No greater compliment

Here’s how the New York media reported the news of Chipper’s retirement:

‘Mets Killer’ Jones To Retire At Season’s End

They still remember 1999, which arguably stands as the greatest season by any Braves hitter — ever. It wasn’t so much his numbers, though they were scintillating — 45 homers, 41 doubles, .441 OBP, 25 steals. He carried that team on his shoulders after Andres Galarraga and Javy Lopez were sidelined for the year.

The Mets, who the Braves would defeat in the NLCS, might’ve won the division had it not been for Chipper, who had a 1.000 slugging percentage, 7 homers and 16 RBI in 12 games against them.

On Sept. 22, 1999, the Braves held a one-game lead as the Mets came to town feeling good about their chances.

The Mets entered town with the stronger lineup and deeper bullpen, ready to steal everything the Braves spent a decade building. But they could not stop Chipper Jones.

Jones, carrying more and more of the burden as more of his teammates have fallen off, continued his MVP-caliber season last night, burning the Mets for homers from both sides of the plate in a 2-1 win that knocked the Mets two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

The Mets learned their lesson in the NLCS, walking Chipper nine times in six games.

For his career, Shea’s dad batted .318 against the Muts with 48 homers and 154 RBI. Chipper’s numbers against the Phils, Atlanta’s other chief divisional nemesis during his career: .332-46-144.


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14 Comments on No greater compliment

  1. Is he the last guy still playing from the ’95 team?

  2. Greenville Braves // March 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm //

    I’ve been watching Chipper since I was a little kid. I remember him coming through Greenville.

    I hope Larry Wayne Jones, Jr. rides out in a blaze of glory this October. Best Atlanta Brave ever.

  3. Yes, Chipper is last player standing from the ’95 champs.

  4. Tokyokie // March 23, 2012 at 8:50 am //

    Dang, I remember that series. After two solo shots in the first game, Chipper had a two-run homer in the first inning the next game (a 5-2 Braves win) and with the Braves down 2-1 in the finale, he hit a three-run homer in the fifth to win that game. The Mutts fell to 4 games back and were done.

  5. rankin' rob // March 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm //

    SI picks us 4th in the division, behind the Nats.

  6. Tokyokie // March 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm //

    Didn’t SI pick us to win the division last year?

  7. pepefreeus // March 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm //

    Sports Illustrated paid Peter King a check for years upon years.

  8. rankin' rob // March 24, 2012 at 6:55 am //

    Let’s just agree the Braves are under the radar of “noted” baseball prognosticators this season.

  9. rankin' rob // March 25, 2012 at 8:46 am //

    Looks like our Mets killer will start the season on the DL with “minor” knee surgery. Prado at 3rd and that dynamic Hinske-Diaz left-field platoon has me fired up about Opening Day.

    Does anyone think Chipper will play 120 games this season?

  10. roadrunner48 // March 25, 2012 at 10:09 am //

    Nope. I can’t see it happening, either.

    Hinske-Diaz would have been fine a few years ago. As much as I like rooting for those guys, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about that combo for 2012. I think Hinske will be over exposed and Diaz, I’m afraid, is done.

    Parraz could be a nice fit there. 200-300 AB’s from him would be interesting to watch.

  11. I know Johnny Damon has a rag arm and is 38 but he still beats the options named above. His OBP was down last year but he still played 150 games, tripled seven times, stole 19 bases and homered 16 times.

  12. roadrunner48 // March 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm //

    Diaz is already costing $2M this year. Signing Damon would mean sinking a total of at least $6M in left.

  13. pepefreeus // March 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm //

    I would be fine with that and I would’ve been cool with signing him a few years ago when that was the rumor but the snag is that he’s a Boras client and even his guys at this stage of their careers aren’t going to sign for anything less than the last drop + 3.

  14. If he’d take $2 mil I’d do it.

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