Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you Koons Baltimore Ford. I’m out of witty shtick. Okay, it was never all that witty.
On Wednesday’s edition of “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction”, Luke Jones and I were discussing the injury to Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. We were posed an interesting hypothetical by an emailer: “What one player is most critical to the Birds’ chances of winning the World Series?”
We tossed around a few names, including Machado, RF Nick Markakis, SS JJ Hardy and starter Chris Tillman. In the end, we both gave the same answer-and we both agreed that this particular player would be our choice as Orioles MVP in 2014.
And that choice was of course Nick Hundley.
(Man…those jokes were SO much funnier when the team was loaded with bad players.)
The individual player that has contributed the most to the O’s having a seven and a half game lead in the AL East is Adam Jones.
While Nelson Cruz’s power numbers jump off the page more than anyone on the team, Machado is likely the most talented player on the roster, Tillman has been the top starter for some time and OF Steve Pearce was as hot as any hitter in baseball for awhile-no one has been as consistently excellent throughout the 2014 campaign as Jones. In fact, Jones’ game winner Wednesday night came in the midst of his worst month (average-wise) of the season.
It’s with that in mind that I’ve decided to kind of “dedicate” Thursday morning’s show to giving the four time All-Star a level of appreciation he more than deserves as the best player of the Buck Showalter era and resurgence of baseball in Charm City.
It’s “Adam Jones Appreciation Day” on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction”.
Perhaps there’s something ironic about me taking four hours to recognize the true value and greatness of the three time Gold Glove winner. You might remember Jones and I had a bit of a public tiff before Opening Day 2012. We exchanged words (Jones had called a group of dissenting O’s fans “fools”…I may or may not have responded with a classy “eff yourself” in return. Hey-it’s not like you every considered me the epitome of professionalism anyway) before we ultimately ended up exchanging apologies. It was that night that I truly started admiring Jones as a player and man.
There have been other good players and moments during the Showalter era-Chris Davis crushing 53 home runs last season, Jim Johnson similarly going the half century route in the saves department in 2012 are a few. But there has been nothing more consistently outstanding for this organization than Jones.
So let’s spend four hours talking him up. We’ll touch on other topics, but I want to keep coming back to calls (410-481-1570) and emails (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) proclaiming his greatness.
More than that, I want to take four hours to NOT stress the number of things many Orioles fans and analysts alike have criticized Jones for over the last few years. I don’t want to talk about his questionable swing selection or occasional lapses in center field. We can talk about them again another day when they’re an issue.
This is about how proud Jones has made us as Orioles fans. Wednesday night’s game feels like one of those “I won’t quickly be forgetting this” events. It seems like an appropriate time for us to show how much we appreciate what he’s meant to us.
(I mean, the division is going to be clinched before the Ravens play a regular season game-this might have been the most important game they play before the postseason.)
We’ll come up with bumper music oriented around @SimplyAJ10. We’ll give away a pair of tickets to the Hot August Music Festival in an Adam Jones themed-contest, we’ll even do “Did You Know”-style facts about Adam. 6-10am will be (mostly) all about the Orioles’ centerfielder. Heck, we might even enjoy some Louisiana-inspired fast food on-air (they’re not a sponsor) and if someone brings me a pie I’ll be more than happy to shove it in Luke’s face.
So tell me, Baltimore. With the Orioles running away with their first division title in 17 years and threatening to compete for home field advantage throughout the playoffs-what does Adam Jones mean to you?