Chipper Jones’ comeback from reconstructive knee surgery at the age of 38 has been nothing short of remarkable. Over the weekend, the Braves third baseman played in his first game since August of last year when he tore his ACL.
While others would’ve considered retirement, Jones spoke of nothing but surprising people with his comeback throughout the offseason. Apparently, Jones’ enthusiasm for coming back led some of the talk radio phone in types and anonymous blog comments to question if the pursuit of his return wasn’t financially motivated.
If they think I’m doing this for the money, they obviously haven’t seen my bank account. I’ve never played this game for money. Nor will I. My mind doesn’t work that way. I play this game because I love my teammates and they wanted me to come back.
To say nothing of the benefits being a Major League Baseball player affords you at Hooters.
I still feel like I have something to offer, and the cynical fan can really kiss my ass. I really don’t care. There’s a bunch of true fans and the people who actually want to take the time to get to know me know who I am. The guy who sits in his mom’s basement and types on his mom’s computer, I couldn’t really care less about.
Reducing everyone who has a negative opinion about you to a keyboard warrior in their mother’s basement is about as original as assuming that everyone from the South named Larry Wayne is an inbred meth addict, but in this instance Chipper is right on the money.
I’m not going to pretend to have my fingers on the pulse of Braves nation, but a quick internet search doesn’t reveal any stories suggesting that Jones is merely being greedy by coming back (not even on Bleacher Report). If this is something more than a straw man argument, anyone claiming it would do well to note that Jones has made over $141 million over his career.
He’s also reiterated on several occasions that despite wanting to be compensated fairly, he’s never been interested in playing baseball for the money alone. As one of the few players to spend his entire career in one uniform, and never try for big bucks through free agency, it’s more than a mildly assumptive leap to make a case that Jones is only coming back to collect on another pay day.