NEW YORK - The last road trip of the 2018 season includes today’s finale in the Bronx before the Orioles board their charter to Boston.
The Adam Jones checklist has room for what’s expected to be his final appearance with the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. There won’t be a ceremony. Fans in the bleachers won’t chant his name. But pretty much everything relating to Jones is deemed noteworthy as he moves closer to free agency.
Last time he dresses in front of a locker. Last time he plays catch in front of a dugout. Last time he attaches “MASNsports.com” to my name.
Whatever void that Jones leaves in the lineup and the outfield won’t match the one in the community, which says a lot considering that he’s a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner.
“It’s a great example for future players,” said manager Buck Showalter, sitting in the dugout yesterday while his club took batting practice and the Yankee Stadium PA system was cranked to its usual eardrum-rupturing level.
“Some people, you use the avenue to impact other people’s lives. I tell players all time, the biggest challenge and the most impactful thing you can do in your life is what kind of father and what kind of husband you are. I think Adam’s taken it a step further. And to see him evolve as a father, a husband, someone who gives back to the community, I think it’s just a great example for players.
“He’s not ramming it down anybody’s throat, saying, ‘This is what you’ve got to do.’ He’s always been a guy by example. And it means getting up sometimes after a night game and going to a YMCA or whatever. It’s getting up and being there for somebody. Being someone that they can ask or reach out to and know there’s a chance they’re going to get a positive response. A lot of people talk the talk, but he backed it up. So, I think it’s a great example.
“I’m not going to say it’s rare, because there are other places I’m sure you can find and everything, but Adam, it’s been important to him since the day he really started getting a return for what he was getting out of the game.”
I’m making the assumption that Jones plays today with the Yankees starting left-hander J.A. Happ, but it’s no longer a lock after his disappearance at Tropicana Field. He’s only 11-for-49 (.224) with a double and two home runs against Happ.
Chris Davis will not be in the lineup. Showalter already confirmed it.
Davis pushed to be included in yesterday’s lineup, not wanting to sit after a four-strikeout game. He didn’t hide from it. He almost repeated, logging three strikeouts, but he also lined out twice.
Close doesn’t count, but Luke Voit prevented him from breaking a 2-2 tie in the 10th inning.
Luck doesn’t completely explain a season this bad, multiple seasons of regret, but he really can’t catch a break, either.
The baseball gods are supposed to let you up. Davis is suffocating.
And yes, I know what he’s doing to the team. Thanks anyway.
Happ is 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA and 1.025 WHIP in nine starts since joining the Yankees, who might be sluggish after yesterday’s wild celebration for making the playoffs as a wild card with still no assurances of home field advantage.
Davis is 4-for-25 with two doubles, two home runs and 12 strikeouts against Happ, another reason why he’s on the bench today. Tim Beckham is 6-for-20 with two doubles and a home run and should maintain his every-other-day schedule of being in the lineup.
Alex Cobb is making his first start since Sept. 11, and he’s hoping the right middle finger allows him to go more than two innings or he might use it to salute the remainder of the season. He faced the Yankees twice last month and allowed three runs in 12 innings.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “O’s Xtra,” which airs at 12:30 p.m. on MASN. Embrace these moments because they’re going away.