Chipper Jones announced during Spring Training that 2012 would be his final year, and he is sticking to his story, even though he is providing not only offensive production but the heart and soul of the Atlanta Braves.
He may be 40, but Chipper leads the team with a .320 average, .396 on-base percentage and .516 slugging percentage, all the while cranking 10 homers and 48 RBIs in just 69 games. Would it be possible that he would consider playing one more year?
When asked, Jones had a very simple answer.
“No,” Jones told ajc.com.
It would seem that settles it, even with the critics who have said for years he should have already retired and the fact that he’s proving them wrong on the daily.
“Well, no matter what you do you’re not going to make everybody happy,” Chipper said. “I’ve got two wives that will attest to that, you know? But it doesn’t matter what game you play or how you play it, you’re not going to please everybody. So you take the good with the bad and just try to go about your business and not worry about the naysayers.”
And no one can blame the man who started the season on the DL when he hurt his knee an hour before his retirement announcement and then returned to it when he was drilled by a one-hopper by B.J. Upton, requiring another surgery.
Jones doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for the averages titles, but if he did, he would be nestled between Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina for ninth in the NL in both batting average and on-base percentage. As it stands now, his slugging percentage is better than that of Paul Konerko, Aramis Ramirez and Mark Teixeira.
“I thought I was fully capable of doing what I’m doing,” Jones said. “In fact, I told my agent [B.B. Abbott] in spring training. He told me, ‘You can’t back-track on this [retirement decision]. If you’ve got 20 homers and you’re hitting .300 and you’ve got 80 or 90 RBIs, you can’t second-guess yourself.’ And I said, well, I’m going to have those numbers, and I’m ready to leave.”
“I’m ready to move on.”
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