Jones shares thoughts on Markakis' remarks

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It didn't take long after Adam Jones walked in Thursday morning for the media to follow and ask for his reaction to former teammate Nick Markakis' comments in Wednesday's USA Today. The subject wasn't new -- it was widely reported this offseason that Baltimore didn't want to go more than three years on a contract for the free-agent outfielder because of concerns for his neck -- but clearly Markakis, who ended up signing with the Braves, is still harboring some resentment about the subject.

"Don't believe a word they say," Markakis told USA Today. "It was all because of my neck. They can say what they want to make them look good. It's all B.S."

Perhaps Markakis didn't see or hear it, but executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said several times this winter that the Orioles had some health concerns about a long-term deal for Markakis, who joined Atlanta on a four-year, $44 million deal. Duquette saying that Markakis was still dealing with neck issues could have worsened Markakis' standing in other negotiations and publicly delving further into his MRI results, which revealed a bulging disc, could have been a potential violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects the confidentially of healthcare information.

Jones, who was not happy about Markakis' departure, didn't fault Markakis for how things went down.

"I know what's going on," Jones said. "I know the truth. It's a move he made for himself. I never fault him for it."

As for Markakis wanting the Orioles to be more public about the reason they balked at anything longer than a three-year deal, Jones agreed with his friend and former teammate. Markakis underwent neck surgery on Dec. 17.

"I don't know what he played with; he never disclosed anything to anybody," Jones said. "Check all 750 players, something hurts, something is not normal. If that's the real reason he's not here I hope someone can man up and say it instead of beating around the bush."

But Duquette did say it, including at FanFest last month.

"It always comes out later," Jones said. "That's just how this game is."

Perhaps the most surprising part about Wednesday's article was that the quiet Markakis said anything at all.

"I'm glad he said something because he never says anything," Jones said. "I'm glad he said something -- he should say stuff. He has a lot on his mind, very articulate man, very smart man. He doesn't say much, but when he does, people listen. He's got people's attention. That's why you are all in front of me now."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.