Braves Chipper Jones Now Says He May Not Play In 2011

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones has still not ruled out retiring after this season. Here is a transcript of what he said earlier today (hat tip, MLBTR):

One thing that I have always said is that I've never played this game for money. I play it because I enjoy playing it and I've been pretty good at it for the last little bit. The reality is that I have a lot of things pulling at me away from the game. I've got four little boys at home and a wife who has sacrificed a lot during my team in the big leagues. 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... There's no line. It's just a feel of whether I'll be able to continue to do this at a high level past this year.

Here's a link to the MP3 of the audio interview from 790 The Ticket in Miami. As is usual with Chipper, it's a pretty good interview.

I'm going to go ahead and state what I've been thinking for some time. If Chipper continues his current pace, then he should hang them up after this season. That will free up a lot of money for the Braves. My ideal scenario would be to move Martin Prado to third base, re-sign Omar Infante (or someone else) to play second base, and sign Jayson Werth to play left field (yes, I have a baseball man-crush on the bearded outfielder). But that's way down the road. Chipper's still got time to turn it around... and I really hope he does.

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