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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Chipper Jones

Braves legend criticizes Freddie Freeman over departure

Freddie Freeman running

Freddie Freeman’s departure from the Atlanta Braves is going to go down as the most painful of the offseason, probably for both sides. One Braves legend, however, isn’t shedding any tears for the departed first baseman.

Chipper Jones criticized Freeman over how he left the Braves, suggesting that the former first baseman did not seriously want to stay if he let the situation progress the way it did.

“I told Freddie this, but I have no problem telling everybody this, including Freddie: I do not agree with the way that this was handled on Freddie’s side,” Jones told 680 The Fan in Atlanta. “If you want to play in Atlanta, then you play in Atlanta. You maybe take a little less to be happy and play in a place that is comfortable to you. The second that Freddie told me, when he rejected the 5 for $135 (million) after the All-Star break, I told him, ‘You’re playing a very dangerous game. You get courted by all the pretty girls that are on the block, chances are you’re not going to come back. If you take your time waiting on that sixth year, maybe into January, (Braves GM) Alex Anthopoulos has a job to do.'”

Freeman did get his sixth year, but that came from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both contracts are worth $27 million annually, though California’s tax rates ensure that Freeman will not see quite as much cash as he would have in Atlanta.

The Braves did trade for first baseman Matt Olson before Freeman signed with the Dodgers, which Freeman admitted hurt him. Jones’ point is that if Freeman really wanted to stay, he would have signed with Atlanta by then. Jones believes the Braves were justified in moving on with their offseason business. Freeman may see it differently, but it’s too late to do anything about it now.

Photo: Jun 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braves great does not sound encouraged about Freddie Freeman returning

Freddie Freeman in his Braves uniform

One Atlanta Braves legend made some comments this week about Freddie Freeman that many fans are translating as “he gone.”

Retired Hall of Famer Chipper Jones spoke this week on 92.9 The Game’s “Dukes and Bell” and spoke on the situation of Freeman, a free agent who did not get a new deal done with the Braves before the MLB lockout.

“I haven’t talked to Freddie in quite some time, but I’m sure he’s probably a little frustrated that this wasn’t done in Spring Training last year,” Jones said of the All-Star slugger. “But the fact of the matter is we didn’t have any fans in the stands. We’ve got owners that didn’t know where revenue was going to be at the end of the year and maybe held out a little bit.

“Bottom line is, Freddie I believe before it’s all said and done will be playing where he wants to play,” continued Jones. “I know he’s a West Coast guy. I know he has a home here in Atlanta. But Freddie, if he wants to play for the Atlanta Braves, will be playing for the Atlanta Braves. I’ll leave it at that.”

Jones also spoke on the offers that Freeman has gotten in free agency.

“The Braves have made some offers, didn’t make him happy,” said Jones. “He’s being courted by some of the prettiest girls on the block right now, he’s gonna listen to them. I hope he thinks about his legacy here in Atlanta and they can come to some sort of an agreement to bring him back.”

You can listen to Jones’ full interview on “Dukes and Bell” here.

Jones’ assessment of Freeman’s future with the Braves sounds lukewarm at best, especially if Freeman already had issues with the Braves dating back to last year. While Jones did admit that he has not spoken with Freeman in a while, the two are notably close and played together from 2010 until Jones’ retirement in 2012.

Like Jones did, Freeman has played his entire MLB career in Atlanta thus far. But Freeman already got his World Series ring with the Braves this past season, so he may be focused on getting his payday at this point. There are also a few very notable teams who are indeed in pursuit of Freeman.

Photo: Jun 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Joc Pederson left Chipper Jones fitting gift before traveling to Los Angeles

Joc Pederson smiles

Joc Pederson left Chipper Jones a fitting gift before leaving Atlanta to travel to Los Angeles for the road games in the NLCS.

TBS reporter Lauren Shehadi reported during Game 3 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday that Pederson left a pearl necklace outside Jones’ house before leaving for LA.

Shehadi reported the situation as fact, though Jones seemed to be joking in his Instagram post.

Pederson’s pearl necklace has been one of the big stories this postseason. The outfielder, who was acquired in a trade with the Cubs during the season, has been hot at the plate. He has three home runs and seven RBIs in just six postseason games with Atlanta. He’s looking to lead the Braves to their first World Series title since 1995 when Jones’ team won it.

So what’s the deal? Pederson has been wearing a pearl necklace while batting. He has been coy about the reason why but gave an explanation a few weeks ago.

Photo: Aug 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves outfielder Joc Pederson (22) reacts after flying out during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Watch: Chipper Jones embarrassingly drops foul ball at Braves game

Chipper Jones foul ball

Chipper Jones may not have played in Game 3 of the NLDS between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves on Monday, but the Hall of Famer still committed a brutal error.

Jones had a seat near the Braves dugout at Truist Park, and he had a chance to catch a routine pop foul in the top of the second inning. The former slugger was unable to make the play, resulting in a long stare from Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Here’s the embarrassing video:

It’s unclear if Jones lost the ball in the sun, but that’s a play the 1999 National League MVP could have made with his eyes closed in his heyday.

Jones actually made a nice caycj on a foul ball during a Braves playoff game two years ago (video here). Unfortunately, we have to mark him down for an error for Monday’s blunder.

Chipper Jones has a cardboard cutout at Citi Field

Chipper Jones

Even with no fans in the stands, Chipper Jones is finding a way to haunt the New York Mets.

The Atlanta Braves’ official Twitter account sent out an image Friday of cardboard cutouts of Jones and his son Shea in the seats at Citi Field in New York for Opening Day.

We don’t know whose idea this was, but the Mets are definitely in on it considering it’s their stadium. It’s hilarious, too, and the Mets are showing a great sense of humor in letting it happen.

Jones was infamous for his exploits against the Mets during his career. The Hall-of Famer hit .309 with 49 home runs and 159 RBIs in 245 career games against his NL East rivals, including a .313 average with 19 home runs at Shea Stadium. He was so prolific against them that his son Shea is named after the ballpark.

Now let’s see if that cardboard cutout can make like its real-life counterpart and grab a foul ball. Probably not.

Report: ESPN interested in Chipper Jones as baseball analyst

Chipper Jones

Hall of Famer Chipper Jones could be coming to a television near you if ESPN has its way.

The network has interest in hiring the former Atlanta Braves star as a game analyst, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. This comes after Jones partnered with play-by-play man Boog Sciambi for a game last year, which impressed ESPN executives.

Jones has also been courted by FOX in the past. It’s unclear how interested he is or how close this is to becoming a reality. Marchand reports that Jones is not expected to be a candidate for Sunday Night Baseball, where network executives are said to be contemplating changes.

The Hall of Famer’s cameo last year was good, and he proved to be a capable storyteller, so it’s easy to see what ESPN sees. David Ross, a key part of ESPN’s baseball coverage, left to manage the Cubs, so Jones would make a ton of sense as a replacement.

Chipper Jones catches foul ball during Game 1 of NLDS in Atlanta

Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones is sitll making defensive plays in Atlanta.

The Hall of Famer was sitting in premium seats between home plate and the first base line during Game 1 of the NLDS between the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night. In the top of the ninth inning, Randy Arozarena was batting with a 2-0 count and fouled one back. The ball took a bounce and then was snagged by Chipper:

Chipper was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year after playing 19 seasons for the Braves from 1993-2012. He was an 8-time All-Star, NL MVP, and former batting champ. And he still has a glove.

Jones actually threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game:

Things went south for the Braves after Jones snagged the foul ball. They allowed four runs and fell behind 7-3.

This Chipper Jones-Boog Sciambi story is so dang good

Chipper Jones

The Chipper Jones, Boog Sciambi story told this week is a classic.

Jones was in the booth with Sciambi and David Ross during Wednesday’s Braves-St. Louis Cardinals game in Atlanta on ESPN. During the game, Chipper and Sciambi revisited a great story from Jones’ playing days.

As they told it, Sciambi, who called Braves games from 2007-2009, asked Chipper why he had been swinging at so many first pitches in his at-bats. Jones said it was because that was the only time he was seeing fastballs. So then they got into a game on Aug. 4, 2009 and Chipper took a first pitch from Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer that was a 91-mph fastball down the middle. Chipper’s reaction was priceless.

That is exactly why Hall of Famers shouldn’t concern themselves with the opinions of broadcasters.

Jones was towards the end of a 19-season career by that point. He was 37 in 2009 and batted .264 with 18 home runs that season, which was the year after he won the batting title for hitting .364.

A former MVP and batting champion probably shouldn’t alter his approach based on the suggestion of a play-by-play announcer.

Chipper Jones sends awesome tribute to David Wright

Chipper Jones

David Wright on Thursday announced his plans to retire after the season, and he received plenty of love from fans and colleagues in response. One of the nicest tributes he received came from Chipper Jones, a fellow third baseman who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer.

Jones said he “admired” the way Wright played and carried himself, respected him as a captain, and wished him a happy retirement.

That’s a pretty awesome tribute.

Wright came up to the bigs in 2004 and quickly developed into a franchise player for the New York Mets. He made seven All-Star teams in an 8-year span and finished top-10 in MVP voting four times.

Unfortunately, Wright’s career was derailed by spinal stenosis — a chronic condition — and he has barely been able to make it onto the field. He’s only played 75 games since 2015 despite his best efforts to be in playing shape. Wright is expected to be activated from the DL on Sept. 25 and play in the Mets’ final series of the season before retiring during the offseason.

Saying Wright will one day join Jones in the Hall of Fame is probably a stretch, but there is no doubt that he was on that track until his career was sunk by injuries.

Chipper Jones hints Tyler Austin got what he deserved after spikes-high slide

While some may have felt Boston Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly overreacted when he intentionally hit Tyler Austin with a pitch on Wednesday night, most old school players and fans believe the New York Yankees first baseman should have seen it coming.

Not surprisingly, Chipper Jones is among the latter group. Following the benches-clearing brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees, Jones shared his thoughts on Austin sliding spikes-high into second base.

Austin’s slide came in the third inning and Kelly hit him in the seventh, which was a bit strange. However, the slide was an aggressive one and Red Sox manager Alex Cora was openly unhappy about it.

Jones isn’t the first former MLB player to take Kelly’s side, and plenty of others must feel the same way. If you choose to slide spikes-high, you have to expect some sort of retaliation.