This will be it for Chipper Jones.
The Braves third baseman will announce later today that he is playing his final season.
According to a statement by the team, the Braves and Jones have expressed interest in rejoining the organization in a yet-to-be-determined capacity after 2012.
I'm not going to lie. It's going to be really hard to see Chipper walk away from the game. He is one of the three best switch hitters of all-time (Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray) and he's been a fixture in the Braves lineup since the early 90's when the Braves were rattling off division titles. He's only played for one franchise and he's taken less money to stay in Atlanta. If you are a die hard Braves fan like myself you can't have anything but respect for him and the way he has played his entire career.
It's going to be hard to imagine not seeing old #10 out there on the field. Along with Murphy, Horner, Smoltz, Andruw, and McCann he will go down as one of my favorite Braves of all-time. The first ballot Hall of Famer from what I've heard wants to coach the Braves and my hope is the franchise gives him a position whether it be hitting or base coach almost immediately upon retirement. Chipper has the acumen and knowledge to be a good manager in the not too distant future. If Ozzie Guillen can win a World Series managing the White Sox there is little reason to think Chipper can't with the Braves.
Thanks for all the memories Chip. Hopefully there will be many more after your playing career is over. Now let's hop on that crazy train and make 2012 a memorable one. Go out with a bang for the lonely Hooters waitress.