Chipper: Swag and substance, greatest Brave of ATL era

Four decisions over four decades that were most beneficial to the Atlanta Braves: Bill Bartholomay moving the team from Milwaukee to Atlanta in the 1960s, Ted Turner purchasing the team to keep it in Atlanta for his Superstation WTBS in the 1970s, Bobby Cox’s return to Atlanta in the 1980s and …

Todd Van Poppel telling the Braves, who had the first overall pick in the 1990 draft, that he wouldn’t sign with them if they selected him.

chipper-jonesThe spurned Braves instead turned to a high school shortstop named Larry Wayne Jones Jr.

Van Poppel went on to fashion a 40-52 career record and 5.58 ERA in and 359 games (98 starts), never winning more than seven games or saving more than two in any of his 11 seasons.

As for Chipper Jones, he’s entering his 19th and final season with the Braves and is the only switch-hitter in history with at least a .300 average and 450 home runs. Among switch-hitters, his 454 homers rank third behind Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray, and his .935 OPS ranks third behind Mantle and Lance Berkman.

He is a certain future Hall of Famer, and a first-ballot choice in the view of a majority of writers that I’ve asked around the country.

In my opinion he’s also the best Brave of the Atlanta era, and ranks behind Hank Aaron as the second-best Braves position player in history. (The Hammer played only nine of his 23 seasons while the team was in Atlanta, and Greg Maddux spent 11 of his 23 seasons in Atlanta, which is why I give the Atlanta-era edge to Chipper over those two baseball luminaries.)

Cox likes to tell the story of how as GM in 1990, he went to Jacksonville, Fla., with longtime Braves scouting guru Paul Snyder to see Chipper, whom the Braves were considering taking with the No. 1 pick. Cox hadn’t seen enough pictures of him to recognize him by face, and told Snyder not to tell him which one Jones was from among the Bolles School players who were working out in T-shirts sans names or numbers.

Cox says it only took him a matter of seconds to pick out Jones. He just had that air about him. The way he carried himself.

As the kids say today, he had swag.

He still does, one month from his 40th birthday.

And he’s about as smart a baseball mind, and as candid, honest and entertaining an interview as any athlete I’ve covered, even if he occasionally finds a reporter to be a bit overzealous.

Chipper’s first major league season (other than a September callup) was 1995, which was also my first season as a major league beat writer. I was covering the Florida Marlins then, and I remember the first time I saw this hotshot kid from the Florida sticks, the one who’d blown his knee out a year before during spring training, delaying the arrival of the Braves Golden Child.

Like most outsider observers, the first thing you noticed was the confident way he carried himself. Perhaps a bit cocksure for someone so young. And then after you watched him play a game or two, you realized there was more substance than style.

He was the real thing.

As a beat reporter, I’ve had the good fortune of covering a handful of professional athletes and coaches/managers while they were bonafide icons in their cities: Dan Marino and Don Shula with the Dolphins; Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox with the Braves.

None was bigger than Marino and Shula in Miami, or Chipper and Bobby in Atlanta.

I covered Marino and Shula near the end of their long run in Miami. I got to see Chipper and Bobby while they were still near the top of their game in Atlanta.

Chipper totaled 53 homers and 206 RBIs during the first two seasons I covered the team in 2002-2003, and posted .920 or better OPS totals in six of the first seven seasons I was on the beat, though his games-played began to slide in 2004.

That’s one thing that people seem to forget about Jones — what a remarkably durable player he was for the first half of his career. After playing 140 games and helping the Braves win the World Series as a rookie in 1995, he averaged more than 157 games played in eight seasons from 1996 through 2003.

That included seasons of 158, 159 and 160 games played.

But what I’ll always remember is how he made playing the game so well look so easy. Seldom have we seen a great player make hitting look so natural, so innate. Chipper is the proverbial guy who could fall out of bed (or out of a deer stand, as it were) at the end of winter and hit .300.

He worked a lot harder at hitting than most people realize. He was old school in that he didn’t spend the winter — at least not for most of his career — working out with a personal trainer and watching everything he ate, then coming to camp with a six-brick midsection or the body of a tight end.

But he worked plenty in the offseason on his hitting. Because while he could roll out of bed and hit better than plenty of major leaguers, he couldn’t roll out of bed and hit .304 with a .402 OBP and .533 slugging percentage in more than 10,000 plate appearances and nearly 2,400 games.

That’s where his career numbers are today. And I crunched some stats, out of curiosity, to see what it might take to bring his average below .300. Folks, he could go 100-for-450 (.220) this season and still be a career .300 hitter.

That says plenty about the body of work that Chipper has produced.

The man hit .364 with a .470 OBP at age 36. And hit .309 with a .393 OBP, 30 homers and 110 RBIs at age 24.

He hit 41 doubles as a 25-year-old, and 42 doubles as a 35-year-old.

By the end of this season, he will have made about $170 million playing baseball. But he could have made plenty more.

He’s had his best friend since childhood, B.B. Abbott, as his agent. Not Scott Boras, who could have advised Chipper to take much larger contracts a couple of times as a free agent rather than stayed in Atlanta.

Abbott knew Chipper was most comfortable and productive playing in Atlanta for Cox. Chipper and B.B. worked with the Braves — they restructured his contract once to take some immediate burden off the team so they could make a run at other free agents — and made it workable for him to stay here and be the face of a franchise, a career-long Brave at a time when the only guys still doing that with one team were Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Jeter and Rivera don’t really count, do they? I say that because they’re with the Yankees – it’s not like they could have gone to another team for a bigger contract.

Perhaps the Braves gave Chipper a bigger extension – three years, $42 million – a few years ago than any other team would have offered at that point, given his declining health and playing time. But if there was any gold-watch aspect to that contract – and remember, Chipper hit .364 in 2008, and posted plus-1.000 OPS totals from 2006-2008 in a combined 1,611 plate appearances — then it was a pittance compared to what he’s given the Braves.

One stat or fact about Chipper that I always found amazing: From Little League through 2005, he never finished a completed season on a team that wasn’t in first place. At any level. Ever.

Think about that.

That’s winning.

Swag, yes. But more than anything else, substance.

♣ We’ll close with a Tom Petty classic, which you can hear him do by clicking here, or hear Johnny Cash’s terrific cover by clicking here.

“SOUTHERN ACCENTS” by Tom Petty

There’s a southern accent, where I come from
The young’uns call it country
The yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talkin’
But everything is done, with a southern accent
Where I come from

Now that drunk tank in Atlanta’s
Just a motel room to me
Think I might go work Orlando
If them orange groves don’t freeze
I got my own way of workin’
But everything is run, with a southern accent
Where I come from

For just a minute there I was dreaming
For just a minute it was all so real
For just a minute she was standing there, with me

There’s a dream I keep having
Where my mama comes to me
And kneels down over by the window
And says a prayer for me
I got my own way of prayin’
But everyone’s begun
With a sou thern accent
Where I come from

I got my own way of livin’
But everything gets done
With a southern accent
Where I come from

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

2,259 comments Add your comment

Hillbilly

March 23rd, 2012
10:26 am

Roosted ain’t roasted!

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
10:26 am

Thanks for the new blog DOB! Good to have you back… tell that Chris Vivalamore dude he needs to work on his new blog announcements.

Powderfinger

March 23rd, 2012
10:31 am

I believe our third baseman of the future is currently playing left field. Don’t be surprised if our next left fielder is someone we pick up this year at the trade deadline. That’s why Chipper’s announcement being made this early is so important. It gives us time and flexibility…

Claude Bass

March 23rd, 2012
10:31 am

Excellent DOB

Soph

March 23rd, 2012
10:32 am

And he’s about as smart a baseball mind, and as candid, honest and entertaining an interview as any athlete I’ve covered, even if he occasionally finds a reporter to be a bit overzealous.

:lol:

Thank you, DOB. Fantastic blog.

Moylan Prado

March 23rd, 2012
10:36 am

As a Braves fan and Dolphins fan since the 1990’s, I have to agree DOB. Chipper and Bobby are to the Braves as Dan Marino and Don Shula were to the Dolphins. I only hope the Braves don’t go the route of the Dolphins over the next decade. That seems unlikely given the talent, and also because Dan was kinda forced out by management, while Chipper is going out on his own terms.

bravesgirlnc

March 23rd, 2012
10:41 am

Great blog DOB. Welcome back…from your “vacation” Snicker….

Thrillhouse44

March 23rd, 2012
10:41 am

Great one, DOB!

Good grief Charlie Brown

March 23rd, 2012
10:44 am

nice blog DOB! i have enjoyed watching all of Chipper’s soon-to-be HoF career. as the saying goes: ‘don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’

We’ll miss you Chipper…but if you’re ready to go, then we’ll see you again at the induction ceremony at Cooperstown in 2018. Good luck and God bless Hoss! :-)

AU_Grant

March 23rd, 2012
10:47 am

Nice, DOB. I knew you would address Chipper calling you out last week on tv.. Hilarious.

Randall

March 23rd, 2012
10:53 am

I hope we can enjoy at least one 3 or 4 week stretch this year where Chipper channels his 1999 self and shows one last flash of the absolute greatness that he displayed in his prime.

“All ABOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRDDDDDDD!!!!”

VolBrave

March 23rd, 2012
10:53 am

Thanks for the blog DOB. I’m sad to see the Chipper era end but delighted that I was fortunate enough to have watched his career so closely.

THE MAJOR

March 23rd, 2012
10:53 am

Great Blog! Chipper is the face of the Braves….A great player in all facets of the game.

dap01

March 23rd, 2012
10:53 am

DOB: Great article. We will miss Chippers swag. With Chipper, we were equal to anyone. He is what a baseball player should look like.

He was confident and he could back it up.

Shaun

March 23rd, 2012
10:54 am

“Perhaps the Braves gave Chipper a bigger extension – three years, $42 million – a few years ago than any other team would have offered at that point, given his declining health and playing time. But if there was any gold-watch aspect to that contract – and remember, Chipper hit .364 in 2008, and posted plus-1.000 OPS totals from 2006-2008 in a combined 1,611 plate appearances — then it was a pittance compared to what he’s given the Braves.”

For those who think Chipper Jones stuck around too long or think the Braves overpaid him the last few seasons:

According to FanGraphs, Chipper was slightly more valuable in 2009-2011 than Ryan Howard, the man who won the 2006 NL MVP, who has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting every year since 2006 and was ages 29-31 during 2009-2011.

According to Baseball-Reference Howard was less than one win better than Chipper over that span.

Enquiring Minds Want to Know

March 23rd, 2012
10:55 am

I wonder how much last week’s little misunderstanding between Chipper and some overzealous writer had to do with Chipper climbing off the fence this week and declaring his intentions. Seems a little too coincidental.

BravesWin

March 23rd, 2012
10:56 am

I have never been the biggest Chipper fan…bashed him, criticized him, and heckled him at times (remember his remarks about his choice of career path a few years ago?)…that said, he is truly a great one and I am sad to see his playing years come to an end. Cheers to Larry Jones!

Bat Masterson

March 23rd, 2012
10:56 am

Good reading, DOB, hope you enjoyed the break, but it’s nice to have you back on the beat.

While it looks like Chipper’s .300 BA is safe,that .400 OBP is a little less so. I would truly hate to see him lose that.

Ease

March 23rd, 2012
10:56 am

Feels like home…

Powderfinger

March 23rd, 2012
10:57 am

I missed the exchange between Chipper and the overzealous reporter. Is there anywhere I can go to view it?

Ease

March 23rd, 2012
10:57 am

No offense to Chirs…but this is DOB’s domain…and he is truly master of his domain…

Venice Jim

March 23rd, 2012
11:00 am

Well done, DOB – is it too much too hope that all the anti-Chipper venom-spewers will have gotten it out of their systems yesterday?

Bravefaninok

March 23rd, 2012
11:00 am

Thanks DOB,Great Blog as always.

Venice Jim

March 23rd, 2012
11:02 am

Jayson Stark ‏ @jaysonst
Spring box-score line du jour (The Bad): Gio Gonzalez vs Cardinals: 3 2/3 IP 10 H 8 R 8 ER 4 BB 3 K 1 HR #ouch

Thrillhouse44

March 23rd, 2012
11:03 am

Well done, DOB – is it too much too hope that all the anti-Chipper venom-spewers will have gotten it out of their systems yesterday?

You’ll have better luck hoping for world peace by the end of the weekend, VJ.

bigchiefrg

March 23rd, 2012
11:08 am

As with all of the other, what I consider, major moments of my fanatical Braves centric life, I race here to see DOB really put it into perspective. As with Smoltzy retirement, the Glavine debacle, #6’s retirement, and now the Chipper retirement you blow all of my expectations out of the water. Thanks for the piece.

haggard

March 23rd, 2012
11:11 am

David O’Brien

You’ve shown a bit of your own swag and passion for this outstanding portrait this morning. Thank you

One main knock against Chipper through the years has been a seeming lack of passion on the field. But I think often of nolie’s answer when such criticisms have arisen here on the blog; his reply being that Chipper’s father taught his son to play the game with sound fundamentals and a very even temperament. To me, those teachings–combined with the swag Cox noticed in seconds, that you’ve assimilated as part of your “reporter’s notebook”on Jones for years–have served the Braves’ third baseman very well. There’s quite a bit of “old school” in Chipper, another part of his makeup which I’ll sorely miss.

Powderfinger

March 23rd, 2012
11:11 am

Has Smoltz ever officially announced his retirement?

George Stein

March 23rd, 2012
11:13 am

The thing that blows me away most about Chipper is that, even when he started getting hurt, he still was better than most players in the league despite playing 30 or 40 fewer games.

In 2007, he played 134 games and was worth 7.5 fWAR, which is out of control good. Then in 2008, he did it again, playing 128 games and worth 7.5 fWAR again.

He’s been nothing short of remarkable for his years here. I suppose I have gotten spoiled watching his sustained excellence. I’ll be sure to watch a bit more closely this season.

urban redneck

March 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

i know what you’re thinkin, hillbilly!!! leaving work in an hour to head south for opening day. opening day of turkey season is the only thing i like better than the opening day of baseball season.

DiamondbackMac

March 23rd, 2012
11:18 am

Bat

Have you noticed that the Mississippi Braves will be in Pensacola May 23-27 to play the Blue Wahoos?

Shaun

March 23rd, 2012
11:18 am

“One main knock against Chipper through the years has been a seeming lack of passion on the field.”

I think that’s because some people foolishly judge players on how they look or how they carry themselves instead of on the facts. It’s unlikely that someone with a lack of passion would be able to reach the majors and perform at a high level for as long as Chipper has. But frankly some people don’t think things through and want a scapegoat for the Braves not winning more World Series titles or not winning division titles since 2005. When disappointment happens, it often comes down to blaming the “face of the franchise” among the fans who don’t think.

B-F_52

March 23rd, 2012
11:21 am

He really has had a good run lets hope he can play within himself and go out with another fine year

thanks DO’B

Hillbilly

March 23rd, 2012
11:25 am

That’s right urban redneck. Too bad Arkansas season doesn’t start for another 3 weeks. They’re already primed up and raring to go right now. They will be to be tough to deal with them 3 weeks from now.

What state are you from/hunting?

Clint Northside

March 23rd, 2012
11:26 am

UMM DOB….His OPS of .935 is THE HIGHEST or if you will, is #1 EVER FOR A 3rd Baseman. GET IT RIGHT DOB, CJ10 DESERVES ACCURACY ESPECIALLY FROM THE HOME TOWN PAPER!! GET WITH IT AJC!

matthlane

March 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

I read/skim the blog every day, but don’t post much. But I have to here. Great blog, DOB! I couldn’t agree more that Chipper is the greatest Brave of the Atlanta era. It’s been a pleasure to have watched his entire career. It is truly the end of an era. Chances are we’ll never get a chance to watch another Hall of Famer’s entire career all with the Braves. (I’m hoping McCann will take a cue from Chip and stay here!).

I can’t wait to get to a game or two this year to see him in person one more time!

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

I associate “swag” with keychains and coffee mugs that you get at tradeshows…

“Swagger”, on the other hand… well, I wouldn’t know, ’cause it’s something the Braves have been lacking for quite a few years.

Bat Masterson

March 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

DBMac_

No I have not noticed. Honestly I’ve had a seious case of tunnel vision for the past few months. Are you planning to go? That might be something I could do with my brother if he is up for the ride.

haggard

March 23rd, 2012
11:30 am

Shaun @ 11:18

Right on !

Don

March 23rd, 2012
11:31 am

Why did you have to sneak praise for Bobby Cox into this.
It did take real “talent” to turn 14 post season opportunities – with perhaps the best pitching staff in the history of the game and (for the most part) a very good supporting cast – into ONE World Series Championship.
And remember he was LUCKY to have the ONE – It required Glavin to pitch a ONE HIT SHUTOUT against one of the best teams in baseball..

haggard

March 23rd, 2012
11:33 am

Just thinking about opening night at Turner Field following Chipper’s announcement and looking forward to a thunderous standing ovation that may last minutes when he’s introduced.

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
11:34 am

some people don’t think things through and want a scapegoat for the Braves not winning more World Series titles

Kruk… I blame Kruk.

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
11:35 am

Just thinking about opening night at Turner Field following Chipper’s announcement and looking forward to a thunderous standing ovation that may last minutes when he’s introduced.

Yeah, that’s going to be a pretty special moment. Wish I could be in ATL to see it live.

John

March 23rd, 2012
11:36 am

Clint Northside 11:28am
UMM that says it all. Now go back to phillie blog loser

Bat Masterson

March 23rd, 2012
11:37 am

Seious? Really iPad,you let that slide and I have to fight you to write phil with a lower case p………..

El Bravo

March 23rd, 2012
11:37 am

The Braves get a lot of flak for only winning one WS during their run but, boy, have we been fortunate to witness some of the true artists of the game. Players that made it look so effortless and easy. Andruw Jones chasing fly-balls in the outfield; Chipper with a bat; Andres Big Cat Galarraga by far the smoothest big man with a glove I’ve ever seen; Maddux from the right side of the mound; Glavine from the left. We have been spoiled for a long time…

DiamondbackMac

March 23rd, 2012
11:39 am

Bat

I want to go to all five games if possible. At the very least I’ll go Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have friends and relatives in Pensacola, so I won’t need to drive back and forth every day.

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
11:39 am

The Cubs would kill to have our 1 WS win… it’s all relative.

Monty

March 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

Chipper Jones, Julius Erving both went about their business with a state of grace without all the clamour for attention. Dr. J would dunk in your face and never look as though he did anything special after he did it. Silent assassins.

ncscoots

March 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

The thing that blows me away most about Chipper is that, even when he started getting hurt, he still was better than most players in the league despite playing 30 or 40 fewer games.

Plus, the man always had great baseball hair.

His facials sometimes were lacking, but that’s a small nit.

I really hated seeing some of that early film on him over the last couple of days, where he looked just impossibly young. Fresh-faced, talent-laden, greatness in front of him, all that…just reminded me of the time that’s actually gone by, for him and me. I’ll miss ole Hoss.

TennesseePaul

March 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

TennesseePaul

March 23rd, 2012
11:42 am

I associate “swag” with keychains and coffee mugs that you get at tradeshows…

That’s “schwag.”

bravesgrl4life

March 23rd, 2012
11:42 am

Great article, DOB!

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
11:45 am

That’s “schwag.”

According to Wikipedia, the source of all sources, “swag may refer to:”

Swag (album), a 2002 album by former Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Gilby Clarke
Swag (bedroll), an Australian bedroll
Swag (motif), an architectural element
Swag (novel), a 1976 crime novel
Swag (TV series), a United Kingdom reality television series
“Swag” (Ugly Betty episode), the eleventh episode of the television series Ugly Betty
Swag, a type of window valance, often in combination with a full curtain underneath
Swag, originally Australian slang for stolen goods
Swag, promotional items given away at trade fairs and events
The Swag, a magazine published quarterly for Catholic priests and deacons of Australia

Bat Masterson

March 23rd, 2012
11:46 am

DbMac_

That sounds like a pretty good weekend. Maybe we’ll get to come over and we could meet up.

IVAN ...

March 23rd, 2012
11:50 am

HAGGARD—————-

You still around?

what, where, who?

March 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

O’Brien, your man crush is showing. Should we put him (Jones) on an altar and worship to him? Bow down to him as Bradley suggested? Carry him down Peachtree street on a throne? My Lord, the guy is a baseball player, nothing more. He is not a champion of morality, he’s a baseball player. Sheesh. Enough with the idol worship. Is this all we’re going to hear about for the next 6 months? And then all next year when you’re crying about how the Braves don’t have Chipper and it’s “Just not the same without him?”

Jt

March 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

I am 56 years old and grew up listening to the Braves (preTBS) on radio. Listened every night back in 1969 when they won the NL West- days of Aaron, Carty, etc. I was and still am a huge Hank Aaron fan. But, I tell you DOB, even though it is hard for me to say and borderline sacrilege, I think Chipper may be the best Brave ever. I have heard the voices over the last few years of Braves fans calling for him to retire, but his impact in the lineup has never changed. He is as tough a competitor as there is and as feared a hitter. Not only am I going to miss him, but the Braves are going to miss him.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
11:53 am

The longest standing ovation i will give this year will be when larry gets a hang nail, is put on the 30 day DL and we can move Prado back to the infield where he belongs!!

Ellaguru

March 23rd, 2012
11:54 am

For me the best of all the great things the dude has done for the team was heading out to left field after a monster year in ‘01 so Vinny Castilla could play third. Can’t imagine any other superstar doing something like that. A great player and a great team player. We use the word “era” a lot when it isn’t the right word but in this case it is. It is the end of an era. Well done, Chipper.

Tomahawkin

March 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

@Murph

“Swagger”, on the other hand… well, I wouldn’t know, ’cause it’s something the Braves have been lacking for quite a few years.

Co-Sign! With a Few Exceptions, I haven’t seen it much since Brian Jordan Left after 2001

What is up with the 8 Blogs per day…We are just happy with one…

I don’t like the SS (Split Squad) Action

Powderfinger

March 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

You’re absolutely right. No other player would have given up his position. But he was, is, and always will be a team player. That’s not idol worship. It’s facts.

LT200

March 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

I too have been fortunate to follow Chipper’s entire career with the Braves. Even though my son is left handed he had to have a Chipper jersey because he was and still is the face of the Braves. He will be missed on the field. Thanks for the memories, Chipper. Let’s go out on top with a WS title!

BravePack

March 23rd, 2012
12:01 pm

Excellent work as usual DOB.

4th place finish predicted by SI so Bradley decides to write about it and make it a headline…because SI makes so many accurate predictions…what a joke. Honestly I’m happy they made that prediction as it’s one more media outlet adding fuel to the Braves fire to finish 1st for #10 and it will happen.

walking dead zombie

March 23rd, 2012
12:01 pm

It used to be that swagger (cockiness) was a trait that was looked upon as not admirable. Guess it’s ok if you’re a jock. “Yeah, uh,I’m, uh, you know, great and you all should, uh, you know, be honored that, uh, you know, you’re here to, uh, you know, be in my presence, you know?

pfurman

March 23rd, 2012
12:04 pm

The best Bravo for me would be #3. Murph played on teams here that, for the lack of a better word, sucked. Yet, he always held his head high and gave 100% every night. Don’t get me wrong, Chipper is awesome and comes a very close #2. But Chipper also benefited from an extremely strong team for almost 2 decades. For years, Murphy seemed to have to protection in the lineup. I would love to have seen ol #3 in his prime play during the 90’s Braves. We would have had more than just one World Series title if he had. I have enjoyed Chipper and the team won’t be the same without him. Stat wise, he is #1. Heart wise, I would still have to give it to Murph.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
12:06 pm

He gave up his position at 3rd????? I remember Vinny beating him out for the job. Not like that was a hard thing for him to do. chopper to chumper… could have caught it but he had to take 2 steps. hit to left field.

Venice Jim

March 23rd, 2012
12:07 pm

Powderfinger

March 23rd, 2012
12:09 pm

You may like tacos, but you really love misremembering, as Roger Clemens would say…

Lew

March 23rd, 2012
12:10 pm

Ellaguru – How you been Don?

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Larry has always caught anything hit right at him but does anyone remember the year that the Marlins put us out of the post season…..how many balls were hit 3 feet to Larry’s left that he didn’t even make an effort to field?

bravesgrl4life

March 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

I second your :roll: , Venice Jim. Sure wish there was a way to filter the stupid insulting haters that feel the need to come on here and trash a great guy. I’d like to see iliketacos play/work for one organization for 23 years and be as well-liked by his employers and co-workers as Chipper has been.

No, he’s probably the least-liked person where he works, if he works at all.

Lew

March 23rd, 2012
12:12 pm

Taco Boy -Talk about faulty memories.

AGTFan53

March 23rd, 2012
12:13 pm

A great blog, DOB. No matter what anyone may say Chipper was about the team. It has been a privlege to have witnessed his career. Frequently he played hurt, but you never heard him bad-mouth a manager for making him get some rest. Restructure his contract so the team could make itself more competitve, no problem. How may other times in baseball history, can anyone recall a superstar changing from his career position so the team could make itself better by adding another quality player. “Facde of the franchise” is probably an understatement. Someone suggested that Chipper be named captain this year and spend this final season with the “C” on his jersy. I think that’s a great idea. I’d like to see that Chipper Jones jersey in the HOF with a “C” on it.

Jt

March 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

Hey “iliketacos” – somebody is slipping drugs into your tacos. Bloggers like you make me remember why I usually do not read blogs.

Brime Lee

March 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

http://youtu.be/NwTFaNOnIn0

When he’s talking about his current teammates I also feel my eyes getting boiled a bit.
He represents not only the Braves but the city of Atlanta.
We have Dominique but he wasn’t an Atlanta Hawk for all-time.
We have Maddux, Glav, Smoltzie but they’re not ATL-Forever as Chipper is.
even Hank Aaron played for the Brewers in his final years.

Come On Bravos, We fell just a little short for Bobby in 2010.
But Now at the beginning of 2012,
Let’s do something REALLY SPECIAL for this Atlanta’s icon.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

couple of facts here….same job for 24 years… and little larry jr was a better left fielder than he ever was/will be at 3rd.

Harvey's

March 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

Chipper, get out NOW…don’t become another Mickey Mantle!!!!!

AGTFan53

March 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

I’m always amazed how many total idiots show up to say stupid things on this blog. tacobrain shows his complete baseball ignorance and some other fool gets on a baseball blog and criticizes the writer for writing that a great baseball player was a great baseball player. “what, where, who?”, you may well be the stupidist person to ever post anything at any time on any blog.

B-F_52

March 23rd, 2012
12:20 pm

Hey you like tacos I think its time to put some fresh aluminium foil on you’re “helmet”

Fish Bisch

March 23rd, 2012
12:22 pm

I’m sad not because of chipper retiring after this year, but this is the first year that D Lowe won’t be starting opening day.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
12:25 pm

come on opening day!!! can’t wait to use my season tickets again to cheer on the Braves!! there, is everyone happy now?

Murph

March 23rd, 2012
12:25 pm

I also like tacos, but now I’m embarrassed to say so publicly because of our newest blog troll.

George

March 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

Nice tribute to CHIPPER by DOB.

Ease

March 23rd, 2012
12:28 pm

first year that D Lowe won’t be starting opening day.

Hipp..Hipp..Hooray! :lol: :grin:

Fish Bisch

March 23rd, 2012
12:29 pm

RIP chipper you will be missed. I have the entire topps rookie card set that has you and van poppel in it.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
12:29 pm

how come i have to be a troll just because i think the braves will be a much improved team with larry in retirement? it will be nice to have someone at 3rd base that actually fields his position. not to mention runs out a ground ball.

Ease

March 23rd, 2012
12:30 pm

David O’Brien ‏ @ajcbraves
#Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says Joey Terdoslavich and Christian Bethancourt close to being major-league ready.

Soph

March 23rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Keep your head up, Fish. You’ll get through this.

bravesgrl4life

March 23rd, 2012
12:32 pm

Because you are on a blog celebrating the man. If you don’t like that fact, then get the heck off the blog. I really, really hope that on the day you announce your retirement at your “24 year” job that some heckler doesn’t show up to talk about how you sucked at what you did. No, scratch that, I hope they do.

MountainDawg

March 23rd, 2012
12:32 pm

Good article Dave. Chipper is up there amongst my favorite Bravos (w/ Murph & Bob Horner). I’m glad he played his whole career here.

TennesseePaul

March 23rd, 2012
12:34 pm

According to Wikipedia…

You just added that entry to Wikipedia. ( :

P Rose

March 23rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Excellent article, Dave. Despite all the criticism I have leveled at him on these blogs deriding his shoddy team leadership, I have to tip my cap to the guy for his loyalty to the Braves, and for always having been one hell of a hitter. This article puts his career in perspective nicely.

Michael G.

March 23rd, 2012
12:36 pm

While it’s a shame this will be Chipper’s last season, it doesn’t change the fact that the way the current team is comprised will not finish higher than 3rd in the standings this year. One more thing- it’s been my belief that if a person is already thinking about retirement, he should go ahead and retire. I have to wonder if his head and heart will still be there in August if this team is struggling.

George

March 23rd, 2012
12:38 pm

AGTFan53 12:13
I suggested the Captain honor for CHIPPER yesterday and was surprised when no one agreed with me. I think it would be a fine honor for CHIPPER. Years ago most teams had one of thier top players as Captain, not many do now. The RED SOX did till VERITECK retired, the YANKEES do with JETER. CHIPPER sure is a top flight player and team leader. Thank you for agreeing with me.

Kat

March 23rd, 2012
12:38 pm

Great blog David!

GAtor

March 23rd, 2012
12:41 pm

Him and Smoltz are my favorite Braves. Grew up watching and emulating them both.

JAFO

March 23rd, 2012
12:41 pm

Tacos- Cmon Man, lay off the cheese. Defense is important yes, but have you seen this team hit? Braves MUST have him in the lineup.

I Like Sopaillas

March 23rd, 2012
12:42 pm

Chipper Jones has never been the best player on his team, and might be the worst player on the current squad. He never lived up to his potential, and will be lucky to still be on the HOF ballot after his first year of eligibility.

Beach Dawg

March 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

I think the Braves should make Chipper the Captain for this year and put a “C” on his jersey as a fitting tribute to his many contributions to the team. I know the Braves don’t do the Captain thing but maybe if enough of the fans supported the idea they would relent. Who knows it might even serve as a motivation for the team and I am fearful that they are going to need all the help that they can get this year!! How about a little support DOB and fellow bloggers!!!

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