Jones Still Has Stars In His Eyes



Back With O's, Outfielder Raves About All-star Game

July 18, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,

CHICAGO - - Adam Jones is back with his teammates, back for the second half of the Orioles' season, but his All-Star Game experience will linger in his mind for a while.

"It was fun," said Jones, who made his All-Star debut Tuesday. "Words can't even describe it. My eyes are still in amazement from the things that I've seen."

Jones played five innings in right field and went 0-for-1 at the plate with a sacrifice fly that drove in the American League's game-winning run. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 23-year-old was the third-youngest player with a game-winning RBI in the eighth inning or later, joining the Texas Rangers' Hank Blalock (2003) and the Boston Red Sox's Ted Williams (1941).

When asked what was the best part of the experience, Jones said: "Everything. The second I arrived in St. Louis to the second I left. I'm exhausted still. It's a nonstop thing. I knew it. So I am fine."

Jones had an opportunity to meet President Barack Obama. He also had the chance to make a fashion statement, wearing his diamond earrings on the field, something normally not allowed under team rules.

"I did everything I couldn't do here," Jones said. "I took ground balls [at shortstop during pre-game warm-ups] the whole time. I didn't take one fly ball."

He's hoping it wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Hopefully, I can make it a routine and go there every summer," he said. "But the first one was amazing. I am just trying to soak that in and swallow that before I think about trying to get to any more."

Guthrie cleared for Sunday

Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't pitched since he left his July 7 outing in the third inning with an illness, will be pushed back one day and start Sunday's series finale against the Chicago White Sox to keep him in his regular routine. Brad Bergesen will make today's start.

Guthrie threw a sideline session Thursday and will throw another today, as he usually does the day before a game.

"He has no restrictions," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He is ready to go."

Guthrie said his most recent blood work came back negative, meaning the viral infection that attacked his muscles and left him fatigued and lightheaded is gone.

"It was weird. I never had anything like that," Guthrie said. "I think anytime you have a unique sickness like that, that's not real common, it's a little worrisome. But the doctors were very positive that this was a virus that was passing through and that's what it turned out to be."

Perez likely done for season

The Orioles are waiting on another examination of left-handed prospect Wilfrido Perez before officially deciding whether he'll need surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.

"It's almost for certain that it is going to happen," said David Stockstill, the Orioles' director of development.

"But the team doctors just want to make sure."

Surgery has been tentatively scheduled for the middle of next week and would sideline him for six to eight weeks, effectively ending his season. Perez, who was 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and seven saves in 24 games at Double-A Bowie, should be ready for 2010 spring training.

Same town, different side

Orioles outfielder Felix Pie and pitcher Rich Hill, once considered a big part of the cross-town Cubs' future, returned to Chicago for the first time since being traded this offseason. Hill entered Friday's game in the seventh inning, his first relief appearance as an Oriole. Pie wasn't in the starting lineup. Pie said he hoped to play in the series; he had to get tickets for several friends.

"This is my town, so I am excited to come back here," said Pie, who played in 130 games in 2007-08 for the Cubs. "I want to play here and to see the people here. I am with a different team now, but I am happy to be back here."

Around the horn

If the White Sox's Mark Buehrle starts Saturday's game as expected, it will be the ninth consecutive left-handed starter the Orioles will have faced, tying a major league record set by several teams, including the 1955 Orioles. It hasn't been done since the New York Yankees in 1980. ... Orioles first-round pick Matt Hobgood will throw no more than 25 pitches today in his professional debut at Rookie-level Bluefield. He will pitch either one or two innings, Stockstill said. ... Minor leaguer Chorye Spoone (labrum surgery), who played at Northeast and CCBC-Catonsville, will begin a rehabilitation assignment next week with the Single-A Gulf Coast League Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. He'll pitch one or two games there before moving to a higher level. ... Infielder Paco Figueroa (oblique strain) began his rehab assignment in Sarasota on Friday and likely will return to Double-A Bowie after a week of games.

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