Adam Jones was himself for the first time in weeks shortly after the Orioles tenth-inning win over the Red Sox Friday night.
Jones had been having much better at bats all week, and finally he broke out with a 3-for-5 night. He was smiling and open with reporters. It seemed like whatever weight was on his shoulders, was lifted. I think the good game came right in the nick of time.
Knowing Jones since he was a young, inquisitive acquisition in 2008 until now, I was honestly worried about him. During the month of April in which he hit just .223, I noticed Jones was doing things he would have been mad at himself for doing before - Slamming his bat and helmet after he struck out against the Yankees was one. Keeping to himself in the clubhouse was another.
Lastly, he just looked dejected, and if you know Adam, he's one of the most gregarious people on the team. If he's not joking around with reporters and yelling random comments at his teammates in the clubhouse, something is wrong.
I've seen talented young players succumb to the losing mentality in my time with Orioles, and knowing how much Jones hates to lose, I thought maybe he was starting to feel helpless. That was a dangerous place for him to be.
The Orioles can't afford to have Jones' spirit broken. He wants to be the leader, the rally crier, but he can't if he's not putting up numbers. So, perhaps last month he just went into a shell.
Last night, Jones snapped out of it. He told me he's trying to put more rhythm in his stance. By that he means moving around a bit, not sitting still like a statue. I believe that's called being loose and not pressing.
We'll see if Jones can continue to pull himself out of his "funk". After all, April is in the past.