BALTIMORE—Sunday could well mark the end of two great Oriole careers, and Trey Mancini is grateful to both Adam Jones and Buck Showalter.
“I just look at him and the way he plays and goes about his business every day and it’s kind of what you aspire to be,” Mancini said about Jones.
“He has fun every day. He’s relaxed. You couldn’t tell if he’s 4-for-4 or 0-for-4. That’s just how he is. That’s how you’re successful in this game. He’s better at that than everybody else. He does a good job at keeping everybody loose.”
When Mancini was rushed to the Orioles in September 2016 to replace an injured Steve Pearce, Jones was there to help him.
“Adam and all the other veteran guys made me feel welcome and part of the team. It’s been pretty special to be around him and play with him,” Mancini said.
If Jones doesn’t return, Mancini might assume a leadership role. He’s uncomfortable with the term, “Face of the Franchise.”
“I would never refer to myself as that,” Mancini said.
“Nobody’s ever going to take Adam’s place. Nobody’s going to mean what he does to this city and this organization. It’s impossible. It’s not like somebody just comes in and steps into that role, but I absolutely love it here. I love Baltimore. I love playing here. I love the city. I love the fans.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this, this organization, and I hope I’m here for a long time. Nobody’s going to take Adam’s place or is going to mean as much to this city as he does. I think everybody knows that. You only see that once in a generation, a city embracing a guy like that.”
Players have to earn Showalter’s trust, and Mancini has done that, and he’s thankful he’s had the opportunity to play for him.
“It’s been an absolute honor to play for him,” Mancini said about Showalter.
“I consider myself extremely lucky that he’s my first major league manager. I think the Orioles, in the minor leagues, do a really good job of preparing you to come up here and be ready to go. He communicates with all the guys down there. He lets them know how to do things, how to kind of mentally prepare us to be up here because you’ve got to be ready the second you step up here. He does a really good job of that. He’s trusted me since the second I got up here. I can’t thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to play at this level and for writing my name in the lineup.”