Before Friday night's game at Turner Field, Jordan apologized to Jones and explained that he didn't make his statements with any ill will. The veteran third baseman accepted the apology, with the hope that Jordan wasn't trying to insinuate that he wasn't willing to make the changes that are necessitated when a player gets older.
"He came up to me man-to-man and we spoke face-to-face, and he assured me he wasn't bad-mouthing me," Jones said. "As a man, that's all I can go on. The bottom line is whether it's true or false, I really don't care because I know that I'm doing what I have to do to get out there."
While playing three consecutive seasons (1999-2001) and part of a fourth (2005) with Jordan, Jones concedes that he often arrived at the park, took a few swings, jogged a coupled times in the outfield and deemed himself ready to play. Thus, he at least had some understanding about why Jordan recently questioned his dedication to preparation during a recent interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM.
"I think at some point when you start getting older, you really have to do the extra things," Jordan recently said. "You've got to get in that whirlpool, you've got to stretch, and really work hard to keep your flexibility before you get out there on the field. And I'm not sure if he's dedicating himself to doing that. He's so used to -- you know, I played with him so long -- just sitting around and waiting for the game, and take a couple jogs and go play. But as you get older, you know, you cannot do that. You've gotta go the extra mile to be ready to play."
Last year marked the first since 2003 that Jones completed an entire season without going on the disabled list. The 38-year-old has missed three games this season with a strained right oblique muscle that he suffered during the third game of the season. A sore right hip forced to him to exit an April 24 game, but he was in the lineup the following evening.
Jones believes that his decision to now stretch and run more before games has allowed him to stay on the field more frequently than he did in the past.
"It's kind of a lose-lose situation for Brian, because he played with me and he knew my routine back then," Jones said. "Yeah, I would just show-and-go. The difference is now I am taking more precautions to get myself ready to play and he's not in the clubhouse anymore. He doesn't see that any more.