Is Chipper the Key for the Atlanta Braves?
When you look at the Atlanta Braves record right now, it seems alright for a second place team. However, they started 0-4 when Chipper Jones was on the disabled list. For any Atlanta Braves fan, this was a disheartening blow. Every year the truly loyal Braves fans hope for another miraculous season of 1995, when the Braves won the World Series.
Before the season, Braves fans would ask each other, "Do you think this is the year?" Or they would say, "Chipper can bring them through it this year." And then the word came out that Chipper Jones was going to be on the disabled list to start the season, sighs and groans were let out throughout Braves nation. Chipper Jones always has had a loyal fan base, ever since his rookie year with the Braves in 1995. Now it is 2012, 17 years later and now Chipper Jones has announced his retirement.
So after losing 4 straight to start the season, Braves fans seemed to be down on their luck. And then the fifth game of the season started and Chipper Jones was off the DL. "The Braves won," fans exclaimed. Now since Chipper has been back, the Braves have gone 14-5. So the question is, "Is Chipper Jones the key to the Braves success?" Well for starters he has only played in 15 games and a batting average well below .300, but he does have 3 homeruns and 12 runs batted in which doesn't hurt. But is he the key?
So lets break it down a little bit more. Chipper has played in 15 games since coming off the disabled list, the Braves have won 11 out of 15 games. Now for the season without Chipper stepping on to the field for the Braves since coming off the DL, the Braves are 3-1. However, with Chipper not stepping on the field for the whole season, the Braves are 3-5. So maybe Chipper Jones is the key. The key for the Braves is to not to collapse and have a good leadership throughout the season. Chipper Jones has been with the Braves his whole career and seems to be leading the Braves through morale and support since being off the list. Also, Chipper Jones is the only Braves player on the team that was with the Braves when they won the World Series. Now the Braves have staff positions and coaches who were with the Braves then as players, but when it counts the players lean on each other. And that is where Chipper Jones if he can stay healthy for the duration of the season can help bring the Braves out of the ashes and possibly back into another World Series contention.