Players have done it before. They hit a grounder that looks to be a sure out and they don’t run hard to first base. That never looks good, but it does happen almost every day in the majors. Not the best example for the kids.
But we haven’t seen it happen often with Adam Jones. It did yesterday, when he hit a ball toward the mound in the eighth, put his head down in frustration and didn’t run hard through the bag.
When asked about it after the game, Jones said:
“You know me, I always give an effort,” he said. “I was kind of frustrated that, I guess, the last one, a checked swing I hit it back to the pitcher. I put my head down when I saw it going back to him. I hear that he dropped it and I looked up. It’s all my fault on that at-bat, that effort level.
“I give max effort and I didn’t give it in that instant. Trust me, those are the kind of things that frustrate me. I could strike out four times and not be bothered by it, but the lack of effort on my behalf, that frustrates me.”
After the game, Jones spoke further through his Twitter account, posting these tweets:
* “Tough loss today. Some mistakes in the field that will have me (ticked off) for the next two mins. Then I turn the page. That’s what men do.”
* “I love the positive and negative tweets. I do love that Birdland does hold us to a high standard. We really do appreciate that as players.”
To me that postgame interview may have been the best moment of the day for the Orioles. Jones has become a leader on this team in the last few seasons and he showed it again with his clubhouse comments.
Buck Showalter told Jones early on during his tenure as manager here that if he truly wanted to be a leader, he had to play hard every day, run hard all the time and lead by his actions more than his words. Jones has been doing that for this team.
If baseball kept statistics to show which players have the most intensity and hustle, Jones would score high.
He called himself out and now he is moving on. The team didn’t play crisp baseball the last two days but you seldom look good when losing. I expect to see them playing good baseball on this important road trip through New York and Boston that starts this afternoon.
Over the years, I’ve seen Orioles fans give out some of their best ovations for hustle. They demand the players play hard and nothing is wrong with that. No one can guarantee what will happen with the wins and losses, but the effort should always be there.
At a time when it wasn’t, Jones was the first to point the finger at himself. In this day and age of social media, some people and their comments and reaction to Sunday’s loss were way over the top. I don’t get it, but that is the world we now live in. Some fans vent like the Orioles intended to ruin their day on purpose.
Jones stepped up during the postgame interview yesterday.
The Orioles signed Jones to an $85.5 million multi-year contract last May for many reasons: because he is very talented, has a strong work ethic, is in the prime of his career, he’s very community oriented and he loves Baltimore.
Yes, and one other thing: He’s accountable for what he does or doesn’t do on the field.