Chipper Jones announces retirement
After 19 seasons and a 40th birthday coming up, Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones announced on Thursday that he will retire.
The third baseman, who has spent his entire career with Atlanta, has battled injuries for the last several seasons and actually decided to retire in 2010, only to change his mind.
The team issued a statement to announce this would be Jones’ final season. No matter what happens, the 1999 National League most valuable player will go down as one of baseball’s greatest switch-hitters, and a strong candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame with his .304 career average, 454 home runs and 1,561 runs batted in.
Braves’ Chipper Jones may retire after this year
Things are going very well for the Atlanta Braves as they enter Tuesday’s series opener against Tampa Bay with a 1.5-game lead over the New York Mets in the NL East. But things are not going too well for Chipper Jones, who has to be a lock Hall of Famer some day.
The 38-year-old has been fighting injuries for the past few years and this one has been no exception. For example, he sat out Saturday’s and Sunday’s games with the Twins because of an inflamed right ring finger that cost him several games previously. Chipper is hitting just .228 this season with three home runs and 22 RBIs.
And now it appears that both Chipper and Braves manager Bobby Cox will call it a career after this year. Cox has already said this is his final season. Jones will meet Tuesday with Cox and general manager Frank Wren to discuss his future with the organization, and reports are he will announce his retirement at the end of the 2010 season.
Jones has been frustrated over his lack of production this season and continued injury problems. Since winning the National League batting title by hitting .364 in 2008, his offensive numbers have tailed off considerably and he’s faced a steady stream of nagging injuries.
Jones has talked openly this season about his willingness to surrender his third spot in the Braves order to rookie phenom Jason Heyward and lately has leant his support for backups Omar Infante and Brooks Conrad filling in at third base in his absence.
It’s not clear if he will be ready to start Tuesday’s opener against the Rays. Tampa Bay is favored on WagerWeb.com’s betting odds tonight as David Price (9-2, 2.23) opposes Atlanta’s Kenshin Kawakami (0-8, 4.48 ERA). Price leads the AL in ERA and is tied with Phil Hughes for the lead in wins. He has allowed more than three runs only once this year.