The most familiar words in Atlanta sports: Chipper’s hurt!

Chipper Jones after Saturday's victory. He had a double that day. (AP photo)

Chipper Jones after Saturday's victory. He had a hustle double that day. (AP photo)

In his career, Chipper Jones has 1,518 RBIs. He has also undergone (loose estimate) 1,518 MRIs.

He had another Sunday, and it revealed a small meniscus tear in his right knee. That’s not to be confused with his left knee, which was surgically rebuilt last August. (The same left knee was likewise surgically rebuilt in 1994.)

Once again, we at the ol’ AJC got to trot out the most familiar words in the local sporting vernacular: “Chipper’s hurt.” And we Braves-watchers fell into our usual Chipper’s-Hurt calculations: Out for how long? Who plays third? Who bats third? What does this do to the Braves?

On the scale of Chipper Injuries, a meniscus tear isn’t up there with a torn ACL or even a tweaked oblique. (He’s had a slew of those.) If it responds to an injection, he said Sunday, he’ll be back fairly soon. If not, he’ll have arthroscopic surgery and maybe miss two weeks.

He knows because he the same thing once before — in 1996. And that, too, is part of being Chipper Jones: Whatever the ailment, there’s a chance he has had it before.

He’s 39, and there will soon come a day when he stops playing baseball and can wave goodbye to the MRI machine. When you think about it, it’s remarkable that, given all the infirmities, he has gone on as long as he has at such a high level.

He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer as is, which says much for the man. And our response to any “Chipper’s Hurt” bulletin isn’t just a hysterical thing. He’s almost 40, and he’s still the everyday Brave who matters most.

By Mark Bradley

208 comments Add your comment

Josh Smith

May 16th, 2011
10:58 am

Mark Bradley

May 16th, 2011
10:58 am

Smoove with smooth kudos.

juvenal

May 16th, 2011
11:00 am

Josh Smith

May 16th, 2011
11:01 am

Thnx Mark. Gotta go shoot some 3s. i’ll read this later

Benjamin

May 16th, 2011
11:02 am

I’m just glad we’ve got an All-Star caliber player to plug in at third in his absence.

Part of me wouldn’t mind us going ahead and disabling the guy, letting him rest/heal, and calling up Jordan Schafer for a few days to see if he can provide some outfield help at this level. Either way, I’m fine with Hinske, too…

Brandon

May 16th, 2011
11:03 am

Actually Chipper has torn his ACL in his LEFT knee twice, not his right knee Mark.

Y3ll0wjacket

May 16th, 2011
11:04 am

Not too worried about this particular injury, but I’ll bet he ends up getting the knee cleaned out. Need him in that lineup to help the others. A hot streak from Ugla could sure help…

ffjsisk

May 16th, 2011
11:08 am

Go ahead and pile on the old man MB, to me it says alot about him and how much he loves playing to deal with the nagging injuries and still come back and give it a go the last few years. How about we try and enjoy the last year or two of the man’s career instead of trying to make a joke about it.

chem

May 16th, 2011
11:10 am

An steroid injection won’t heal a cartilage injury. This will require ~2-4 weeks of rest and/or surgery.

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
11:15 am

Chipper promised, 2 years ago, not to be an anchor around the Braves neck. He promised he wouldnt stay around just to get paid.

Then his wife got involved.

Well Chipper, I know we have horrible inflation but im very confident we could find someone to bat .260 and hit a handful of hr’s for 14 million a year.

If Chipper wouldve been honorable we would have a 14 million dollar left fielder and Prado playing third and the Phillies scared stiff. Instead we have a hole in the lineup and third place in the division.

Thanks a lot Chipper!

Benjamin

May 16th, 2011
11:16 am

ffjsisk, see the last two paragraphs of the article. MB praised Chipper. He didn’t pile on.

“He’s 39, and there will soon come a day when he stops playing baseball and can wave goodbye to the MRI machine. When you think about it, it’s remarkable that, given all the infirmities, he has gone on as long as he has at such a high level.

He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer as is, which says much for the man. And our response to any “Chipper’s Hurt” bulletin isn’t just a hysterical thing. He’s almost 40, and he’s still the everyday Brave who matters most.”

Dr. Warren

May 16th, 2011
11:16 am

Here in China, he is known as “Chopper” Jones, and needless to say, they aren’t using a fork to eat their dinner when they talk about him.

Mark Bradley

May 16th, 2011
11:16 am

Thanks, Benjamin.

Ted M

May 16th, 2011
11:17 am

Call up Jordan Schafer…let him play everday for 7 to 9 days then make a decision on what to do w/him. Prado to 3rd.

Ossie

May 16th, 2011
11:19 am

I am/will always be a Chipper fan but I’m really hoping this is his last year. That $14 mil would look great in left or center

coloradobulldog

May 16th, 2011
11:20 am

Anthony, you’re kidding right? You know he’s a future HOFer right? Chipper is NOT the problem. He has played good d this year and still is a threat. (Not the intentional pass the other day with 1st base open and McCain on deck.) You need a class vet on your team. His presence on the Braves roster is a plus. Let’s hope he can come back soon and be healthy down the stretch.

elviskl

May 16th, 2011
11:21 am

the most overated athlete of all time in all of professional sports…not just baseball…good god almighty

coloradobulldog

May 16th, 2011
11:21 am

meant ‘note’ and not ‘not’

Les W. Moore

May 16th, 2011
11:22 am

I dunno Mark. I hear “ah crap” year-round from ATL fans.

Old Dawg

May 16th, 2011
11:23 am

I make this complaint every year and I know it won’t go anywhere, but why is the acronym Runs Batted In now referred to as RBIs? It’s absolutely weird how the term has changed through the years.

I understand that players say ribbies etc, but it’s still Runs Batted In, not Runs Batted Ins.

Faye

May 16th, 2011
11:24 am

I think Chipper has a substance abuse problem and because he is so loved by the Braves, they use these “injuires” to cover up for him whenever he’s off the wagon.

TommyP

May 16th, 2011
11:24 am

He doesn’t mean most to the Braves. Shocked you’d say that….

No way he means more than Brian McCann.

The Braves are well-versed in being prepared to do without Chipper for long periods of time. It’s gone on for years….it’s part of their offseason planning now.

Lose Chipper? Move Prado to 3rd and slide Hinske to LF…the production lost isn’t that much anymore.

Lose McCann? You’re losing arguably one of the top 3 catchers in baseball. No way David Ross could replace McCann long term.

Greene Hornet

May 16th, 2011
11:24 am

I think Heyward is the next Chipper in both a steller career (hopefully) and injuries. As much as we criticize Chipper, at least he comes out and tries to get the problem fixed instead of playing through and hurting the team with low averages, etc. Heyward will be great and I admire his will to play with an injury, but I would have liked to see him admit the injury and get it taken care of like Chipper has done. If a player is injury pront for whatever reason, get it taken care of and back out on the field. Chipper has been criticized about it in the past, but at least he comes back and brings his “A” game being the clubhouse leader he is. I just hope Heyward learns this and can have as great as or an even better career than Chipper.

coloradobulldog

May 16th, 2011
11:27 am

elviski, really? Let’s see… a lifetime .300 hitter. over 500 career 2Bs. 440 career HRs. Over 1500 career RBI’s. An MVP…. Yeah right. sounds like the most overrate athlete of all time to me…. More like Elvis is the most overrated musician of all time.

Matt

May 16th, 2011
11:27 am

Should it be RsBI?

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
11:30 am

Colorado,

I know you love the man but a promise is a promise. If you say you are going to do something you are expected to do it. Especially if you are a sports star.

Chipper knows what he said, you can pull it from AJC archives when he got the idiotic contract extension. A man’s most precious asset is his word.

Joey

May 16th, 2011
11:31 am

“…to me it says alot about him and how much he loves playing to deal with the nagging injuries…”
************************************************************
It’s probably a little easier to deal with the nagging injuries when you make about $85K per game . . .

dap01

May 16th, 2011
11:32 am

This article really don’t enlighten much except to give the anti Chippers a chance to make some noise. Mark, if Chipper is as bad as your headlines indicate, how did he accumulate HOF numbers.

Crap, give the man a break, let him have surgery and rest a couple of weeks. That $14 million dollars is not coming out of anybody’s pocket on this blog.

GovClintonTyree

May 16th, 2011
11:33 am

Elviski:

There are five players in baseball history who have career totals of better than .300 BA/.400 OBP/.500 SLG, 500 2B, 400 HR, 1500 R, 1500 RBI.

Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Chipper Jones.

Think about that.

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
11:35 am

Colorado,

I can fill this message board with names of great players who are past their prime. Chipper WAS great. All he has been doing the last 3 years is lowering that career BA. .264 in 2009, .265 in 2010, 2011 isnt looking bright. Have you looked at Chipper’s career BA recently? He is mighty close to being known as a career .299 hitter…

You can have passion and that is a good thing but you cannot argue with numbers. Math doesnt lie.

Ted M

May 16th, 2011
11:35 am

What’s B Beachy’s status? Anyone

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 16th, 2011
11:38 am

Man what did I say during your live blog Sat! Had to keep him healthy, I may not have jinxed JJ perfect game but I jinxed CJ’s knee!

Mr. Obvious

May 16th, 2011
11:41 am

The Other Most-Familiar Sports Sayings in Atlanta:

- “The Thrashers Are Relocating to Winnipeg!”

- “The Falcons Lose Their Opening Playoff Game… Again…”

- “Free Mike Vick!”

- “The Hawks Lose Their Opening Playoff Series… Again…”

- “Another Atlanta Pro Athlete was Arrested Last Night for DUI, Spousal Abuse and/or an Illegal Firearm”

- “The Braves Get Eliminated from Post-Season by Inferior Team… Again…”

- “Fire Mark Richt!”

- “How’d Bill Do?”

- “Yes, I’d like to cancel my AJC subscription.”

Mr. Obvious

May 16th, 2011
11:43 am

- “No, I don’t care about “6 Months Free. I’d still like to cancel my “AJC” subscription.”

murfdawg

May 16th, 2011
11:44 am

Even if the Braves just use him against the Mets, he is worth keeping around.

What??

May 16th, 2011
11:44 am

Chipper is not as critical to this line up as he has been the last few years. With Prado, McClouth (can’t believe I’m including his name), McCann, Uggla (he will hit) and Gonzalez, we still have the capability to produce enough offense without him.

DHD

May 16th, 2011
11:45 am

I thought it was “the AJC has written another article about Mike Vick.”

South ga boy in the atl

May 16th, 2011
11:50 am

It was ridiculous for Wren to give him 4 yrs on his current deal. This yr should have been the last. We need that 13 or 14 mil to get a right handed power hitter. If Ted still owned the team, I would say who cares, pay chipper some money he will never earn for the 115 games a yr he will pay. But we are on an allowance now and chipper and Lowe are getting about 35% of the teams allowance, or maybe winning a championship is just not that important to some fans. Ok let’s hear from all u sentimentalist that don’t care whether we have the right handed power hitter we need, just pay Chipper what he wants for as long as he wants. Geez

The Original WDE

May 16th, 2011
11:51 am

Chipper Jones for President, 2012.

I’ll be more sad for him leaving than I was for Bobby.

Chipper is why me and my pee-wee teammates wore our pants up to our knees.

Shug

May 16th, 2011
11:56 am

First ballot Hall of Famer? Talk to me five years after he’s retired.

DE Braves Fan

May 16th, 2011
11:58 am

Anthony
Colorado,

I can fill this message board with names of great players who are past their prime. Chipper WAS great. All he has been doing the last 3 years is lowering that career BA. .264 in 2009, .265 in 2010, 2011 isnt looking bright. Have you looked at Chipper’s career BA recently? He is mighty close to being known as a career .299 hitter…

You can have passion and that is a good thing but you cannot argue with numbers. Math doesnt lie.

Dumb statement. In order for Chipper to become a career .299 hitter(If you think he will hold up for 450 ABs this year), he will have to amass 44 hits in his remaining 308 ABs. That is a .143 avg for the remainder of his year.

Gucci

May 16th, 2011
11:58 am

Bradley is the biggest ATL hater. That goes for the Hawks & Braves.

Huh?

May 16th, 2011
11:59 am

GovClintonTyree: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Chipper Jones.

Four of those players didn’t use steroids.

Think about that.

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
11:59 am

“That $14 million dollars is not coming out of anybody’s pocket on this blog.”

Are you making a comment about the Braves not selling out baseball games? Do you steal your cable? Do you think Chipper backs his pickup into the money tree to get paid?

Im glad that Chipper has such staunch supporters. He will always be one of my favorite Braves. Its just that I wish he wouldve walked into the sunset with Bobby. I had such hopes that Chipper could see that the Braves desperately needed that 14 million to fix the outfield.

Hopefully Jordan can come up and be the player he was supposed to be.

Dawgdad (The Original)

May 16th, 2011
12:00 pm

Unfortunately, he is still the second best player (McCann) on the team. That doesn’t say much for the talent surronding him.

If it wasn’t for his enormous contract, I think we would be all thrilled at his production at this age. You have to blame the contract on the Braves; he just said “sure, that sounds good”.
can’t blame him for that. Most players have a hard time leaving, that jump from idolazation to hey whats he do now, is a little steep. Some like Maddux love to get out of the limelight, others like Smoltz are dragged kicking and screaming. I think Chip is somewhere in the middle.

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
12:02 pm

DE Braves Fan,

This isnt Chippers last year on the contract…

Did you consider that?

Anthony

May 16th, 2011
12:04 pm

I also love when staunch supporters bring out the ole spell checker. Your debate is horribly flawed because you dont know how to spellt.

ROFL.

Carlos Santana & Chipper Jones

May 16th, 2011
12:04 pm

Name two examples of celebrities whose drug use in their 20s came back to haunt them while causing them to break down mentally and/or physically later in life.

DE Braves Fan

May 16th, 2011
12:04 pm

South ga boy in the atl
…pay chipper some money he will never earn for the 115 games a yr he will pay…

Another dumb statement look at his career numbers. In Chipper’s 17 year career he has not topped 115 games 3 times(with this year as an unknown). They were 2005, 2006, and 2010. 2005 he played 109 games, 2006 he played 110, and last year he played 95. You could even go to 130 games and guess what Chipper only has 1 more year on top of those where he did not play 130 games (2008 where he played 128). 140 is the typical bench mark for Chipper.

GIVE ME A BREAK

May 16th, 2011
12:05 pm

Chipper is the Evander Holyfield of baseball.