Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is back in San Diego after putting in a bid on a house in Baltimore County. He will fly to Denver later tonight and attend Saturday’s playoff game between the Ravens and Broncos, going from ideal weather to frigid conditions.
“I’ve got tickets on the club level, so I can either sit outside or inside,” he said. “I’ll split up my time. I’ve got to see my boys and support them.”
Jones will continue to divide his time during spring training, leaving the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.
Team USA will begin training March 4 in Phoenix.
Manager Joe Torre contacted Jones shortly before Christmas with an invitation, and the two-time Most Valuable Oriole kept the news quiet.
“I never posted it or nothing,” said Jones, who tweeted confirmation earlier today. “I’m a smart man. I kept it under wraps until I could see what was going on with everybody else.”
Asked how he views this opportunity, Jones replied, “You’re playing for your country. That’s pretty much it. Cool. Enough said. I don’t think that you think twice about it. The Latin players don’t. They say, ‘Si’ real quickly.
“I understand that you play for your city, but now you’re playing for your country. That’s bigger than me.
“I don’t know how the schedule is going to turn out, but I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m an American - in my Toby Keith voice.”
Jones said he spoke to manager Buck Showalter about his decision. Earlier today, executive vice president Dan Duquette said the Orioles supported Jones’ decision.
“(Showalter) asked me if I’ll be ready to play and do I want to play in it,” Jones said. “I said, ‘Of course I do.’ He just said to be ready, and that’s what I’ll work toward. I’ve got to be ready.
“I’ll get ready to go live a couple weeks earlier than normal, but oh well. Let’s go. I’ll be ready.”