Atlanta Braves RF, #22, Jason Heyward.
Atlanta Braves RF, #22, Jason Heyward.
There was a time when he considered it. Chipper Jones thought about taking a pill, sticking a needle in his arm, doing whatever it is cheaters do in hopes of gaining an edge and fooling us into believing the mutant statistics all came about from hard work and whey shakes.
“Yeah. I mean, definitely,” the Braves’ almost-40 third baseman said Monday when asked if he ever considered using performance-enhancing drugs. “You see peers doing it. You see contemporaries on other teams doing it and putting up [big] numbers. But at that point in my career, while I didn’t have kids yet, and I thought, I don’t want to jeopardize their lives [with the backlash] one day.”
Jones will go into the Hall of Fame one day. He will be in a special group of players who, as he said, “have done it right. The guys who get done with their career and make it through the so-called steroid era unscathed, that’s a huge feather in our cap.”
There have never been any allegations against Jones. No smoking syringe. No leaked grand jury testimony with his name on it. No chapter in a Jose Canseco book.
“I can just imagine what my dad would’ve said if he found out that four, five or six years out of my career he knew that I was cheating,” Jones said. “He told me as much. He said, ‘Please tell me you never did that.’ I said, ‘I never did.’ He said, ‘I can’t think of anything that would disappointment me more than finding out that you did something like that.’ I said, ‘Well, you don’t have to worry about that.’”
I’ve been involved in the game of baseball for almost 22 years now (which isn’t saying much considering I’m soon to be 28). I’ve always admired the home run ball as one of the most beautiful sights in all of sports. I wait for those home run swings that appear to stop everything in that moment. Not everyone has that kind of power. Griffey did. Reggie Jackson did. Few had the ability to hit that stop-you-in-mid-sentence bomb.
Mike Stanton is definitely one of those guys.
The 22-year old slugger has only begun to show us his mammoth power. As a Braves fan it scares me. As a fan of baseball I can’t wait.
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Austin Rivers was ballin’ last night, you hear me?
Wednesday February 8, 2012
Duke at North Carolina
The new alternative home jersey is sharp. The Braves will wear this jersey at home on the weekends. The red jersey will move to home games on Friday night.
This season is important.
On the broad shoulders of 23-year old Jason Heyward are not just the hopes of an offense. He carries the hopes of a franchise, a city, and a race. He wowed in 2010 with a record setting rookie season. He stumbled a bit in 2011 with some “experts” going as far as saying the Braves may want to consider trading him should he fall flat again a la Jeff Francouer. Word to the wise: talent like this kid has is once in a generation, and this year he’s going to show the baseball world what they have to look forward to for years to come.
I for one can’t wait.
What if I told you there was a third basemen in 2011 that had more homers than Youkilis and Michael Young, a higher batting average than Evan Longoria, a higher on-base percentage than Beltre, and was second in all of baseball in fielding at his position; would you take him in 2012?
Apparently many fans are scoffing at the notion that Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones would consider playing past the 2012 season. He deserves more than that; especially considering he made his seventh All-Star game in 2011 and was undoubtedly the only Brave producing down the stretch last season. I’ll take those numbers out of a corner spot anytime.
Chipper Jones is entering his 19th season with the Atlanta Braves. I grew up watching the greatest switch-hitter since Mickey Mantle everyday, and while this may be his last season in 2011 ( .275/18/70 and an All-Star nod) still has something left in the tank. Here’s to a productive and healthy 2012 Chip.