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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Adam Jones: My Next Chapter

As an older guy, I honestly wasn’t ready for the level that teams practice at in Japan. In America, we work our tails off during spring training, and then when the season gets rolling, it’s basically all about the games. But in Japan, every day, every practice, is like the most focused spring training practice of the year.

There’s no fooling around. It’s all about getting better. Pitchers are doing fielding practice three or four times a week … in July. Infielders are taking thousands of ground balls even during the later part of the season. It’s baserunning drills, bunting practice, and on and on. Everything is all about trying to reach perfection when it comes to every element of the game.

So what I’d been watching Ichiro do back in the early 2000s was actually grounded in something at the very heart of how baseball is played in Japan. 

And once I arrived and began practicing with Orix, it was so much fun to immerse myself in the fundamentals of the game again. After having played for almost two decades in MLB, being able to learn and study and compare how another country does baseball was fascinating.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2022 at 09:13 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: adam jones

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   1. Jack Sommers Posted: May 17, 2022 at 10:33 AM (#6077150)
Great stuff from AJ. Love the way he embraced the experience in that way.

When I lived in Asia for many years and hosted many Americans coming over for business trips or worked with people just starting out in an expat assignment, it was always interesting for me to see the different mind sets.

It was a spectrum of course, but it kinda fell along these three types:

Some people dove in to experience everything to do with the culture, showing interest and respect, and intellectual curiosity.

Some people dipped a toe in here and there, (usually with food more than anything) but tended to stick with the expat community exclusively and "Americanfy" their experience.

Some people overtly hated everything that was different, spent all their time comparing everything to the way things were back in the states and were constantly complaining and critical of everything and everyone local.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6077154)
Some people overtly hated everything that was different, spent all their time comparing everything to the way things were back in the states and were constantly complaining and critical of everything and everyone local.


Sounds like half the people on House Hunters International.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 17, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6077166)
What an absolutely wonderful article. The way that he immersed himself and his family in the Japanese culture is fantastic. And for your last career at bat to be a game-winning, pinch-hit, ninth inning home run in a Japan Series game - that's one heck of a way to go out.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6077171)
Damn, that was great to see how he embraced the opportunity. Kudos to Jones.
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 17, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6077188)
There's a reason the guy was so popular in Baltimore.
   6. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 17, 2022 at 06:38 PM (#6077241)
And for your last career at bat to be a game-winning, pinch-hit, ninth inning home run in a Japan Series game - that's one heck of a way to go out.


Not quite as dramatic, but David Ross's final AB was a HR in game 7 that seemed not that big a deal at the time, but turned out to be the difference between the Cubs losing in the top of the 9th and the game going to extra innings where they eventually won.
   7. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: May 18, 2022 at 12:36 AM (#6077309)
I like to travel overseas and I try to do it as he did. A friend of mine calls it "getting close to the culture". Americans who go to see the sights but wrap themselves in a tour group of people like themselves are missing out.
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: May 18, 2022 at 11:18 AM (#6077330)
There's a reason the guy was so popular in Baltimore.


Learned to speak the language and drove in a hunnert runs. Put Old Bay on his breakfast cereal. Memorized all five seasons of The Wire.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2022 at 10:47 PM (#6077428)
And gorged on Park's fried chicken at the Lexington Market.

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