Glenn Clark: Orioles’ Disconnect With Adam Jones Needs To Be Fixed … That’s All That Matters

So, um, what are you guys talking about today?

First things first. Thank you to all of you who tuned into the debut edition of “Reeta and Glenn” on 105.7 The Fan. We had a great time and I look forward to spending the rest of my summer afternoons with you all over there. It was good to be back in a studio I hadn’t visited in the 16 years since I left my first job in radio, and it is always a joy for me to spend time with my friend and “Project Gameday” co-host Syreeta Hubbard.

On our first show, we welcomed former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones to the show. You’ve probably heard about that. Here’s what you should know.

1. We decided to invite Adam on last week simply because it was our first show on a different platform and Adam, as you all know, is a beloved figure and tremendous guest. We didn’t even know exactly what we’d talk about with him. We just knew it would be good.

2. Adam politely agreed to join the show, in large part to support Reeta, whose opportunity to host on a major market radio station is LONG overdue.

3. On Friday night, Adam was in Las Vegas and appeared live in studio with Tim Murray and Shaun King on VSiN’s “The Nightcap.” When answering a question about the Orioles moving the left field fence back, he casually mentioned that “I haven’t talked to them in four years. They’ve not reached out to me, we have not spoken in four years.”

4. Adam made it clear to Reeta that he wanted to talk about it here in Baltimore. Perhaps you would have known something was coming if you had seen him tweeting before his appearance on the show.

5. Everyone in Baltimore now knows that there’s a disconnect between the Orioles and one of the greatest players in franchise history.

So let’s dive in, shall we? Perhaps the most egregious part of the interview was when Jones said the Orioles had invited Robert Andino to be part of the festivities celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first season at Camden Yards while somehow he himself hadn’t been. That was … overwhelming.

After gathering more information, I get the sense that it is possible that this particular slight was more “oversight” than “aggression.” The Orioles were not simply giving lip service to The Baltimore Sun when they said they intended to reach out and invite Jones to participate. In fact, it is possible that by the time you’ve read this, such a connection has already been made.

But that doesn’t necessarily answer the other part of the equation. That’s the part where the Orioles have had no contact with Jones since he departed in 2018 after exercising his 10 and 5 rights and declining a trade to the Phillies at the trade deadline.

While Jones played elsewhere (Arizona in 2019, Japan in 2020 and 2021), his split with the organization should have included a very direct “you are always part of this club, no matter where you are or what you’re doing” type of message. There should never have been a reason for Jones, even while playing for another team, to have felt anything other than completely open arms for this baseball team.

He didn’t. No matter how many managers or general managers or executive vice presidents or controlling partners or anything else along those lines might change and no matter what errors may have been made in terms of inviting him to an anniversary celebration, it is far more problematic that one of the greatest players in franchise history would ever feel anything other than a welcoming embrace from the club at all times.

I’m uncomfortable with the blame that’s being assigned by some Orioles fans. There are fans that have used this news to attack John Angelos or the Angelos family and Mike Elias for some reason. There’s no actual reason to believe than any individual is particularly at fault here. This shouldn’t have happened. This also isn’t a 10-year freeze. This is a disconnect with a player who was still active within the sport not that long ago (and who admitted in the same interview that if Buck Showalter were to call later this year he’d have to think about just how truly “done” he is). That doesn’t make it acceptable. It just presents context for how it could be understandable.

To be abundantly clear, if anyone within the organization still harbors a grudge toward Jones not accepting a trade in 2018, that’s shameful and must end immediately. And that’s the broader point to all of this. Whatever happened during all of this, it simply needs to be fixed. This doesn’t need to be any sort of grand statement about the Orioles. This can be an awkward conversation that happened one day and disappeared within moments.

It just needs to be fixed. Adam Jones needs to be welcomed now and always. It would be tremendous for him to have some sort of working relationship with the club in some capacity, but not necessary. He must feel at all times welcome. He must never feel like the organization doesn’t want him around.

It just has to be fixed. That’s all that matters.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Glenn Clark

See all posts by Glenn Clark. Follow Glenn Clark on Twitter at @glennclarkradio