Chipper Jones says this will be his final season

continued from page 1

Story Topics
Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

“He’s been one of those guys where I always looked across and tried to take away some of the things from his game and apply it to mine,” Wright said. “He’s been so consistent, so good for so long and been part of a lot of great times. It’s going be a little odd looking across there and not seeing Chipper in uniform, that’s for sure.”

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, whose 17-year stint with one team is surpassed only by Jones among active players, has always been impressed by the way the Atlanta player carries himself: a wad of tobacco in his jaw, a batting glove always dangling out of his back pocket when he took the field.

“He just looks like a ballplayer, you know? His actions, his mannerisms, everything he does,” Jeter said. “I really can’t say enough good things about him. The way he’s gone about his business, his consistency, how he took care of himself, what he means to the team. He could flat-out hit. He’s a Hall of Famer, for sure.”

He should be a first-ballot selection, according to Cox, who attended the news conference with the only other manager Jones will have in his big league career, current Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez.

Schuerholz, the former general manager and now team president, and Wren are the only GMs of the Jones era. Stability meant a lot to the third baseman, who never seriously considered leaving the Braves.

“To have two top executives and only two managers at one table after all these years says a lot about this organization,” Jones said. “There have been times when I could have gone into free agency to see if the grass is greener, but it never was.”

While other players came and went, Jones was always the one constant in the clubhouse.

“He was the face of the franchise,” said former teammate Andruw Jones, who’s now with the Yankees. “You don’t see it too much any more. It’s hard for players to stay with one organization.”

No matter what happens in his final season, Chipper Jones will go down as one of the game’s greatest switch-hitters, a guy who could hit for average (.304 in his career) and power (454 homers and 1,561 RBIs).

Shortly after reporting for what will be his final spring training, Jones marveled that he was still with the Braves with his milestone birthday coming up in April.

“Never in my mid-20s would I have given myself a snowball’s chance to be in camp and have a job at 40 years old,” Jones told The Associated Press. “But I like to think I’ve kept myself in pretty good shape over the years. The skills are still there to go out and get it done. I don’t know for how much longer, but we’re going to ride it as long as we can.”

That ride lasts one more season.

The Braves said Jones hopes to remain with the organization in another capacity after his playing career ends, but it won’t happen next year. First, he plans to spend some long-overdue time with his family.

“I just want to be a full-time dad,” Jones said.

But he’ll always stay involved in the game. While Jones has no desire to go into managing, he has indicated a desire to be hitting instructor some day.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus