Could the Baltimore Orioles be making Adam Jones angry?


It’s been a rough offseason for the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s tough to see beloved players come and go. Fans feel a connection with the guys that have been around for a long time. Fans value loyalty. When a player goes, the fan feels betrayed.

But how do the players feel?

Think of yourself in this situation: You get moved to a new job across the country. Upon arrival, you are next to the same person every day. You know that every day you come to work, that person will be there. You build a relationship with them. You meet their families. You consider them a friend.

You have said job for a few years when your childhood friend is in search of a new place of employment. You have known the guy since you were seven years old. He’s not just a friend, but like a brother. You do everything you can to help your friend and he gets the job. Meanwhile, you earn yourself a promotion from the years of hard work put in. Everything seems great.

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Then poof, your friends are gone in a span of a few weeks. It is safe to say that you would likely be pretty upset about it.

That is what life is like for Adam Jones these days.

When Jones signed his six-year, $85.5 million extension in 2012, he did so knowing that the team had not been to the postseason since 1997. He had no idea that they would make the playoffs two of the next three seasons and advance all the way to an American League Championship Series just years later. He just knew he “fit in” in Baltimore. He’s in the prime of his career and his “stay hungry” attitude is a perfect fit for the way Buck Showalter wants his team to operate.

Jones has put forward his best statistical numbers over the past three seasons in which he’s regularly played 160 games. Jones has averaged 31 home runs, 97 runs and 95 RBI while batting .280/.320/.461 as the Orioles have enjoyed three straight winning seasons. Those are gaudy numbers for the center fielder and will be tough to beat. He will have to be more of a leader and defensive presence with an uncertain outfield situation.

He is human though.

The cliché in sports is that it is just another business. Sometimes you have to take the personal aspect out of a situation to make a decision that is better for the business. The business here is making the Baltimore Orioles better. But what happens when trying to make your team better makes your best player upset?

Jones has watched two of his best friends leave the team this offseason. By now, it is old news that Nick Markakis has left Charm City. The duo had been teammates since Jones’ arrival in 2008 and the anchors of the team in center and right field respectively. So when Markakis signed with the Braves, Jones wasn’t thrilled with the decision, and let the Twitter world know:

Yesterday, the Orioles finally made a move for a catcher when they claimed Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. It was a move the team needed to make with the uncertainty of whether Matt Wieters will be ready for Opening Day.

The acquisition of Lavarnway forced the Orioles to make room on their roster by releasing outfielder Quintin Berry. Berry is a childhood friend and high school teammate of Jones. Until his release, he potentially had a shot of making the team as the fourth outfielder with the Orioles remaining stagnant this offseason.

As fans we forget that the people we put our sporting hopes and dreams into are just people too. They are not much different from us. They’re prepping for the holidays. They have friends we see on and off camera. They have families. They have emotions.

Forget baseball for a minute and think how Adam must feel about all this. It is easy to understand that the San Diego, CA native is going to be upset. He can not be thrilled with the club’s decision not to keep two of his closest friends around. The modern athlete excels at publically stating “this is the business” and “the next man must step up,” but we know from our personal experiences that deep inside he cannot be happy.

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  • There is no denying that the O’s are going to miss Markakis and Nelson Cruz. Jones went to battle almost daily with those guys at his side. The trio put up terrific numbers. Now Jones finds himself as the only one left in what was possibly the best outfield in baseball a season ago. He acknowledged that the moves were tough for him to swallow.

    The rest of the AL East has gotten better via trades and free agency. The Orioles have sat back and are banking on the return of Wieters and Manny Machado to be big pieces of the puzzle. With Machado and Wieters back on board, Jones does not have to do anything differently. He cannot try to outdo himself. Baltimore watched firsthand as Chris Davis tried too hard to top his 2013 numbers.

    Jones is the most important piece to this team. That is exactly why the Orioles gave him the largest contract in franchise history. Let’s hope Adam is not pouting over the recent decisions and is enjoying the holidays.

    Merry Christmas.