Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/18/14
Orioles_vs_royals_9d53
Jones blows a signature bubble while cheering on his teammates (Photo credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America) The Baltimore Orioles completed a 13-3 drubbing of the Detroit Tigers yesterday to take 2 out of 3 from the current AL-Central leaders. They did it basically the same way they’ve done it all year: with a homerun heavy offense and clutch pitching out of the bullpen, along with breathtaking defense across the board. Sure, I could write about Chris Davis and his 26 bombs, or Jim Johnson righting the ship at just the right time, or Manny Machado’s outstanding poise and baseball I.Q. for someone who cannot even legally buy a beer yet. But instead, I want to talk about a guy who has, somehow, turned into an unsung hero for this year’s Orioles team: Adam Jones. The early years The center fielder came to Baltimore in a trade that saw the Orioles deal SP Eric Bedard to Seattle for Jones, SP Chris Tillman, RP George Sherrill, and two other minor league pitchers before the 2008 season. At the time, Bedard was considered to be a top-of-the-rotation lefty, which is why the Mariners were willing to part with their most prized possession in Jones.  Of course, this deal is now considered by most to be one of the biggest steals in recent history. From the jump, Jones made an impact with the Birds, hitting .270 in his first full major league season with 9 HRs and 57 RBI. along with 7 triples and 10 steals, despite the team around him being absolutely dreadful. They finished in last place in the AL-East, which would unfortunately become a trend for the O’s over the next few years. However, Jones, along with fellow outfielder Nick Markakis, would continue to improve his personal performance every year despite the club’s struggles. He saw his biggest improvement come in 2011, Buck Showalter’s first full year in Baltimore, when Jones hit .280 with 25 homeruns and 83 RBI. He also added 16 outfield assists, proving that he could get it done with the glove as well as the bat. I was personally worried that Jones, because of Baltimore’s lack of success, might choose to leave the team when his contract was up to pursue a chance at the playoffs. After putting up with so many losing seasons early in his career, Jones had to have been frustrated. Thankfully for both Jones and Oriole fans alike, Showalter’s presence in the clubhouse slowly but surely turned the team’s fortunes around. 2012 In 2012, the team finally found sustained victory, as they finished the season 93-69 and claimed a Wild Card spot, beating the Texas Rangers in the first-ever Wild Card round of the playoffs. Jones was once again a big part of it, hitting a cool .287 with 32 jacks and 82 RBI. He also added a Gold Glove to his trophy case, another testament to his consistently great defensive effort. Anyone who can blow a perfect bubble while chasing down a sinking liner and making a diving catch (with ease) deserves all the accolades he gets. The team was so pleased with Jones’ all-around play that they gave him a 6 year, $85.5 million extension (that could potentially reach $91.5 million with incentives), the largest contract in Orioles’ history. The extension news certainly squashed any fears Oriole fans had about Jones leaving. Not that he’d want to anyway, with the complete 180 the team had done under Showalter’s reign. 2013 and beyond This season, Jones and the boys are back at it again, at present 42-31 and even more dangerous than last year. While Davis has gotten most of the media attention (and deservedly so), Jones continues to be a model of consistency on the baseball field and a leader in the clubhouse. He can frequently be seen giving props to his teammates on Twitter (@SimplyAJ10) and keeping the club loose during tough stretches with some delicious shaving cream pies to the face. Without his guidance and infectious personality, the team may not be playing at the level it is right now. Jones’ own bat has been hot as well, hitting .301 with 14 bombs and 51 RBI thus far, with a long ways to go. He is the leading All Star vote-getter for AL outfielders as of today, and for good reason. Baltimore fans know exactly how much the 27 year old means to the organization and the city, as Camden Yards is averaging it’s highest attendance since 2005 thanks to fan favorites like Jones and Markakis staying home to help turn things around. While there is lots of baseball yet to be played, the Orioles seem like a good candidate to make the playoffs for a second straight year. There’s no reason they can’t advance farther than they did last year, either, as long as they remember to “Stay hungry” and aren’t content to just get to October. With #10 leading the way, O’s fans have nothing to worry about. The team is in extremely talented, Gold Glove hands, and it’ll stay that way for a long, long time. Related Articles: Scintillating Baltimore Orioles stay scorching, take series from Boston Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis soaring despite early career hiccups Baltimore Orioles salvage series vs. Rays with 10-7 victory
PLAYERS: Adam Jones
TEAMS: Baltimore Orioles
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Browns lament ‘unacceptable’ loss to winless Jaguars

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Hockey fights of the week

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Orioles News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.