David Wright earned the nickname “Captain America” through his performance in the 2013 WBC. But, is Adam Jones possibly the new “Captain America”?
2013 saw David Wright emerge as team USA’s leader and earn him the nickname “Captain America.” In the 2013 WBC, Wright batted his way to one home run and ten RBIs, not bad over a four game span.
Adam Jones may not be putting up those numbers with his two home runs and 4 RBIs in 6 games, but the timing of his hits could not have been better.
Adam Jones’ Late Inning Heroics
Jones’ first act came in tenth inning with the game tied against a surprisingly tough Colombian team. On an 0-2 count, with two outs, and runners on second and third, Jones smacked a single to score Christian Yelich and win the game 3-2.
Jones’ first home run came in the bottom of the eighth inning with the USA down 2-1 against a strong Venezuela team. The home run tied the game which the USA would later win 4-2.
Jones, however, was not finished with his heroics. With the U.S. down 4-2 in the top of the sixth, Jones struck again. On a two ball and one strike count with one out and none on, Jones delivered. Jones’ home run sparked a rally that nearly handed Puerto Rico their first defeat.
Just in case this was not convincing enough, Jones decided to flash some leather as well. While playing against the Dominican Republic, Manny Machado came to the plate. Team USA was up 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh of a do or die game for both teams. Machado mashed the ball to right-center in a fashion that everyone, including Machado, thought was for sure home run. Jones had other plans in mind for his Baltimore Orioles‘ teammate as he flew through the air to rob Machado of the late inning home run. This save would prove to be extraordinarily valuable, considering the very next batter, Robinson Cano, blasted a home run to left field. The USA would later win the game to advance in the WBC while eliminating the DR.
Are stats enough to be considered “Captain America”?
If the stats are not enough to convince you that Jones should be Captain America, then look at his leadership. Jones has been the fuel behind this lineup. Every time a run scores or a play is made, Jones is the one pumping up the crowd and the team.
Possibly the best thing about Jones being Captain America, however, is how he always directs us to focus on now. Every interview asking Jones about future games, he redirects and explains to focus on now. Jones knows that this requires wins in the present in order to make it to those future games.
With all the talk of U.S. players that did not play in the WBC, we seem to overlook the ones who stepped up without question. Jones may not be the hero that American baseball wants, but he is the hero that we need.