As you read earlier from my esteemed colleague, Tuesday was MASN's third annual blogger event at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This year, in addition to meeting the broadcasters and getting to watch the game from the MASN suite, we also got to talk to Adam Jones for about twenty minutes.
We spoke to Adam on the warning track behind home plate, and when he came over to speak to us, a few older fans who had been invited to watch batting practice jumped into our group and began asking questions. It was weird and hysterical, and so I present to you first what Adam had to say to them.
(Note, this portion is in conversation form, but it is paraphrased)
Random Old Dude #1: When are you going to start playing shortstop or second base?
AJ: I'll never play second base, but I'd love to play shortstop. All Buck has to do is put a six next to my name in the lineup instead of an 8 and I'm there (note: Buck will never do this)
Random Old Dude #2: Why don't you bunt more? Back in my day teams bunted players around the bases. Blah blah small ball blah blah the good old days blah blah get off my lawn.
AJ: This is the American League, that's not how the game is played. If you want to see more bunting, go on down to DC where the National League team plays. If I get up to the plate and there is a runner on, I want to drive him in. Besides, I don't make the decision on how often to bunt, I do what I'm told.
Random Old Dude #2: Can't you talk to Buck Showalter about bunting more?
With those jokers out of the way, we got down to business. Click through the jump to see the topics we covered and Adam's thoughts.
- When asked about Twitter and what advice he'd give other athletes who venture onto it, AJ stressed that you have to remember that you never know who's really on the other end, that you shouldn't get too personal, and that you have to ask yourself, "Do I want my mom reading this?"
- On long flights, he passes the time by playing cards, listening to music, and watching movies and TV shows from the National Geographic channel. He also said, "The longer the flight, the more booze," but he did note that there is no alcohol on flights returning to Baltimore.
- His favorite city to visit is Chicago. It's clean, has great food, and a lot of things to do.
- His least favorite cities to visit are Oakland, Detroit, and Cleveland. In Oakland, the team stays in San Francisco, so it's just a hassle getting to the park. In Detroit and Cleveland there is nothing to do. If you're there for a weekend series and try to go out Friday night at 10 p.m., it's so empty it seems like Tuesday at midnight.
- The first time he played the Mariners, it was a big deal to him. But it's been three years now and he doesn't care, they're just another team.
- When asked about his personal goals for the season, Adam had a quick answer: to win. He said, "Winning takes care of everything," and if the team is winning then he's doing something right personally.
- So Adam, what's up with the Orioles sucking on the west coast? Not surprisingly, he didn't have much of an answer. They ask themselves that question all the time. The first few games on the west coast are tough because it's like starting a game at 10 p.m., but they can't figure it out otherwise. As far as Oakland goes, he said that he and Nick Markakis were talking about how when you stand in the batter's box there it's like you're at the beginning of the grand canyon. He then motioned over to the A's, who were warming up in front of the dugout and said, "Why are they terrible on the east coast? Who knows."
- Jones talked about the kids who got drafted in the first round of the draft and how they were all on TV, surrounded by friends and family. The day he got drafted he was sitting in government class in high school and his teacher gave him permission to answer his phone if it rang so he wouldn't have to wait until after school to find out.
On Buck Showalter
- Things are different this season compared to last, but that's to be expected with a new manager and a new staff. One big thing that they've learned this year is that if you can't get the job done, you're gone. Adam said that they've seen that in action in the past few weeks, I assume alluding to Jake Fox, Brad Bergesen, and Chris Tillman.
- Asked if he's ever gotten done anything to get on Showalter's bad side, he said not yet, and jokingly offered to try so that we could all see what happens. He added that Showalter doesn't have a set of rules or anything for players, he just understands baseball and expects his players to always play to win and to be consistent.
That's about it. It was really great talking to AJ, he was very personable and willing to talk about everything that was asked. He even humored my question about the outfielders and their group hug.