The Orioles won just one game on their seven game road trip and have fallen four games under .500. Their playoff hopes are dwindling as they’re 11 games out of first place in the AL East and they would now have to leap over five teams in AL to grab the second Wild Card spot.
Sunday’s 6-0 loss was the O’s 67th of the season, which is, astoundingly, more losses than they had all of last season. They’ve lost four in a row and 11 of their last 13 games.
Sorry, I know it’s Monday morning and you could really use some good news to start off the week. The O’s playoff chances aren’t going to be that cheery headline you’re looking for today — they’re down to a 5.4 percent chance of making the postseason according to Baseball Prospectus, that’s a season-low.
But in my quest for positivity, I couldn’t help but notice the postgame actions of Adam Jones. He’s certainly the face of the franchise and the leader in the clubhouse, but some times difficult stretches can bring out the worst in even the best people.
And I'll run into another wall for my pitchers. #StayHungry
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) August 28, 2015
Not Jones, apparently.
Center fielder Adam Jones was standing at his locker after the game, waiting for reporters and basically serving as team spokesman. He’s the leader in the clubhouse and it showed again.
The Orioles went all in with Jones in 2013 when they signed him to a six-year, $85.5 million contract — the largest deal in franchise history. He’s delivered with a pair of Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and three All-Star appearances, but it’s what he did on Sunday that might be the most valuable.
Jones could have packed his things up and headed for the bus. It’s been a frustrating road trip and I’m sure he’s ready to get out of Texas. In baseball, we see star players duck out on the media all the time when things go sour.
But he didn’t, he stepped up and he answered the questions. He spoke on behalf of the team as a clubhouse leader and delivered the quotes the media was looking for to the tough questions they were throwing.
“I’ve talked to the team, I talk to these guys every day,” Jones said. “What do you want me to do, bend them over and spank them? They’re grown men. They understand the objective here.”
“It’s not like I’ll just come play and have some fun in the major leagues,” Jones said. “No, we’re here to win and they understand that. A lot of the guys were here last year and got a taste of what we were about and the way we play the game. Right now, we’re just getting beat. That’s how it works. You’ve just got to figure out a way to win. That’s how it is.”
It’s admirable and it’s not easy. It’s not a part of his contract, it’s not something he’s obligated to do, but it’s a choice he makes as a leader. And it says everything about the type of guy he is.