Chipper encouraged by first swings since knee surgery

 

 

 

 

 

Jones is back in cage for first time since surgery

Jones is back in cage for first time since surgery. Photos by Brant Sanderlin

 

 

 

To see exclusive AJC video of Jones’ first swings since surgery, click here.

Chipper Jones’ swing looked the same as it always does, only he was sporting baggy gray sweatpants to go with the familiar tobacco dip in his bottom lip, the toe tap and the sweet level follow-through.

If Jones was favoring his surgically-repaired left knee Friday morning, it didn’t look like it, when he got back into the batting cage for the first time in five months since his career was threatened by a torn knee ligament.

“Swing never changes,” marveled former Brave and current Giants infielder Mark DeRosa, who joined Jones and Brian McCann for a turn in the cages at Turner Field. “It’s the same as when I first watched him take bp in the minor league cages in the spring of ’96.”

Jones started out with soft toss from Braves coach Terry Pendleton, 8-10 swings from the left side, 8-10 from the right. Then he stepped in, familiar red batting gloves holding the blond Rawlings bat, to take pitches from Pendleton, centering ball after ball, five rounds in all, until announcing to DeRosa the familiar “coming out.”

He came out encouraged.

“I could not be happier with the way it went in there,” Jones said.

He warmed up to about 75 percent effort, he said, reaching the occasional 85-90 percent. He said he stopped thinking about his knee after the first swing or two and got back to “just hitting again.”

It looked that way to McCann, who told Jones after one of his turns “You’re ready.” Braves reliever Peter Moylan, who was watching nearby, sent off a tweet from his cell phone: “Look out Braves fans, Chipper is on fire in the cage.”

Jones got a handshake from Braves general manager Frank Wren, who came down from his office with assistant GM Bruce Manno to take in some of his first swings.

“Looked good,” Wren told him.

For where he is, almost five months removed from surgery, Jones believes he’s right where he needs to be. “The knee is sound,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he would feel comfortable playing today – he said he needs more baseball activity to build up his leg strength – but he’s confident he will be ready come March 31 at Washington.

He’ll enter spring training next month right at the six-month mark, which is the typical recovery time from the surgery, in which he had a cadaver tendon transplanted into his knee arthroscopically.

Jones follows through Friday morning in the cage

Jones follows through Friday morning in the cage

“I thoroughly expect to be the Opening Day third baseman,” said Jones, who also tempers his chances with realism. “But I have days where I go down in the weight room and I think there’s no way. But today I feel like that there’s no doubt that I’ll be the Opening Day third baseman.”

Jones knows he’ll have more bad days to get through. But none so far would qualify as a setback. He had some pain one day in November when he stepped in a hole on a hunting trip. And he’s had to back off some weight-lifting from time-to-time but nothing has gotten him off track from his overall regimen for recovery.

“Going through something like this again, there are going to be times when it’s awfully discouraging,” Jones said. “You sit back and think ‘What are you doing?’ And you wake up the next day and you feel great. I’m going to continue to have bad days, probably on into spring training and during the season. But there are enough good days to reaffirm my belief that I can go out and play at a high level.”

Wren has been encouraged too. He has Martin Prado ready to move from left field to third base if necessary, but at this point that’s just a contingency.

“He’s not the Chipper Jones of his MVP year in ‘99, we know that,” Wren said. “But he makes a difference, and we saw that in August and September after we lost him.”

Jones knew he would draw some extra eyes in the cage Friday morning. He was ready. He seemed to welcome them.

He’s heard – and read – the doubt in some fans’ minds about whether at nearly 39 he can come back and be the same hitter that has anchored the Braves lineup for the past 16 years.

“I’ve read some blogs over the course of the offseason and everybody is sort of writing me off,” Jones said. “And to be honest with you, I listen to the radio and I hear ads for season tickets, and they’re all about ‘Come out and see (Jason) Heyward, McCann, Prado.’ It’s like I don’t even exist anymore.”

He broke into a familiar grin. It’s all the more motivation for him.

“Guys on blogs have got prospective batting lineups and I’m hitting seventh and eighth,” said Jones, who has hit third his entire career. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘Wow. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.’”

Mixed with the motivation, Jones admits there are still some fears. Not about hitting though, Jones said.

It’s about how he’ll react the first time a groundball comes down the third base line like the ball off the bat of Houston’s Hunter Pence on Aug. 10, which he fielded, planted, and leapt to throw across his body in one spectacular motion, only to tear his anterior cruciate ligament.

But Jones said putting that ball in his pocket, trying to protect himself is not an option.

“My mindset is to come out and prove to everybody that I can do everything that I was able to do pre-injury,” Jones said. “If I come out and shy away from doing something because I’m scared I’m going to get hurt, everybody is going to say ‘Oh he can’t do it anymore’ and that’s my worst fear.”

Jones said it’s similar to the motivation he had the first time he tore his left knee ligament in 1994, before he took over at third base for Pendleton as a rookie in 1995.

“The one thing I didn’t want to hear the entire year was ‘TP would have made that play,’ or ‘You’re no TP,’” Jones said. “I don’t want to hear the fact that I can’t make the slow-roller play, or I can’t make a play down the line and jump and throw to first. I don’t want to hear it.”

Jones said he doesn’t want to hear, come April 24 on his birthday, that he’s 39 and can’t do it anymore. And he thinks he took his first step toward taking care of that on Friday.

It was a message he wasn’t necessarily trying to send to fans either, but Wren and Manno.

“I want to set those guys minds at ease,” Jones said. “Hopefully after today, it was just a little glimpse of ‘You know what? You don’t have to worry about anything at third base. I’m going to be fine.””

227 comments Add your comment

Hughdaman

January 7th, 2011
3:20 pm

hansoal

January 7th, 2011
3:20 pm

hopefully he gives us a solid year!

richbrave

January 7th, 2011
3:28 pm

Encouraging news. Let’s go BRAVES.

Fish Bisch

January 7th, 2011
3:31 pm

Chipper will be a bust.

Bob Horner had a sweet compact swing

January 7th, 2011
3:34 pm

thanks Carroll…..Chipper we are pulling you for you…your being healthy is HUGE for the Braves

HEyybattabatta

January 7th, 2011
3:35 pm

Go git em Chip proves the haters wrong

mikey d

January 7th, 2011
3:35 pm

I was ready for him to retire a year ago – but now I really am pulling for him to come back and be our leader again. Nobody is expecting huge numbers – just be productive drive in some runs and lead us back to the postseason. Wouldn’t it be great to see Chipper go out on top?!?!?

Coach D

January 7th, 2011
3:36 pm

“Now batting, # 10, Chipper Jones!” It’s gonna be great to hear that again. It’s going to strange enough to not have Bobby in the dugout, but to not have Chipper, too… whew! Excited that he’s making progress!

Tim B.

January 7th, 2011
3:36 pm

I hope Chipper comes back to the form he was a couple of years ago, when he won the batting title. Personally, given the number of walks that he attracks and the addition of Ugla to the lineup, I hope they consider him for the #2 spot in the order. Let BMac or JHey hit 3rd with Ugla 4th. That is if we need Prado to hit leadoff. If one of our outfielders comes back strong or we get one with speed in a trade, then I like Prado 2nd and Chipper in his typical #3 hole. Good luck to you Chipper. We are looking for you to have at least one more great year!

WV Braves Fan

January 7th, 2011
3:37 pm

Great news, Carroll. Thanks for the update.

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
3:37 pm

I still know you can be a good 3rd sacker as well as a solid hitter. The Braves only need you to be good not great, Chipper.

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
3:38 pm

Coach D- And hearing that familiar Ozzy tune, Crazy Train.. ALL ABOARD!!!!

Tom

January 7th, 2011
3:38 pm

Fish Bisch – You stink!!! I know you probably don’t like Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, apple pie and football( Go Falcons) too!!!

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
3:39 pm

Carol- Standing up for Chipper, A little love for the Hankie?

Fish Bisch

January 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

2011 opening day line up
1. Prado 3B
2. Heyward RF
3. Uggla 2B
4. McCann C
5. Freeman 1B
6. Gonzales SS
7. Hinske LF
8. Schafer CF

Brovos

January 7th, 2011
3:42 pm

I sincerely believe Chipper will have his best year yet in 2011. Please, no more hunting trips until the season is over….

Milt Famey

January 7th, 2011
3:42 pm

Some of the best news of the offseason. Hey, #10, I want to go on record as having never doubted you or your likelihood of coming back. Certain players have the drive to be great and you have obviously had it from your first day as a Brave. Good luck for a great 2011 season.

CarDog77

January 7th, 2011
3:43 pm

You don’t have to impress us in the field Chipper. You’ve made some amazing plays in your career and have been one of the most underrated third basemen defensively. Do what you need to do out at third, I rather have your bat in the lineup than risking it fielding a dinky infield hit.

Swing is looking beautiful as always. Go out there and get your confidence right, us true fans have your back. Good luck bud!

Carson L

Ken Stallings

January 7th, 2011
3:43 pm

Hey what the heck! Let’s have Chipper play 150 games next year and have a lineup loaded for bear!

No reason McLouth cannot return to the form he’s shown every other year but last season.

Steve

January 7th, 2011
3:49 pm

Man .. I am really pulling for Chipper. Great to see him feeling good about his status. He has meant too much for this franchise for far too long not to go out on a great note.

The Braves need him back if they want to win in the playoffs. They might make it without him if they pick up some pieces, but I think last year was a sign that this offense full of free swingers needs Mr. Jones back in there to set things right.

Keep it up Chipper.

Heisenberg

January 7th, 2011
3:50 pm

Braves need him to bat 3rd. Otherwise the whole line-up gets skewed. So some of the optimism is derived from this need. That being said, Chipper does not have to hit 340 or 30 HRs or even drive in 100 to make it work. With BMac & Uggla behind him, a 400 OBP, a few doubles, and avoid hitting into too many GIDP will make the line-up work with him batting 3rd.

Pursley

January 7th, 2011
3:52 pm

Over/Under on games played for Chipper. 81 I’ll take the under.

rrosson3

January 7th, 2011
3:52 pm

i seriously expect Chipper to be batting and playing third. I GOT YOUR BACK HOSS.

Doug

January 7th, 2011
3:54 pm

Fish Bish???? Chipper will be a bust?? Your extensive baseball acumen is supposed to enlighten this conversation? Or just the fact that you are an ignorant troll??

Donny Corleone

January 7th, 2011
3:54 pm

Contrary to what I said last year about him retiring, the Braves missed his presence in the lineup. I hope he makes it back.

ChrisinPittsburgh

January 7th, 2011
3:55 pm

@Fish Bisch…please be quiet and/or leave.

Good luck Chipper…so glad that my last memory of you will not be limping off the field at Minute Maid Park. Play ball!

Fish Bisch

January 7th, 2011
3:56 pm

get off the kool aide Doug. Chipper will bat under .250 this year and play about 75 games if he even makes it out of spring training.

Curt

January 7th, 2011
3:57 pm

-Chipper Jones plays professional baseball at the major league level. Something less than a tenth of a percent of everyone who plays organized baseball can do.
- Chipper Jones has played professional baseball to the level of having been an all-star and MVP which puts him in a much smaller catagory of people who have ever played baseball
- Chipper Jones In his career, is a.306 hitter with 436 home runs, 1,404 walks, and 1,491 RBI in 2,261 games. He is behind only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray on the all-time switch hitters career home run list. He is considered one of the game’s best all-around hitters, and one of the best switch hitters in the history of the game.[1][2] He is the only switch hitter in Major League Baseball history to have a .300+ career (.306 at the end of the 2010 season) batting average and 400 or more home runs.

Based on the above, Chipper Jones can never be considered a bust and it is just wrong for any arm chair fan to suggest that Jones is or can be a bust. While he may never come back or be his younger self, Chipper Jones has zero to to apologize for.

Donny Corleone

January 7th, 2011
3:58 pm

Carroll, off the subject but what’s the word on Conrad? I hated how he ended up last year at the end of the season. I hope he can overcome his defensive difficulties and land on a roster somewhere if not with the Braves.

nemov

January 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

I have no doubt Chipper will hit the ball. The man is a born hitter. It’s the strain of playing third base and running the bases that I’m worried about. Fortunately, we have Prado who can move in at play 3B to give Chipper some much needed days off. The six weeks before Chipper’s injury he was raking.

Prado
Heyward
Jones
Uggla
McCann
González
McLouth

superadam

January 7th, 2011
4:00 pm

fisch bisch is batting the rookie freeman 5th on opening day? must not watch much baseball, 7th or 8th is more what its going to be like

Steve

January 7th, 2011
4:03 pm

Great post Carson. In an era where sports media types talk about Gold Gloves being given out to those with gaudy hitting stats instead of pure fielders Chipper remains a mystery. He has outplayed some of the winners and never gotten his due (though with Rolen back in the NL I have to give him the nod).

The simple fact about Gold Gloves is that offense only plays a small role in how some people are picked over far more deserving winners. What truly plays the largest role is the same thing that keeps guys like Dale Murphy only getting a small amount of HOF consideration when a guy with only slightly better stats gets in fairly quickly (Dawson). It’s all about WHERE you played, not how. Put Murphy in a Cubs uniform like Dawson andhe is already in. Put Dawson in a Braves uniform and he is still waiting. In fact, put Murphy in a Boston, New York, Philly, or LA jersey and he is probably in as well. It’s very sad. The good news is the upcoming crop of Braves will transcend the uniform bias and will easily get into the HOF.

This is how ridiculous it gets. I heard this week that Bagwell would have been a first ballot had he not been a suspected roid user, but that same voter mentioned Chipper might not have good enough stats for the hall. Chipper stats are liekyl to all be better if he plays in another 100 games. 13 homers behind. 39 RBI’s behind. 12 runs behind. 9 points better in BA, 3 points lower in OBP, 4 points lower in slugging. 7 points lower in OBPS. All that and Chipper played what many believe is the toughest position on the body and longevity outside of catcher, while Bagwell played the easiest position on the field for longetivity and fielding numbers. Yet this voter questioned Jones numbers and gushed about how Bagwell deserved it and he was disappointed he didn’t get in on first ballot because of the perception Bagweel took ‘roids’. Another posted on the blog mentioned this biased discrepancy and the voter responded that he followeed Bagwell more closely than Chipper because his beloved Red Sox traded him away, and that he didn’t even realize how identical the numbers were. And this guy has a vote?

This is exactly why some guys never get respect. Chipper should easily have won over Wright a few years back, and should have been very close to winning if not the winner a few other years. This kind of nonsense has tarnished the Gold Glove award worse than any other given out in baseball.

nemov

January 7th, 2011
4:05 pm

I forgot about Freeman

Prado
Heyward
Jones
Uggla
McCann
Freeman
González
McLouth

Just Pat

January 7th, 2011
4:07 pm

Chipper…..I was there at ST game where you destroyed this ligament the first time and was watching last year when it happened again. You came back so beautifully from the first time that I have no doubt you’ll come back just as beautifully this time. You’ve given up so much for this team and that will always be appreciated.

Far as Fish Bisch goes…..just consider the source.

KDAWG

January 7th, 2011
4:11 pm

Fish Bisch sounds like a bitter Marlins fan we took their star second baseman. Go jump off a ledge dude.

Just Pat

January 7th, 2011
4:14 pm

KDAWG

Nope….was like that long before we got Uggla.

Chris White

January 7th, 2011
4:18 pm

Chipper,
I will also turn 39 on April 24. I feel like I am 25 still, so I know you will come back strong. We are all pulling for you, except this fish guy. I think he is a Democrat though!

Innocent Bystander

January 7th, 2011
4:19 pm

Last year, we were rather critical about Chipper batting third with his lack of power. However, his OBP was still very high. With the addition of Uggla, if Chipper can maintain close to the .380 OBP he reached last year, we should be set. A 1-2-3 of Prado, J-Hey and Chipper almost guarantees someone will be on base every time Mac/Uggla come to the plate. We have a nasty 1-5.

Just Pat

January 7th, 2011
4:20 pm

Chris W

LOL….yeah…..hoping for “change”. Mainly that Chipper won’t come back as strong! :-)

bulldogbyrd

January 7th, 2011
4:31 pm

Real Braves fans should be 100% behind a successful rehab and return to the lineup by Chipper. He can and should be a big part of the Braves success in 2011!

zenman

January 7th, 2011
4:31 pm

In an open forum, there will always be a jackass or two present. It’ the law of averages at work. If you are a Braves fan you pull for Chipper to have a good year. Why would you be so stupid to think otherwise?

2 hot scott

January 7th, 2011
4:33 pm

DOB, from watching the video, tell Larry he needs to drop his hands a little to give him more lift on the ball. My question is how is his lateral movement, which what will be the true test for fielding ground balls at third. Also, if he’s favoring the knee any from the left side of the plate, he’ll never be able to turn and drive the ball to right, which will mean less power and more hits to left center, like when he won the batting title. But, really that’s not a bad thing. I wish Fredi would drop him to the #5 slot, bat Jason 3rd, Uggla 4th and Mac 6th. We’ll see. Welcome back, #10!

KDAWG

January 7th, 2011
4:33 pm

Whoever shot this video should have played “Crazy Train” in the background. I pictured it in my head and got goosebumps.

Braves Fan

January 7th, 2011
4:44 pm

Can the people who put “First!” be banned from every blog ever for the rest of time ever? Please?

2 hot scott

January 7th, 2011
4:45 pm

Almost forgot, WHY IS TP STILL WORKING WITH THE HITTERS??? Tell him to go get measured for his protective 1st base coach helmet and leave the hitters ALONE!!!

JoshTown

January 7th, 2011
4:48 pm

SO happy to see him back in the cage. Best of luck to you my friend. You’re never written off by true Braves fans.

coachx

January 7th, 2011
5:00 pm

Glad Chipper is back in the cage.

Braves Nation is rooting for you Chipper ! Keep up the hard work !

Mikey

January 7th, 2011
5:10 pm

Chipper looks like he spent some time in the weight room this off season. If his knee holds up, that sweet effortless swing will be featured smack in the middle of a pretty awesome lineup!

Ethan

January 7th, 2011
5:20 pm

Awesome news. Say what you want about Chip, but he is a matchup problem for any pitcher and can probably outhit about half the national league on one leg. Sending prayers out that his cadaver tendon holds up all year.

monty

January 7th, 2011
5:20 pm

Sorry Chipper, but I would rather have you hitting in our lineup everyday than to try to pull off a fantstic play that will only cost a base, than be lost for the season. It’s OK to put one in your pocket every now and then for the sake of the team. Think smart dude. Pride be…well, you know. You don’t have to prove a thing,just be a solid player, that’s all we need!

bravesfaninNashville

January 7th, 2011
5:27 pm

Curt….. 100% agree… Great post..

Just Pat

January 7th, 2011
5:29 pm

monty

And I agree with YOU. Thought that as soon as I read that quote.

Michael

January 7th, 2011
5:39 pm

looks ike you’re right on schedule Chipper! keep on keepin on

FJ10

January 7th, 2011
5:47 pm

In over 45 years of watching baseball, Chipper Jones is one of the greatest baseball players I’ve ever seen play. On his worst day of his wost season he’s better than 75% of the players out there. There is not one player out there I would want more up at the plate with the winning run on third and less than two outs..NOT ONE!!
Get em Chipper!

BravesWin

January 7th, 2011
5:48 pm

Pulling hard for the guy. Having him in any capacity is a plus. I’ve been frustrated with him at times in the past for his attitude (”I think I should have picked another career”, etc.) but I’ll be darned if I don’t want him back for 2011.

bravesfan

January 7th, 2011
5:52 pm

In 2008, Atlanta’s Chipper Jones not only won the National league batting title but also hit his 400th career home run…2011 and I’m looking for Chipper to be comeback player of the year…

Tom

January 7th, 2011
5:52 pm

If Chipper can get back to hitting, let’s say .280 BA, 15-25 HRS, and 80 RBI’s, I’d be very happy. Does not have to be Gold Glove at his age, just hold your own!! Go Braves!!! PS – and yes, Fish Bisch you still STINK!!!!

Marilyn

January 7th, 2011
5:56 pm

Chipper, We are thankful you will be able to be back. I agree with you that people will talk when you are out of site, but that tells you what kind of friend they are to everyone. We only expect the Chipper we have always known and hope you know how much we seniors enjoy your playing and look forward for the first game. Blessings!

true cali braves fan

January 7th, 2011
6:03 pm

i cant believe that u people believe in what chipper believes to be the opening day starter. good old chip and his fantasy about coming back in 2011. isin’t spring training held in the walt disney complex in orlando for the braves i honestly think they should hire chipper with all these fantasys he keeps talking about

Dick Doss

January 7th, 2011
6:06 pm

i live in southern california but will be in stone mountain this monday and tuesday anyone have any good bbq places near there i can check out ???

true cali braves fan

January 7th, 2011
6:07 pm

yes we are thankful just like the cws are thankful for frank thomas. with that being said its time to hang it up truth is you are not worth 15 million ANYMORE 260avg 15hs 70rbi.. Are you kidding me “playoffs” were lucky if we win a game..

Doug

January 7th, 2011
6:13 pm

So because I think you are ignorant Fish Bish I drink kool-aid? Actually…I will put my faith in numbers and probabilities….and I say the probability is that Chipper will hit in the .280 range- have a .380ish obp- hit 18-22 HR- drive in 80-90 and play a decent 3rd base. Those numbers are far off his mvp seasons but reasonable. To suggest the guy will be a “bust” and hit under .250 is stunningly stupid

Alan

January 7th, 2011
6:13 pm

Chipper, it’s good to have you back. 99% of true Braves fans are pulling for you. We know you’ve been the face of the franchise — heck, the heart and the soul, too — for 15 years. Or is it 16? We’re all looking forward to an exciting season of Braves baseball, and we know the Braves will be a much more dangerous team with #10 in the lineup.

true cali braves fan

January 7th, 2011
6:14 pm

come back player of the year?? haha u have got to be kidding me u guys keep fantasizing about chipper take his advice and be a realist and realize that he has always doubted himself and when he will be ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder what brian jordan thinks about this

true cali braves fan

January 7th, 2011
6:22 pm

alan you problaby own a lot of disney movies right? what did santa bring u for xmas? chipper is the heart n soul of the braves not having a division title the last 5yrs. dont you guys remember niks nacks tweeks and ouch my big toe this guy never was competitive this guy has more days off than my unemployed brother

TS

January 7th, 2011
6:22 pm

I’m definitely rooting for Chipper, but my expectations are very, very tempered. I’ll be glad if he proves my doubts wrong.

David O'Brien

January 7th, 2011
6:25 pm

DOB, from watching the video, tell Larry he needs to drop his hands a little to give him more lift on the ball. — 2 hot scott

We’ll get right on that.

Mark (another one)

January 7th, 2011
6:26 pm

Watched the video and thought of the annual trip to spring training. I am cautiously optomistic. I also agree, if Chipper feels good, plug him in. He has earned the right to call those shots. He took himself out some the last couple of years when he thought he would hurt the team.

If there is one thing about being Chipper at 39, it is that he only wants to win. He has made his money and he will be in the HOF. He keeps playing for another ring or at least another world series.

For the nay sayers, …

Dan

January 7th, 2011
6:29 pm

Dick, if you want the best BBQ in ATL, go to Fat Matts. Its about 30 minutes from Stone Mountain but well worth the trip

tvsportscaster

January 7th, 2011
6:32 pm

I continued to be amazed that the Braves continually allow players from other teams use their facilities to help better their own game where they could possibly come back to beat them. I know Mark DeRosa is a former Brave, who was popular in Atlanta, but he’s a San Francisco Giant now, so in my opinion if he wants to take a few swings let him find a place on his own.

john

January 7th, 2011
6:34 pm

Wishing you the best Chipper! I know you are working hard to get back. It’s in your blood. Got plenty of time. Don’t push it too much. Enjoyed watching you all these years. I’ve kept up with you since you were drafted. Actually thought you were black for awhile seeing all the stolen bases you use to have in the minors — Long time Braves fan here–Dad use to take us to see the Braves back in the sixties when Hank was playing. Use to love how he walked to the batters box with his helmet and put it on in the box. Unique. Both of you guys have been the greatest of all the Braves. Anyway — hit it good son!

Dan

January 7th, 2011
6:37 pm

Anyone that’s writing Chipper off simply doesn’t know baseball, theres no way else to put it. Yea, he’s not going to hit .350 and play 160 games, but that doesn’t mean he wont be a productive player and a force in the lineup. Make no mistake, pitchers still pay very close attention to what they throw at Chip, he has a knack for making pitchers pay for a bad pitch. He’s going to be our opening day 3b and 3 hitter, and if he plays about 140 games and hits for an OPS in the range of .800 it’ll be a successful year, and he can hang his head high. I wish he didn’t read comments on blogs like this, because for some reason the dumbest 1% tends to be the loudest (lookin at you fish bish)

todd

January 7th, 2011
6:43 pm

This is a joke. Chipper could hardly make it to 3 games in a row BEFORE he had this major injury. Nobody in their right mind should think he is going to be playing 3rd base or any other position for the Braves this year. He is going to be on the IR all year! If you all are that stupid then I have a stadium in Atlanta to sell you at a low price. Wren better get a clue and get another outfielder to take Prados spot when he takes 3rd. Wake up people!

old man

January 7th, 2011
6:43 pm

I’m not a big Chipper fan (wish he’d get rid of the snuff, etc.). But I’ve always marveled at his swing. Pure, sweet, powerful. Timing, weight shift, not a single moving part fights another. And the extension and follow through.

The video today looked out of sight. Based on the little I could make out, most everything was squared up pretty dang good. And the mechanics looked like something from 5 years ago. Wow.

Honestly, if you made a list of sweet, pure swingers, Joltin’ Joe would be on the list, and Ted Williams, and maybe 10 or 15 others I’m too ignorant to remember, but Chipper’s swing is right up there. It’s a joy to watch an easy, pure swing when a line shot clears the fence by 10 feet or so. Minimal effort for the same return of a moon shot.

If Chipper can keep his knee, and his obliques (whatever the hell an oblique is) healthy, and hit .280, with 20 home runs, I will be a very happy Braves fan.

Chipper, you said you read the blogs. Are there 20 home runs in you this year? Maybe 25? I’m not your biggest fan, but I’m pulling for you big time.

Gary

January 7th, 2011
7:06 pm

My lineup:

Prado
McLouth
Heyward
Uggla
McCann
AGon
Freeman
Pitcher
Chipper

kidding Chipper :)

Faux Chipper

January 7th, 2011
7:12 pm

Sup guys,

Enjoyed reading the comments, seems like a lot of you can predict the future, very impressive. I know the opinions of a 16 year veteran and future HOFer, baseball beat writers, GMs, pitchers, scouts, and managers can’t stack up to the opinions of studs like ‘todd’ and ‘fish bisch’, but I think I’m going to give this comeback thing a try anyway. To be honest, I feed off the hate, it just makes me stronger. I’m like birdman and youre my sun. Im LeBron and youre Cleveland. Im HIV and youre a T-cell… okay maybe that last one was a stretch.

Anyway, Im gonna be hitting 3rd playing 3rd come opening day. If you doubt that, please come sit in right field so that when I crush one it lands on your head. You’ll have a great souvenir- a concussion.

Peace, Im going to Hooters

-Chip

reagan

January 7th, 2011
7:18 pm

DOB…….I’m on the floor with your last response.

David O'Brien

January 7th, 2011
7:50 pm

This is a joke. Chipper could hardly make it to 3 games in a row BEFORE he had this major injury. Nobody in their right mind should think he is going to be playing 3rd base or any other position for the Braves this year. He is going to be on the IR all year! If you all are that stupid then I have a stadium in Atlanta to sell you at a low price. Wren better get a clue and get another outfielder to take Prados spot when he takes 3rd. Wake up people!

You’re right, this is a joke.

Let’s see, where to begin. Oh, first off, in baseball we call it the DL, not the IR.

You say Chipper could hardly make it three games in a row before his injury.

Well, he played in 95 of 113 Braves games before his season-ending injury Aug. 10. That’s 84 percent of the team’s games, which would have been 136 games in a 162-game season. Only four Braves played more than 136 games in 2010, topped by Melky Cabrera’s 147 and Brian McCann’s 143.

For those who keep trying to dismiss how well Chipper was playing before he got hurt, here’s the simple facts: From May 4 through Aug. 10, the day he got hurt, Chipper played in 74 of 88 Braves games and hit .281 with a .383 OBP, 17 doubles, 8 homers, 40 RBI and a .446 slugging percentage (.827 OPS).

The Braves went 57-34 in their last 91 games before Chipper’s injury, and 26-23 the rest of the way, or 27-26 if you include the division series.

Bravesfan4life

January 7th, 2011
7:59 pm

Can’t wait to see Chip back in the lineup March 31st in Washington! Chipper is just as big a part of our lineup now as he has been for his entire career, and with him, Uggla, and McCann batting 3-4-5 we can have a big year with a possible World Series run! Go Braves in 2011!

thunderbull56 (he of the moderater)

January 7th, 2011
8:00 pm

O come all yee faithfuls.Let’s take a look back in the crystal ball and reminence if we’re having a Larry love fest.In baseball more than any other sport there is one word that I look for in a player.That word is “clutch”.Regrettably it is not a statistic that HOF nor baseball writers seem to embrace.First we have a super hot pitching prospect,whose name eludes me, to thank for Mr. Jones ever having donned a Braves uniform.’Yep he told the Braves that if they drafted him,he would not sign.Mr. Cox was smart enough to pass on his uppity $ss and draft our subject instead.Said hot pitcher I believe ended up in Oakland and was baseball’s Jamarcus Russell of that draft class.Meanwhile Mr. Jones has been nothing but clutch in the clutch whenever clutch was needed.If he never strokes another double in the gap,nor turns another double play,he deserves and has earned Braves fans’ love and respect.If HOF voters neglect his contribution in the end,I believe some should be relieved of their voting rights.And thank you Todd Von “uppity”,”I don’t want to play for a loser”,Poppell.

Bravesfan4life

January 7th, 2011
8:03 pm

Excellent points DOB! I wish some of the folks commenting on here would pay more attention to actual performance instead of complaining about injuries. So the man isn’t invincible, Chipper in 136 games is a lot better than most guys in 162.

Rufus

January 7th, 2011
8:10 pm

Like to see me some Chipper in the cage! Thanks Carroll!

Cranbery

January 7th, 2011
8:10 pm

Braves won’t be the Braves without Chipper…………….He is still #1 to us!

jimmymack

January 7th, 2011
8:40 pm

thank’s chipper for still caring

Chipper Jones

January 7th, 2011
8:59 pm

Offseason is for hunting on my Texas ranch.

Spring training is for fishing & golfing in Florida.

See ya Opening Day – on the DL cashing those big checks !

SUCKAS !

K.Street

January 7th, 2011
9:10 pm

Chipper is such an inspiration. The fans really appreciate how much you want to come back to the team and succeed. Good luck and I will be pulling for you.

Yeah Right

January 7th, 2011
9:23 pm

He was supposed to prove the “haters” last season. He is a has been. I love the guy to death and always has, but Wren needs to realize paying Chipper millions of dollars every year now is doing no good for the ball club. He hurts us on defense and on offense and in the team salary budget. IF he would just retire, the braves could sign a big name bat.

missing the braves

January 7th, 2011
9:23 pm

Opening day lineup

1. Prado LF
2. Heyward RF
3. Chipper 3B
4. Uglla 2B
5. McCann C
6. Gonzalez SS
7. Nate CF
8. Freeman FB

Nelson

January 7th, 2011
9:23 pm

Chipper what you need is a good long cup of cuban coffe before everygame. Ask Freddy to prepary it for you!!!

Yeah Right

January 7th, 2011
9:24 pm

**prove wrong

Yeah Right

January 7th, 2011
9:26 pm

@missing the braves….3-5 will be Uggla, McCann, and the Chipper if he is lucky

robdawg08

January 7th, 2011
9:28 pm

That’s great news Carroll ! I’m pulling for Chipper to rebound and have a great year. He’s my all-time favorite player. If you read this Chipper, best of luck man ! You’re a sure-fire first ballot Hall Of Famer (which everyone knows). I’ve got like 200+ game used jersey and 4 autographed pulled from packs baseball cards of Chipper. The Braves need a healthy Chipper to compete with the Phillies.

David O'Brien

January 7th, 2011
9:31 pm

I love the guy to death and always has, but Wren needs to realize paying Chipper millions of dollars every year now is doing no good for the ball club. — Yeah Right

Why does Wren need to “realize” this? There’s two years left on a three-year contract, so why does he need to “realize” things are as you say they are? Even if Wren did suddenly view it as you do, if he were to “realize” it, that would change the contract?

robdawg08

January 7th, 2011
9:33 pm

If Chipper’s been reading these blogs then he probably cracked a rib laughing at all those demented bloggers posts’ !

Braves Run This Division!

January 7th, 2011
9:54 pm

As a 35 yr old who has lived in Atl most of my life, I have been through ups and downs with Chipper and I have grown to respect him as one of the top 3 Braves ever. I can’t tell you how glad I am to see him back!

RaleighDawg

January 7th, 2011
10:34 pm

This reminds me of the old joke where the patient asks the doctor “Will I be able to play the piano after my surgery ? ” and when the doctor replies “Yes you will.” the patient says “That’s great ! I couldn’t before the operation ! “…. just so I’m up to speed, when could Chipper make the play on a hard hit ball – down the line or right at him ?

the sham

January 7th, 2011
10:46 pm

Amen DOB! This bed has been made and we ALL Braves fans must sleep in it. He is still one of us and we need to cheer him on.

He’s given his heart and soul to this team and we owe it to him to help him go out on top. I’ve got a feeling that this “set-back” will help reinvigorate him and give us one of his best years. A Chipper with a Chip on his shoulder is a good thing, IMO…

chipperfan

January 7th, 2011
11:07 pm

chipper is the man, and the stud of this team!!!!

todd

January 7th, 2011
11:16 pm

O’Brien you are delusional or on the Braves payroll. Chipper has always been soft and if you think that having a major knee injury is somehow going to toughen him up you are crazy. He is done – stick a fork in him and get another outfielder.

bravesfan

January 7th, 2011
11:32 pm

Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones’ .364 batting average in 2008 was the highest ever by a National League switch-hitter.
Chipper will return..bet on it! Go Braves…………..

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