As we witnessed again last week, Chipper Jones is the proverbial dude who could fall out of bed and hit .300. Almost literally.
How else to explain how a guy, without playing in a game in three weeks or even facing live pitching in that time (save for 15 swings against Randall Delgado), walk a bit gingerly to the plate – the walk of a 40-year-old ballplayer with a lot of mileage — with a small, still-fresh scar from his sixth knee surgery, and hit a single his first time up and a two-run homer an inning later?
Many of the accepted rules and restrictions just don’t apply to Chipper, who had only 25 at-bats in spring training and eschewed a minor-league rehab assignment as a “waste of time,” preferring instead to, as he put it, just get back in there and get after it.
Chipper homered in his first game and second plate appearance of the season, hours after being activated from the DL without going on a rehab assignment. (AP photo)
Then the oldest guy on the team had the best performance of any Brave through the first five games of what, until Tuesday, had been a dispiriting first week for the Bravos from ATL.