Chipper's Back: How Long Will He Stay?

Hello again everyone. I’m coming to you today from the gorgeous confines of the Flint, Michigan airport, as I make my way to New York.

Scanning my sources, I haven’t seen the confirmation that Chipper Jones will play tonight, but it seems to be a lock. The question that is starting to be bandied about is this: How long can the Braves expect Chipper to stay? This becomes important as the team evaluates it’s trade options. Will they have Chipper next year or will they have $15 million or so to play with?

Having spoken to Chipper casually on this topic a couple of times, I believe that Chipper will play as long as two things happen: 1) He has to play at a high level by his personal standards and 2) He has to be having fun. Notice that winning a championship is not one of the criteria he relayed to me. While that would obviously impact the fun he’s having, I don’t think that “going out on top” is critical to him. I do think that his family’s perspective will be important to him. If his sons want to experience the big league lifestyle a little, now that they’re getting old enough, I think that would be fun for him. If, on the other hand, he gets a lot of pressure to stay home and be “Dad”, that would not be fun.

As far as the ability to play, I personally think it’s still there. Remember that offense is down all around. Even on one leg (maybe less:-) ), he has been one of the best third basemen in the league. We’ll see, but I think Chipper will put up Chipper-esque numbers in the last 60 games.

I think we all know that Fred Owens thinks this will be Chipper’s Last Stand. I think Chipper will play out his contract, manning third base in 2012 for Atlanta. I’ll post a poll right now. Vote on whether you think he’ll play next year, and let us know why. And let’s all watch him hit one out tonight!

Will Chipper Jones Play In 2012?

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