With regard to the Adam Jones situation, you cannot spend 14 years trying to build for the future, see that future arrive, and not take advantage of the moment.
Could Dan Duquette have gotten good value by trading Adam Jones? Absolutely. But what kind of message would that send to the players and the fans? How would we feel if Adam Jones spent five years in Baltimore only for that time to end up being an engagement prior to a marriage with the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc?
What kind of message would it send if the spears weren’t released as this team finds itself among the best in the world on Memorial Day, a notable measuring stick for baseball evaluators and decision makers?
Answer: Not a very good one. In fact, an awful one.
Signing Adam Jones signals a change in direction for this entire organization. All of a sudden, the Orioles have a pretty darn good young core highlighted by the best catcher in baseball in Matt Wieters, and a centerfielder in Adam Jones who while he has his share of flaws, will certainly end up representing the Orioles in multiple all star games over the next handful of years
They have a pretty nice manager as well in Buck Showalter, who has done so much to change the culture in Baltimore from a perennial losing team to a team now unsatisfied with anything but consistent winning.
And while I’m at it, I’m also going to give Dan Duquette an apology for hating on his hire simply because he was out of baseball for nearly a decade prior to being hired in Baltimore. If we’re simply judging Dan Duquette on his baseball resume, how can we consider him anything other than a quality general manager?
The man has won big in Montreal, and he laid the great majority of the groundwork in Boston prior to their World Series win in 2004.
Oh, and he’s currently presiding over the best baseball team in the world in the toughest division in the land.
He’s about to give out the richest contract in Baltimore Orioles history to Adam Jones, and this deal really does mean so much more than Jones’ performance or the $80+ million that he’s going to get.
It means that the Orioles are trying to capture the moment. They recognize where they currently are in the cycle of a professional sports organization and they’re trying to build it and make it last as long as possible.
The Orioles, as evidenced by this move, are trying to win. That notion has been called into question by many people, myself included, over the past several years, but if this Adam Jones deal is completed, I think we all have to stand up and applaud this organization for doing what they can at this point to bring a winner to Charm City.
I’m not a huge fan of Billy Beane as a general manager, but this quote from him has stuck with me for a while now and I think it really holds a lot of meaning…
“You’re either rebuilding for something special, or you’re on the verge of something special. To be in between is foolish.” – Billy Beane.
Folks, the Baltimore Orioles, FINALLY, seem to be on the verge of something special.