This season, Japan’s professional baseball schedule includes a lengthy break for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Adam Jones, who is starting his second season with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball, isn’t planning a vacation.
He wants to play for Team USA.
Jones, a hero when the U.S. won gold medals at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, told MLB.com this week that he’s eager to represent his country again.
“One hundred percent,” the five-time MLB All-Star said in an interview from Japan. “I’m fully committed to it. Knock on wood, if I’m healthy, [Orix] has already allowed me [to play]. Everything is based on health. … I would be honored to wear Team USA colors again.
“The WBC was flat-out amazing, but the Olympics is the Olympics. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, completely different, emotional thing. Like millions of other people, I’ve watched it on TV. Who wouldn’t want to be part of it? Getting to go see men’s basketball, all these different [sports]. Being around people from all the countries, [who] have worked their tails off the last four years — to see that up close would be a special moment.”
Jones, 35, could become the first player — from any country — to win gold medals at the Olympics and World Baseball Classic. He debuted for the U.S. at the ’13 Classic before authoring the signature moment in ’17, a game-saving catch in his hometown of San Diego against Dominican Republic star (and then-Orioles teammate) Manny Machado.