That would be super-agent Scott Boras, who usually prefers that his clients test the free agent waters.
Wieters agreed to a $5.5 million contract yesterday. He’s got two more arbitration years remaining.
“I’d like him up here,” Jones said. “He’s a fixture in this city. He’s our leader behind the plate, he’s a leader on this team. I wouldn’t be opposed to locking him up.”
Like just everyone else here, Jones shared his thoughts on the passing of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver.
“I heard this morning. It was very sad,” Jones said.
“I sort of look at things in the bigger picture. The man lived 82 years. Think about what he’s seen. Besides the championships he won here, think about what he’s seen in his life. You come to appreciate it. The man lived 82 years. When you see people being taken from us way younger than that, some people in their 20s, some people in their 40s, the man lived a great life, so I think it should be a celebration because 82 years is a remarkable feat. I hope I can live that long.”
Weaver spoke to the team multiple times during spring training.
“He said he loves the way that I play,” Jones recalled. “He said I reminded him of the way that they played back in the day, and I said, ‘I really appreciate that,’ because that’s how I play the game. I’m always going to play it hard-nosed. A lot of middle infielders don’t like it. They’re not on my team, so I couldn’t care less.
“He appreciated the way that I carried myself, ready to play every day and show up without a complaint.”
Jones has noticed the heightened enthusiasm for the team among fans here.
“There’s a long line wrapped around this building, and this building is huge,” Jones said. “It’s appreciated. It’s the biggest one, someone was telling me. It’s hectic, it’s chaotic here, which is a necessary evil. It’s a a good thing to have the fan base back. Now we have to do it again because you don’t want to just be a one-year wonder. We’re trying to change this franchise around instead of just one year.
“It’s always been fun for me because I’m personable, but Twitter has blown up, social media sites have blown up. I have to move to the county now because living downtown has become a burden a little bit. It’s a good problem to have. It’s better than walking right into a place and nobody says anything to you. I don’t take it for granted.”
Lew Ford also is in the house.
Ford quickly re-signed with the Orioles after becoming a minor league free agent. He’ll be in the mix for an outfield job in spring training.
“As soon as the Orioles offered me a contract here, I took it,” he said. “I wasn’t going to waste my time looking around. I enjoyed it here. I feel like they’ve given me a great opportunity and I felt like there was an opportunity open and it was up to me to try to earn it.
“As far as the organization, I love it here. I loved it last year. It was awesome. Being in the playoffs, that’s what you’re working for when you sign somewhere. That’s what you work for as a team. And I think we have every chance to do it again this year. I’m very excited to be back.”
Pitching coach Rick Adair observed Mark Hendrickson’s throwing session at Wednesday’s minicamp. I asked him last night for his opinion on the veteran left-hander, who is expected to be invited to camp.
Hendrickson has gotten comfortable throwing with a side-arm motion.
“It’s one of those things, you try it one time and you know real quick whether it’s going to work or not,” Adair said. “He changed his posture and he was able to get through the ball. It looked natural. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how it works out. There’s something there. He has a chance to present something that nobody else does with his leverage and getting real wide and pitching from the first bse side. It could be real interesting to see, especially how effective he is on left-handers.
“I don’t know. It could be good. we were talking about it in 2011. He’s been playing around with it, playing catch. It’s one of those things going into it where he was better than you’d expect. It was good.”