Adam Jones speaks with Peter Schmuck about social media, talking to Peter Angelos, and the people around him.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones doesn't mind getting your attention, whether it's with a flashy play in center field, a long home run or a controversial opinion on Twitter. He knows baseball stardom has put him in a unique position to help kids, but he isn't afraid to use that platform to draw attention to a cause or societal problem.

He wasn't born in Baltimore, but he has grown up before our eyes and now is a husband, new father and the unquestioned leader of a team that has risen from the ashes of 14 straight losing seasons to enter this season as the defending American League East champion.


The Orioles have developed a winning culture that now spans three seasons, and Jones is a big part of that, both on the field and in the clubhouse. He's also a big player in the community, with a strong message for young people that endorses teamwork, the importance of athletics and — first and foremost — education. Below is the second of a four-part interview from earlier this spring.

This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for length and clarity.

How much do you think social media changed the way people view the game, view you and also how you view them?

I think social media has made all sports so easy. If you read social media, it's, "Oh, he missed a dunk!" How many people can dunk? How many people can hit a fastball, 94 mph, right down the middle? ... How many people can hit that? "Aw, you missed that." I get it, that we have the ability and we're in the position to, but sometimes they take it just way overboard. If you're in the same situation, you would probably understand. It's social media. You're able to say what you want, and the people who usually talk the most, that cuss, type in the most obscenities, those are usually the people who are the weakest. Not just weak in the sports realm, but weak mentally, because you're not going to say this to an athlete who's a guy out there who has spent the last 15 or 20 years of his life busting his [butt] for that moment. But yes, you shut it all down because, "Aw, he missed a pitch." Hey, how many pitches has he missed in his life? How many pitches have you missed by not trying? You never cuss out the man that's trying. I'll never say anything bad about a man giving effort. If you don't give an effort, I'll wear you out. But if you give an effort, hey, you can live and die with effort, but there are a lot of people who don't want to give an effort.

How it's made me view people? In a good and a bad way. I've met some really cool people through social media — people who have been able to help me promote my brand, promote their brands, promote awareness for certain things. But there are always people who see the worst. It has allowed them to get closer to us. Ten years ago, you couldn't get this close to the athletes. You'd have to run into them. Now you don't have to run into them. You just tweet 'em or Instagram 'em.

And you tweet back sometimes.

If it's relevant. If a guy is going to sit there and cuss me out, I just retweet him and send him to the wolves. If he says something, I deal with clever [messages]. It's like at the stadium, if you're going to sit there and cuss me out, I won't respond to that. No. But say something clever, like some guy told me — I had some shoes on for Jackie Robinson Day — "Are you going to go swimming after this?" Well, that was funny to me, so I turned around and gave him a head nod and started laughing. But if you say, "Hey, Jones, you suck." Yeah, I know. I'm terrible. I'm a major league player, but I'm just straight horse [manure]. We get it. You know what I mean.

Any tweets you've sent out that you wish you could get back?

To be honest with you, no. There are some I thought about rewording.

You had one recently. It was a tweet [approximately] saying, "From now on, I'm going straight to Peter. Screw the middle man." And a lot of us were wondering at the time: "What does that mean?"

Exactly what I said. If I need an answer, I'm going to go to the man writing the checks. I'm going to go to the boss. And it's funny, [manager Buck] Showalter texted me and said, "Make sure you say man, not men, because I'm included with the men. Say man." OK. If I want an answer, I'm going to go where I can get an answer. I don't want to be beating around the bush anymore. I think I've put in my time. I've put in my time with the organization, the city. I'm not asking you to show me the whole entire books. I don't need that. Let me know something. Don't be dark to me, because if you're dark to me, that's going to change my perception of you. I thought we had an open policy here. Look, we have open lines of communication, but if I feel I'm not getting any information, I'm going to go to the head.

This goes back to me asking earlier about the fact that you're here through 2018. You've made a commitment to them, and they have made a commitment to you, and that's part of it.

Part of that commitment is the communication. If you're going to sign somebody for six years, I'm pretty sure you have an idea that you probably want to keep that guy in the world of communication with you. Sometimes I feel like I don't get that sometimes. But I have ways of getting it. It's not like it's going to be a troublesome way, but if I need to, I go to the head.

Have you done that?



You talk to Peter?

I love Peter. He's a good dude. What is he, 86? [Editor's note: Peter Angelos is 85.] He's up there, but he's still sharp, and it was wonderful talking to him, getting his insight, hearing it from that perspective.

You've got a lot of smart people around you. You've got your boss. Your wife, Audie, is an attorney. You have members of your family and her family [who] have advised you. You came from a fairly humble beginning, and yet now you're surrounded by these kinds of people. These are quality people who are your influences.

I think strong people … people who make good decisions in their lives tend to have good people around them. I just prided myself in having people around me that I can benefit from also instead [of] just having people that just benefit from me. It makes no sense to just have people I'm paying for always around me. No, I want people around me that can make me a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better man, a better athlete, a better anything.

The people I have around me — my family, my brothers, my cousins — they strengthen me every day. They root me on. They tell me what I need to hear. My friends, my best friend, I've got a close-knit group of five or six friends who are not afraid to let me know how they are feeling, how things should be going. You've got most of the people that I know, in general, they're yes men. A lot of people will say, "Yes, yeah, oh, for sure," because they don't want me to get mad or anything like that. My people that know me tell me exactly, because they know. This might not be right. … This is not the right scenario. I try to keep myself around people who are progressing. People who are regressing, I don't necessarily like to hang around.

At what point in your life or career did you decide you were not going to be an entourage guy? That you weren't going to be with 12 guys walking around behind you because you pay them to walk around behind you, because you could be that guy?

Oh, easily. I've never been a guy that travels with too many people. If I'm going somewhere … if I'm out of town, going to parties, I'll probably take one or two of my good friends to go. It's just never been me. I've always heard the saying, "The loudest one in the room is always the weakest." I think that's a very true statement. So I don't speak. I don't try to be loud. I don't try to be the big one in the room. But on the field, I try to let my actions speak.

I'll explain something to you if you ask me, but for the most part, I just let my actions control and dictate how you view me.

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