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Adam Jones: “I would slap Jim Palmer around”

Apr 25, 2012, 6:51 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

File this under “good-natured jab,” not “trash talk,” but it’s still fun:

What would happen if Adam Jones faced Jim Palmer in his prime?  Jones answered that and many more questions in a live online Q&A with‘s Amber Theoharis on Wednesday afternoon.

“I would slap Jim Palmer around,” Jones quickly responded.  ”I told Palmer that,” he laughed with Amber.

Jones added that Palmer would have more difficulty today with umpires using a smaller zone. “They had that chest high strike zone back then.”

So he’s being funny, yes, but he also has a good point about that high strike.  I came of baseball age when Jim Palmer was still dealing and I can’t remember how many times I heard Ernie Harwell say “a strike at the letters …”  The only time you ever see a strike at the letters called these days is on a 3-0 count when the hitter makes it clear from the time the pitcher sets that he has no intention of swinging.

The zone has changed pretty radically over the years. Just one of those things a lot of people forget when talking about the crazy offense we saw in the 90s and 2000s.

  1. deadeyedesign23 - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Did they change the strike zone again in the last 4 or so years? Just curious what your excuse is for the lower offensive numbers recently.

    • explodet - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:15 PM


      • deadeyedesign23 - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        Aside from the arbitrary start date of 2008, are we seriously suggesting that a less than 5% change in called strikes in the zone is the reason for deflated power numbers and pretending like steroids didn’t make the offensive side of baseball a joke?

        Let’s talk about how the HR/AB rate in 2004 (the first year of testing) was 17.6% higher than it was last year.

      • explodet - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

        It’s hardly an arbitrary start date when the league-average ops was basically constant from 1994 to 2009 before falling off a cliff in 2010.

  2. florida76 - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Good thing Jones was kidding about facing Palmer in his prime, youth does breed cockiness. Even with the smaller strike zone, Jones would be fortunate to get a hit versus the HOF pitcher. Great players like Palmer were great not just because of their physical skills, but the ability to adapt and win. Jones should worry more about his game, what has he ever done?

  3. randomdigits - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Why would Palmer throw him a fastball?

  4. mybrunoblog - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Adam jones and his .276 lifetime BA and averaging over 100 strikeouts a season…..Yeah, he’d smack Palmer around…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Reggie Jackson had a .262 BA and averaged 149 K a season. So your point is?

      • mybrunoblog - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        Please don’t use Adam Jones and Reggie Jackson in the same sentence. Thanks, I think we’ll all be better off this way.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Then don’t base your appraisal on someone via BA and strikeouts as both are terrible measures of a hitter.

    • scatterbrian - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      Palmer wasn’t a huge strikeout pitcher. He had a career 5.04 K/9 and 13.7 K%. Compare that to current pitchers Mark Buehrle (5.07 and 13.5%) and Jake Westbrook (5.03 and 13.1%).

      • randomdigits - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        Check out his numbers in high leverage situations. Remember for most of his career he had the best defense of all time behind him.

        He really did “pitch to contact”. You can do that with Brooks, Belanger, Grich and Bumbry behind you.

  5. xmatt0926x - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Call me loopy but I’m guessing guys like Palmer utilized the high strike because they could. If the zone has shrunk over the years I believe guys with the talent of Palmer would have just adjusted and still surgically taken apart today’s lazy and free swinging hitters like Jones.

    • Cris E - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Yes and no. I think there were more bad hitters back then because I think there was a broader spectrum of talent in the majors. The average type of player in the modern game is stronger and selected more on the basis of offense than defense. That is, there were more single dimensional guys that could not hit at all that got to play back then versus a lot more single dimensional guys that can only hit playing today.

      Hall of Fame talent finds a way, and Adam Jones is not that type of talent so Palmer would likely cut him up, but I really think the averages have moved in the past 30 years.

  6. bigleagues - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    1 At Bat, with a Catcher and an Ump I’ll bet Palmer could get Adam Jones out. Heck he may even K his ass with some soft toss junk.

    What a great charity event opportunity.

    If I’m the Orioles public relations director, I’m placing a call to Jim Palmer tonight to ask him if he can still get it over the plate.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      In one AB, most pitchers could get him out. 30% success rate and whatnot.

  7. psuravens19 - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Not sure why everyone hates on Adam Jones so much.

  8. brianjoates - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Jim Palmer does the TV broadcasts for the Orioles. Jim and Jones have a great relationship. Jones was just joking with an old timer, its not a big deal. Jones has respect for the history of the game.

    O’s vs Nats in the Battle of the Beltway World Series, would be fun for the Mid Atlantic area.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Jim and Jones makes me think of Mass and Suicide.

  9. boh930 - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    What a great article. No matter what side you take, you still get to bash the Orioles.

  10. lameasish - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Why do ppl hate on jones? Maybe because he has done nothing special since he was drafted. When your team finishes better than 5th in YOUR OWN DIVISION, then you can talk…have fun in body-more, the best thing about your city was the wire, which ended how many years ago?..

    • Charles L. Freeman - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      Last I checked, the O’s are in the same division with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. ‘Nuff said.

  11. nightrain42 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    He is right. Now a strike is waist high to 3 inches above the knee. Alot of the old greats wld hve a harder time know

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