Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Braves bring back Chipper Jones, and it's a win for both parties


Logic and wagering odds tells us the Braves will not be very good next season.

Logic: The 2016 roster has been stripped of most expensive veterans and restocked with inexpensive but unproven youth.

Odds: An online sportsbook has listed the Braves at 100-1 to win the World Series, which ties them for last.

But the organization just made a wise move off the field. The Braves have hired former star third baseman Chipper Jones as a special assistant in baseball operations. Jones' specific duties probably will evolve as time goes on but he'll be a voice in the room for general manager John Coppolella and team president John Hart, as well as lend a hand in spring training.

The move makes sense for both parties. The Braves bring a future Hall of Famer back into the fold, which can only help in the credibility department. Jones, who had hinted about wanting to return to the game in some way, but likely not in a full-time role, gets a chance to give back to baseball and the Braves and work with young hitters, which is what he enjoys most. He played for the Braves' only World Series winner in 1995, won an MVP award, two Silver Sluggers, a batting title, played in eight All-Star Games and finished his 19-year career with a .303 batting average, 468 homers and 1,623 RBIs.

"After a few years of decompressing, I came to the undeniable conclusion that I want to be around the game again and, more particularly, around the Atlanta Braves," Jones said in a statement released by the team. "Because of what we are in the process of building for this city and our fan base, I am extremely excited to be dipping my toe back into the water that is Braves baseball. I look forward to working with our players, as my passion for the art of hitting is something I hold near and dear to my heart.  My hope is that I can be an ‘extra set of eyes’ on our players and help supplement an already strong baseball operations department and coaching staff. I am honored to be back working with the Braves."

Jones was a pro sports rarity: a one-team player. He was drafted by the Braves in 1990 and retired as a Brave following 2012, an All-Star season.

It would be a bonus if the Braves also could convince any of their three former Hall of Fame starting pitchers, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine or the recently inducted John Smoltz, to take a role with the organization. This isn't about building an old-timers club. It's about restoring some pride, credibility and a standard in the organization that has been lacking during the roster tear-down and front-office shakeup.

And even at 43 years old, I'm guessing Jones could still win a roster spot if he wants one.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.