All-Star notebook: Jones delivers - East Valley Tribune: Sports

All-Star notebook: Jones delivers

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Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:54 pm | Updated: 2:46 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

 ST. LOUIS — As if he needed any more reminders, a quick glance at his cell phone told Adam Jones that he'd done well at the All-Star game. "I've got 40 text messages," the Baltimore outfielder said Tuesday night.

ST. LOUIS — As if he needed any more reminders, a quick glance at his cell phone told Adam Jones that he'd done well at the All-Star game.

"I've got 40 text messages," the Baltimore outfielder said Tuesday night.

After Curtis Granderson hit a one-out triple in the eighth inning, Padres reliever Heath Bell intentionally walked Victor Martinez. Jones delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly that sent the American League to a 4-3 victory.

"I'm still speechless about the entire process," Jones said.

Drafted by Seattle as an infielder and pitcher, Jones made his mark in the minors as an outfielder. He was the main player Baltimore wanted when it traded pitcher Erik Bedard to the Mariners before the 2008 season.

Full of raw talent, the 23-year-old Jones has been honing his all-around skills. He's hitting .303 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs.

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The Orioles' only All-Star representative replaced Boston outfielder Jason Bay in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jones flied out against career saves leader Trevor Hoffman in the sixth, then came through in the eighth with runners at the corners and one out.

"I just got up there trying to put wood on the ball, didn't care what the pitch was. If it was close, I was going to put wood on it," he said. "I'm a hard guy to double up. If I put the ball in play, we got a good chance of getting a run in."

TRADING PLACES

Roy Halladay could've talked about starting the All-Star game. Or about possibly getting to meet President Barack Obama.

Instead, once again, the Toronto Blue Jays ace was inundated with questions about a potential trade.

"It's definitely different. I can't say I anticipated it working out this way," Halladay said Tuesday, a few hours before the first pitch.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi recently said he would listen to trade offers for the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner. Halladay is signed through 2010 and would have to agree to a deal.

The deadline for making trades without waivers is July 31.

"It's the perfect storm, I guess," he said.

The 32-year-old righty is 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA. This was his sixth All-Star game — and first chance to start. He struggled, giving up three runs and four hits in two innings as the AL won 4-3.

Halladay said he hasn't starting taking inventory on where he'd like to play, if the Blue Jays do decide to deal him. Saying he was fortunate to be in good financial shape, he put one factor at the top of his wish list: a chance to win the World Series.

"I know what I'm looking for," he said.

Halladay got a big ovation from the crowd lining the red-carpet parade route to Busch Stadium. Many fans chanted "We want Roy!" as he sat on the back of a vehicle and waved.

If there is no deal, Halladay said that would be fine.

"I do like Toronto. I've been there forever. I know everybody. I know the guys working the elevator," he said.

Halladay said he'd prefer not to know the daily details on trade talks. He said he's always gotten along well with Ricciardi, and figured the GM would brief him when necessary.

"I've never been a person who has to be wooed," he said. "I'd hate to put cart too far in front of the horse."

SMOOTH SAILING

There was one thing Zack Greinke was dreading about the All-Star game: that glitzy parade through town, with players propped up in the back of pickup trucks as fans line the closed-off streets.

"That's the only thing I want to avoid," the Kansas City pitcher said Monday. "The red carpet sounds like the most miserable time of my life."

Greinke is still uneasy about being the center of attention. An elite prospect when he arrived in the majors five years ago at age 20, he walked away from baseball for two months in 2006 and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, which causes an irrational fear of social situations.

Medication eased Greinke's anxiety and he started to enjoy pitching again. Now, he's one of the top starters in the game.

Greinke pitched a perfect fourth inning Tuesday night, retiring Raul Ibanez on a popup and striking out David Wright and Shane Victorino.

"The Royals stuck with me. I'm surprised they did. I probably tried to get traded a couple of times back in the day, but they decided to keep me anyway," Greinke said, adding that he's happy about that. "I really like it there."

Greinke is 10-5 with an AL-best 2.12 ERA. Still, he was passed over by manager Joe Maddon for starting honors Tuesday night in favor of Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

"I would have liked to have started, but it's not a real big deal," Greinke said. "I think he made the right decision, just because he's done it forever and I've done it for half a season."

Turns out, the red-carpet parade on Tuesday wasn't so bad, either. Greinke rode in a truck with his fiancee and said he actually enjoyed the experience.

"It was definitely way better than I thought," he said. "I thought it was going to be longer. The weather wasn't bad. There were a lot of fans yelling, but it was all positive stuff. I had Emily there to talk to, so it wasn't that bad."

MAD HATTER

When pitcher Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox reached into his locker and opened his box of baseball caps, he thought somebody was playing a trick on him.

They were all Minnesota Twins hats, Chicago's biggest rival in the AL Central.

"I kind of laughed. I wanted to look around and see if someone was messing with me," Buehrle said.

Moments later, the left-hander called over to Twins catcher Joe Mauer and asked, "Hey, Joe, you hear about this?"

Mauer smiled and chuckled.

Buehrle laughed off the temporary mix-up, too. But he chose not to tempt fate.

"I didn't put one on," Buehrle said.

EASY CHAIR

Tony La Russa anticipated a relaxing All-Star game as a member of the supporting cast in his own stadium. The Cardinals manager was on the coaching staff at the All-Star game, even relinquishing his office to the Phillies' Charlie Manuel.

La Russa and Dodgers manager Joe Torre had adjacent lockers in the more cramped coaches locker room, swapping stories earlier in the day. La Russa's plan: Stay in the background as much as possible.

"I guarantee you, the coaches enjoy it more than the manager," La Russa said. "Charlie's got a lot to do, a lot of decisions to make."

La Russa wasn't even sure where he'd position himself in the dugout. Usually he stands near the dugout steps, as close to home plate as possible, but planned to let Manuel stake out his territory first.

"I'm going to look where Charlie is," he said.

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