• Exclusives

    The end of an era: Chipper will retire at season’s end

    By Kent Covington

    Jones' 1,561 RBI are 2nd-most all time among switch hitters

    After spending the better part of two decades in an Atlanta Braves uniform, Chipper Jones announced today that he will hang up the spikes after this season. His announcement caught many off guard, as it appeared more likely that he would make a decision about his future during or after the 2012 season.

    It’s a bitter-sweet moment in time for Brave fans. It’s always hard to say goodbye to a player who has given so much to this team and its fans. But it’s also nice to watch a living legend walk away with a little left in the tank, wearing the very same tomahawk across his chest that he wore as a rookie.

    And while it seems almost crass to even bring this up right now, it will free up significant payroll for GM, Frank Wren, to spend next winter.

    Who will play third base next year? Tyler Pastornicky could slide over to 3B, making room for Andrelton Simmons at SS. Joe Terdoslavich could make the team and take over the hot corner. Or Martin Prado could make his way back to the infield full-time.

    There will be plenty of time to ponder the future of third base for the Braves. But for now, we have at least 6.5 months (hopefully more than 7) left to watch Chipper play before the clock officially starts on his Hall of Fame candidacy.

    Let’s enjoy it! And let’s win one for the Chipper in 2012!

    Also, before you go, check out the Lineup Card on the BravesWire homepage with headlines from over a dozen Braves news/opinion sources.