Marlins give retiring Chipper Jones a fishing rod
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins want Chipper Jones to go fishing.
Truth is, they've probably felt that way for a while.
Jones, who has more logged more games, hits, home runs and RBIs against the Marlins than anyone else, added to his collection of going-away gifts from his final season before his last game in Miami on Wednesday night. The Marlins gave Jones a fancy fly-fishing rod and reel among other gifts in a pregame ceremony, one that also included a video tribute and greetings from Jeff Conine and Jose Reyes.
Jones has said he is retiring after the 2012 campaign ends. He went out a winner in Miami, with the Braves topping the Marlins 3-0.
"I don't know why he wants to quit playing," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "To me, good. Yeah, get out of here. He plays against the Marlins very well."
Very, very well — with better numbers in many categories than any Marlins opponent.
Jones played in his 244th game against the Marlins on Wednesday, 45 more than anyone has logged against the franchise to date. No Miami opponent has gotten more home runs (40), RBIs (165), hits (258), doubles (47), runs (152), at-bats (864) or walks (140) than Jones, who got his first taste of the majors in 1993 — the same season that the Marlins debuted.
"Chipper was very underrated in his career," Guillen said.
Guillen and Jones were teammates in Atlanta in 1998 and 1999.
"He grew up with the right people around him," Guillen said. "He grew up with tremendous management around him. He grew up a winner all his life — that's very important. I think Chipper spent more time in the playoffs than any position player. Chipper played every day in his career for a reason. And now he gives the kids what they gave him, teaching respect, teaching how to play the game, how to be professional. Not too many people do that."
This Atlanta season — which has no end in sight, given how the Braves are firmly ahead of the NL wild-card chase and aren't out of the NL East race, either — has been a celebration of all things Chipper.
The New York Mets gave Jones — who has a son named Shea in a nod to the Mets' former home park — a piece of 3-D artwork. Jones got a surfboard from the San Diego Padres, the Braves flag that flew over Wrigley Field in Chicago, his No. 10 from the famed scoreboard at Fenway Park and even a grill and year's supply of bratwurst from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jones said he was moved by how teams have tipped their caps.