Jones on his defense: ‘I need to clean it up’

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had a rough night in center field. Jones, who came up just short on Kendrys  Morales’ two-out first-inning single that later scored, let Jesus Montero’s ball hit off his glove in the second for a triple. It was one of a handful of misplays already this season for Jones, a Gold Glove outfielder whose defense has come under fire.

Here is what Jones, who was by his locker as soon as the media was let in, had to say following the Orioles’ 8-3 loss

[on the Jesus Montero triple] “I missed the ball. Doesn’t really matter if you misjudge it, you missed it. So, you make an excuse no one wants to listen to it. I missed it and cost my team. That inning turned out to be a pretty big inning. I need to clean my [stuff] up defensively. It’s [sic] frustrating. It’s part of the game. It’s why we got tomorrow. And I’m going to come back tomorrow ready to go.”

[on his defensive struggles overall this season] “It’s part of the game. You got to play offense, you got to play defense. Defense has always been a part that just comes. And there’s some things that I’m not doing well in the field and it’s frustrating. But you think it’s going to stop me from playing hard and stop the way I’m playing, it’s not. Just go to pretty much clean it up. You can formulate it all you want to do. You can say this, you can say that. Just got to get back on the field and get some reps and make the plays. Because those pitchers on the mound are fighting their tails off each and every day for us. And we’re a good defense. Being the center fielder, I need to play to a centerfielder standard.”

[On aiding starter Wei-Yin Chen’s early exit] I got to catch the ball off [Kendrys] Morales. You take that away, he had eight pitches up to that point [in the first inning]. He had the inning [in the second] with 22. You take those 14 pitches away the next inning, I catch the ball in center you never know. You got one out. I think I could have helped limit his pitches. I didn’t help him today which is frustrating because Chen goes out there and gives us everything he has every night. Tonight I failed him and I failed the team. But hey there’s tomorrow and I’m going to show up ready to play.”

[on if he thought he had a real shot at the Morales ball] “I think I should have every ball.  [Former Mariners Minor League instructor] Mike Goff said a long time ago, ‘It hits the grass that’s your [behind]’. And it hit the grass.”


Britt, do you think Jones’ troubles stem from not having worked a full spring in camp because of his participation in the World Baseball Classic? Thanks!

No, not at all since he was playing in games still. I think it’s a matter of running better routes and doing some extra work with OF coach Wayne Kirby, which he has been.

Problem is Jones concentrates more on blowing bubbles than on the ball! This has been happening since start of year when he many times plays the ball to his side when he should be in front of it. Of course I’m old school and believe when possible it is always better to use 2 hands.

Doug – I respectfully disagree with you. Jones has always blown bubbles – it is simply a habit. He is still a Gold Glove fielder, and just needs to get through this fielding “slump” by doing extra work – which he is.

Adam is third in the league in hits and is batting .328 so he is contributing, no doubt. My concern is the slip in all around performance. Not just the fielding misplays, but the failure to run out ground balls in an earlier game and the base running gaffe getting caught off third against the Angels. Coupled with the fielding misplays, the small stuff indicates a lack of concentration. Maybe coincidental, but probably because he’s mentally too relaxed after signing the big contract. When you are playing for your livelihood, athletes typically perform at a higher level. Still early; let’s see if he can sharpen up.

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