"I have a creative mind, believe it or not," Jones said with a wry grin. "I don't just play baseball. Sometimes I like to use my talents for other things. This was an exciting opportunity to come out and have some fun with Sway and Chris (Distefano) and Fat Joe and Melanie (Iglesias). You can't say no to them. I just had a great time with it."
Those are the four co-hosts of "Off the Bat," the half-hour program that premiered last week and airs new shows every Tuesday. As executive producer, Jones worked with MTV to help put together elements of this episode.
During this episode, Jones promotes the R.B.I. Baseball 14 video game, as he and Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha are spokesmen for the highly anticipated offering from MLB.com. R.B.I. Baseball 14 is scheduled to launch Wednesday on iOS via the Apple App Store, Xbox 360 and PS, and it is coming this spring for PS4, Xbox One and Android devices.
Jones' interests are many, and this episode of "Off the Bat" plays off those that include food, music and television. He and Iglesias will be holding bats with donuts and sticky stuff, but not what he is accustomed to around the on-deck circle. In one segment shot during the offseason in Baltimore, Jones introduces Distefano to some of his favorite restaurants in his home city.
It should not be surprising that food enters the equation in this episode, given Jones' penchant for #StayHungry tweets and Instagram foodie pics.
"No, there's never a doubt when it comes to eating," said Jones, who traded in his spikes for casual hot-pink shoes at the studio. "I do note that I like to eat. I think everyone likes to eat. You have to eat every day. But I think it's become a little more notable now that I post a lot of pictures about it. And the food looks amazing. It's just what it is and I'm glad the movement is going forward."
Tonight's episode also will feature 2013 World Series MVP and series executive producer David Ortiz of the Red Sox, as well as segments including Bronson Arroyo and Cody Ross of the D-backs, Bruce Chen and Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals and Josh Reddick of the A's.
Jones was chatting after the taping with a couple of Fan Cave Dwellers, Ben Barker (Red Sox) and Angela Lauren Yanez (Giants), and the conversation got to Big Papi and his olfactory splendor. "He smells good," Jones told them. "He smells like the perfume counter at Saks."
Jones said "Off the Bat" reaches an important target that combines baseball and pop culture.
"The last couple of years, the Fan Cave has allowed the fans to get closer to the players," he said. "It's good that MLB is stepping in and having players come through the Fan Cave and show fans love. Because at the end of the day we thrive through fans, and I think the correlation has been such a great turnout over the last few years."