Chipper reflects upon final visit to Philadelphia

Chipper reflects upon final visit to Philadelphia

Chipper reflects upon final visit to Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA -- Chipper Jones is asked the same question every time he meets new reporters in a new city.

Does he think at all about coming back?

"Did you see me walk in here?" he said.

Jones limped through the visitor's clubhouse Friday at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies and Braves opened a three-game series. Jones, 40, is retiring after the season, despite hitting .297 with 14 home runs, 60 RBIs and an .856 on-base-plus slugging percentage in 102 games.

"I'm in a lot of pain today," he said. "It's time. I'm happy that I've played well. I'm happy I've produced when I've been in there, but it's time to go."

He is not looking back, and he has no regrets.

So this represents the last time Jones will play baseball in Philadelphia. He entered Friday having played a combined 119 games at Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park, hitting .329 (136-for-414) with 24 home runs, 69 RBIs and a 1.029 OPS.

The Phillies honored him before the game.

"I have a lot of respect for these guys," Jones said. "These guys have done it as well as anybody for the last five or six years, even before the last five or six years. I was in the dugout in '93, when they beat us with the [Curt] Schillings and [Terry] Mulhollands and Dutch [Darren Daulton] and [Lenny] Dykstra and all those guys. A lot of good baseball has been played here in Philly."

Jones discussed his three most memorable moments in Philadelphia:

• Phillies closer Mitch Williams striking out Bill Pecota for the final out in Game 6 of the 1993 National League Championship Series. "I can remember leaving the Vet, and all the fans outside the stadium almost tipped our bus over," Jones said. "It was a little intro into what Philly fans were all about. That was fun."

• The Phillies and Braves playing the first game following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Sept. 17 at Veterans Stadium. Jones homered in his first at-bat in the first inning against Phillies right-hander Robert Person.

• Every plate appearance against pitchers like Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Schilling. "That's how you make a name for yourself, going out and putting up good AB's against guys like that," Jones said. "They're the best in the business. They have not made it easy for us."

Phillies fans loved to boo Jones during his appearances here, chanting his first name, "Larry! Larry! Larry!"

"I think it was kind of a trickle-down effect from New York," Jones said.

Fans will get one final chance to boo him this weekend, although Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he isn't looking forward to seeing Jones retire, despite the number of times he has hurt the Phillies.

"Why wouldn't we want to face him?" he said. "You're not afraid to play anybody. If you're a champion, you should never want [anything] easy or you should look at it as you want to play the best and beat the best."