ATLANTA -- Once Chipper Jones decided to halt his broadcasting career, the Braves created a role that will allow the Hall of Famer to be part of their coaching staff without having to sacrifice too much time away from his family.
Jones has been hired to serve as a hitting consultant on the Braves' Major League coaching staff on a part-time basis. He envisions spending a few hours with hitters before most home games and still having the opportunity to be home with his family during the evening hours.
“I’ll be at the ballpark from noon or one o’clock in the afternoon until after [batting practice] or the start of the game,” Jones said. “Then I can be home in time to tuck the kids in.”
Along with being one of the greatest switch-hitters the game has ever seen, Jones has long proven to be somewhat of a savant when it comes to the art of hitting. He helped teammates throughout his legendary career and occasionally provided hitting tips while serving as one of Atlanta’s special assistants from 2016-19.
Jones had to halt his employment with the Braves when he served as an ESPN broadcaster last year. He spent a portion of this offseason debating whether to return to that role. His decision was made once his broadcast partner, Jon "Boog" Sciambi, opted to join the Cubs' broadcast team on a full-time basis.
Once Jones put ESPN in the rear-view mirror, he called Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who provided the third baseman what he was seeking.
“I don’t want to put in 12-hour days at the ballpark every single day,” Jones said. “This is just the right amount. I can leave after batting practice and be home for dinner. That’s a pretty good gig. Plus, I’m doing something I’m very passionate about doing. Not many people can say they do what they love doing for a living.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker’s staff now includes plenty of hitting instructors. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and assistant hitting coach Jose Castro are both preparing for their seventh season on the staff. Bobby Magallanes was promoted to serve as another assistant hitting coach.
“I don’t think any one coach is going to hit it off with every single one of his players,” Jones said. “It’s good to have some options. I figure between the four of us, we should be able to touch, help and affect everyone.”