Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is this the end of the road for Chipper Jones?

This makes me sad on a number of levels:
With reports of retirement swirling aboutChipper Jones, When might he officially address them? "At some point during the home stand," he said (and the Braves are home for only six days). Was an announcement just being held up by red tape issues? Jones smiled at the question. "I've got some things I've got to take care of," he said. He wasn't supposed to publicly address the issue at all. When news leaked earlier in the day, he even asked the Braves to put out a news release informing the media that Jones would not speak on the topic. But his media-friendly persona got the best of him.

There is no sentimentality when it comes to baseball--produce or get out of the way. Chipper isn't producing and there's no easy way to admit that or say that. I can remember a lot of evenings and afternoons spent watching the Braves on TBS. I'm sure that we can all remember how wonderful it was to have baseball when it was on almost every night of the week. I go back, of course, to the very early years of the TBS broadcasts, but that's another fading memory to share some other time.

Watching the Braves over the last twenty or so years meant watching a well-managed team compete and compete at a very high level. There were a lot of years of quality pitching, quality baseball, and quality games that were broadcast during this era. And while the steroid era has been a real nasty piece of business, I think that one of the few good memories of watching baseball that I have left involves watching games where Greg Maddux was pitching, where Chipper was getting his hits, and where Bobby Cox was being thrown out of the game. How many times did I sit down and watch the Braves without really noticing the quality and the unique value of every day baseball?

Well, I won't forget the quality of Chipper Jones. First Ken Griffey Junior, now Chipper.

My friends, do I feel old.
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