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Orioles notes: Adam Jones uses donation to continue conversation on race

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones had already decided to make a financial contribution to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City before he received national attention earlier this month for coming forward after he was the target of racial slurs during a game at Fenway Park in Boston.

But in light of the incident, Jones said his $20,000 donation to the museum — and the attention it received — can continue to fuel the conversation about racial injustices that were a large part of the history of the game and still exist today.

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"Whatever happened in Boston, it's very unfortunate, but I think it can start a conversation in terms of people have to police people," Jones said. "Situations like that should not occur. … This is a platform to speak on it. … It needed to be heard. … A lot of people say, 'You make a lot of money, just stick to making money and play baseball.' That has nothing to do with it. CEOs make a lot of money, too. A lot of people make a lot of money. It's not about the money. … I just thought it was a great time and a great platform."

Jones made that point Saturday afternoon during a ceremony at the museum officially announcing his donation. As part of his contribution to the museum — which he said he has visited several times since his first taste of the majors with the Seattle Mariners in 2006 — he is also covering admission for children from Operation Breakthrough, a Kansas City-area nonprofit. The organization offers daycare for children up to age 5 as well as before-school, after-school and summer activities for children ages 5 to 13.

"I think the donation that we were able to make, hopefully other people come together and make an even bigger donation and get more and more kids and more and more adults into those places so they can understand what the Negros Leagues was about," Jones said. "And it's not just about the segregation part. It's about just the education of this great game of baseball."

NLBM president Bob Kendrick said Jones' contribution helps immensely, but his appearance at the museum might have been even more important because a major league All-Star took his time on a game day to advocate for educating fans on the history of the Negro Leagues and race relations.

"So we know what we still have work to do as it relates to race relations in this country," Kendrick said. "That incident brings that to the forefront, but what better place to talk about it than the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, where this is a story of race in sports. … Adam has a place here to come and draw strength from what his ancestors were able to do in this game. Major leaguers can come here and see people who look just like them. That is why Adam's support is big. It puts our museum back in the forefront for just why it is so important."

The fans in Kansas City took notice of Jones' contribution to their hometown. As Jones took his round of batting practice, fans yelled their thanks to Jones and one young fan held a sign above the dugout that read, "Forget Fenway. We respect you at The K."

Bundy feeling strong as inning, pitch counts rise: The Orioles continue to let right-hander Dylan Bundy loose, and part of it is a byproduct of his consistency this season. Because he has thrown eight straight quality starts to open the season, he's already at 512/3 innings before the club has reached the quarter mark of the season, putting him on pace for a 200-inning season. After throwing a career-high 112 pitches Friday, Bundy is averaging 106 pitches in his eight starts.

Bundy will receive an extra day of rest because of Monday's day off. He's scheduled to start the final game of the team's series in Detroit on Thursday. Manager Buck Showalter has said the club will continue to monitor Bundy in his first season as a full-time major league starter.

"Yeah, we're careful," Showalter said. "Nobody's more careful. I'm very proud of the health of our pitchers and it's by design. It's walking around and talking to them and knowing their faces, their background. But to sit there and evaluate somebody's healthy on the number of pitches or number of innings he's thrown from one year to the next is a big excuse.

"It's more about knowing the people and knowing the person. We're watching everything that Dylan does. He's not going to be the one [to say], 'Well, I guess at 100 [pitches] it's not supposed to feel good.' The mental and emotional part of this game is huge."

Bundy said he's beginning to not notice how many pitches he has thrown in a game.

"I looked up and saw like 108 pitches and it didn't feel like 108," Bundy said after Friday's game. "That's a good thing. That means I'm getting stronger, deeper in the games and hopefully I can go more innings next time."

Around the horn: Catcher Welington Castillo (shoulder tendinitis) threw to bases Saturday before serving as the designated hitter in both games of a doubleheader for Double-A Bowie. Castillo is scheduled to catch Sunday for Bowie and be activated before Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers. … Showalter said he would likely give shortstop J.J. Hardy a day off Sunday in order to give him two straight days off with no game Monday. … Left-hander Wade Miley will start Tuesday's opener in Detroit and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is scheduled to start Wednesday.

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