Speaking on a local sports talk radio show Tuesday night, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said he's pleased with the team's offseason moves to retain Chris Davis, Darren O'Day and Matt Wieters, but conceded he was among those expecting to see those free agents head elsewhere.
"That right there, that's why I'm still here," Jones said Tuesday on The Brett Hollander Show on WBAL News Radio 1090. "That's why I wanted to stay here in Baltimore. These are the reasons. You want to win in a certain spot. People always say, '[Managing partner] Peter [Angelos] is cheap, Peter is cheap.' No, Peter isn't cheap. He's just not gonna spend his money where he doesn't see fit. When he needs to spend his money, everyone knows he's going to spend his money.
"[Angelos] likes a deal. Who doesn't like a deal? That's business. Let's be honest. That's business. But I think the fans now are starting to see that, OK, they all said Peter was cheap, that the Orioles aren't going to spend. Now they're starting to see that they're opening up their pocketbooks a little bit. I think that right there has to resonate with the fans a little bit in the sense of, 'OK, he understands that the last four years have been great.'"
Asked what he would think if he was told back in October that the team would retain Davis, O'Day and Wieters, Jones deadpanned, "You're full of it."
Jones' comments were his first since the Orioles locked up Davis to a seven-year, $161 million deal last month, a deal that eclipsed Jones' six-year, $85.5 million extension in 2012 for the largest contract in club history. The Orioles also retained O'Day on a four-year, $31 million deal and will return Wieters, who accepted the team's $15.8 million qualifying offer.
"You've got to understand the relationships that we build," Jones said. "We've been together as a core, if you really think about it, since the All-Star break of 2012. … We've just been a unit that understands each other. We know each other's families. We vacation with each other. Some of the guys go hunting with each other."
Jones had campaigned publicly for the club to make a push to retain its pending free agents, particularly Davis. At the end of the season, he said he wanted to sit down to talk with Angelos about the team's priorities going forward. He said his meeting with ownership served its purpose.
"Well, you see the result?" Jones said. "It had to do something, right? I can't say, 'Oh yeah, I forced their hand.' Heck no, I didn't force their hand. How could I force their hand? I've got no leverage right now. I just said these are things that will be important to this team. I mean, you can go get other guys, but you have to understand other guys will be changing divisions, be changing teams.
"And the biggest key to us getting back these players is that other players haven't played for [manager] Buck [Showalter] and do not understand the demand that Buck has on a player. I'm not saying that other players are soft … but Buck's demands [on] the player are unbelievably high in terms of, 'You're in the lineup every day. I don't give a damn what's hurting. You're playing.' And you've seen that over the last four years that he's been there [in] the games people play."
Miranda Ripken, the daughter of former Orioles infielder Billy Ripken and niece of Cal Ripken Jr., scored her 1,000th career point with the Stevens Institute of Technology women's basketball team Tuesday.
The 5-foot-10 Ripken, a John Carroll School graduate, became the 11th player in program history to accomplish the feat. She is averaging 10.9 points and 3.5 rebounds during her senior season at Stevens, a Division III school in Hoboken, N.J.