Braves bring back Chipper Jones, and it’s a win for both parties

Chipper Jones tasted a lot of success during his playing career with the Braves. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Chipper Jones tasted a lot of success during his playing career with the Braves. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Logic and wagering odds tells us the Braves will not be very good next season.

Logic: The 2016 roster has been stripped of most expensive veterans and restocked with inexpensive but unproven youth.

Odds: An online sportsbook has listed the Braves at 100-1 to win the World Series, which ties them for last.

But the organization just made a wise move off the field. The Braves have hired former star third baseman Chipper Jones as a special assistant in baseball operations. Jones’ specific duties probably will evolve as time goes on but he’ll be a voice in the room for general manager John Coppolella and team president John Hart, as well as lend a hand in spring training.

The move makes sense for both parties. The Braves bring a future Hall of Famer back into the fold, which can only help in the credibility department. Jones, who had hinted about wanting to return to the game in some way, but likely not in a full-time role, gets a chance to give back to baseball and the Braves and work with young hitters, which is what he enjoys most. He played for the Braves’ only World Series winner in 1995, won an MVP award, two Silver Sluggers, a batting title, played in eight All-Star Games and finished his 19-year career with a .303 batting average, 468 homers and 1,623 RBIs.

“After a few years of decompressing, I came to the undeniable conclusion that I want to be around the game again and, more particularly, around the Atlanta Braves,” Jones said in a statement released by the team. “Because of what we are in the process of building for this city and our fan base, I am extremely excited to be dipping my toe back into the water that is Braves baseball. I look forward to working with our players, as my passion for the art of hitting is something I hold near and dear to my heart.  My hope is that I can be an ‘extra set of eyes’ on our players and help supplement an already strong baseball operations department and coaching staff. I am honored to be back working with the Braves.”

Jones was a pro sports rarity: a one-team player. He was drafted by the Braves in 1990 and retired as a Brave following 2012, an All-Star season.

It would be a bonus if the Braves also could convince any of their three former Hall of Fame starting pitchers, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine or the recently inducted John Smoltz, to take a role with the organization. This isn’t about building an old-timers club. It’s about restoring some pride, credibility and a standard in the organization that has been lacking during the roster tear-down and front-office shakeup.

And even at 43 years old, I’m guessing Jones could still win a roster spot if he wants one.

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27 comments
kenstallings
kenstallings

"He played for the Braves' only World Series winner in 1995."  


Lord have mercy, Schultz, you're a senior AJC sports columnist!  The Braves have three world championships, one when they were in Boston, one while in Milwaukee, and of course the one for Atlanta in 1995.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

if only ownership and this FO could give Chipper some real players to work with he can do a lot og good

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan


I do see Chipper being the kind of guy who can help hitters hey, imagine what he could have done with the team in 2014 when we actually did have MLB talent in the lineup

I don't think this is a PR job but it cannot hurt.  Hart and Coppy have done much to antagonize the fan base and they have NOT earned the trust of  the fan base -- hey I am sure that Bernie Madoff told his clients to just trust me it will be all right -- though in fairness they are not allowed to spend the owners money




TideDawg
TideDawg

Please! Not Chipper! I respect him as a baseball player but not as a family man. This job gives him a good reason to go back this spring to Florida where the groupies, waitresses, bartenders and hookers will be waiting for his return. Not bad duty.

BTC
BTC

I thought Glavine already had a role in the organization....  Or did that come and go?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@BTC

I think Glavine has a broadcast job with Fox South or whatever network broadcasts the Braves. I think he is waiting for Schuerholz to retire ,and then he would take a front office job with the Braves.

edgar983
edgar983

He's not the only one we will see from the champions. Stay tuned for more. Thanks Chipper.

patriotdog
patriotdog

Good hire, if the young guys will listen. He could still outhit anyone.on the roster not named Markakis, I'd bet.

Do a year as a Coach/consultant then replace Fredi or coach third for TP.

theshoo
theshoo

The fans will hate us in '16, but we'll be able to trot out Chipper from time to time and they'll hate us less - Braves Front Office 

58Supersports
58Supersports

Jeff, I read the story about your son Josh... My brother had the same problem but we didn't save him in time. I respect what your family is doing and my prayers are with you and Josh. 

58Supersports
58Supersports

Super move! Welcome back, Wish you were the manager... maybe so!



CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Seems like a sound move for a couple reasons:

* the scores of prospects Hart  and Coppolella have brought into the fold can learn a ton from a guy who knows a thing or two  about hitting major league pitching

* this same guy is Mister Brave and provides a familiar face to a franchise  Hart and Coppolella have completely gutted in their efforts to remake the team.


Since the Simmons trade, the LM Braves have been scrambling to do some much-needed PR work with their fan base.  Harty and Coppy (probably at the insistence of their superiors) even expended some of their valuable time to commiserate with the fans through a trusted conduit,  Dave O'Brien.  I'm sure that chafed their ample butts.  

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@CardiganBoy I don't pay money or tune in to watch the coaches and front office personnel, I pay or tune in to watch the team on the field, and I suspect I'm more the norm than the exception. 


Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda, Whitey Herzog, Bobby Cox, even Joe Torre (who had a very nice MLB playing career) - these guys weren't Hall of Famers or faces of the organization until they excelled at their managerial roles.


I'm glad for Chipper. How many wins he puts in the win column remains to be seen.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Great. Metallica's frontman's goatee is back. 

MICH:IGAN
MICH:IGAN

@OH:IO  Why couldn't they hire Pete Rose? Crap always flows south "OHIO". Go big blue.

lighteredknot
lighteredknot

@MICH:IGAN @OH:IO  Yep: It originates up north in its rankest form, and dissipates  as it dilutes moving south. Punt big blue, punt,  is  new MSU cry?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

You two clowns deserve one another.

Rose and Urban; once a liar always a liar. Not record breakers just liars and criers.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster


These two comments show the issue of Chipper's late playing career. He could still hit. Hitting is both mental and physical and he understands both aspects. He also seems to be able to convey it to younger hitters. I would bet that Chipper could still hit when he's in his 50's.


Chipper's body just couldn't hold up to the season grind. I was one of those people who thought he still contributed from the bench as a leader and unofficial hitting coach. This role sounds perfect for him and for the Braves.


HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt

Best news in Atlanta or Georgia sports all year, and it brings us something that is often bereft of this town and state's sports atmosphere:


Hope.

DawgsFan34
DawgsFan34

Of course he could win a roster spot.  The man always could "fall out of bed and hit .300"