Chipper Jones still can’t believe how much he’s adored in Atlanta.
A near capacity crowd at Turner Field showered him with cheers and praise on Friday night as the Braves retired his No. 10 jersey.
“It still doesn’t seem real,” Jones said. “I played baseball. I haven’t cured cancer or anything. It’s almost embarrassing to be getting all this attention and all the accolades. It’s so humbling.”
Jones, the 1999 National League MVP and eight-time All-Star, was honored before Atlanta’s game against Arizona. The former third baseman retired after last season’s playoff loss to St. Louis, having played his entire 19-year career with the Braves.
“That pregame ceremony was something else,” Jones said. “I never could have imagined it. I tried to picture it in my mind for the last week or so, but it exceeded all expectations.”
Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter sat in a box near the home dugout.
“I made it a point not to look my mom and dad in the face because I know if I would have I’d have probably lost it,” Jones said with a grin. “I take great pride in the fact I made it through that whole thing without shedding a tear.”
Jones’ number is the 10th to be retired by the Braves.
Rays’ Price to return
American League Cy Young Award winner David Price will rejoin the Tampa Bay Rays’ rotation Tuesday night at Houston.
Manager Joe Maddon said he feels “pretty strongly” that the lefty is ready to return from a strained left triceps.
Clearing the bases
Cleveland Indians’ RHP Dillon Howard was suspended for 50 games without pay under baseball’s minor league drug program following a positive test for an amphetamine. … Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said INF Ramiro Pena underwent season-ending surgery to repair a tear in the back of his right shoulder. … The Arizona Diamondbacks reinstated 3B Eric Chavez from the 15-day disabled list and designated INF Eric Hinske for assignment. … The Colorado Rockies activated RHP Rafael Betancourt from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Juan Nicasio to Triple-A Colorado Springs. … Milwaukee Brewers 1B Corey Hart will have surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee next week and miss the remainder of the season. … RHP Mark Prior was released from the Cincinnati Reds organization, ending his latest comeback attempt.
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