Chipper Jones acknowledges a standing ovation from the crowd in Kansas City, at the 2012 All-Star Game.
It was a really great All-Star game last night. The good guys won, there was a lot of scoring, ex-Braves and current Atlanta Braves were all over the field, and Chipper Jones had some special moments. Fox and MLB did a good job of covering those special moments, from the pregame speech to the in-game interview. Ken Rosenthal has a terrific story up about Chipper at the All-Star game; it really did bring a tear to my eye:
On Monday, when Jones met privately with the FOX broadcasters, I asked him if it struck him as odd that his oldest son was only five years younger than the Nationals' Bryce Harper, who at 19 is the youngest position player in All-Star history.
"Yes," Jones said. "My 14-year-old is pretty good. He's going to be a pretty good player. But I daresay I wouldn't put him in the category of Bryce. Bryce is a man-child. (Mike) Trout is, too.
"I think it's great that you have the two of these guys who are destined to be the face of the game for the next 15 to 20 years, I really do.
"You've got the five-tool guy in Trout who can steal bases and be one of the most dynamic leadoff hitters in the game. And you've got Harper, who has the big outfield arm and huge power - huge power. He's going to hit 40. And they're playing on good teams in good markets. They're going to be all over the TV all the time."
Just as Jones once was on TBS, something that numerous young All-Stars noted over the past two days.
They all grew up watching Chipper.
And soon, he will be gone.
There's so much of Chipper in those quotes, but also so much of Bobby Cox. That ability to compliment other players, and truly mean it, that is quintessential Bobby, and now it seems to be ingrained in Chipper's DNA -- the building blocks of a great manager.
"To be honest, I don’t want the lifestyle anymore," Jones said. "I don’t want the schedule, the major league schedule anymore. I’ve been living out of suitcases for 23 years."
We'll see if a year or two away from the game will change his mind. I bet it does.