Sore wrists could keep Jones out of Home Run Derby

Nationals vs. Orioles
(Algerina Perna, MCT)

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones would love to be part of the Home Run Derby on July 9 in Kansas City, the day beforeMajor League Baseball'sAll-Star Game.

But even if he is selected by the American League captain, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Jones almost certainly will not participate in the annual show of clout.


"With the competitive nature of me, of course I'd want to do the derby, but I don't think the Orioles are gonna allow me to do it," said Jones who has not taken batting practice for most of the last two weeks due to lingering soreness in his left and right wrists. "I wouldn't' think they would. My hands need the extra day and a half to rest."

The All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday and Jones, who entered Saturday's game hitting .297 with club highs in homers (19) and RBIs (41), is considered likely to be selected (along with Orioles' closer Jim Johnson ) for the second time in his career.

Next week, Cano will extend the derby invitations and Jones, who was tied for seventh in the AL in homers heading into Saturday, would be a natural candidate.

"But I need to limit my swings as much as possible, especially over the break. That's important right now," said Jones, who said he would ask permission from the club and manager Buck Showalter before he accepted a derby invite. "I think they would say, 'What do you want to do? Would you want to do it?' They'll leave it in my hands. But I think the smart and responsible decision is to say no."

So would he absolutely do the smart and responsible thing?

"I don't know. I haven't been asked yet," he said, laughing. "If the opportunity arises, I definitely would need to talk to [Showalter] about it."

Jones has played through the wrist discomfort — a previous MRI showed no damage, just swelling — most of the season, and he would do the same if he gets an All-Star nod.

"I'd get as much rest as I could and just take the necessary swings if I am so fortunate to be in the game," Jones said.

Jones said he has been in two previous home run derbies, one in high school and one right after he was drafted in 2003. He won both, and actually broke a stadium light fixture in 2003 — which officials jokingly told him would come out of his signing bonus.

Wieters and the Warehouse

Catcher Matt Wieters turned on a Derek Lowe pitch and drove it into the night Friday — the ball traveling nearly 400 feet before landing on Eutaw Street. He didn't come close to hitting the B&O Warehouse, and Wieters doesn't know if anyone ever will.

The only player ever to hit the warehouse on the fly in a competition was Ken Griffey, Jr., and he did it during the Home Run Derby the day before the 1993 All-Star Game. Doing it in a game is a whole different challenge.

"I'm not going to say never,'' Wieters said, "but you're going to have to see some helping wind and it's going to be a ball that is going to be absolutely crushed. A lot of things would have to go right.

"The only place you really have a shot is probably the 10 or 15 feet inside the foul pole. Anywhere else and it's going to take a 500-foot shot. It would be impressive."


Showalter said he expects that it will happen one day.

"Yeah, these guys amaze me every day with the things they do, things that we take as everyday occurrences that years ago were like unbelievable," Showalter said. "It wouldn't surprise me. I hope it is not (by the opposition)."

Flaherty starts again, this time at third

A day after allowing an easy fly ball to drop in right field on Friday, rookie Ryan Flaherty was back in the starting lineup Saturday, this time playing third base. A natural shortstop, Flaherty has been moved all around the diamond, including the outfield.

"The thing about Ryan is a he is a guy that doesn't repeat mistakes, he'll learn from it," Showalter said. "I've been wanting to play him two or three days in a row just to get his feet back on the ground again. I'm trying to accomplish that today. He is useful, but it's not (without) learning experiences."

Murray not commenting

Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray declined all comment when asked Saturday about being investigated by the federal government as part of an insider trading operation that involved Murray's former Orioles teammate Doug DeCinces.

Murray has not been charged in the investigation, but DeCinces was fined $2.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission last August. Murray has been directed by his attorneys not to comment on the investigation and continued that stand Saturday.

"You know I can't say nothing, right?" Murray said while at Camden Yards for the Weaver statue ceremony.

Murray, who played 12-plus seasons with the Orioles and was inducted into the National baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, will have his own statue at Camden Yards dedicated on Aug. 11.

Hammel hopeful

Pitcher Jason Hammel has been one of the top 10 starters in the American League throughout the first half of the season, but remains very much on the bubble for a spot on the All-Star pitching staff. He said yesterday that he isn't going to sweat out selection Sunday.

"I'd like to go, obviously," he said, "but that's more of an individual thing. We've turned some heads here collectively as a team, so a lot of guys here deserve to go. I'd be happy to go, but I'm happier about the circumstances surrounding us."

Around the horn

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, who was honored with a statue at Camden Yards on Saturday, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Showalter. … An orange '4' trimmed in black was painted in the foul grass in front of the home dugout in honor of Weaver and another four was on the warehouse in right. … First baseman Nick Johnson (right wrist) will leave for Sarasota to begin his rehab. He was placed on the DL Thursday.

Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

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