Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Chipper Jones says he was kidding
ESPN.com news services
Chipper Jones says he was only kidding about not being able to make it through the season.
On Monday, the veteran Braves third baseman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Tomorrow might be my last day. I don't know. I don't really focus on it that much. The body is starting to tell me every morning when I wake up that it's getting close. I'm signed through the end of this year. If I play in a certain amount of games, I got an option for next year. I don't know what next year entails. I don't know if I can make it through this year."
A day later, the 39-year-old veteran backtracked in a phone interview with Braves.com.
"Unfortunately, I said it around two guys who don't know me very well and they didn't realize I was kidding around. One of the guys asked, 'You think you can make it through the season with your knees?' I said, 'Make it through the season, I don't know if I can make it through tomorrow.'
"Obviously, I'm joking. That's an obvious joke. Really, I just came off the field after playing eight innings. I've had eight at-bats all spring. I was kidding around. ... I was a little tired. I wasn't by any means suggesting I couldn't make it through the season. If I didn't think that I could, I wouldn't be out there."
Jones' contract will pay him $14 million in 2012, and includes a $7 million option that will vest at $9 million if he plays in 123 games this season.
In 2011, he played in 126 games and hit .275. He credits his teammates as the reason he returned.