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January 20, 2009

Orioles talk: Adam Jones

adamnickap.jpgHere are some insights both from and about Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, compliments of Orioles beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec:

O's center fielder Adam Jones said he was excited when he heard about Nick Markakis’ imminent six-year, $66.1 million contract extension, simply because he felt that his teammate was deserving of the money and commitment shown by the Orioles, but said it didn’t even cross his mind how Markakis’ situation may affect his own.

Like Markakis, Jones is one of the key parts of the Orioles’ young nucleus and -- after Brian Roberts, of course -- is also viewed as the next logical Oriole in line for an extension, but that day is likely a good bit down the road for a player who doesn’t have two full years of service time yet.

"I’m not really thinking about anything like that," Jones said yesterday. "I’m just thinking about the upcoming season. All I can do is go into spring training with the same mindset that I’ve always had; just give it my all and try to improve. Our roster is a lot different than last year. I still think we can make some noise in the [American League] East. Honesty, I really do."

Jones hopes he’ll be a main reason why. He has spent the offseason working out at Athletes Performance Institute in Arizona – the same place where Roberts works out - and said that he has added significant muscle to his frame. Jones, who was listed at 210 pounds in the Orioles’ season wrapup media guide, says he is up to 235 pounds.

"I didn’t put on any fat," Jones said. "My body fat is still 10 percent. Working at API, that [stuff] is hard. I’m bigger and a lot stronger, too. I’ve been pushing myself, running the extra mile, running the extra sprint. This year is going to be a challenge. It’s the big leagues. But it’s going to be more comfortable than it was last year. I’m just excited. Whatever happens, happens. I want to do big things. That’s the name of the game. I want to help out the team any way I can."

One of the guys in Jones’ workout group at API is Brian Matusz, the Orioles first-round pick in this past year’s draft.

"He’s a great guy, a real nice dude," Jones said of Matusz. "And he’s getting strong as hell."

Associated Press photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:08 AM | | Comments (45)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Pete-

I'm almost afraid to say it, but the Orioles' outfield is starting to take on the looks of one that could be together for a few years. Do you think the team's intent is to platoon Pie and Scott in left field, or do you believe Pie will be given every opportunity to start full time in left? And how about Scott as a DH?

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Pete's reply: I think Pie will play and Scott with DH and get some games at 1B.

I hope this bodes well for our future.

Now I can't wait for the season to start. But won't that extra muscle mass slow Jones down? Maybe Orioles can insert Pie in the center field.

Anyone else get nervous when baseball players start talking about packing 25 pounds of muscle onto their frames?


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Pete's reply: As long as it's muscle and it's natural, I'm not concerned. He's a big lanky guy, so it won't be that noticeable.

"I want to help out the team any way I can."

Wow! Adam Jones offers a refreshing change of attitude from the glut of selfish athletes in today's sports.

A bigger, stronger Adam Jones bodes well for 2009! I hope his attitude rubs off on his teammates.

Peter, it seems like most (Gregg Zahn?) of Andy McPhil's hires have this same attitude. Agree?

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Pete's reply: Yes, but that could be a coincidence.

I'm glad to see Adam has been working out. I'm looking to see no less than 20HR's and 80 Rbi's from Adam this year. I expect Pie to have the numbers Adam had last year.

Hopefully, Adam's extra bulk will lead to some additional home runs. I just hope it doesn't slow him down in the outfield. I have a feeling he'll be putting all those extra sprints to use chasing flyballs to the wall.

And through extensive lifting (beer mugs, cookie jars, etc.), I, too, have added 25 pounds of bulk this winter while keeping my body fat under 45 percent. Who needs API?

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Pete's reply: I'm pretty sure my body fat index is closer to 80 percent, but I'll live longer if we get stranded in a blizzard.

Hi Pete,

At 6'2" and 235 lbs the Ravens could use Jones to stretch the field a little with his speed. Seriously, Jones is very athletic and very young, but at his size he is not your prototypical centerfielder. The Orioles should give him a whistle to blow when he calls for the ball just like Ceasar Tovar used to to with the Twins. If I am either Markakis or Pie I want to stay out of his way.

Hey, you have to like Jones' attitude and dedication. I wonder if 235 lbs. is too much for a CF and hopefully he doesn't lose his speed..
What numbers will get a Roberts extension done? I think a 4 year deal for 40 mill is fair. That keeps him around for the time when we seriously compete; those that are pushing for e Roberts trade maybe don't realize that we won't get much in return.


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Pete's reply: I think he's looking for that salary and more years, though I don't really know the numbers.

we got us a catcher
we got us an outfield
and we got us an infield

now we need us some pitchers

andy knOws best!

hey peter, 235 pounds? wow. do you see that kind of weight limiting his range in CF? also, do you know when they update that sort of info on the orioles site? thank you, good sir.

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Pete's reply: That's about what I weight and I still have the same range I had when I weighed 210, though it's hard to remember. Sometime in the 1970s.

Some of these young players show a tremendous off-season work ethic and should be commended for that. The money now allows the professional athlete to focus full time on the sport, as opposed to schlepping used cars in the off season.

gotta say this is a nice report...after a tough sunday this is getting me ready for some baseball. nice to see that jones is busting his butt and although the o's have not been good the last 11 years...the players still care and are working hard, especially these young guys. good work ethics, with skills...can't wait to see jones have a monster year!

Great...working out with Brian Roberts and adding an amazing 25 pounds in an offseason that is only 3 1/2 months old. Just great. Sounds an awful lot like one of Roberts best buds from the early-00's O's.

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Pete's reply: Now stop that.

Why do I have the feeling that "stuff" was not in the original quote (yes, I know the [xxx] was a hint). Something tells me that one of the Carlin 7 was originally uttered there.

If he produces the same, then I think the O's should give him a similar contract extension as what they gave Nick. It might end up a little more or less due to economic standards, but I think it should be similar. But, like you said, that won't be for another 2-3 years. I imagine it will happen at about the same time as Weiters or the year before his.

Nick's extension = hope for young O's players.

I can't help but think 235 pounds is awfully heavy for a center fielder, no matter how small a percentage of that is body fat. Maybe the extra weight won't slow him down at all - I hope not, but maybe Pie ends up in center after all, and Jones has to play left with his new Albert Belle-like physique.

Just what the loyal band of Schmuckaroos on this blog need. Incentive to start complaining that Adam Jones isnt signed long term now that the team they love to mindlessly bash has locked up Nick. Oy!

Things are feeling a little better these last couple days. AM has probably been temporarily frozen by the ' Tex Mess '. Getting Nick signed was a pleasant surprise, and welcome medicine her in O'sville. The lower profile moves seem well calculated, which is also reassuring. Now, ..... if we can get B-rob signed, get another veteran starter, and get another ' bopper ' for the middle of the lineup, ......we'll all be feelin'
a lot better about goin' against the nation's of the freaks ( NY ) and the geeks ( R-SOX ) . Just a little respect ya' know; that's what we're lookin' for.

I was stoked to read this. 25lbs of non-performance enhanced muscle takes a lot of hard work. Hopefully, the hard work combined with his talent will = a big season.

I'm glad to hear that he's added more muscle. I can remember at least 10 or 15 balls he hit last year that fell just short of a HR, so I expect his power numbers to increase. I can't imagine him losing any speed or agility with the extra weight. Besides with Pie and Markakis flanking him he won't need to cover as much ground. It's a good time to be an O's fan.

I like the AM approach. Young athletic players. Now if we get some pitching we have a shot at a .500 season or dare I dream... a wildcard?

Pete - Very excited about a potential outfield of the future in Jones, Markakis, and Pie. But what about Reimold, where does he factor in? Also, can't the O's learn anything from the Ravens? Defense wins championships. We need Pitching, pitching, and more pitching!!!!!

Pete, what in the world could any of these Bozo's know about how much weight jones can carry & wehter or not it would slow him down?

GOOD GRIEF WHAT A BUNCH OF DWEEBS!!!!!

Good to hear about Jones and Matusz. Pete- any word on what the Orioles plan to do with Huff after this season? Wouldn't it make sense to lock him up now? Worst case, he's a legitimate DH. I'd like to see him stick around. Has there been any talk of that?

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Pete's reply: I'd like to see if he can replicate last season.

pete,
after reading this entry it has dawned on me that this club has developed a togetherness to a degree that i was unaware of. this is the stuff that "miracle " teams are made, you know. and roberts seems to be in the very middle of it.
i know that macphail will never agree immediately with a player's first contract demand, it' just not good business. but i hope that macphail will do all that he can responsibly do to sign roberts. trembley said last year that he could never work out a satisfactory line-up that didn't include roberts leading off. i think that that could be true for four, five, or even six years. add the fact that roberts is even discussing an extention tells me that roberts would kinda like to be in baltimore when they get good again.
i agree with you, pete, roberts is worth more to this team than just numbers and i hope that macphail can see that too.

6'2'' and 235 pounds. That's simply a physical speciman.

Pete.... did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe Roberts would like a chance at playing for a championship in the near term... A lot of teams can offer both money and the chance, the Orioles can only offer money.

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Pete's reply: Occur to me? It's obvious that's what he wants to do, but they aren't going to give him away, so he'll either have to wait a year or sign here. I think he'll wait and they'll trade him for whatever in July, unless a contender has a drastic need for him sooner. I think the O's should make a real attempt to sign him anyway.

The Kool-Aide stand must be sitting in front of my house, but I have to think that Pie (if he shows some of his early promise), Jones, Markakis, B-Rob, Wieters (by All-Star break), and some of the other kids that haven't seen the major leagues yet will soon become enough reason for a #1 or #2 pitcher to want a ticket to Baltimore. I like McPhails approach.

How many of you baseball fans out there are aware that Adam Jones had a Gold-Glove-caliber season defensively last year? He committed only three errors out of 343 total chances for a .991 fielding percentage. I'm glad he's with the Orioles.

If Montanez spends a season learning to play third base at Norfolk the O's would have a ready replacement when Mora's contract is up.

Snyder has been converted to 1st base so the Orioles have a young first baseman with some pop that will start the season at Bowie or possibly Norfolk. In some ways this reminds me of 1976-77' when a whole crop of young O's are starting to come up together.

I'd still like to see McPhail make a late run at Sheets or Garland. It would be nice to see a top of the order type of pitcher to help eat up some innings. Any news on the pitching front?

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Pete's reply: Haven't heard anything lately, but wouldn't rule out another move in the next couple of weeks.

Pete, the Mariners just signed Eric Beddard to a one-year deal. Any shot the O's would consider bring him back after the '09 season, or was that bridge torched by some of the things said prior to his departure?


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Pete's reply: I don't think he has burned that bridge. If he has a decent year off the injury, he may want to come back and they might want to sign him. Who knows?

Pete: Any further rumors regarding Roberts for Floyd (Gavin-not the Barber).


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Pete's reply: Nothing at all. Don't think that's happening.

It sucks that modern baseball has forced me to think this way, but I can't help but feel skeptical when I hear of such bulking up. Such a large mass over a short amount of time with no gain in body fat? I just hope Jones knows what he's doing.

i saw pie play for the cub's in 08. he was way over his head in the majors. some of the readers are making out like he good. i doubt he will be as good as people believe.

Pete:

They are talking some crazy idea on Baseball XM RADIO that the O's might be shopping Adam Jones for a couple of good, young pitchers. Please tell me that McPhail is not about to make another stupid trade!!! Whats the scoop, if any?


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Pete's reply: If that happens, I'll go back on the Atkins Diet.

Mr. Deez-

Speaking from experience, it can be done. It just takes an amount of dedication and effort that most people who can't afford to spend 6 months concentrating on getting in shape have no concept of.

I don't think the O's are much better and quite frankly am of the opinion McPhail hasn't done that much. There are still a couple of free agent pitchers out there that can help but the O's are so damned slow in moving on the FA front that I don't see anything happening. I'd say 70-92 tops and 5th place.....again.

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Pete's reply: Wouldn't surprise me, but it's not about this year.

At 6'2" 235 lbs, that spells EXPLOSIVE bat speed. 235 is carried easily on that frame. I bet Torii Hunter is close to that. And through hard work he went from ok CF to Gold Glove caliber. Hans and Franz would be proud.

cush

v mcmahon: what do you mean "another stupid trade!!!"? The trades Andy's made so far are working out pretty well (dumping Tejada and Bedard for a lot of prospects plus George Sherrill and Luke Scott, dumping Hernandez for anything more than a lump of industrial grease, and off-loading one of the arms that's not taken advantage of his opportunities for someone who has a lot of upside in the outfield?). But I do agree, trading away Adam would be a stupid trade.

oldetoys: the plan isn't to be a contender in 2009. Sure, if somehow the Tampa effect comes to Baltimore, that'd be great, but the aim is to be competitive in 2010 or 2011. If the plan were 2009, there would have been a much more concerted effort to get at least one of the top-line arms available. Instead, AM is picking and choosing his way to a team that doesn't block prospects and/or gets younger with more promise.

get some decent pitching and we will have a nice little team! we should be able to win the west division. oh, shoot, i forgot, we are in the east.

andy has made some good moves.

Does anyone know if the O's are still on Texiera's short list? I heard we were getting a home team discount!! LOL

Pete: What do you think about signing Jones long term similar numbers as the Rays did with Longoria?

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Pete's reply: He wouldn't take the Longoria deal. He has too much service time for that. I'm sure they'll get to that eventually, but there's no reason for urgency there. He has four or five more years under reserve. Plenty of more pressing matters over the next year.

Don't look now, but the O's all of a sudden have a solid outfield that may be together for a good while. It all depends on how the players progress - if Jones lives up to his potential and Pie can get a chance to prove himself every day, that is one heck of an outfield. Nick got wrapped up, so we can point to that as one of the success stories of the rebuilding effort. This is a very important season for Jones.

Just to let you know that you all will be pleasantly surprised at Jonesy weight gain. He looks good and is ready to do his thing! Go out there and have a great year Jonesy!

Mommy~!

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Pete's reply: Andrea, great to hear from you. Guess we'll all get to see the new Jonesy sometime next week. Thanks for jumping in on the blog.

Upper body muscle doesn't take away someone's speed. The best example of that is former Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson who did a good impression of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders. It was the torque he generated with his arms coming out of the blocks that made him so explosive.

Attila; right on about Jones defence. On a per inning basis, he was tops in the AL in plays made. Factoring in the Oriole pitching staff's low strike out totals, he was still right there with the best in the AL.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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