Kirby Puckett once told me that “baseball is a game in the summer…and a business in the winter”
Sometimes the business of baseball can be harsh, to some it might even seem cruel.
Sooner or later, someone on the Orioles will have to make a very tough decision on Adam Jones.
He will be in his mid 30’s when his contract runs out, and it’s unlikely he will have better seasons going forward.
You cannot deny that Adam is the very heart and soul of the Orioles.
This decision must be met with a sense of appreciation, gratitude, as well as commerce.
Adam Jones has been the face of this franchise for a decade.
He is a pillar in the community, active in charity, and a leader in the clubhouse…maybe its only real leader.
Adam Jones and his representatives will want a contract that the Orioles will likely be unwilling to pay.
He will likely want 5 years..and something close to 100-125 million dollars…or more.
That’s the going rate.
I wouldn’t want to be the person who has to make that very hard decision.
In another time, Adam Jones would be a lifetime Oriole, but the economics of baseball has greatly changed.
I remember Cal Ripken Jr. before he was re-signed, told me that the Minnesota Twins offered more money, but that he was a Baltimore Oriole and it wouldn’t have been right to play for any other team.
The Orioles paid him well in his twilight years.
I feel that way about Adam Jones.
I couldn’t stand the sight of him in a Padres uniform, though that particular team makes sense for him.
I felt similarly about Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, but management let them go, and probably they made the right decision.
In another world, and another era, Adam Jones would remain an Oriole.
I just don’t think management will extend him.
I could be wrong, but I doubt it.