In wake of incident, Jones concerned with player safety
O's star outfielder accepts Giants' apology for fan throwing banana in his direction
PHOENIX -- A day after he tweeted on his personal account that a banana was thrown at him by a fan during the ninth inning of Sunday's victory over the Giants at AT&T Park, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said he was more concerned with his own safety and that of his fellow players than the incident in particular.
"My only thing is, it was an unfortunate thing to happen," Jones said during a quick media conference in the dugout at Chase Field hours before the O's played the D-backs. "I personally don't have any hard feelings about it. You never know what can be thrown toward the players. I mean, our backs are turned.
"I just look at it as a safety issue. When my back is turned, I don't know what's going on there. So, we just look at it as a liability. Whatever object it was, I could care less. My safety was in question and we just got to protect our players."
Later in the eight-minute chat, he added: "I'm glad that MLB was made aware of it. ... You've got to protect your players. We're the reason the fans come to the games. They just have to make sure we're protected."
Earlier on Monday, the Giants released a statement saying that they've been unable to identify the person responsible, but were "extremely disappointed" to learn about the incident. The Giants have "zero tolerance" for such behavior, they said, and such acts warrant ejection from the ballpark.
"We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident," the statement read. "The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans."
Jones, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner, who went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs in Sunday's 10-2 win, said he fully accepted the apology.
"I haven't seen [the statement] yet," he said. "My agent told me a little about it. I'm glad they've taken responsibility. I think they look at it the same way I do: players' safety is No. 1. Throughout baseball, MLB, we're all a family. I know we're going against each other, but safety is No. 1 for the athletes."
"It's an unfortunate incident," he added. "But now I'm saying let's make sure that the safety of athletes are [of primary concern]. People can do whatever they want, say whatever they want. Certain things just aren't part of the game. I'm one of the nicest guys out there. I get an attitude here and there, but that's just actions that don't ever need to happen in sports. It's unfortunate things happen like that, but it isn't going to stop me.
"Myself and the Orioles, we have games to win. It's about mid-to-late August. I have a bigger concern over my head [than to worry] over someone else's ignorance or act of whatever."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.