Chipper sits during his last game in Queens
With his left knee feeling a little better than it had over the previous couple of days, Chipper Jones told Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that he could play in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mets at Citi Field. Some of his motivation stemmed from the fact that this will be the last regualr season game he plays in New York City.
But Gonzalez opted to stick with his plan to sit Jones, who has had to get regular rest while his left knee has proven bothersome throughout this season.
“I feel better today,” Jones said. “I actually told them that I wanted to play today. But I also told them last night that I might need some time. I think he was going to stick with the plan to give me today and see how I feel tomorrow. It’s just one of those things. Like I’ve said, I can play three or four days and then stuff starts hurting.”
Jones went hitless in seven at-bats while playing the first two games of this weekend’s series against the Mets. He was hoping to get at least one more pinch-hit plate appearance on Sunday before saying goodbye to the Mets fans with which he has built a love-hate relationship over the past couple of decades.
“It’s been awesome to come out here and play on this stage,” Jones said. “I’m grateful that I had the opportunity and I’m grateful to the Mets organization for all of their generosity and hospitality this weekend. The fans have been receptive. I’ve heard a lot of cheers when I’ve walked up to the plate. Some chants (Saturday) night, late. I’m not used to hearing that particular chant. It’s usually Larry. Last night, it was Chipper. So that was cool.
“I’ve had a gradual changing of my perception of the fans the last five or six years. It’s certainly a lot more cordial. I’m getting a lot of hits from Mets fans on Twitter saying that they still hate me, but still respect (my) career. I think they’re more frustrated with the Mets than they are with me. But still it’s nice to interact. I never thought I’d look at social media as being a good thing. It turns out, it has because it’s given me a chance to interact not just Braves fans.”
Jones also took time on Sunday morning to thank the Mets organization, which presented him with a classy 3D picture that commemorates all of the success he had playing in Shea Stadium.
“It’s been great,” Jones said. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s obviously kind of bittersweet. It’s the last time I’ll be coming here as a player unless we face the Yankees in the World Series. I wish things would have worked out so I could have played today. I really wanted to get out there today. But as I’ve said so many times, sometimes the body doesn’t allow you to do so.”