Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones is easy to take for granted


Photo: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Keeping the core of a roster intact for multiple seasons has become nearly impossible since the era of free agency has begun. Orioles’ fans saw this firsthand once again this offseason, as the birds lost last season’s MVP, Nelson Cruz, and the longest tenured Oriole, Nick Markakis, in the span of a couple weeks.

It’s become part of the business, but that doesn’t make it easy to swallow. And yet, despite the yearly changes, nobody around Baltimore has had a second thought about who’s going to be patrolling center-field come opening day.
Orioles’ fans have had to witness some horrible moves by management over the past two decades, but the move that sent Erik Berdard to Seattle for Adams Jones and Chris Tillman has to go down as one of the best in baseball history. With Tillman, the Orioles got a front-of-the-rotation arm and a workhorse. With Jones, they got the face of the franchise.

It hardly seems like it, but Adam Jones will already be entering his eighth season in an Oriole uniform. He’s been so consistent the past few seasons, it’s easy to see why we as fans somewhat take him for granted. He has hit between .270 and .287 every season he has been with the Orioles, including nothing lower than .280 in the last five. He has also played at least 149 games the past five seasons, and 159 or more the past three.

That being said, he isn’t without fault. It’s safe to say he’ll never be among the league leaders in OBP given that he walked only 19 times in 644 ABs last season. Also, his habit of waving at the low-and-away slider on third strike will have Orioles’ fans screaming at their TV screen again this season. However, for a player who’s averaged 30 homers and 92 RBIs the past four seasons to go along with four Gold Gloves, I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

However, it’s not just his ability on the field that makes Adam Jones special. His charisma and fun-loving attitude is contagious before and after games, as well as his fire and competitiveness during games. He’s never had issues off the field, and never been accused of being out of shape or unprepared for spring-training. He’s outspoken, honest, and genuine. He’s the kind of leader very few teams have.

It’s easy to take for granted a player who’s been as consistent as Adam Jones, and it’s probably a safe bet he’ll be the Adam Jones Orioles’ fans know again in 2015. It’s sometimes hard to see greatness when you’re close to it, but Adam Jones is already an all-time great Oriole, and he hasn’t even turned 30.