"If you say I'm the face of the franchise, I think I would like a little bit of information about what's going on instead of being surprised by every move made," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
SARASOTA, FLA. — It took only 12 words on Adam Jones' Twitter timeline last month to remind everyone that all was not right in Orioleland over the offseason.
Not that anyone really needed to be reminded that Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller moved on, or that Dan Duquette was embroiled in a long-running employment saga or that the Orioles didn't make a lot of positive headlines during the previous three months. But who knew that Jones had been simmering about all that until he lit up the Twittersphere?
"I'm just going to start going to Peter,'' he wrote in a tweet seemingly unconnected to any other. "Screw the middle men."
For the past few weeks, Jones has allowed everyone to draw their own conclusions, but he explained this week that the tweet — widely believed to refer to the unhappy Markakis situation — went well beyond that.
"I think that probably was the speculation, but it was just overall,'' Jones said. "I think I've earned the respect to get a little bit of feeling [from the front office] about what's going on and what our plans are for the upcoming year … what we're doing in free agency, what we're doing with anything. I don't need to know the ins and outs of everything, but I think I deserve a little bit of respect by signing on for the long haul."
Jones is signed through 2018, which makes him the only player locked up as long as manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. He knows that doesn't give him the right to call any shots for the organization, but he thinks that it should get his phone calls returned.
"If you say I'm the face of the franchise, I think I would like a little bit of information about what's going on instead of being surprised by every move made," Jones said. "The source of it (the tweet) was, I wanted communication. I want to be able to talk. If I was in my second or third year, GM, ignore all my calls, but I've put in the time and put in the work here in Baltimore and in this organization.
"I've built a reputation in this organization and the city. I just feel I could be and should be involved a little bit. Not just me. Myself, (J.J.) Hardy, Matt Wieters, CD (Chris Davis), your core guys should have a feel of what's upcoming."
It doesn't usually work that way, of course. Most players find out about offseason moves through the media, unless they are directly affected by one, but Duquette said on Tuesday he is open to more dialogue with Jones.
"I'll be happy to discuss things with Adam Jones, who has a long-term commitment and a strong interest in having a competitive team every year,'' Duquette said. "Everybody has their job to do on the team, but I think we've got a pretty good relationship with the players."
Duquette obviously is among those who thinks that the club's decision to back away from a four-year offer to Markakis played a large part in Jones' discontent, and said he understands why that decision was not popular in the clubhouse. He wouldn't say whether his desire to keep his head down while being pursued by the Toronto Blue Jays might have been misconstrued by his top star.
"I know that Adam was really close with Nick Markakis, and the team is going to have a capable replacement for Nick and we're going to have a competitive team," Duquette said, "and that's a mutual interest that we have with Adam Jones."
Jones said that he was serious about his intention to talk directly to owner Peter Angelos if he feels strongly enough about something or doesn't feel he's getting the right answers from the front office, but he denies that he harbors any animosity toward Duquette or anyone else in the organization.
"No, there's no rift at all between me and Duquette,'' he said. "I love the work our GM does. He has done a damn good job of getting players over here that have something to work for — have a hunger in them — which I love, because the last four years here coming to spring training, there are a lot of players who are hungry for that major league spot on the roster. I just want some communication."
Duquette says he'll be happy to provide it in the future.