By Dan Connolly and Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
7:39 PM EDT, September 7, 2012
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has a short and a long-term goal when it comes to getting in the lineup: He expects to play in all 162 this year. And he wants to chase down Cal Ripken Jr.'s streak.
OK, he's kidding about one of them.
"I'm gonna play 162. I have no choice. That's what they signed me for," said Jones, who signed an $85.5 million, six-year contract extension in May and has played in all 138 games this season.
Jones pointed out that fellow outfielder, Nick Markakis, missed just five games in the first three seasons of his contract extension (before being sidelined for nearly six weeks this year due to wrist surgery). And he wants to play as often, or even more, than Markakis.
"I want to fulfill what Markakis has fulfilled. He has played -- minus that one month he missed this year -- he has played like 99.8 percent of his contract. I want to play 100 percent of my contract. I understand there are [game] days off, but there are [scheduled] days off during the season. Adrenaline is gonna keep me going."
Jones is just one of three players this season, along with Detroit's Prince Fielder and the Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro, that has played in every game for his club in 2012, according to Stats LLC.
Jones' personal streak is at 141; he played the final three games of last season, but, like most of the Orioles' starters, sat on Sept. 25, 2011 in Detroit as the club geared up for its final series of the season against the Boston Red Sox. Heading into Friday, Jones is behind only Fielder (317) and Castro (171) on the active, consecutive games-played list, according to Stats.
Jones is considerably far away from the club record for consecutive games, which is also the major league record of 2,632 set by Ripken. Jones would need to play roughly 15 1/2 more seasons to break Ripken's record.
Jones has chided the Iron Man, saying that he is gunning for him.
"I told Cal I am inching closer and closer. He asked me where I was ... I've got a couple years to go to catch him, but I'm gonna catch him," Jones said. "If I had a kid now, they'd pretty much be in college and I'd still be playing every day. If I had one today. That's how long I'd have to play to catch him."
OriolsJones paused for a second and laughed: "I think it's within reach."
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