Last year Chipper Jones, mired in a deep second-half slump, said that he might just retire after 2010 and walk away from millions. He backtracked on that earlier this season. Now he’s back on his “I may just give it all up” horse:
“I make no bones about it. I am seriously considering it no
matter how this year ends up for the Atlanta Braves. It’s something
that’s still in the works, but hasn’t been ruled out for the end of the
year. I’m not going to stick around and hamstring this organization if
I’m not playing well and not enjoying myself… I’ve committed to play
this year. I’m not going to walk out on the club. But at the end of this
year, if I don’t feel like I can contribute at a high level like I
always have, then it is a possibility that I will walk away.”
Jones is hitting .219/.377/.336 with only two homers and his usual assortment of bumps and bruises. Despite this, the Braves have the second best record in the NL in the month of May and are second in runs scored. It would be great if he could turn it around and add to the party, but so far the Braves have gotten by just fine without him producing.
It’s one thing to struggle. It’s another thing when you struggle and have it not really matter. Jones has always been fairly frank in assessing his performance and place in the universe. Based on these comments, I think he’s pretty well aware of it now as well. If he realizes that he’s no longer needed, I have no doubt that he’d walk away from the $20 million+ he’s owed and retire.