everything he did, and Jones was a willing pupil. However the thing that they both shared was a sense of humor and a joie de vivre that was unmatched. While they both took their jobs seriously, neither took themselves too seriously. Without Buck Showalter, Jones might well have ended up a very decent journeyman outfielder. And without Adam Jones, Showalter might well have been another name in a long litany of failed managers in Baltimore.
Orioles fans returned to the promise land of the postseason on the coattails of Jones and Showalter in 2012 – a season that shocked the world. Two years later in 2014 the O’s once again did what at one time would have been unthinkable in winning the AL East. Tack on a third playoff appearance in 2016, and this duo presided over one of the more prosperous era’s in “recent” franchise history.
But today we light a candle for those times. I’m reminded of T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which is in reality an epic comprised of four books. The final one is The Candle in the Wind, which deals with the fall of the legendary King Arthur and Camelot…which incidentally, is pretty much what we’ve seen in 2018.
No, I’m not comparing baseball to Arthurian Legend – well, maybe I am. Just a bit. However the crassest of crass fans will see this as an era in which Jones couldn’t hit low-and-away sliders, and Buck left his best reliever in the bullpen in the 2016 AL Wild Card Game. Those people would also probably claim that King Arthur didn’t have what it took to defeat Sir Mordred.
But the really great fans that we know exist in this fan base will see this moment as that of the wizard Merlin peeking into Arthur’s tent at the very end of the story, to comfort him in his moment of need. The era itself is over. It was over the moment trades started going down. But today is the chance to light up the sky one final time and to pay homage to a time that will long be remembered as a Camelot-like era at Camden Yards.
On a selfish note, it’s a time that I’ll personally always remember fondly. I grew up as a writer during the Jones/Showalter timeframe. Many of the great moments and games over that period allowed me the opportunity to wax poetic in a similar manner that I am now. (What, you thought I enjoyed writing blase’ columns about blow out losses?!) Many of those moments will be chronicled as time goes on this off season.
So I encourage fans to buy tickets to this afternoon’s game. Yes, it’s your final chance to see Adam Jones and Buck Showalter (perhaps), but also a chance to see the end of an era. And an era that should be remembered fondly at that. Today’s game is certainly the proverbial candle in the wind for that era. So when we think back on these times, …don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.
The Baltimore Orioles fell big in game one of yesterday’s doubleheader. But they made up for it in the nightcap. While their margin of victory wasn’t as large as Boston’s in the day game, it was still plenty, although starter Jimmy Yacabonis wasn’t able to go deep into the game. Yacabonis’ line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 earned), 4 BB, 2 K.
The Orioles got an early RBI-triple out of Trey Mancini, and a sac fly-RBI out of Renato Nunez to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Boston would tack one back on in the bottom of the frame on a Villar error, but the good news was that the O’s had an early lead. However that only lasted until the fourth when Boston’s Lin smacked an RBI-triple to tie the game at two.
But it was the Captain, Adam Jones, who gave them the lead back. Playing perhaps for the final time in Orioles’ road gray, his fifth inning RBI-double gave the Birds a 3-2 lead. That is until Boston’s Swihart’s RBI-single tied it back up at three. It looked like it would be that type of game for the Orioles, who actually stood a chance in this game as opposed to in the first one. As it turned out, it wasn’t destined to be “that type of game.”
Mancini’s seventh inning two-RBI single gave the O’s the lead for good. Nunez would later add an RBI-single of his own, and the Birds held a semi-safe 6-3 lead. However for good measure, they’d tack four runs on in the ninth. Again, just for good measure. That brought the game into that “blowout” type of territory, similar to Boston’s win earlier in the day.
It’s tough. It was an ugly game. I just wish we had scored nine more runs and beat them 19-3. It’s a crazy game. It’s a great club over there and come out and score a couple runs.
Adam had a big day. For a guy who doesn’t like DHing, he was pretty good tonight. I was kidding him, ‘You’re showcasing all the different things you can do – left field, right field, DH, run.’ It was a good win. That’s satisfying to see, especially, the young players respond like that.
Cedric (Mullins), here’s an example of a guy that’s struggled with the bat but really impacted, I thought, both games defensively, especially this one.
So for what it’s worth, the O’s won their final road game of the year. An incredibly small feat in a forgettable season for sure. But it does provide a cleaner finish to 81 games in gray than it otherwise would have been. So there’s that.
The O’s now head for home to close out the season against the Houston Astros. David Hess gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Gerritt Cole. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
Adam Jones smacked home run number 15 on the season this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles, as they avoided a sweep at the hands of the ChiSox. David Hess got the start, but was unable to go long enough into the game to qualify for the win. Hess’ line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 earned), 1 BB, 7 K.
The Orioles put five runs on the board in the first inning, their best output in the first this year. Jonathan Villar‘s RBI-single got things going, which was followed by a subsequent RBI-single from the aforementioned Adam Jones. The O’s also got runs on a fielder’s choice, and error, and a sac fly-RBI.
But Chicago made an effort to fight back. Palka’s solo homer got them on the board in the second. But the O’s were having none of that. Jonathan Villar also smacked a solo homer of his own in the fourth, running the score to 6-1. But Sanchez’s RBI-single in the fifth cut the lead in half at 6-3. A second Palka homer later in the inning made the Orioles even more uncomfortable as the lead was cut to 6-4.
However it was Adam Jones’ aforementioned home run that put them over the top. It was only a solo shot, but “the captain” wasn’t letting the team lose on this day. That swung the momentum back to the Birds, and put Chicago on notice that they wouldn’t be sweeping on this day at Camden Yards. Cedric Mullins would add an RBI-single in the eighth, and the Orioles closed out a 7-4 victory.
This game ended up being Mullins’ first career four-hit game, which he addressed following the game in the clubhouse (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
It was exciting and a great team win. For me to contribute in a big way today – had a solid defensive play, was able to tag on a big RBI so our closers could come on and finish the deal. It’s a day-to-day process. I come and take a look at the pitcher, see what they have. Just a matter of sticking with my approach, trusting myself and putting good wood on the ball.
So you had Jones’ solo homer acting as an insurance run of sorts for the O’s, and you also got a look at the future in Mullins’ first career four-hit game. That’s the type of production that the Orioles are hoping to see for years to come from their center fielder.
The Orioles will tomorrow open up a three-game set with Toronto at Camden Yards. They haven’t announced a starter as of yet, but they’ll face Toronto’s Ryan Borucki. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
Adam Jones hasn’t been in the Baltimore Orioles’ lineup for the first two games of this weekend’s series in Tampa. The Birds fell Friday night, and again of course tonight. Would Jones’ presence in the lineup made a difference? Probably not. Jones isn’t expected to be in the lineup for tomorrow’s finale either, although Buck Showalter said he’d play again this month.
Like Showalter, Jones is in the final month of his contract. My personal view is that the Orioles need Jones moving forward, both as a veteran presence but also as a team leader/captain. GM Dan Duquette has said that the Orioles’ payroll is going to be much lower going into next year. Many read that to mean Jones’ time in Baltimore is all but done. But is it possible that Buck Showalter is using this series as a manner by which to signal Duquette and upper management that Jones’ presence on the roster behooves the franchise?
David Hess got the start in tonight’s game, and while his numbers indicate a struggle he was ultimately failed by outside forces. Hess’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R (2 earned), 0 BB, 3 K. Hess allowed four runs in the first inning. One of those came on a wild pitch, but ultimately runners were only on base due to throwing errors. Tampa would also get a fifth run in the second on a squeeze bunt by Wendle.
The O’s battled back starting in the third. And they battled back several times, but Tampa never seemed to allow it. Villar’s RBI-single in the third cut the lead to 5-1. One inning later Renato Nunez smacked a two-run homer, and the O’s were within two at 5-3.
As I said, Tampa just kept adding on. After two six inning runs, the O’s got back to within 7-5 in the seventh on Villar’s two-RBI single. But Tampa just wasn’t in the mood to be losing on this night, and they took the game 10-5. In fairness to the O’s, nary one break seemed to go their way in this game. Tampa hitters got the benefit of balls hitting the catwalk, errors getting them on base, the ball slipping out of David Hess’ hand for a wild pitch – among other things. I suppose that good things happen to you when you play a rebuilding team.
However I can’t shake the thought that Adam Jones was kept out of the lineup to send a message. In essence, this is what the team would look like without Adam Jones. Would a manager like Showalter pull a stunt like that? Tough to say, because Buck’s all about winning. But if he thought it might help the organization moving forward…anything’s possible.
Officially, the word is that Showalter wants to get a look at some other guys (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
It’s a great opportunity for some guys to get some big league experience. It’s good to see some guys get big league experience, get into some games, get into some action. I’ve shown what I can do, so it’s good to, if you’re going to move forward with the new future, so right now is no time like the present to get them some at-bats.
For whatever that’s worth.
The series in Tampa concludes tomorrow afternoon at Tropicana Field. Josh Rogers gets the start for the Orioles, and at this point Tampa hasn’t named an opposing starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.
With how this season’s gone the Baltimore Orioles are counting their blessings that they won a game in Seattle at all. They did have a shot at taking the series last night, but dropped the finale in Seattle as Andrew Cashner had a tough time getting himself going. Cashner’s line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K.
The O’s trailed starting in the third inning, as Haniger deposited a Cashner pitch into the center field grandstand to give Seattle a 1-0 lead. However they did claim the lead for awhile. The Birds were able to tie it in the fifth on an E3, which goes as an unearned run. Adam Jones would later reach on an E6, which yielded another run, and the O’s took a 2-1 lead.
Both runs that the Orioles scored in the game were unearned. The scary thing is that the Orioles have struggled over the years at Safeco Field. When I say that I mean the core of Jones (who’s actually played very well in Seattle individually), Davis, Machado, Hardy, et al. That group of Orioles at least has struggled in Seattle. This is a totally new group of Orioles. Granted Jones is still here, but now you have the Joseph’s, Nunez’s, Mullins’, et al of the world. Luckily for them, the Birds only come to Seattle once a year.
Cashner was chased after giving the lead right back in the last of the fifth. Home runs by Cruz and Span ended his night, and ended the Orioles’ claim to the game overall. That gave Seattle a 3-2 lead, which was extended to 4-2 two innings later on Span’s softly-hit bloop RBI-single. They would also add a sac bunt-RBI in the seventh to run the final to 5-2.
Both Cashner and Alex Cobb have had really tough years, following their signings with the Orioles. Analysts far and wide praised the Birds for those signings, including myself. That of course was back in spring training before anyone knew what a donnybrook of a down turn this season was going to become.
Why bring that up now? Because the commonality between the two is that neither had much of a spring training with the Orioles. Cashner had a couple of appearances towards the latter half, but Cobb did not. They, along with countless other players signed very late – call them victims of circumstance if you will. And that’s something we’ll discuss in the off season. Because while the rebuild will certainly continue into next year and beyond, my personal opinion is that the O’s have no choice but to improve year-over-year.
Both Cashner and Cobb have under performed to their career numbers. And again, the commonality is that they signed late and didn’t have a full spring in camp. That will obviously not be the case going into next season. Which by default, in theory should mean that the team’s record should be better next season.
The Orioles now head to Tampa, but have an off day today. It’s one of three off days this month, meaning that they have two left in the season. And it works out nicely for me, because it allows me to catch the NFL season opener tonight, and the season premier of Monday Night Football next Monday!