The Union Recorder

Local Sports

February 18, 2013

Chipper back in camp, but he's not coming back

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Chipper Jones was lingering beyond the left-field wall, signing as many autographs as he could, when someone asked the obvious question.

"Do you miss it yet?"

Jones was quick with a reply.

"No," he said, "not too much."

Jones has reported to camp with the Atlanta Braves, but don't get too excited about seeing No. 10 in that familiar uniform. There are no plans for a comeback. If anything, he's surprised at just how little he misses the game that was such a big part of his life.

He's kept himself more than busy (just check out his Twitter account!), from starting up business ventures to running his ranch, from a new romantic relationship to spending time with his kids, from working the banquet circuit to enjoying the solitude of hunting.

"I'm having fun," Jones said Sunday, while walking across the outfield at Champion Stadium, the spring training home of the Braves. "It's kept my mind off things pretty much. I thought this week would probably be a little more difficult than it has been. But, you know, I really haven't had the urge to put the uniform on again."

"That," he went on, "let's me know I made the right decision. I had my time. Now, it's their time."

Jones will be suiting up until Wednesday, helping out the only major league team he ever played for as a special instructor. He still believes he has something to offer, but cringed at all the former teammates jokingly calling him "coach."

"I wouldn't really say I'm a coach," Jones said, even as someone else walked by and shouted it at him. "I'm more of a ... well, I don't know what you would call me. But I don't like being called a coach. I don't think I'm quite to that extent yet. This is just kind of a carryover from mentoring these guys when we were playing. And that's not going to stop just because I'm not playing."

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