Chipper Jones is more than deserving of the final All Star spot

Let’s send Chipper Jones to one final All Star Game! (Photo credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution)

All Star Game selections happened today and while I don’t have a picture of it, Root for the Home Team actually got a shout out on TBS for a tweet we posted earlier in the day. Score one for us! However–and all gloating aside–this is not why I’m posting this as the weekend dwindles down to its final minutes. It would’ve been far too easy for National League manager Tony LaRussa to select future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones to the team. Rather than honoring one of the greatest, LaRussa is letting fans vote for Chipper (among others) for the final spot on the NL roster. One could consider it noble, but maybe LaRussa should look at what Chipper’s doing at 40 with bum knees and a bum just about everything else.

Chipper is by no means having an incredible final year for the Braves, but he’s still out there proving why he’s one of the best. He’s been injured and even when he’s healthy, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t tote Chipper out there everyday. However, Jones has found his swing (did he ever really lose it?), and has still managed to put up decent numbers putting up a .291/.372/.450 slash line in only 43 games (151 at bats). Jones has still cranked out 6 homers and 28 RBIs, and while he’s no longer the Braves regular 3 hole hitter, he’s still clutch. When you look at the numbers, his age, and injury riddled past, LaRussa shouldn’t leave this one up to the fans, but should be classy and make the move himself.

When the votes are tallied for the “final spot” Chipper will most likely be on the National League team, but he does face competition, even from his own team. Jones must beat out fellow Brave Michael Bourn, along with David Freese, rookie sensation Bryce Harper (who endorsed Chipper for the final spot today), and Aaron Hill (who just managed to hit for the cycle a second time this season). Despite endorsements from Harper, and much of baseball, Chipper still must receive enough votes to make it, and the fans should take it upon themselves to honor one of the greatest players of this generation.

In the steroids era, Chipper never once showed signs he juiced, despite so many others in his age group that felt compelled to use PEDs. Chipper continued his clutch hitting on both sides of the plate, terrorizing National League pitching. In route to winning the 2008 NL batting title, he hit a whopping .364 with an outrageous .470 on base percentage, 22 dingers and 75 RBIs, at 36 years old. He’s getting ever so close to becoming the all-time RBI leader for a third baseman, is easily considered one of the top switch hitters, and one of the greatest third basemen of all time. Teams across MLB, including AL teams have honored Chipper when he’s visited their parks, and it’s time we honor him and send him to Kansas City.*

Join me and vote for Chipper Jones to be the final selection for the 2012 National League All Star roster and send him to his eighth and final All Star Game. He’s graced baseball for nearly 20 years, so let’s tip our caps once again to Larry Wayne Jones Jr. Oh, and a note for Tony LaRussa, how about giving Chipper an at-bat or two. It would be a fitting tribute to one of the game’s greatest.

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*Fascinatingly enough, the only stadium that the Braves haven’t visited during interleague play is Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. If Chipper is selected to the All Star Game, he’ll finally get an opportunity to play in every single MLB park.

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One response to this post.

  1. Chipper made it. Now we need to vote for Bourne who is having a stellar season. As for All Star team selections I think we need to go back to the days when players were selected by players. Let the players vote for the starters then let fans vote for the rest of the team. The players know who deserve to be starters better than fans. With fans it’s a popularity contest. Also, I was watching MLBTV tonight and I like Bowa’s solution for players like Chipper. In years when someone like him is retiring and has had a Hall of Fame career, then make that player an honorary captain. This would be an easy way to say thank you for a job well done.

    Reply

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