I'll be the first one to admit it. For the past two seasons, I had hoped Chipper Jones would retire. It's not like I'm not a fan. I am. As an Atlanta Braves fan since the age of five, I could never not like him. Without Jones, the Braves wouldn't have won the World Series in 1995 and the team may not have had as much success against the Mets. Who knows, maybe one of the Mets would have named their kid Turner instead of Jones naming his kid Shea. With that, Jones has made it known that this is the final season of his career, but should he reconsider his decision?
This season - much like the previous eight - has seen Jones miss at least 19 games. To be exact, this season, Jones has sat out of 47 games. In previous years, this had driven me crazy because when Jones had to sit out multiple games in a row, Martin Prado would need to be moved into the outfield, which weakened the outfield. This season, the Road Runner Juan Francisco has filled in at third when Jones has been out, keeping the outfield together.
Despite missing 47 games, Jones is having his best season since 2008 when he won the National League batting title with a .364 average. This season, Jones is hitting .304 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs, which for 91 games, are great numbers. After struggling to break .260 in each of the past three seasons, surpassing .300 makes me believe Jones still has what it takes to be an elite player and still has the power to reach 500 home runs.
It is funny how adamant I was about the need for Jones to retire last year, and now, I don't want him to leave. I want him to play another two or three seasons so he can reach the 500 home run plateau, but I know it won't happen and frankly, he doesn't need to get there. Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will be known as one of the greatest Atlanta Braves in history and doesn't need 500 home runs.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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