Chipper Jones’ massive spring struggle

It really sucks seeing a franchise icon’s demise.

But my fear is that Braves fans will watch that firsthand this season with third baseman Chipper Jones. It hasn’t been a good Spring Training start for the oft-injured future Hall of Famer, and the reports out of Braves camp are that he “looks terrible.”

How terrible? So far, Chipper is 0-for-8 in 11 at-bats this spring (through Tuesday night), and he’s missed several games already due to fatigue.

“I don’t know if I can make it through this year,” Jones told the AJC.

Of course, the next day, Jones issued a retraction on his comments, assuring the free world that he’d never quit on his team mid-season, no matter how much he was hurting. However, there’s nothing he can do about it if Father Time interjects himself into the situation.

That’s exactly what I think is happening here. And if Chipper can’t make it through a March, I don’t see any way he’ll make it through an April, May, June, July, August and September.

He’s always been one of the fiercest competitors on the squad during his time in Atlanta, and competitors are very stubborn. They think their presence on the field, whether they’re healthy or injured, is what’s best for the team. Of course, I’m going to disagree when it comes to Chipper’s case.

Martin Prado is what’s best for the Braves at third base, and the quicker the Braves realize that, the better chance they have of making the playoffs this year.

Atlanta will need everyone on board for the long haul if they’re going to win the National League East this year, or even if they’re going to compete. So they can’t be keeping up with the saga of Chipper Jones’ ailing body if they want to keep up with the Phillies.

If I were Fredi Gonzalez, manager of the 1-10-1 Braves (that’s their record in the preseason so far, but take an exhibition record for what it’s worth), I would find a way to use Chipper as rarely as possible to keep him fresh. If that means playing Prado at third in six out of seven games, all year, I say go for it.

Chipper has always said he supports whatever is in the best interest of the team. Well, now it’s time to practice what he preaches.

I believe these Braves can get to the playoffs in 2012, but only if Chipper stays healthy. And that means resting a whole lot more than he plays.

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Author:Sean Breslin Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! I’m an Atlanta native since near-birth, so I will blog a lot about Atlanta sports and food, as well as weather and news topics. Be sure to follow me on Twitter as well: .


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14 Comments on “Chipper Jones’ massive spring struggle”

  1. March 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I agree Sean, its gonna be real to watch the Braves this year if Chipper can’t get/stay healthy. Chipper and Andruw were my two favorite Braves players growing up and its crazy that they both done after this year if they even make it that far physically.

    • Sean Breslin
      March 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Yeah, as Chipper said, “Getting old is hell.”

  2. March 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    You are probably right. I am a Chipper fan and a Braves fan (behind my hometown Tigers of course), but the NL East is going to be a tough division, so we need all the help we can get. The Tigers are going through the same thing with Inge – he’s a darn good fielder but if you can’t hit, you cannot play. I hate saying it because I love Chipper and Inge both.

    Keep the braves posts coming – we don’t get any news up here in Detroit.

    • Sean Breslin
      March 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      I have good news for you…Detroit’s weather is looking great for this weekend (something else I wrote today):

      • March 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

        Yeah, it’s been a really mild winter for Michigan and this weather we’ve had this past week has been amazing. The tornadoes last night were pretty rare too.

      • Sean Breslin
        March 17, 2012 at 11:44 am #

        Earliest EF-3 tornado ever for the state of Michigan…I’m very worried about the upcoming severe weather season.

  3. March 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    My first ever baseball jersey was Chipper Jones. It’s a damn shame to see the guy get older. He’s had a fantastic career, and I’ll never forget that 1999 season ever.

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      Fantastic work on the site by the way

      • Sean Breslin
        March 15, 2012 at 7:13 am #

        Thank you! And as for his aging, I’m sure the only people who enjoy watching it are Mets fans. But they watch a train wreck for a living, so I guess they’ve just gotten used to it.

  4. Matt Musico
    March 15, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I watched him speak in between innings on MLB Network last night and he could hardly catch his breath after sitting down for a couple minutes following his wind sprints. That can’t be good.

    • Sean Breslin
      March 15, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Yeah, but he did do a little more damage control, and it sounded more promising to me than his first follow-up interview. So hopefully that’s good news.

      • Matt Musico
        March 15, 2012 at 10:57 am #

        haha agreed. I hate seeing a star’s light dim in front of our eyes as well, so I wish him the best.

  5. March 16, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I agree…Jones has been a force for so long in Atlanta. Of course, they’ve had a number of “legends” there…Smoltz, Glavine, even the Manager, Bobby Cox!

    Good post…

    • Sean Breslin
      March 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by!

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