I think its safe to say that Chipper Jones was taken out of context.
Yesterday, comments were printed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and reported by David O’Brien that read something like this:
“The body is starting to tell me every morning when I wake up that it’s getting close,” he said. “I’m signed through the end of this year. If I play in a certain amount of games, I got an option for next year. I don’t know what next year entails. I don’t know if I can make it through this year.”
As you would imagine, this was something the social media universe blew up over. Putting this into context, Chipper Jones has always been a very candid interview. Most of the things he says are insightful, and very honest. What I don’t understand is why everyone was so up in arms over the statement made yesterday. It was made by a player who is 39-years old and preparing to play a 162-game season, for which a majority he will be 40.
Let that soak in while I also explain that despite his advanced baseball age, and the fact he’s accomplished Hall of Fame statistics without the help of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) he’s still a productive enough member of the Atlanta Braves lineup that whether you hit him second or sixth he still elicits the respect in Major League Baseball to be pitched around (as evidenced by his .344 OBP, and .814 OPS in 2011).
Needless to say, he cleared some things up on Tuesday:
“I will make it through tomorrow as well as this year,” Jones said Tuesday, upset that published reports with his quotes set off concern among family and friends.“I would never walk out on my team during the season, much less in spring training,” said Jones, a career-long Brave who will be 40 on April 24.
Chipper Jones has taken some flack in the later years of his career for his injuries but when you realize the high level which he played for so long and the fact that even today he ranked as a top third basemen in either league the guy could be given some slack.
Comments aside, here’s hoping a productive and healthy 2012 to Chipper Jones. In my estimation he’s one of the best to ever play his position, and, if this is it, count me as a Georgia native who will enjoy watching him play this year.