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Chipper Jones “never wanted Yunel to leave” the Braves

Jun 20, 2011, 9:38 PM EDT

Chipper Jones Yunel Escobar Getty

The Braves kicked off an interleague series against the Blue Jays tonight, so a natural topic of conversation before the game was Yunel Escobar‘s return to Atlanta.

It wasn’t too long ago that Escobar was considered the Braves’ long-term solution at shortstop, but he was traded to the Blue Jays last July along with left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes for shortstop Alex Gonzalez, left-hander Tim Collins and infielder Tyler Pastronicky. He was batting just .238/.334/.284 prior to the trade and had taken up residency in Bobby Cox’s doghouse.

While some assumed that the veteran leadership of the club was also fed up with Escobar’s antics, Chipper Jones told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today that he was actually one of his biggest supporters.

“I think it probably worked out good for both sides,” Jones said. “I think maybe he might have needed a chance of scenery, may have needed to go somewhere where there were some influential Latin players who could, you know, show him the way and how it’s done.

“It worked out good for him. He got an extension with Toronto. But I never wanted Yunel to leave. I’ve been a big fan of Yunel all along, because the guy’s a good player. You figured if if he maybe turned the corner maturity-wise, that he could be a perennial All-Star. I really felt that way. It’s unfortunate how it worked out, but maybe it worked out for the best for both sides.”

Entering play Monday, Escobar is batting .278/.349/.394 with 12 homers and 42 RBI over 564 plate appearances as a member of the Blue Jays. The 28-year-old agreed a two-year, $10 million contract extension yesterday which includes $5 million club options for 2014 and 2015.

  1. yettyskills - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Larry has zero credibility, just ask his 1st wife

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 21, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    Escobar needed a change and Toronto has been the beneficiary. As far as Larry’s credibility is concerned, I would rate it at only 50%. There have been ocassions when I strongly disagreed with him, such as the time when he said that there was nothing to do in Toronto.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

      So Larry says there is nothing to do in Toronto. Does that mean you guys don’t have a Hooters?

      • cur68 - Jun 21, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        We do so have Hooters. We have special purpose built igloos that we use. Lemme tell ya man; you aint been to a Hooters till you been to an Igloo Hooters. It’s chilly but well worth it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        Well then, if you have Hooters, then Larry should have plenty to do.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jun 21, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Through an interpreter, Yunel replied, “I still don’t understand why a grown man wants to be called ‘Chipper’?”

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