Tag: Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones Named Braves Special Assistant to Baseball Operations

Three years of retirement was apparently enough for Chipper Jones, as the former All-Star will return to the Atlanta Braves in their front office.

The Braves’ official Twitter account announced Thursday that Jones will be working as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Per Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan, Jones said it was time for him to get back into the sport he spent 19 years playing as a professional:

It’s unclear what exactly Jones’ new role will entail, though positions that include the label of “special assistant” are often given to historic figures in franchise history.

For instance, on the Braves’ official website, Fred McGriff is also listed as a special assistant to baseball operations, and Bobby Cox is a special assistant to the general manager. It’s a way to keep marquee names around an organization to make public appearances around the city and at the stadium.

Jones last played in 2012 at the age of 40, when injuries prevented him from staying on the field. He was still a productive hitter in his final season with a .287/.377/.455 line.

If Jones were ever going to work in baseball, the Braves would be the team to make it happen. He is one of the greatest players in franchise history, spending his entire career in Atlanta, winning an NL MVP award in 1999 and helping lead the team to a World Series win in 1995.

The Braves are going through a massive rebuilding phase right now, so having Jones around the team to work with the young position players already in the big leagues and coming through the farm system will certainly help teach them about hitting and the grind of a full season.

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Reaction to Chipper Jones’ Induction into Braves HOF and No. 10 Retired

Chipper Jones was honored by the Atlanta Braves on Friday, as he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame and had his No. 10 jersey retired.

It wasn’t much of a surprise when the Braves announced they would enshrine the eight-time All-Star and former MVP who hit .303 with 468 home runs in his 19 years with the Braves.

Jones was just one of those guys that you couldn’t help but root for. He was a fan favorite by every definition of the word, and that became clearer than ever during his induction ceremony.






The fans were always in Chipper’s heart, and his luncheon on Friday proved that he will always be in theirs.

According to Alive.com, Jones’ was the most attended Hall of Fame induction ceremony ever. He drew crowds of fans who wanted nothing more than to wish him well and thank him for all that he has given them over the years.

It wasn’t just fans who said goodbye to a legend, though.

Members of the media who have written about and had relationships with Jones paid tribute to the legend on Friday, including Trey Holloman of The Citizen and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.




Jones was a down-to-earth player with a good head on his shoulders.

He was never the type of guy who would be obnoxiously arrogant or treat the people around him poorly. Instead, he had an aura of kindness and hospitality that’s hard to come by these days.

Aside from being a ballplayer, Jones was a role model, an outstanding citizen and a considerate, caring person.

Chipper’s love of the game and boyish enthusiasm are what made fans fall in love with him. He was always excited to step on the field, and he mentioned after the ceremony that he would have liked to have played on Opening Day, as seen in this moment of reflection captured on video.

Jones was a charismatic guy, and he built up one of the most loyal followings in history. Fans simply couldn’t get enough of him, and it showed during his ceremony.

You could hear a pin drop when Jones delivered his speech in his relaxed, easygoing manner.

Jones never took himself too seriously, but the crowd hung on his every word, and memorable quotes soon flooded Twitter.




He is simply one of the greatest legends to ever play the game, both in terms of how he played and how he carried himself off the field.

Chipper will go down as one of the greatest players in history, and there has arguably never been a better switch-hitter aside from Mickey Mantle.

As Jones joined his place amongst the immortals on this occasion, several legends were there to see him through, including Hank Aaron and Jones’ former coach, Bobby Cox.




Friday evening closed another chapter in Jones’ incredible life.

Chipper will be forever remembered as one of the greats, and those of us who had the pleasure to watch him should be thankful.

The next stop for this legend is Cooperstown.



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Chipper Jones and the 10 Greatest Third Basemen of All Time

On October 5, the illustrious career of Larry “Chipper” Jones came to an end following the Atlanta Braves‘ disappointing loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 NL Wild Card Game.

After 19 seasons, the 40-year-old Jones finished with a lifetime .303 average, 468 home runs and 1,623 RBI. He is without question going to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a matter of years, and most likely in his first year of eligibility.

Although the pitching of former teammates Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz gave the Braves of the 1990s and early 2000s their most prominent identity, Jones has been the team’s offensive identity for his entire career. He spent every year he had with the Braves and was very successful, especially as a switch-hitter.

With Jones’ career now over, how would he compare to the greatest third basemen of all time? Here are the updated top 10 all time third basemen rankings.

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Chipper Jones: Braves Star’s Last Game Was a Nightmare

Chipper Jones has played his last game for the Atlanta Braves, but there’s no doubt his career finale went about as badly as possible.

A stand-up player like Jones deserved the perfect send-off, but as we all know, that doesn’t always happen.

On the brighter side, Jones is leaving the game not having hit a wall at the age of 40. Jones hit .287 with 14 homers and 62 RBI, making it clear that he could still contribute in a big way if he chose to continue his career.

But despite all that, Jones’ last game was a nightmare and here’s why.


Infield Fly Rule-Gate

The 2012 National League Wild Card game won’t be remembered as Jones’ last game, but rather the game the umpires got it wrong with a controversial call.

Andrelton Simmons’ pop up to short left field looked like a routine play, but instead the ball found its way to the grass between St. Louis Cardinals shortstop, Pete Kozma, and left fielder, Matt Holliday.

The left field umpire gave a late signal for an infield fly, effectively crushing the Braves’ eighth inning rally. The call should have never been made, since the umpire was late to make his judgement and Kozma didn’t go after the ball with ordinary effort.

A botched call and the madness that ensued was the biggest story of the game and completely overshadowed Jones’ last game, which is a result he didn’t deserve.


Idiot Fans

You would think that all Braves fans would have the utmost respect for Jones and all he’s done during his career in Atlanta. However, that thought process was proven wrong after some fans began throwing bottles, and anything else they could find, on the field.

Let me be clear: The idiots are the ones who threw things on the field.  That doesn’t mean all Braves fans are idiots, nor does it mean that all Braves fans don’t respect Jones.

When the controversial infield fly call was made, fans began throwing things onto the field, which is unacceptable in any instance. But it didn’t stop there, as fans threw even more things onto the field once the game was over.

This forced both teams off the field in a hurry and made it dangerous for even Jones to be honored on the field after the game.

It was no doubt one of the ugliest moments in the history of the Braves’ franchise, and to make matters worse, it happened during Jones’ last game.

The behavior of the fans who threw things on the field was the second biggest story of this game, which is an unfortunate fact that pushed Jones’ story even further back behind the garbage.


Bad Game

Jones didn’t have such a great game against the Cards, as the Braves were eliminated from the playoffs.

The third baseman went 1-for-5, with a lowly infield single that should have been the last out of the game and ended Jones’ career right then and there.

On top of that, Jones committed a huge error in the fourth inning that should have been a double play, but instead opened the door for a three-run inning for St. Louis that eradicated the Braves early lead.

Per ESPN.com staff, Jones placed the blame on himself for the loss.

“Ultimately, I feel I’m the one to blame,” Jones said. “That should have been a tailor-made double play.”

It’s bad enough that Jones had a poor game at the plate, but it makes it even worse that his great career ended with Jones placing the blame on himself for the team’s season-ending loss. That’s a fact that Jones will have to live with for the rest of his life, whether we all agree with him or not.

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Chipper Jones’ Walk-Off Homer a Turning Point for Atlanta Braves

Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning against the Phillies on September 2, dreary skies clouded the spirits of Braves Country.

Down 7-3, Atlanta was in danger of extending its recent skid (in which the club dropped 10 of 14 games) by virtue of getting swept by Philadelphia. However, the Braves would mount a rally and found themselves within two runs with two on and two outs and Chipper Jones strutting to the plate.

What happened next is something I believe will be looked back on as perhaps the turning point in Atlanta’s 2012 season.  

With the count 1-1, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon tried to sneak a 95 mile an hour four-seamer on the outside corner past Chipper, probably to set him up for a devastating slider. Unfortunately for Papelbon, he missed his spot, and the four-seamer ended up right over the plate.

And a four-seamer over the heart of the plate is not something that Chipper misses often.

So he hit it 443 feet into the night, landing somewhere in the right-center bleachers of Turner Field.

With one swing, the weight of the last 15 games had evaporated. A boyish smile was plastered on Chipper’s face as he rounded the bases, while youthful jubilation swept across the rest of the Braves roster; their Christmas morning had arrived nearly five months early.

During the collapse of 2011, the Braves didn’t have moments like this. There was no time for celebration. There weren’t any superheroes to come and save Atlanta’s season.  

In 2012, though, things seem to be different. Kris Medlen, of all people, has picked the Braves rotation up and put it on his back, pitching simply incredibly over the last month. Jones, though, might have given the Braves a season-altering swing on September 2. Since he stepped to the plate against Papelbon on Sunday night, Atlanta has won five of six.  

Unlike many of the baseball writers out there, I don’t believe all 162 games were created equal.  While games in April are undeniably important, September affairs have a certain gravitas that weights them a little more.  

Games like this can inspire a club, especially when they come at opportune times.  When the book on the 2012 season has been written and completed, Chipper’s “shot heard ’round the world” will prove to be the ultimate turning point in Atlanta’s season.

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20 Best "Old Guys" in Baseball History

They say that baseball is a young man’s game.

The constant running, training and wear-and-tear placed on a man’s body can be grueling. Over the years, it can cause even the healthiest of men to break down. 

Every so often, there are those players that defy that logic. Some may call it luck, while others consider it good genes; at the end of the day, however, it all boils down to the love of the game.

To take a look at MLB History, there have been numerous players who have managed to stay in the game through their late 30s. At that point, the numbers drop off.

The purpose of this list is to look at those players to managed to play at a high, or fairly high, level after reaching the age of 40.

More so, if they were a position player, they must have put in over 100 games of work. If they’re a pitcher, they must have 100 innings pitched under their belt.

With those caveats in mind, here is a look at the 20 greatest “old guys” in MLB history.

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Naming Chipper Jones to the NL All-Star Team Makes 2012 Showcase Memorable

Since Sunday’s MLB All-Star teams were revealed, there’s been quite a bit of griping over which players were voted or selected to the American League and National League rosters. But ultimately, we’re talking about an exhibition, one that should provide baseball with a showcase. 

Ideally, that means the best of the best—not necessarily the most popular—should be on the field during the All-Star Game. But the game also presents an opportunity to pay tribute to some of the sport’s longtime stars, those who have become legends before their playing days have ended. 

So, MLB did the right thing in naming Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones to the NL All-Star team, regardless of whether or not he won the Final Vote for the last spot on the roster.

The fans were getting this one right anyway, as Jones was the leading vote-getter among the five finalists. He’s put in 19 years as a major leaguer. He’s 40 years old now. Why make the man sweat out those final voting results?

This way, baseball can give Jones the final bow he deserves while ensuring that one of its younger stars also has a place in its midsummer spectacle. (This also makes the NL Final Vote more competitive until balloting closes Thursday afternoon, compelling more fans to keep clicking votes online.)

It’s not perfect. Based on the latest voting results, neither Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill nor Braves outfielder Michael Bourn will win that last spot on the NL roster. Either of them is probably the more deserving All-Star. 

If you really wanted to nitpick, you could say that Jones doesn’t really deserve to be on the All-Star team, playing in 45 of the Braves’ 79 games going into Tuesday night’s play. Yet his six home runs and 29 RBI still put him among the top-10 third basemen in the NL. And his .828 OPS ranks him fifth among major leaguers at his position. 

Season numbers aside, Jones’ career is merit enough for this honor. Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said it succinctly to The Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore: “Chipper should be on it, period.”

Besides, the fans already made it alright for third basemen who have played only 45 games to be named to the All-Star team when they voted the Giants‘ Pablo Sandoval into the starting lineup. This isn’t about putting a team of the best players together. It’s about giving the fans the players they want to see. If Sandoval is going to Kansas City, why not Chipper?

As my fellow B/R colleague Zach Rymer wrote earlier on Tuesday, Jones deserves the same sort of sendoff Cal Ripken Jr. received in the 2001 All-Star Game. Ripken’s numbers that season may not have warranted an All-Star selection, but his career most definitely deserved one last moment in the national spotlight. And the fans got to watch a memorable performance from Ripken in that game. 

Go ahead and take issue with several things baseball does. We do it here most everyday, whether it’s the umpiring, rules, All-Star selections or instant replay. But putting Jones on the All-Star team and providing him with a national curtain call is what baseball does so well. The sport knows how to pay proper tribute to its best.

Jones is even excited to play in Kansas City. When is the last time you heard that from a player?

“So it’s the one ballpark I haven’t played in in my career and how fitting is it, that my last All-Star game gives me the opportunity to do that,” Jones told David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Looking forward to playing in a new ballpark or at least taking batting practice in a new ballpark.”

The 2012 All-Star Game just became that much more compelling. Well done, MLB.


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Chipper Jones Replaces Injured Matt Kemp on National League All-Star Team

Chipper Jones fans, don’t worry about trying to get the Atlanta Braves third baseman to his eighth All-Star Game by selecting him in the “Final Vote”—he is already in.

As a reward for his fine season, the 40-year-old is being named to the squad as a replacement for injured L.A. Dodgers star Matt Kemp. David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the news. 

While a case can certainly be made for others to earn this spot, Jones’ replacement selection is not startling. He is having a solid season while hitting .291 with six home runs and 29 RBI. These numbers look even more impressive given that he has played in just 45 games this year. 

These are not overwhelming stats, but they are very respectable, and Jones still does an acceptable job at third base. However, what really gives Jones an added edge here is that he is Chipper Jones. 

Jones, who has had a fantastic career, announced this will be his last season. He is a lifetime .304 hitter with 460 home runs, and he has a World Series ring. His numbers very well could take him to Cooperstown. 

The All-Star Game is not supposed to be a lifetime achievement award. It is there to reward the players performing exceptionally well that season.

But in a close call, there is no harm in bestowing this honor upon a player with a tremendous body of work who is in his last season, and Jones now has one more chance to showcase his skills in the Summer Classic. 

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Chipper Jones Deserves His Own Cal Ripken Jr. Sendoff at the All-Star Game

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is playing in his 19th and final major league season, and it sounds like he’s going to make an eighth and final All-Star appearance next week.

Earlier on Tuesday, Major League Baseball revealed that Jones is the leading vote-getter on the National League side of the fence in the “Final Vote” for this year’s All-Star game. We don’t know the exact totals, but Jones apparently leads St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese by a “slim margin.”

Well played, America. This is as good a sign as any that you are all aware of the situation and that you have respect for a player who very much deserves respect. Help yourself to a cookie for getting this one right…so far.

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 3 at 5:45 p.m. ET

Well, this is awkward. The Braves just tweeted this:

Jones has apparently been named as a replacement for injured Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. How this changes the Final Vote is unclear.

The rest of the the original article continues below.


For those of you who remain unconvinced, it is indeed true that Jones isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire this season. He’s only played in 45 games, and he’s hitting .291/.372/.456 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Those aren’t bad numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but methinks he wouldn’t be on the Final Vote ballot at all if his name wasn’t Chipper Jones.

Typically, I preach voting for the guy with the best numbers instead of the biggest fan favorites. But in this case, voting for the fan favorite is just fine. Those who haven’t voted yet should not be scared away by Jones’ lack of eye-popping numbers. 

This tells me Jones has a chance. After all, Derek Jeter, Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval, and Dan Uggla all got voted in by the fans despite not having eye-popping numbers. Why should the same voters leave Jones out in the cold?

Besides, if Jones does end up winning the Final Vote over Freese, Bryce Harper and the others, nobody will be in a position to complain. This will be like Cal Ripken, Jr. making the All-Star team in 2001 despite the fact he was hitting just .240 with four home runs.

You know what would make this occasion even better?

If Jones’ sendoff in the All-Star Game this season was exactly like Ripken’s sendoff in the 2001 All-Star Game at Safeco Field.

You remember it well, no doubt. Ripken was voted in by the fans as the American League’s starting third baseman, but Alex Rodriguez insisted in the first inning that Ripken move over to shortstop, the position that he had redefined throughout the early portion of his career. It was a touching moment.

And then things got better. Ripken came to the plate in the third inning to a standing ovation from the crowd packed into Safeco Field, and then he promptly launched a home run on the first pitch he saw from Chan Ho Park.

The conspiracy theorists say that Park deliberately threw a hit-me pitch so Ripken could have his moment in the sun. The conspiracy theorists have a point.

But hey, who cares? It was a cool moment, and it’s not like the All-Star Game mattered back then. Even if a conspiracy did take place, it’s certainly not fodder for a Dan Brown novel.

Ripken, of course, would go on to take home All-Star Game MVP honors for the second time in his career. It was a day to remember for Ripken fans. And let’s face it, we were all Ripken fans.

We should all be Jones fans too. Just like Ripken, he’s been a really good player for a really long time, and he’s always been a class act out on the field. You just can’t hate the guy, even if you’re a Mets fan. 

I mean, the dude named one of his children after Shea Stadium. For that, Mets fans have to at least give him a golf clap.

Granted, it won’t be easy to make Jones’ (potential) All-Star Game sendoff a mirror image of Ripken’s All-Star Game sendoff. Jones still needs to be voted in, for one, and there will be hurdles to overcome even if he does end up in Kansas City for next week’s game.

First, Jones isn’t going to start the game over Sandoval at third base, though that’s not such a bad thing. It was cool to see A-Rod honor Ripken by stepping aside in 2001, and it would be just as cool if David Wright were to step aside for Jones in this year’s All-Star Game.

In a perfect world, Jones could come in as a defensive sub for Wright late in the game, and the effect would be largely the same as the A-Rod/Ripken exchange. It would be a passing of the torch moment between one great young player to a once-great older player.

That hurdle is not so hard to overcome. The other big one is hard to overcome.

Jones is going to need to hit a home run in order to duplicate the Ripken experience, and that’s an issue. Good luck to anyone who tries to convince Ron Washington to order one of his pitchers to groove a hit-me fastball to Jones when he comes to the plate.

Remember, the game counts now. Washington is not about to give the National League a run when he knows that his Texas Rangers stand to earn home-field advantage in the World Series. He might do it if the AL has a big lead or a big deficit, but that’s unlikely to happen given how close the past couple All-Star Games have been.

In all likelihood, whichever pitcher faces Jones in the All-Star Game would have to make a decision to groove one on his own, or just happen to throw a bad pitch. Jones is going to need luck on his side either way, and then he’s going to need to put a good swing on the ball.

In all, the Ripken scenario is one that’s totally out of Jones’ hands. ‘Tis in the hands of the voters, Tony La Russa, Ron Washington, American League pitchers and, above all, the baseball gods.

And if the baseball gods have made anything clear over the years, it’s that they don’t owe any player any favors (unless said player wears pinstripes).

Here’s hoping the baseball gods have it in their hearts to throw Jones a bone. He’s never done anything to upset them, and he’s certainly never done anything to cause baseball fans to harbor a grudge against him.

This year is his going-away party, and he may not find himself on a bigger stage than the All-Star game. He deserves to go out in style.


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Atlanta Braves: Standing Pat May Be Braves’ Best Option

The Atlanta Braves are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, having won nine of their last 10 games.

And, they’ve done it with a combination of pitching and hitting.

With their recent success, and the early-season questions of needing to acquire another outfielder to take the place of Martin Prado, I’m wondering if it’s best for the Braves to stand pat with their lineup.

Currently, I believe the Braves don’t have to make a move since the offense and defense are performing well.

After an offseason in which they tried to trade away Prado and pitcher Jair Jurrjens, the Braves saw nothing interesting on the trade front, bringing both back for this season.

This alone caused crying among Braves’ fans who felt that general manager Frank Wren needed to make a move to improve the lineup.

With the 0-4 start, many were sitting back saying the same things due to the lack of offense.

Then, the bats came alive in the fifth game of the season against the Astros. Since then, nothing has been different at the plate, with the Braves getting the best of opponents’ pitchers.

Those fans who were calling for a move to be made have been silenced and the offense is clicking. And, there’s an old saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Well, it’s not broke right now, so there’s no reason to fix it.

Sure, it would be nice if Dan Uggla could display more power, but we all know he struggles at the beginning of the season.

It would also be nice if Chipper Jones could stay healthy and be in the lineup more than he has, but Juan Francisco hasn’t been a disappointment in his place, so there should really be no complaints there. Although, there is no arguing that Jones is a lot better than Francisco.

At some point before the trading deadline or during the offseason, this subject is going to be approached again.

And, eventually, there’s going to be a move that has to be made because guys like Jurrjens and Prado aren’t going to be under contract much longer. Tim Hudson is also getting up there in age, and guys like Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado can’t stay in the minor leagues that much longer.

Sure, Delgado is in the Braves’ rotation right now, but will be sent back to Triple-A once Hudson gets back. But you can’t keep those guys from the big leagues that much longer. They’ve earned big-league opportunities.

So, the lineup and rotation are going to have to be addressed at some point. But now is not the time.

Now is the time to go with what is working, and if that keeps certain guys out of the lineup or rotation, then that’s what it means.

One thing is for sure, the trading deadline and this offseason will be very interesting.

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