The news is hardly shocking, with Jones already telling members of the Atlanta media earlier this Spring Training that he wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it through another season of baseball. Talking about the toll that baseball has taken on him, he admitted difficulty in his physical preparations for the coming season.
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.
The “no doubt” Hall of Famer’s current contract gave the Braves a $7 million club option for 2013 that would have become guaranteed at $9 million if he appeared in 123 games this season. Despite not having more than 600 plate appearances in a single season since 2003, Jones has remained incredibly effective. As Drew Fairservice showed earlier this week, despite not quite reaching full time play due to injuries, Jones was able to put up the second most successful age 35 and 36 seasons in baseball history. His 2008 season is especially notable considering he missed 34 games and still managed to put up a 7.5 fWAR.
As remarkable as it is, 2008 was merely one year in an incredibly successful career that has made him one of the greatest third basemen to have ever played the game. As MLB Trade Rumors notes:
The seven-time All-Star won the 1999 National League MVP Award and the 2008 NL batting title. He also has 454 home runs, 1561 RBI, more walks (1455) than strikeouts (1358), and a .304/.402/.533 career batting line. Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504) are the only switch hitters with more career home runs.
While his on field talent will most certainly be missed, Canadian baseball fans are most likely to remember the bitter taste left from Larry Wayne ‘Chipper’ Jones’ comments during the World Baseball Classic in 2009.
We stayed in Toronto for a week and played three games. I don’t know if you ever stayed in Toronto, but it’s not exactly Las Vegas. To say that we were plucking our eyebrows out one at a time would be an understatement.
It’s tough talk from someone whose baseball team plays a five mile radius away from 4,527 meth labs. Perhaps we could have committed more crime during Chipper’s time in Toronto to make his stay feel more like home.