Orioles center fielder Adam Jones caused a bit of a stir Thursday during the pregame Social Media Night event at Camden Yards by behaving in a way that wasn’t particularly sociable.
The star outfielder irked some fans in attendance with short responses during the question-and-answer session, and he earned especially negative attention for saying his favorite place in Baltimore was the airport so he could fly home.
After the game, Jones said he was joking, adding that he likes the airport because it’s where he picks up his friends and family who come to visit and support him.
“I guess my shtick wasn’t appreciated at the time,” Jones said. “But I had a good time. I’ll do it again, and I probably should do it again.”
Jones said his short answers were a result of the event’s timing; it leaked into the final hour before game time.
Still, his appearance at the event, which was held at The Roof Deck in center field, was billed as one of the night’s main attractions. The team offered around 250 fans access to the pregame party, a bleacher ticket, two complimentary drink tickets, and a T-shirt featuring Jones’ Twitter handle, @SimplyAJ10, for $50 per person.
Jones is one of the most active Twitter users on the team, with more than 148,000 followers. He frequently participates in Twitter question-and-answer sessions with the team, and was the obvious choice to participate in the Social Media Night promotion.
But his performance at the event raised eyebrows with some in attendance.
Unfortunately Adam Jones isnt the friendliest or happiest. He said his favorite place in Baltimore is the airport because he can leave. Wow!— Deena Dietrich (@DeenasDays) August 28, 2014
Despite some negative reviews on Twitter, the very social media platform the team utilized to promote itself and the All-Star outfielder, Jones said he enjoyed the event.
“You can’t please everybody, but I had a good time,” Jones said. “It ran close to game time, and once about 5:45, 6 o’clock comes around, my focus gets strong towards the game.”
Team obligations kept Jones from attending until around 6 p.m., and with first pitch at 7:05 p.m., his “focus is way more higher on the game than answering social media questions, because at the end of the day, I have to perform on the field.”
“I wish I had more time,” Jones said. “I wish we could do it at 4 o’clock or something, where I have ample time to give everybody my best. It just ran close to the game, so it was a rushed event. But I definitely would do it again and give people a better showing.”
One Twitter follower compared Jones’ airport comment to former Orioles designated hitter Aubrey Huff, who used an expletive to describe Baltimore after his first season in town.
“That’s probably absurd to compare it in that narrative,” Jones said.