SportsCrack Blog

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Should Larry Retire?

You have to give Chipper all of the props in the world. He's been amazing for the Bravos and for baseball in general. One of the last players from the era of loyalty in baseball, he's a man who has publicly admitted he would retire before becoming an embarrassment to his team. Granted, he has been injury plagued over the last couple of seasons, but this guy goes out everyday, plays as hard as he can, demonstrates leadership in the clubhouse, demonstrates generosity in his community, and has been embraced as the face of the Braves for over a decade.

The former overall number 1 draft pick (as a shortstop believe it or not) has put together a 1st ballot Hall of Fame career. Personally, I feel he's too valuable in the clubhouse to retire, for nothing more than providing the veteran leadership that he's seemingly provided since his rookie season, he's vital to our team and our city, but at some point and some point soon the role that he will play has to be evaluated.

The Braves have an uber prospect in Freddie Freeman who was a consensus top 25 overall prospect in the minor leagues last year and who is on a tear in AAA right now, not to mention the kid is currently 20 years. Wren can also presumably resign the 4 time All Star and former World Series MVP 3rd baseman Troy Glaus for much cheaper than getting a "big name" (no offense Troy) free agent and actually have him play his natural position. Just an interesting fact, like Chipper, Troy was drafted as a SS, look it up, a 6'6 shortstop at UCLA.

As I've said before, I have to give Wren kudos right now, he's made some risky deals and has proven to be smarter than I am, but considering this is my post, it's my opinion. Personally, I think Chipper should stay on throughout his contract, if nothing more than to be a mentor to Heyward, Freeman, Prado, and some of the other younger Braves. He's more valuable here than in retirement. The guy still has baseball in him. When he's healthy, he's still a monster, and when he's not, his clubhouse presence is truly invaluable on a team that is already (supposedly) losing Bobby Cox and the newly acquired, but still amazing Billy Wagner to retirement. Let's face it, the Brave's need Chipper and Chipper loves the Braves. My prediction, Chipper stays, Freeman gets called up this year and Glaus starts playing some 3rd base as Chipper needs the rest. Freeman has less pressure to perform, Chipper plays when healthy, and Glaus is still the man for the Braves. I don't know about you guys, but I do live in a perfect world so this is going to happen! What are your thoughts?

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