Chipper in lineup for opener vs. Brewers

Chipper in lineup for opener vs. Brewers

Chipper in lineup for opener vs. Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- After sitting out Sunday's series finale against the Mets before pinch-hitting in the ninth, Chipper Jones was back in the lineup on Monday.

Jones rested in his final game in New York as his bothersome left knee had acted up over the weekend, especially following a 75-minute rain delay on Saturday night.

"He was good enough to pinch-hit yesterday," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He feels good."

This series marks the final scheduled trip to Milwaukee for Jones, and the Brewers plan to honor the longtime third baseman prior to Wednesday's game.

Opposing teams have been honoring Jones on the road throughout the season, acknowledging his impressive career and longevity. Gonzalez has enjoyed being along for the ride.

"He's an icon," Gonzalez said. "I think people around baseball know that he played the game the right way. He's darn good. And they appreciate good players. Even New York. I read a funny sign -- it had 'Larry' spelled with three 'R's and three 'Y's, and it said, 'I yell Larry with respect.'"

This week it's the Brewers' turn to continue the yearlong sendoff.

"It's got to be someone like Chipper, that people appreciate the kind of career he's had," Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. "A first-ballot Hall of Famer, no doubt."

To say that Jones is well liked by players around the league would be an understatement.

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who was just 9 years old when Jones made his Major League debut in 1993, played with the 19-year veteran in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The two also were National League teammates for the 2008, 2011 and 2012 All-Star Games.

The reigning NL Most Valuable Player had plenty of good things to say about the 1999 winner of the award. Braun was especially impressed with Jones' speech before this year's Midsummer Classic.

"It's almost more meaningful to hear a speech from a player like that, who we all respect, than from anyone else," Braun said. "It was pretty cool."