Seven essential skills Chipper Jones can teach the Braves now that he's back in Atlanta
It's been a pretty awesome retirement thus far for Chipper Jones -- since hanging them up after the 2012 season, the future Hall of Famer has done a whole bunch of hunting, gotten into plenty of Twitter shenanigans and, oh yeah, basically saved Freddie Freeman's life.
But just when he thought he was out, baseball has pulled him back in: On Thursday, the Braves brought Chipper back to Atlanta as a special assistant to baseball operations. And, really, why wouldn't they? He's one of the very best players in franchise history, and he'll have plenty of wisdom to impart on the Braves' roster. Lessons like:
There's nothing like a good first impression
Jones' first at-bat in the big leagues was a pinch-hitting appearance back on Sept. 14, 1993. He singled, because of course he did. A couple of years later, he made his postseason debut, and promptly homered twice:
This was a skill that would also serve Chipper well later in life. Like, for example, when he joined Twitter, and blessed the Internet with this gem:
Mike b and jhey go yicketty! The roadrunner went mammo! And the Bravos have a winning road trip. My kind of day off, no action!!!- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 25, 2012
Don't worry, he would clarify:
yicketty means homer! mammo means big bomb. roadrunner is francisco. any other questions?- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 26, 2012
Great, now that that's cleared up.
Maintain a deep appreciation for waffles
Back in 2013, the Braves announced some big news: Waffle House was coming to Turner Field. Displaying the leadership that will surely serve him well in his new role, Chipper gave it his seal of approval:
A rednecks sweetest dream.....Waffle House is now at Turner field! My life is complete.- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 25, 2013
His feelings toward Waffle House hashbrowns, however, remain unclear.
Be a problem-solver
Whether driving in runs or saving the world from dysfunctional hotel rooms, Chipper has demonstrated the ability to tackle any problem he might encounter -- namely, by just tweeting about it:
If anyone was thinkin about stayin at the Grand Hyatt in NY,dont! My AC is set on 65 and its north of 80 in here. Like a freaken sauna!- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 9, 2012
The movie channels dont work and the beds make my back spasm up! Am i complaining too much? Im sorry, gotta vent to someone. Love yall!!!- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 9, 2012
Ahh the power of social media. TV guy just showed up at my door. Didnt even have to call the front desk. See what happens when u vent a tad?- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 9, 2012
Let's just hope Nick Swisher never needs a basketball net repaired, though:\
What's wrong with this pic folks? Never said I was the sharpest tool in the shed. Damn ladder!!! Lol pic.twitter.com/APhGXILY- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) December 27, 2012
Remember to reward the hometown fans
In 2000, the Midsummer Classic came to Atlanta for the first time in 30 years. How did the hometown star respond? He went 3-for-3, including a home run:
Be sure to express yourself
Over the grind of a 162-game season, it can be easy to lose sight of how much fun baseball can be. It's important to stay in touch with one's emotions, and to add some levity to any situation. Enter Chipper Jones, Master Thespian. Here he shows us befuddlement:
And now, satisfaction:
Zeke got game! pic.twitter.com/jfe46e6PbP- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) January 13, 2015
Finally, The Thinker:
Urban tryin to figure out who to start at QB next year! pic.twitter.com/TiW5gMm0GY- Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) January 13, 2015
And, most importantly, how to beat the Mets
Clearly, Chipper Jones is a man of many talents. But above and beyond all of these lies his most valuable skill: Mets Killer. Jones raked against his division rival for pretty much his entire career, but the high point came during September 1999. With Atlanta leading the Mets in the NL East by just a game, the two teams met for a three-game series.
In the opening game, Jones hit two solo homers that proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Braves win.
In game 2, Jones set the tone with a two-run homer in the first that propelled Atlanta to a 5-2 victory.
And in game 3, this happened:
The Braves completed the sweep, won the division, and advanced to the World Series. Welcome back, Larry.