Despite the fact he almost never plays, Jake Fox remains an upbeat, optimistic, hard-working guy.
He says he feels certain the Orioles will give him a chance, but it sure hasn’t happened yet.
Fox has just 19 at bats since August 1 and has started just one of the last 17 O’s games.
“I know at some point, I will get my opportunity to show them what I can do. I know it’s coming. I’ve had conversations with Buck and I know it’s going to happen,” Fox told me during the last homestand.
Fox hardly played at all for Oakland, but since the trade to the Orioles, he is actually playing even less.
He was with Oakland for 63 games and got 98 at bats. He has been with the O’s for 71 games with just 68 at bats.
“In Oakland, I saw that I was never going to get a chance. I just didn’t fit in. Coming here, you see a light. I feel like I fit here. That’s the biggest key to it all. As long as I have hope that down the road I’m going to get a chance, I’m okay with it. You have to be patient,” Fox said.
Fox, who is batting .221-4-7 in 28 O’s games, said his pre-game work is the key to staying ready for when and if his chance comes.
“I have a routine I go through every day. It starts with early work. I will take some of the young guys with me like Snyder or Bell and we’ll take ground balls before batting practice.
“During BP, I work on getting reads and jumps in the outfield. I do random things, like I went out and caught a bullpen the other day to make sure I keep my eye behind the plate. For me, you never know where (on the field) that opportunity might come.”
The 28-year-old Fox feels confident that new manager Buck Showalter will give him a chance even though it sure has been slow to come.
“One thing that Buck has done very well with me is communicate. Am I satisfied with the role I’m in? No I’m not. Am I going to show up every day and work hard? Absolutely.
“We’re on the same page. He knows I believe I can still be an everyday player at this level. Where I am at in my career, I just have to do whatever job I am given. You have to earn his respect and getting him to trust to put you out there.
“For me, I’ve always been labeled as a poor defensive player. That’s always the hardest thing. To prove to them I will not be a liability in the field. I will make the routine play and get the job done.”
I guess that baseball, like life sometimes, is not fair.
Not everyone does get a chance.
Fox is a guy that keeps working hard, stays positive and tries to help his teammates get better as he waits for that chance that may not come his way.