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Chipper Jones says Jason Heyward needs to get back on the field

Jun 8, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

I’m hesitant to say that this is an instance of Chipper Jones “calling out” Jason Heyward, but that’s only because the Braves have such little history of anyone calling anyone out for anything, I’m not certain that I can recognize a true Braves “calling out” when I see it. But yeah, Chipper is pretty much calling Jason Heyward out here:

“What Jason needs to realize is that Jason at 80 percent is a force, and Jason at 80 percent is better than a lot of people in this league. And that there are a bunch of his teammates that are out there playing with discomfort and not healthy, and still going at it.”

I may quibble a bit with Chipper here in that we have no evidence at all right now that Jason Heyward is capable of playing well when he’s hurting.  Last year and this year, Heyward completely disappeared on offense when he was banged up. That is, when we knew he was banged up, which, either because he’s not forthcoming about injuries when they happen or the Braves are bad at diagnosing him, we’ve never really been sure about until things got really bad.

But Chipper’s point is not a bad one. Especially coming from a guy who knows a thing or a hundred about playing hurt. The Braves need Heyward’s bat now. Yesterday.  If he’s truly at risk of injuring himself further, no, he shouldn’t be trying to play. But if it’s merely a comfort issue, Heyward needs to toughen up a bit and take his place in right field.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    He isn’t even swinging a bat right now is he? I would have to assume that he’s too injured to play. Isn’t that a safe assumption for anyone in the MLB? I mean these guys aren’t pansies and they are all top competitors or else they wouldn’t be in the MLB (of course the Phillies hitters are an exception b/c they all suck and are a bunch of pansies).

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Your argument is truly dizzying there.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        There you are UH. Good to see you. Let’s play the “who’s offense is more offensive” game. ATL has 13 less runs scored than PHI. Your move.

      • CJ - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Even as a Phillies fan, I’d have to say you’re right in regard to who’s offense is most offensive. It’s not like the Phillies prized offseason acquistion has the worst batting average in baseball. I thought it was a great move at the time picking up Uggla, but he’s been horrific.

        Overall it’s a good team over there, but they’re a healthy Heyward, improved Uggla, and legitimate CF/leadoff guy away right now. If they can get those pieces they could make a legit run at the Phillies for tops in the division.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        In the last eight games (starting with the first against the Gnats, followed by the Bucs and the Dodgers), the Phightins have scored 24 runs. They haven’t scored more than three in six of those eight.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        Oh, and Oswalt is 0-4 in his last six starts, while giving up a grand total of five runs in two of those losses and two NDs.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        Cerrano, drink some of Jobu’s rum and get your ass back out on the field. Maybe if Chipper would sacrifice a live chicken instead of getting a bucket from KFC, you would be back on the field.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        The least Chipper could do is hit Popeye’s instead that wack ass KFC and perhaps I’d get the voodoo going again.

      • atlsp - Jun 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        UH, in the last 8 games the Braves have scored 23 runs (and more amazingly, only 57 in their last 20 games). We are beyond offensive.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        Well, atlsp, the Phightins defense was pretty offensive last night, also.

  2. mcchef - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Ahhhh ye Braves fans of such a short memory. I seem to recall Chipper being somewhat cranky when John Smoltz called him out for not coming back fast enough from injury. Funny how all guys involved have had/are having durability issues.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2914283

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      I don’t think the fans have memory issues…Chipper Jones does.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Well, he getting up there in years. The memory is often the first thing to go.

    • xmatt0926x - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      Damn mcchef, you stole my thunder. Thats the first thing I thought of too. I was surprised back then when smoltz did that to another decade-plus teammate. I guess in Chippers defense here, Chipper if I remember correctly, wasn’t mad at being called out as much as he wondered why he hadn’t built up any credibility with Smoltz in the first place after being teammates all those years. Chipper felt Smoltz should know him better than to think he was being a wimp. In this case Jason Heyward has not built up that credibility yet. Who knows. Maybe Heyward is wimpy? Maybe Chipper has seen something in him.

  3. shaggingflies - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    If I were Heyward my response would be ” I refuse to take advice from a grown man that calls himself Chipper”

    • spudchukar - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      He doesn’t call himself “Chipper”, his parents did. He calls himself Larry. And he probably has more info on Heyward’s injury than almost anyone, and I’m guessing it is time to play through a little pain.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        Actually I have the most info on my own injury and my mommy gave me a band-aid for my boo boo but it still hwurts…Chipper’s being a meanie so I’m telling my mommy that too.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Back to the front, Sally!

    • santeechief - Jun 9, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure he calls himself “I” or “me”. I seriously doubt Chipper talks about himself in the thrid person…

  4. ezwriter69 - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Mr. Kettle, meet Mr. Pot…
    Chipper Jones hasn’t played in more than 137 games in any year since 2003. Just shut the bleep up.

  5. riverace19 - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Jason Heyward hasn’t been in the league long enough to be acting like a 10-year veteran with a hang nail. The MRI came back negative. Yeah he’s got some soreness but to say he’s not coming back until 100% well… that sounds like pansy material to me.
    I kind of liked THE IDEA of Heyward when he entered the league, but so far he hasn’t even come close to his touting.
    I think it’s time for a 21-year old to stop acting like he was 41 and get out there and play.

    Seriously folks, did anything ever hurt when you were 21?

  6. 884ever - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Phils win NL East…end of story….nite y’all

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