Braves’ Best Bet as Next Manager: Chipper Jones

by M.C. Antil on October 7, 2010

As the Braves await tonight’s opener of their NLDS series with the pitching-rich Giants, possibly Bobby Cox’s last post-season series of his remarkable career, I’m going on record right now as saying the best candidate to replace him is already under contract with the team.

Of all that people the Braves could interview and hire, the most qualified might be Chipper Jones, their now-ridiculously fragile Hall of Famer-in-waiting.  Chipper’s still got some game left, so there’s no need for him to retire as an player.  But given his advancing age and chronic injuries, he may have only one or two more productive years left in him.  What’s more, his days as a guy you can rely on to be there in the middle of the order for 140-150 games are long gone.

Skipper Jones?

What he would bring to the manager’s office, however, would be an almost savant-like knowledge of the game, a respect among his fellow players that is off-the-charts and a baseball intuition so spot-on that at times it can be downright spooky. 

Why hire a player-manager in this day and age?  The question should be, why not?  Not only would the Braves be getting themselves one of the greatest baseball minds on the planet, they’d be saving a little money in the process. 

And for a mid-market team like Atlanta, don’t discount the importance of the latter.  After all, have you seen what they’re trying to pass off as an outfield these days?

One more thing:  The last player-manager in the big leagues?  As far as I can determine it was Frank Robinson, back in 1975 when he was managing the Tribe while serving as Cleveland’s occasional right-hand DH.

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