Thursday, February 21, 2013
Chipper staying retired?
By Jason A. Churchill
Chipper Jones hung up the spikes after last season at the age of 40. He's in camp this week visiting the Atlanta Braves, however, and ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney writes that if the Braves' current third base options -- Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson -- struggle, "there will be a conversation" about Jones returning.
Olney warned that such an idea is complete speculation, but notes that we all thought Andy Pettitte was retired until he went to Yankees camp, threw batting practice and "immediately began talking about a comeback." So it's not totally out of line to at least wonder, especially considering how well he played in his final season a year ago and that there could be an opportunity to play a half season or so, and do it on a team with a chance to win it all.
Francisco and Johnson are far from established everyday players, but have a shot to perform well enough to stave off such talk, and Jones could always reiterate his commitment to retirement. For Braves fans it's a fun thought, as unlikely as it may be, but imagine the lineup with Jones, after having added the Upton brothers over the offseason.
Jones, however, said this week that he hasn't thought about playing again and didn't even want to put on a uniform while in Braves' camp. Perhaos the idea goes away, but if circumstances change for the club during the season, the question will be asked again.