Chipper Jones may retire after this year

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Chipper Jones swing.jpgLast 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.

Report: Mariners enter into a ballpark naming rights deal with T-Mobile

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Maury Brown of Forbes reports that T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner for the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark beginning in 2019. Their park had been known as Safeco Field since it first opened in the summer of 1999. The 20-year naming rights deal with Safeco ended with the close of the 2018 season.

Brown reports that the deal will be around $3 million a year, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Then again, I have long been skeptical of how much naming rights actually bring back to the naming rights partner. That’s especially true when the partner is slapping its name on a ballpark that was known as something else beforehand. People tend to still use the old name and, I suspect, resent the new one a bit. Maybe that’s less the case when the park has only been known by corporate names, and no beloved traditional name is being displaced, but I still question if anyone really makes a single purchasing decision based on the name of a ballpark.

I know this much for sure, though: despite the relatively small cost of naming rights here, none of the most notable Seattle-based companies — which include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco and Alaska Airlines — felt it was worth it. Possibly because they know people are gonna call the place “Safeco” for several years regardless.