First, let me acknowledge that I am aware that there is a fanshot posted by biggentleben, but I feel that there is a lot to talk about here and that fanshots are often too overlooked to provide that kind of conversation.
This post is regarding the recently publicized comments by Chipper regarding Heyward's current injury status.
While I agree that Heyward is almost always a plus to the lineup (even if by presence alone) I also must agree that him playing injured (or not at 100%) has empirically hurt our lineup. My question is where his comments came from, were they derived either from: a. a frustration from whatever source, b. a desire to provide conspicuous leadership for the team's benefit, or c. an attempt to send a message in a way beyond private words. Chipper noted that "I’ve been there and it’s not fun" in response to the reception his comments after the "spin" he said ESPN put on the story. However, that doesn't say anything about intent. Perhaps a wiley veteran learned from an experience in his past where he was put in that position? Perhaps he found that experience motivational?
While this is speculation, it is difficult to divine the meaning of those words and more difficult to reconcile them with some of the other prominent quotes from his initial interview. Quotes like this,"What Jason needs to realize is that Jason at 80 percent is a force, and Jason at 80 percent is better than a lot of people in this league. And that there are a bunch of his teammates that are out there playing with discomfort and not healthy, and still going at it," when combined with this, “I think where Jason might have erred was the comment that he made, ‘I’m not coming back until it doesn’t hurt anymore.’ That has a tendency to rub people the wrong way,” seem to imply that he
was more inclined to teach the young superstar a lesson than that he was merely making observations. Regardless, I think that a dialogue either on "how to achieve hall-of-fame status" or "how to succeed at major league baseball" or even "how to play major league baseball on a daily basis" could benefit Heyward greatly and unless Heyward is suffering from some serious personality flaws that he will at least be open to accepting that wisdom.
The final question I have is why did Chipper decide to have this conversation in the media? In light of the comments I've made above I think the question could be answered in within the lens of speculation about Heyward and Chipper's relationship. Beyond fluff pieces there is little written on the subject. I personally think that Chipper feels an obligation to successfully pass the baton to the future superstar Heyward.
A few articles for reference:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6640173 (this is the espn article that caused Chipper's response this afternoon)
Talk amongst yourselves.