Chipper Jones is old for a baseball player. Just a few weeks short of his fortieth birthday, the long-time Braves third baseman is winding down his career. And what a career it has been.

As Kristian Jack and I discussed on last week’s podcast, Chipper Jones is a no-doubt Hall of Fame player. He is one the best offensive third baseman to ever play the game. His .300/.400/.530 slash line, over 10000 plate appearances, is pretty damn shiny. A career wOBA a shade under .400. More trips to the playoffs than one can count. A ring.

But the end is nigh for Chipper. He told noted badass and Dadboner clone Dave O’Brien of the AJC “I don’t know if I can make it through this year.” Which is a shame. Chipper went on to note that he was optimistic coming into the spring:

“Yeah, and I thought I was in pretty good shape,” he said. “Because I knew it was going to be hard coming into spring. But I was nowhere close to being ready. For the first 10 days we were here, it was painful. As long as I can take care of my knees. My knees have given me the most problems through the years. I dare say if I hadn’t had five knee surgeries I’d be getting around a little better and I’d be feeling a better about things going on my 40th birthday.

Chipper is an all-timer but he is also a “colourful character” with a highly “rubish” public persona that makes him the subject of much “fun.”

Jones’ contract contains a games played clause for 2013 but, from the sounds of it, the money isn’t going to guarantee a return to Atlanta. If the body isn’t willing, it might be time to walk away. There is a whole lot of scrub to clear and bucks to hunt on the ranch for Ole Chip.

And the Rest

Are curveballs shredding the arms of young pitchers? The debate rages on. [The Book]

Pound down? Matt Cain prefers jamming you up in the zone. He’s different like that. [Baseball Analytics Blog]

Bruce Bochy quite dipping! Maybe now he can kick whatever drug makes him think Aubrey Huff is a better option than Brandon Belt [SF Chron]

Bobby Valentine, history’s greatest troll [Miami Herald]

Charlie Morton pitched his first two innings of the spring. After the exchange rate, those innings are only worth four Roy Halladay warmup tosses. [Pitt Trib]

Scouting two young third baseman who turned a lot of heads this spring: Anthony Rendon and Nolan Arenado [Fangraphs]

Some guy wrote about not the crappy side of Spring Training. What a fun sponge. [Vice]

Getting granular with video-based fielding metrics. Good stuff, unless you’re a Cubs fan. [Fielding Bible]

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