It would have been a perfect night for Adam Jones to bask in the glory of his game-changing grand slam Wednesday night, but he turned the attention to his younger teammates after the Orioles hammered the Toronto Blue Jays for the third straight game.
“It was good,” Jones said. “I think the best thing we can give the guys who are getting a shot here and throughout the next month is just to be here in this environment, get the opportunity and see what they can do. At the end of the day you can say, this guy’s a prospect, that guy's a prospect, [but] the big leagues will tell you if you're going to be good or not. This next four weeks will be a good test for a lot of guys going forward to see what they can do in the major leagues.”
Jones has taken his role as elder statesman in the Orioles clubhouse seriously, even though he doesn’t know whether he’ll be around to see the next phase of the team’s rebuilding process next season and beyond.
He moved aside to give Cedric Mullins the chance to prove he can play in center field and seems to be enjoying the more upbeat style of play the Orioles have displayed of late.
“Yeah, we've got nothing to lose,” Jones said. “And when you've got nothing to lose, you might as well let your hair down and do everything that you want to do and be creative.”
Fellow veteran Alex Cobb is seeing the same thing and enjoying the ride.
“We’re playing great,” he said. “We’re putting up a ton of runs each game. We’re playing great defense. There’s just an energy, there’s a confidence about some guys getting an opportunity to play. And you have to take advantage of it when you’re a younger guy, know that you’re on an audition and there’s always somebody else out there that wants your job. So there’s no lack of energy in the clubhouse, for sure.”
Cobb, who was bailed out when Jones hit his first grand slam in more than a decade Wednesday night, said he’s also enjoying watching Jones show how much he has left to offer this team.
“It’s just fun to see him have fun,” Cobb said. “He’s meant so much to this organization, for him to go out there and have big moments like that in a season that’s kind of lost for us, it’s fun to see and fun to be a part of. I don’t know what the future holds for him here but being his teammate has been a lot of fun.”