Chipper Jones reiterates he'll retire after the season, who could join him?
Despite hitting .320 this season, Chipper Jones said he's committed to retiring after this season. Several other long-time stars could be joining him.
|Despite his productive season at age 40, Chipper Jones said he isn't reconsidering retirement. (US Presswire)|
By any account, Chipper Jones is having a great season. The 40-year-old is hitting .320/.396/.516 with 10 homers and 48 RBI in 69 games. Having announced before this season that it'd be his last, is Jones reconsidering because of his success?
"No," he told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday.
He did expand on that a little bit -- and reiterate that he wouldn't be baseball's version of the ongoing joke that is Brett Favre. Jones also said he's not surprised one bit by his success.
"I thought I was fully capable of doing what I'm doing," Jones said (via the AJC). "In fact, I told my agent in spring training. He told me, 'You can't back-track on this. If you've got 20 homers and you're hitting .300 and you've got 80 or 90 RBIs, you can't second-guess yourself.' And I said, well, I'm going to have those numbers, and I'm ready to leave.
"I'm ready to move on."
Jones may not be the only veteran playing his final two months in the big leagues. Here's several other players who have either announced they'd retire at the end of the year, may hang them up or be forced to do so:
Jim Thome: Even at 41, Thome cuts an impressive figure in the batter's box -- as well he should. He has 611 career home runs. He only has five home runs in his 150 plate appearances this season and is hitting .261/.354/.391 since coming to Baltimore, but a big swing of the bat can still produce a big fly. Thome's stint in Philadelphia showed he's an AL-only player from now on if he decides to play another year. He's seventh on the all-time home run list, with Ken Griffey Jr.'s 630 ahead of him.
Omar Vizquel: Vizquel, 45, has already said this will be his last season. A part-time player most of the past five seasons, he's played in 39 games for the Blue Jays this season, manning all four infield spots and even 2/3 of an inning in left field. Most of his time has come at second base. The 11-time Gold Glove winner has 2,863 hits, behind only Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez among active players.
Scott Rolen: The 37-year-old has struggled with injuries each of the last two seasons, but since the All-Star break he's been as good as ever. Rolen is hitting .355/.446/.548 since the break, helping the Reds win 19 of 23 games over that span despite the loss of Joey Votto. Rolen's resurgence (along with that of Ryan Ludwick) has been a key component of the Reds' run. The 1997 Rookie of the Year has eight Gold Gloves and 2,050 hits and 313 home runs in parts of 17 seasons in the majors. He's a career .281/.365/.491 hitter.
Roy Oswalt: Just 34, Oswalt's flirted with retirement, waiting until late May to sign with the Rangers. Since then, he's looked like he's ready to hang them up. In six starts, Oswalt was 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA. Since then he's made two appearances out of the bullpen, but his expressed his displeasure with that role, going so far as reportedly refusing to pitch the ninth inning in the Rangers' extra-inning loss to the Royals on Sunday. If he still wants to pitch, someone will take a chance on him, but his days of demanding a large salary may be over.
Jason Giambi: Giambi, 41, is in the final year of a two-year deal with the Rockies. He's started just 18 games, 12 as a first baseman and six as a DH in interleague play. He's hitting .241/.380/.329 with one home run. He's currently on the disabled list with a viral infection.
Johnny Damon: Last week the Indians designated the 38-year-old Damon for assignment, likely ending his career in the big leagues 231 hits shy of 3,000. Damon hit .222/281/.329 with four home runs and four stolen bases in 64 games for Cleveland. Damon started 52 games in left field and just five as a DH. His lack of productivity makes him a tough sell for about any team, but it wouldn't be a shock to see him in someone's camp next year.
Jamie Moyer: At 49, Moyer became the oldest pitcher to record a win in big league history, but since the Rockies released him on June 1, he's had stints in the minor leagues with the Orioles and Blue Jays. However, he's been without a job for a month. Moyer could probably still get some sort of job as a sideshow in the independent leagues, but it appears retirement may not be his choice.