NEW YORK - Adam Jones emerged from the shower area tonight, dressed and waved over the group of media members who were hovering near his locker.
Jones is still with the Orioles and still the guy who attracts the most attention, especially on a day when two teammates were traded and the full rebuild really hit home with the club on the road.
The Orioles had an opportunity to trade Jones to the Phillies, but he didn’t want to waive his 10-5 rights - 10 years in the majors, five with the same club - and play for a contender. And he sees no reason why he has to explain it to anyone.
“When players walked out years ago and walked the picket lines and did all that stuff, they did all that for reasons like right now,” he said after a 6-3 loss to the Yankees “I earned this and it’s my decision. I don’t have to explain it to nobody. It’s my decision. Thank you.”
Jones has heard various criticisms for blocking the trade, as if he’s slowing the rebuilding process. He isn’t interested in the feedback.
“Well, here’s the thing about society, everyone thinks that they know what’s best for the next person,” he said. “Now, if someone wants to pay all my bills, trust me, they can tell me what to do. But until then, shut the hell up.”
In case it hasn’t been made clear, Jones is at peace with his decision.
“A hundred percent,” he said. “I made the decision. You all didn’t. It’s my decision, it’s my life.
“There’s the thing. I’m not going around telling other people and dictating other people’s lives. Why do they do that with us? So, no one’s going to tell me what to do. I earned every single bit of it. People before me fought vigorously to get rights like this, and I can invoke them.”
The last two months of the season could also be the last of Jones’ career with the Orioles. He’s a pending free agent and executive vice president Dan Duquette keeps emphasizing the team’s desire to get younger.
Asked whether he’d want to return, Jones replied, “I don’t know if I’m .... I can’t think that far past that.
“Like I said, I’m going to weigh every option I have, just like I did this time. There’s still another month in the waiver wire and that kind of stuff, so you never know. But it’s my decision. I appreciate everybody with their two cents. I didn’t ask for it, but I greatly appreciate everybody with how they think Adam Jones should do his career. Thank you, for wasting your own personal time.”
Jones took the field tonight without second baseman Jonathan Schoop, his usual pregame throwing partner who was traded to the Brewers. Kevin Gausman won’t start Friday in Texas because he’s headed to the Braves.
“You know, me personally, I haven’t played a game without those guys in a few years, so (it’s) definitely different, but I see what they’re talking about when they’re talking about us with a rebuild and fire sale,” Jones said.
“We got rid of some guys that are making substantial money and are probably going to make substantial money next year. That’s they’re going in a different direction, so I wish the best to both of those guys and (Brad) Brach. They’re all three going to pretty good situations, so I wish the best for them.
“It’s business. When you understand and you can separate the business from the emotion part, then you understand it. A lot of people outside of these clubhouses try to do everything with emotion. It’s business. Trust me, there are guys that love playing in certain places, but the reality of it is that it’s business. So, if the team wants you they want you, if they don’t they don’t.”
The Orioles lost their 40th game on the road and 75th overall, a three-run rally in the eighth still leaving them short. Jones won’t change his routine or how he approaches each day. Got to keep grinding.
“I’m a professional,” he said, “so I’m going to show up every day and play the game as hard as I can and live with the results.
“I believe the team will follow suit. Might not look pretty some days, might look pretty some days. It’s not going to be all grandeur and all that stuff. We’re going to struggle the next two months, but you can go out there and control how you play the game, control your attitude, control your energy, control your effort.
“Just because you don’t get the necessary results doesn’t mean you’re not trying.”
Manager Buck Showalter tried to treat tonight’s game like any other, but he isn’t in denial.
“It doesn’t feel like that,” he said. “You sit around and you’ve got Gausman a couple seats over from you. You’re used to have Jon out there. But I also think about all the people that we’ve acquired that might be them one day, you know?
“Like I said before the game, I’m excited for them. They’re going to some great places and get a great opportunity. Things that they deserve to do this time of the year. I think more about the people we’ve acquired and they made be the people that fill their shoes down the road.”
Showalter didn’t detect a feeling of uneasiness sweeping over his club.
“Not yet,” he said. “You know what? It’s just, all of a sudden we’re putting another lineup up there. A lot of things have changed. I think people were kind of, not in cruise control, but just kind of went into a mode of ‘Let’s go play a game.’ And then, there’s a lot of talk back and forth.”
“I heard from Darren (O’Day). I got to spend some time with Gaus and Jonathan, of course. I try to dwell on how much this means for a lot of people. They’re going to get opportunities here that (they) may not have, and all the people we’ve acquired that could people that fill their shoes.”
Yefry Ramírez was charged with six runs in five innings, including Miguel Andújar’s three-run shot in the fifth.
“I was really hoping he could get through that with three,” Showalter said. “He could have really let it open up on him early and didn’t. We had (Masahiro) Tanaka at 30-some pitches in the first inning, but weren’t able ... I’d have liked to see us cash in that first inning. But Yefry, it’s a good exposure and it’s a good experience here.
“Got a sinkerball that ran back over the plate that hurt him. He’ll feel a little bit tough about the walks out there because his command is better than that.”