Results tagged ‘ Adam Jones ’

Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones goes yard as Birds avoid sweep

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.

Baltimore Orioles: Is a message being sent on Adam Jones

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.

Baltimore Orioles drop Seattle finale

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!

Baltimore Orioles: Any trades coming today?

For what it’s worth to the Baltimore Orioles and others, this afternoon at 4 PM is the waiver trade deadline. Teams can make trades through waivers up until that point – in theory. Trades can also occur after that time, and in reality up until the end of the season. However any player traded after 4 PM this afternoon is ineligible to be on a post-season roster.

Most of the heavy trades are made prior to the July 31st non-waiver deadline. As we know, that’s when the Orioles made lots of moves. But the question now is whether or not they’ll do anything further today. Could they possibly acquire a piece or prospect for the future?

Honestly it really boils down to Adam Jones. He’s perhaps the last tradeable player that the Orioles have who would bring back any value. (Unless you want to start trading the likes of Bundy, Cobb, Cashner, et al – which I don’t believe that the Orioles want to do.) It’s been well-documented that Jones hasn’t to this point waived his 10-and-5 status to pave the way for a trade. Might he have a change of heart?

Anything’s possible. However I want to mention again that fans shouldn’t “blame” Jones for his decision. He’s 100% correct in saying that players and the union of the past fought for that right. He has the option and he’s exercising it. And my understanding is that it’s being done partially for family reasons. That right there should tell Orioles fans what they need to know about Adam Jones and the type of person that he is.

With that said, things could certainly change. And I suspect that there would be teams that are interested in Jones for their September stretch run to the post-season. But it hinges on his decision. And ultimately even if he were to agree to it, it also hinges on what the Orioles would potentially get in return. They aren’t going to just give the guy away. Nor should they.

In the mean time, the O’s open up a three-game set in Kansas City tonight. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Brad Keller. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: O Captain! My Captain!

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Baltimore Orioles last night – at first. Starter Alex Cobb seemed to be on the ropes from the beginning, and the team just didn’t look up to winning. Cobb’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

After two innings, Toronto led 4-0. Many Orioles fans had of course seen this story play out already this season – several times over. It appeared that the Orioles weren’t going to sweep their second series of the year. It also appeared that the O’s would have to wait another series before hitting the 40-win plateau. A dubious point for sure, but the 1962 New York Mets have the worst record in the modern era at 40-120. So at least the Orioles can avoid that distinction.

Trey Mancini started the Orioles’ rally with a solo homer in the fourth. The Birds would proceed to load the bases, bringing Adam Jones to the plate. And it was Jones, the unofficial “captain,” who put the Orioles back into the game. Jones got a hanging change up right down the middle of the plate, which he deposited into the left field grandstand for a grand slam. And the O’s abruptly took a 5-4 lead.

Those are the types of heroics that Orioles fans have learned to expect from Jones over his eleven years in Birdland. And I’ll add, those are the heroics that Orioles fans will miss if Jones goes elsewhere next year. But that aside, it’s for that reason that so many fans see him as the captain. Granted some of that is based on longevity; but the longevity itself is based on moments such as that. And boy have they mattered over the years.

Unfortunately however, Toronto didn’t allow that to be the final part of the game story. Travis’ solo homer in the sixth would tie the game at five. However the O’s got the lead right back on an Austin Wynns RBI-single in the last of that sixth inning. Incidentally, that play was set up by John Andreoli getting on base, and then stealing second base. If not for the stolen base (which has been happening a bit more frequently of late) the Orioles would have been in a first and third situation. But as a result of the swiped bag, the had the lead back.

Later in the sixth Macnini would score on a wild pitch. The Birds would put three additional runs on the board in the eight, most of which came as a direct or net result of errors. At the end of the day, the Birds wrapped up a 10-5 victory.

After being swept in Toronto last week, the Birds turned around and returned the favor this week at Camden Yards. That had to be gratifying. And we saw massive contributions from some of the new players, which was good to see. But in the case of last night’s game, it was Adam Jones, “the Captain,” who’s heroics put the team over the top. Perhaps his grand slam didn’t win the game per se, but it did give them a shot in the arm that was direly needed. And that’s what Adam Jones has represented for the Orioles and for the city of Baltimore since he’s been here.

Baltimore Orioles: Three-run fifth sinks the Birds

A sixth-inning Adam Jones double was the extent of the Baltimore Orioles’ offense this afternoon in game one of a split doubleheader. The O’s coudn’t muster much in the wake of last night’s offensive explosion, however the pitching ended up doing them in once again. Jimmy Yacabonis was brought up as the Orioles’ 26th man (allowed for a double-header), and he struggled. Yacabonis’ line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

It’s your classic case of a pitcher pitching-to-contact once again, and the opponent intent on making contact. The teams breezed through the first few innings without much bluster, which I suppose was to be somewhat expected after last night’s incredibly long game. The difference is that Boston eventually woke up, and the Orioles didn’t.

Boston took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Nunez smacked a two-run homer over the wall in left field on a line drive. Bradley would follow with a solo shot of his own, and the Birds trailed 3-0. Two innings later Bogaerts got on second, and the attempted to steal third. Austin Wynns promptly rattled off an errant throw, allowing Bogaerts to score and running the score to 4-0. Tack on another solo home run by Bradley in the ninth, and the Birds dropped this first game of a doubleheader to Boston 5-0.

The Orioles certainly would have liked to have looked better in this game than getting blanked 5-0, but the good news is that in most twin bills the teams split. Whether that happens today remains to be seen. Incidentally, this evening’s game is weather permitting.

Prior to this evening’s game the Orioles will hold their annual hall of fame induction ceremony, with former second baseman Brian Roberts and former broadcaster Fred Manfra being this year’s honorees. Roberts was a mainstay at second base for the Birds through some very dark years, and is well deserving of the honor. As is Fred Manfra, for the record. I’ve always said that baseball’s a sport that’s unlike others in that it’s still followed by radio by a great many fans. Radio is very much a part of the romanticism of the game, making radio announcers stewards of the game for a great many people. Manager Buck Showalter on Roberts and Manfra (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I got to see some spurts of greatness when he [Roberts] could stay on the field health-wise. Physically, it was really a challenge for him. Concussions, he had one right here with the helmet. I know Fred, that’s special, too, but when you’ve had a guy and you see him get honored like that … I’m sure Brian’s real excited about it.

The series continues this evening with the aforementioned second game of the doubleheader at Camden Yards. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Hector Velazquez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Looking more and more like Adam Jones will stay in Baltimore

The MLB trade deadline is at 4 PM this afternoon, and Baltimore Orioles fans have their eyes on Adam Jones. The center fielder’s contract of course is up after this season, and he’s a free agent. He also has the right to veto any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights. In essence, any player who’s been in the league for ten years and with the same team for five of those years can veto any trade.

And in a somewhat surprising move, Jones appears intent on invoking that de facto no trade clause so as to remain in Baltimore. It’s been stated time and time again that it at least outwardly appears that both parties are interested in Jones being an Oriole in 2019 and onward. GM Dan Duquette has been quoted as saying that he thinks Jones will be an Oriole after today.

This kind of comes across as a scenario in which both the Orioles and Jones could have their cake and eat it too. The Birds could trade Jones to a contender and get a couple of prospects back. Jones in turn would have a shot at competing for a ring. Then as a free agent after the season, he could re-sign with the Orioles. So is Jones doing a disservice to the organization and the fans by hanging on?

There are plenty of people who are going to look at it that way. But Jones is also wary of having to uproot his family, or spend more time away from them than he already does. Along with his wife and two kids, he lives in Baltimore and makes this his year-around home. He’s away from his family when the team’s on the road, but if he were traded he’d be away from them for the next two months plus.

Issues like that do make a difference. I would remind fans that Adam Jones has really been adopted by Baltimore as it’s own. Baltimore isn’t like New York or Los Angeles where mercenaries come, win them a title, and then sometimes depart. Baltimore really embraces it’s athletes, and Jones is a perfect example of that. Baltimore’s a part of who he is, and it’s helped him become the family man he is now.

I suppose I would say that yes in fact the organization could get better in the future if they had the liberty to deal Jones and get something back for him. And if he signs a new contract to remain here, it’s really no harm no foul, right? But you can’t begrudge Jones for not wanting to waive his 10-and-5 status for the reasons he’s publicly cited. As a father and husband, he has to follow his heart first.

The Orioles head to the Bronx tonight to open up a short two-game set with New York. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Is today Adam Jones’ final game at Camden Yards?

The MLB Trade Deadline is 4 PM on Tuesday, but the Baltimore Orioles have already been very active. This much we know. The question is will anyone else be dealt away? Namely, will Adam Jones be traded away?

As we all know, Jones is in the final year of his contract. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. If you read the tea leaves, it appears that both parties would be amenable to a new contract moving forward. That might involve Jones moving to right field, but again it appears that both parties might be okay with that.

So it makes sense that perhaps the O’s consider trading Jones now (sending him to a contender), and perhaps getting an additional prospect or two in return. The fact is that the more prospects they get, the quicker the rebuilding process will be. Jones of course would have to waive his no trade clause in order to make this happen, and again it does appear that he’d be willing to do that.

If the O’s were to do this, that would mean that this afternoon’s game would be Jones’ last at Camden Yards. As an Oriole at least – for now. It’s easy to suggest that it appears to be a given that he’ll return, but nothing’s guaranteed in this world. Least of all tomorrow.

If in fact this ends up being Jones’ final game as an Oriole at Camden Yards (again, for now), it’s certainly bittersweet. There’s no doubt that regarding this year Jones would be worth more to the Orioles on the trade market than he would on the roster. However he’s also a fan favorite, and he’s done more for this community using his status as an Oriole than anyone since Ripken. Simply put, he is and always will be an Oriole.

Milwaukee and Philadelphia appear to be the two teams that are interested in trading for him. And it really boils down to whether or not they or someone else is willing to give the Orioles what they want in exchange for Jones. Just like Machado and Britton, you aren’t going to give the guy away. Especially not when this one guy has been the fact of the franchise for some time.

And in saying that, I hope that Orioles fans recognize that today could be a swan song of sorts for Jones – again, for now. I hope that they give him the salute that he’s due. The chapter of Orioles’ history over which he’s presided will forevermore go down as a successful one – withstanding this season. This isn’t to say that he shouldn’t be traded. Ideally, he’s dealt this week, goes to a contender, and re-signs with the Orioles in the off season. But either way, he deserves his due today. And my hope is that the fans show up and give it to him.

Baltimore Orioles haunted by in-game mistakes

If there’s ever a lesson that the Baltimore Orioles are going to learn in 2018, it’s that their opponents aren’t anywhere near as charitable as they are in games. When the O’s make a mistake, they’re held accountable for it – almost tenfold. When the opponent screws up, the Orioles can’t seem to follow suit.

Kevin Gausman didn’t throw a quality start, but he pitched better than his numbers indicate. Gausman’s line: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 earned), 0 BB, 9 K. The zero walks and nine strikeouts kind of stand out. Gausman was dealing in yesterday’s game, although he did surrender the home run ball. And he was let down by the defense behind him.

The O’s actually took the lead early on an Adam Jones solo homer in the first. This after an hour and forty-five minute rain delay before the game even started. However New York took the led right back in the top of the second when Andujar smacked a two-run homer. One inning later New York seemingly opened the game right up when Stanton hit a two-run shot of his own to give them a 4-1 lead.

One would have thought that the O’s wouldn’t even attempt to come back from that. But the one difference in yesterday’s loss and other ones of late is that the Birds did show a pulse. And while that won’t win you any awards, it’s a start. Joey Rickard‘s solo homer in the last of the third cut the lead to 4-2. Then the sixth inning occurred.

With a runner on first Sanchez grounded into what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play. However Schoop’s throw back to first was air mailed, giving New York an extra out and a runner in scoring position. So as opposed to two outs and nobody on, they had a runner at second with one out. Kind of a big difference. Gregorius’ RBI-single would score Sanchez, and Gregorius would then take second on a fielding error by Adam Jones (who misplayed the ball).

Again, opponents aren’t as charitable as the Orioles. When the Birds make mistakes in games, they’re held accountable for them and then some. Jones would also allow Hicks to advance to second on a throwing error later in the inning after Hicks’ RBI-single gave New York a 6-2 lead.

However again, showing a heart beat doesn’t win you any ponies. But the O’s did attempt to come back in this game. And with those three unearned runs, it’s very possible that things would have been very different had those aforementioned mistakes not occurred. Manny Machado smacked a solo homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-3, and later in the inning Danny Valencia‘s RBI-double cut it to 6-4. However that’s as close as the Birds would get. In fact, NY would add two more runs in the eighth, while Jones’ RBI-single in the ninth brought the O’s back to within three at 8-5 (the final).

Jones really illustrated why this season makes no sense for the Orioles. People want to say that they stink and so forth, and obviously that’s what their record indicates. But Adam Jones is a perennial all-star center fielder, who we know is better than those errors indicate. (They were also made in the rain – in fairness.) So you have a roster of guys who are for whatever reason performing below what their career numbers indicate.

Some will say that they’re aging, and in some instances that’s true. But most of these guys are in their 20’s and early 30’s – and they’re performing as if they’re in their early 40’s. Ultimately you just have to ride out the mistakes as best you can, however this team doesn’t “stink.” They just aren’t performing up to where they should be. And again, they’re being held accountable by their opponents 100% of the time for their mistakes. Yet they can’t seem to do the same in return.

After the game the Orioles optioned catcher Andrew Susac back to triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding roster move is obviously forthcoming before today’s game. Who that will be still remains a mystery, however.

Weather permitting, the series wraps up this afternoon at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Domingo German. Game time is set for just after 1 PM (again, weather permitting).

Baltimore Orioles: First pitch swinging cloaks Opening Day in orange & black

Let the record show that well after the party had stopped, the celebration was over, and the beer stopped flowing, it was Adam Jones who won the game for the Baltimore Orioles. In an Opening Day game that didn’t need to go extra innings but did, Jones smacked the first pitch he saw in the last of the 11th way out of Camden Yards and into the grandstand, sending the city of Baltimore into a frenzy. However let us not forget that everything’s a team effort. And this victory certainly was.

Dylan Bundy gave the Birds one of their best Opening Day starts in recent memory, and very much deserved to be the victor in this game. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Bundy was as good as good can be, letting nary a runner past second base. For a team who’s starting pitching has been maligned throughout the off season and spring training, this was as dominant a performance as you’re going to see.

Unfortunately for the Orioles however, Minnesota’s pitching and defense matched them point-for-point. In a game like this, it’s really a matter of who blinks first. And in two of the three moments of consequence in the game, Minnesota blinked before the Birds. But it took us awhile to get there.

For the record, Minnesota almost took the lead in the second inning, however Rosario was flat out robbed by Craig Gentry in right field. When I say robbed, I mean the ball was over the wall and Gentry brought it back into the ballpark. So there’s the league’s first web gem of the year. And in what ended up being a one-run game, that was a huge play.

Trey Mancini struck out to lead off the seventh, however he reached on a wild pitch. He would later reach second on a second wild pitch, prompting Minnesota to walk Valencia (who came up as a pinch-hitter). Following a Gentry strikeout, Caleb Joseph came to the plate. And he finally broke the 0-0 tie with a two-RBI triple. How often does a catcher smack a stand-up triple?! But it was perfectly placed, splitting the outfielders on a ball that went all the way to the wall.

The Birds brought Brad Brach into the game in the ninth to close it out. However keep in mind; Minnesota is a small-ball team. They’re perfectly happy getting one run here and there. And they look for the smallest opening to do it – in this case, it was Davis bobbling a grounder at first and allowing a base runner to reach. A couple of walks (one of which came on a very questionable ball four call in a full count after a twelve-pitch at-bat) later, the bases were loaded.

And these guys’ specialty is softly hit balls that end up doing a lot of damage. So with the bases loaded, Grossman’s blooper fell into very shallow center field, making it a two-RBI single – tying the game at two. So…does this mean Brach as the closer should be reconsidered? That certainly wasn’t the result he wanted. But he was also unlucky.

Perhaps the O’s slipped up a bit in that ninth inning. However as I said, in two of the three moments of consequence in that game, Minnesota blinked first. When you go to extra innings and the home team is at bat, the game’s always on the line. And that strikes fear into any team when you have a guy leading off an inning who’s been as clutch as Adam Jones has throughout his career in Baltimore – even a team like Minnesota, who plays a frustrating form of small ball.

All you need is one run in that situation. And no better way to get it for any club than on a homer. But that’s especially true of this power-hitting Orioles team, who lives by the long ball. Why rely on softly hit wackadoodle-type balls when you can just hit the ball over the fence?!

And that’s what Jones did, and on the first pitch at that. He saw a fastball that was right down broadway, and he jumped on it. For most of his career Jones has been just a clutch player. But on his 11th Opening Day as an Oriole, perhaps that was personified in truth. And it was obvious that it meant a lot to Jones (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli, mlb.com):

Each one is more and more special, because it shows I’ve been able to maintain and stay in the big leagues. … I think this one is probably more important, because my kids are able to talk a little bit better and they understand what’s going on better. And that’s who I play for.

This was one game, meaning that the Orioles have 161 more of these. And obviously those won’t have the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day. However aside from the ninth inning, this was a great day all-around for the Birds. Between Genry, Bundy, Joseph, and Jones, the Orioles had a whale of a day. There’ll be some toils and snares this year for sure, but at the very least it was “the Captain,” Adam Jones, who made sure that this Opening Day was shaded with a deep shot of orange and black.

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