Middle-aged melee: Chipper adds spice to farewell tour with Moyer takedown

The Chipper Jones Farewell Tour is going to be like no other. (I think I speak for baseball writers everywhere when I say we are going to miss him dearly, and especially his fabulous quotes.)

Jones let loose with some great rips of the amazing, 49-year-old Jamie Moyer after Moyer accused the Braves great of stealing signs from second base and relaying them to his teammates. Moyer actually made the accusation during Saturday's game. But Jones let Moyer have it afteward, verbally slapping around one of Chipper's few ballplaying elders.

"That was all on Jamie Moyer. He woke a sleeping giant tonight,'' Chipper, a young whippersnapper of 40, told MLB.com "He started chirping and it was all downhill from there. He accused me opf relaying a sign down 6-2 with a 3-0 count to Brian McCann. I have never relayed a sign to anyone while I'm on second base.''

Chipper was just warming up. He also said, "You question our integrity, that's wrong. I've never accused him of doctoring a baseball. I've never accused him of over-milligraming, nothing. That's (garbage) ... I didn't see any signs on the 900-foot homers that were hit.''

Chipper was referring to two long home runs, by Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward, that allowed the Braves to come back for a 13-9 victory over Moyer's Rockies. Chipper also said, "I don't know why he's so paranoid. But to be honest with you, every pitch he throws is 78 (mph). So it's not like we really need to relay signs.''

Jones went on to tell Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he believes Moyer is paranoid because he used to play for the Phillies, who Jones claimed is known for stealing signs.

The funniest thing that came out of this is that Moyer, 49, still has so much confidence he figures the Braves, the top-scoring team in baseball, do indeed need to resort to stealing his signs to beat him. That sort of belief in himself may be one of his tricks to pitching practically until his AARP card arrives.

In any case, let's just sit back and enjoy Chipper's last go-round. It should be a hoot.

Jones already got the Phillies and Rockies (or at least one of the Rockies) here. And you can count on more to come from Jones, who announced this spring that this will be his final season. (Moyer, meanwhile, hopes to keep pitching, by all appearances.)

Let's hope Chipper takes it easy on the Mets, though. Even though he has hit 56 home runs against the Mets, more homers than against any other team and seemingly all of them game deciders, word is they are planning a little tribute to their career-long tormentor. Anything derogatory he might say about the Mets would be poor form. The Phillies and their former pitcher with 200-plus career victories, well, the can take care of themselves.

As for the Mets, well, if anyone should wonder about Chipper and stolen signs, it is them.

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