Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones seems legitimately offended by the hype surrounding New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. As many of you know, Tanaka was a perfect 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last season. The Yankees liked what they saw enough to sign him to a $155 million contract. Jones is not impressed.
Prior to Wednesday’s Yankees-O’s game, Jones was asked if he has any thoughts on facing Tanaka. He seemed like he had rehearsed for the question.
“Why don’t you ask Tanaka about me? I’m the one who’s been over here in the major leagues for a while,” Jones said, per Steven Marcus of Newsday. “Congratulations, he did it over there. Don’t make it like he’s the dirtiest guy in the world. He was 24-0-in Japan.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to judge it off major-league hitters, not the Japanese hitters. We’re a little bit better over here as hitters…”
Jones faced Tanaka three times on Wednesday, striking out twice and hitting a single. Tanaka ended up with a no decision after pitching seven solid innings of seven-hit, three-run ball and striking out 10. Jones was equally annoyed when asked about the righthander after his team’s 5-4 win over New York.
“Am I [supposed] to go home and say I faced Tanaka tonight?” he asked, according to Newday’s Anthony Rieber. “Just go throw a party that I faced Tanaka? It’s another pitcher. Another pitcher in the rotation. Nothing special to me. It’s just another guy that we have to go through to get to where we want to be.”
When you put up those kinds of numbers and sign a $155 million contract, you’re going to get all kinds of publicity — no matter what country you came from. Jones has been in the league long enough to know that.