May 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg (63) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves 6/28


Braves open youth field in Chipper’s name

Braves.com

Chipper Jones received many retirement gifts over the course of his final tour of Major League Baseball in 2012, but on Thursday morning the Braves began to make sure their appreciation for one of the most popular players in franchise history would serve the dual purpose of promoting baseball within the city’s youth.

Jones and Braves general manager Frank Wren were on hand on Thursday morning for the unveiling of a refurbished baseball field at West Manor Park in southwest Atlanta. Over the coming months, the Braves plan to overhaul 10 youth fields around the city as a retirement gift to the former third baseman…

Making Chipper Jones’ MLB Hall of Fame Case as Atlanta Braves Retire His No. 10

Bleacher Report

Friday marks a day Atlanta Braves fans have been planning for since the end of last season as the team prepares to retire Chipper Jones’ No. 10 jersey Friday.  While Jones no doubt is one of the greatest Braves ever, is he a shoo-in to make the MLB Hall of Fame? Like most Braves fans, I say “yes” without batting an eye, but the same could be said about Dale Murphy…well, at least with other fans. I’m one of the few who agree with him not being in Cooperstown. As I sit and stew over the stats, putting my reporter’s cap on is important, as I must approach this from an unbiased point of view. While I am a Braves fan, I’m also a baseball purist that believes in a small Hall. Each year, voters can select up to 10 nominated players. But that doesn’t mean 10 players should be voted on. So, does Chipper belong in the Hall of Fame? In short…yes. But there is one main reason why he deserves induction when his name is up in 2018.

Braves Expected to Show Interest in Gregg

MLB Trade Rumors

The Braves are “among the many teams expected to show interest in Cubs closer Kevin Gregg,” writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.  Bowman notes that the righty closed for current Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez when both were with the Marlins in 2007-08.  Gregg is just one of many relievers the Braves may be looking at as they pursue veteran help with Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters out for the season.  It’s a little early for a clear picture of Gregg’s market, but the Braves, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers, and Padres are likely to be on the hunt for bullpen help.

Fascination Factor: Ranking all 30 teams

ESPN

10. Atlanta Braves
So many questions: Will B.J. Upton ever hit? Will Justin Upton hit again? Can Evan Gattis do this over the second half? Can the bullpen hold up? Is Jason Heyward a superstar or not? Is Dan Uggla becoming the player most despised by the hometown fans (even though he isn’t as awful as Braves fans think he is)? But here’s the biggest question: Will the Braves finish in first place for the first time since 2005 or win their first playoff series since 2001? OK, maybe that’s two questions.

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