Chipper Jones plans to play in 2011 following knee surgery

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Chipper Jones just announced during a press conference this afternoon that he will undergo season-ending knee surgery and plans to rehab with the intention of playing in 2011.
Earlier this season Jones more or less announced that he planned to retire, but apparently he either changed his mind somewhere along the way or simply doesn’t want to be go out because of an injury.
“I’m going to go through this rehab process just like I was going to get ready for spring training,” Jones said. “I fully expect to come into camp next spring, ready to go.”
Prior to the injury Jones hit .307/.391/.533 with four homers and five doubles in 23 games since the All-Star break and he cited that turnaround following a poor (for him, at least) first half as part of the reason for his change of plans. He’s under contract for $13 million next season and $13 million in 2012, and his announcement seemingly makes the Braves far less likely to acquire a long-term solution at third base like Chone Figgins.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.