Jones joins Mariners for first big league stint
ARLINGTON -- Growing up in Brooklyn, James Jones is used to tall buildings. But he's never played baseball in a triple-deck Major League stadium before, so the 25-year-old was eagerly soaking in his first big league experience after joining the Mariners on Thursday at Globe Life Park for the final game of the Rangers series.
Jones got the call from the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon in Tacoma, Wash., and caught a flight to Texas, where he'll serve as an extra outfielder and potential pinch-hitter or pinch-runner when Seattle heads to Miami for an Interleague series using National League rules this weekend.
Manager Lloyd McClendon felt Jones could be helpful in an NL park, and the Mariners have an open roster spot with Blake Beavan going on the 15-day disabled list, at least until Sunday, when they'll need to replace Beavan with another starting pitcher.
So enter Jones, bearing a large smile as he gets his first taste of the Majors.
"It's a dream come true, something I've always been looking forward to," said Jones, who was hitting .310 with four home runs and seven runs scored in his first 11 games with Triple-A Tacoma. "I just want to do whatever it is to stay up here and help the team. It's been a rush, just adjusting to everything. I'm still speechless."
Tacoma manager Roy Howell pulled Jones into his office and told him the news just after he arrived at Cheney Stadium on Wednesday for early batting practice.
"I got chills," Jones said. "I called my mom first and she was shocked. I had to clarify it with her and repeat myself. She's just really happy. I really couldn't sleep last night, just thinking about everything. I haven't stopped smiling yet."