- Steve Berthiaume, ESPNEWS anchor
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"Baseball Tonight" is literally a show consisting of highlight-reel plays, but our Web Gems segment represents the defensive crème de la crème. This season, we're running a nightly voting competition: The best defensive play from each night -- the No.1 Web Gem -- goes head-to-head with our reigning champion as decided by the viewers and fans in an online ESPN.com vote.
We're not even at the All-Star break yet, and Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has already been a long-running defending champion on more than one occasion. At just 25 years old, Jones has become one of baseball's premier center fielders for an Orioles team in the midst of a rebuilding effort under manager and former "Baseball Tonight" analyst Buck Showalter. Jones is hitting .293 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs, while also playing his usual spectacular defense. On a rare off day after returning from a difficult 5-4 afternoon loss to the Pirates, Jones joined me for an interview via Twitter; as many of his fans followed, we had this conversation. It's the Adam Jones Twitterview, in 140 characters or fewer.
SB: This time yesterday, you were playing a game in Pittsburgh. What have the last 24 hours been like?
AJ: The last 24 hrs? Hmm. But it involved being at a U2 concert with 85,000 B’more people.
SB: U2 last night? You a big concert-goer?
AJ: You have to go see U2 if it’s in your face. Went two years ago in Phoenix. Great show.
SB: I saw that you tweeted that you had an extra U2 ticket. How did that work out?
AJ: I had a fifth last night but @JGuthrie46 (Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie) had a last-second change of plans.
SB: He missed U2, huh? Was he out riding his bike someplace?
AJ: That’s something you have to ask @JGuthrie46
SB: Any other great shows you've seen lately?
AJ: Haven't been in a while. Hard to go to them. And I always forget.
SB: Most players on Twitter use their names but you're @SimplyAJ10 How did you decide on that?
AJ: Because at all times I'm simply gonna be myself.
SB: Is that difficult when you're an MLB star?
AJ: I've never look(ed) at myself as that. Just a man doin what he enjoys. And wanting to win. Pretty simple agenda.
[It was at this point in the process that Adam's Twitter went quiet for a few minutes. ...]
SB: Dude, did I lose you to the Blue Moon cafe?
AJ: Haven't lost me yet my man.
SB: Cool, got worried there for a second. You having lunch?
AJ: On my way now. In the passenger seat of my car #safetyfirst
SB: Who's driving?
AJ: my man @TheBmoreBeckham You should see his face. Fast car.
SB: Slow down! What's the car?
AJ: Can't give that secret my man. But I drive the limit. No need in getting a ticket.
SB: Ha, understood! What's the most enjoyable and most difficult part about life as an Oriole?
AJ: Difficult I say is not playing the way I know we can for the fans. We’re gonna turn that around SOON. Enjoyable is being able to play in a helluva ballpark every night. And I know the people of Baltimore are watching the games. Even if the attendance doesn't show. I know were being watched.
SB: I worked with Buck Showalter for years on BBTN, now it's your turn. What's your best Buck story?
AJ: I haven't got any yet. But he seems to always be a step ahead of you, ya know. But I'm going to get a good one.
SB: A step ahead, Buck is quicker than he looks. I've seen film of his high school QB days, he could run like you can!
AJ: He told me he started out as a center fielder then ended up as a first baseman lol. He can pick it
SB: You've had a few long runs this season as Web Gems champ on Baseball Tonight. What's it like to watch your highlights?
AJ: My friends text me so many times they see something that I have to see it a few times. But I just got where the ball is
SB: We've noticed at BBTN, you'll blow a bubble with your pink gum during a great catch. What's the deal with that?
AJ: Hahaha truth about that is that I have no idea. Maybe it's serving at makes me concentrate. No idea my man.
SB: I guess it's good that you're not chewing sunflower seeds out there then, no?
AJ: I switch around the 4-5 depending on the mood.
SB: You're a Gold Glove CF, a glamour position. Any other center fielders you admire?
AJ: I admire a lot of them. All are different and unique. But I like the guys that throw better for some reason.
SB: Any names, past or present?
AJ: Def a fan of Victorino, Bourn, Kemp. But to name a few favorite past is Griffey. But Torii is my man. I know he's in right field but he's a CF for life.
SB: Almost done. I read that you toured Europe recently. What were your impressions?
AJ: Impressions were amazing. It's like it remembered everything I learned in school. Who has that feeling too often? And everything is so damn old over there. But legit. Def making the trip again.
SB: What was your favorite spot in Europe and why?
AJ: Paris. Had a room that looked right at the Eiffel tower. But Holland was legit. Soccer game atmosphere is WILD.
SB: Can you really ride a unicycle?
AJ: I’ve accomplished that feat years ago. Not a shot in hell I could do that today. Just not that coordinated anymore.
SB: Ha, I find that hard to believe. Thanks Adam for the time today, appreciate it. Best of luck!
AJ: Appreciate it. It def was exhausting. Glad it worked out
Having safely arrived at lunch on his off-day, Adam then Tweeted a picture of a great looking dessert, adding; "I think it's time to INDULGE. Don't you think?” Thanks for indulging us, Adam. Look for more Twitterviews over the course of the season with the transcript to follow here on the SweetSpot blog.