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Chipper Jones is either feeling fantastic or has his priorities out of order

Sep 24, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

If Chipper Jones‘ swan song season has been characterized by any one thing, it’s been characterized by caution and pain.  He has felt a lot of pain — mostly in those nearly non-existent knees — so he and the Braves have exercised caution. He has sat out often, rarely playing a string of more than four days in a row without a break, and often not even that many.

It’s been a good plan, too. Jones has missed time, yes, but not extended time, and he has been outrageously productive for a man of his age and physical state. Far from playing out the string, he has been a key force in the Braves offense all year.

Which makes his tweet today somewhat curious:

 

This week — through the weekend — is his last regular season homestand with the Braves, so it makes sense that he wants to go out in style, on the field, saying goodbye to Braves fans.  But it’s also something that should give Braves fans pause.

Starting with tomorrow’s game, the Braves play six home games in a row without a day off. It would seem that he’s playing in all of them, as five of them are “this week” and it seems highly unlikely that he wouldn’t play next Sunday’s home finale  However, Chipper has played on six days in a row exactly once this season, from September 7th through the 12th. And actually in one of those games he did not start, coming in late to pinch hit on September ninth (though he did stay in for one more plate appearance as the game went into extra innings). Joes has played on five straight days three other times this season.

This last week seems to be the lowest leverage week of the year for Atlanta. They have all but clinched their post season birth. The playoffs are in the offing.  Maybe I’m fretting because of my Braves fandom, but it seems to me that, rather than play every single day this week, now would be an excellent time to get Jones some extra rest for that last push to the World Series.

  1. dodger88 - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    He may start but get pulled after a few innings, in which case all should be good. If he plans to play 9 innings each game for a week, not wise.

    • Mark - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Exactly. I remember watching Ripken play in the late 90’s (I want to say 96) and he came in for one or two innings on the last day to keep the streak alive and then was removed. It’s not a big deal.

      Or Jones could just pinch hit in 6 games, in which case he’s technically playing every day. Didn’t say anything about starting.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Yeah Chipper, take it easy, you don’t want your legacy to end like this:

  3. El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Leave Chipper alone! (special thanks to Len)

  4. cranbery - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I just want him to play if he feels like it…….not to draw larger crowds to the Ted.
    There will be tears either way…………..

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Speaking of priorities out of order, surprised you didn’t go with this tweet:

  6. paperlions - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    If he wants to play every inning of every game during the last home stand….and enjoy the ever-living hell out of it as fans cheer him on….that sounds like his priorities are perfectly in order.

    They may only have 1 home “playoff” game, and a lot of fans may not be able to afford those tickets. Taking full advantage of this last week to say good bye is exactly what he should do…..and if Fredi Gonzalez is smart, each game he’ll pull him while he’s in the field, so the fans can give him a standing O as he walks off.

  7. bravojawja - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I imagine he’ll play Friday night for Chipper Appreciation Night (or whatever they’re calling it). And hopefully he’ll play Saturday night when I’m going to be there with the family.

  8. wu360 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    He’s always been a class act and stand up guy. He’s one of the last ones from a great baseball generation. Much respect to him. And oh yeah, GO YANKEES!!!!!!

  9. skids003 - Sep 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Yeah, I guess Chipper and Fredi don’t know as much as a blog writer.

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