Chipper Jones: A Class Act for Avoiding Performance-Enhancing Drugs?

by Shaun

So Chipper Jones believes he did things “the right way” because he did not us performance-enhancing drugs:

Jones will go into the Hall of Fame one day. He will be in a special group of players who, as he said, “have done it right. The guys who get done with their career and make it through the so-called steroid era unscathed, that’s a huge feather in our cap.”

Assuming Jones is being honest about whether he used PED’s, and we have no reason to believe that he’s being dishonest, he indeed deserves credit for taking a stand, at least when it came to his own career, about refusing to use PED’s.

But then we get to some of the comments under this article, like this one from Tim:

And this folks is why everyone young baseball should look up to Chipper Jones as a role model for how to play baseball the right way! Thanks Chipper!

While he deserves credit for avoiding PED’s, let’s not pretend that Chipper Jones is and has always been an upstanding human being.  Chipper Jones had an affair with a Hooters waitress and impregnated her.

Chipper made this statement:

“Yeah. I mean, definitely,” the Braves’ almost-40 third baseman said Monday when asked if he ever considered using performance-enhancing drugs. “You see peers doing it. You see contemporaries on other teams doing it and putting up [big] numbers. But at that point in my career, while I didn’t have kids yet, and I thought, I don’t want to jeopardize their lives [with the backlash] one day.”

Really?  Chipper was worried about his future children when it came to dealing with the PED issue but how about when he was fooling around with a Hooters waitress?

Some fans praised Chipper for staying away from PED’s, going so far as to call him a “class act” and someone to whom young fans should look up, while forgetting about or overlooking his personal failings (again, check out the comments section of Jeff Schultz’s article).

Chipper Jones is a great baseball player, worthy of the Hall of Fame.  He deserves credit for staying away from PED’s and for other things he’s done, like taking less money than what he could have made on the open market to stay with the Atlanta Braves his entire career.  There are plenty of things to admire about Chipper Jones.

However, let’s stop short of considering him someone young people should look up to in any way other than in his ability to hit a baseball, recognize pitches or play third base in the major leagues.  Unless you know a player personally or know something great they’ve consistently done to help people, let’s stop short of calling players “class acts.”

Perhaps Chipper Jones is now a very admirable human being in addition to him having an impressive baseball career.  But unless you know him personally, you just don’t know whether he is or isn’t.  Like any player, we should appreciate and enjoy their ability to entertain us on a baseball field.  We shouldn’t pretend this gives us any sort of insight into his character.

There is nothing wrong with a fan expressing admiration for Chipper for staying away from PED’s, for playing baseball on a Hall-of-Fame level or for staying with one team his entire career instead of chasing more money from another team.  But none of this makes him any more or less admirable as a human being, overall.

In the new age of baseball hero-worship it seems the measure of a man is solely based on whether he used PED’s.  Whether he was unsavory or praiseworthy in other, perhaps more important, aspects of his life or whether we know anything about the other more important aspects of his life is irrelevant, in terms of his class or whether youngsters should look up to him.


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55 Responses to “Chipper Jones: A Class Act for Avoiding Performance-Enhancing Drugs?”

  1. Raul Says:

    First, what the hell is an “illegitimate child”?? Frankly, I find the term offensive.

    And secondly, no player deserves credit for not using PEDs.
    Would you deserve credit for not going to prison? Do you deserve credit for not breaking a wine glass when you’re washing the dishes?

    Are you kidding me?

  2. Shaun Says:

    It was not meant to be offensive. It was just meant to describe Chipper Jones as having a child with a woman he was not married to and presumably never intended to marry. I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it an offensive term and will be glad to edit it as soon as possible.

    As far as a player deserving credit for not using PED’s, I don’t know if credit is necessarily the perfect word but a player playing in that era of baseball deserves some respect for avoiding PED’s.

  3. Shaun Says:

    The wording has been changed.

  4. Cameron Says:

    @1 All I can think of is Chris Rock.

    “I ain’t never been to jail!”

    “Whatcha want, a fuckin’ cookie? You’re not supposed to ya dumb muthafucka!”

  5. Shaun Says:

    It’s a little different with baseball players in the 1990’s and PED’s. Baseball players were getting away with using PED’s then.

    While I’m sympathetic to the point that no player deserves a great deal of praise heaped upon him for avoiding PED’s as if they are Mother Teresas, I do think that players who were high-profile types who avoided the temptation deserve some degree of credit.

    But sort of the whole point of this article is that no player deserves the hero-worship that some fans (like several of the fans that commented on Jeff Schultz’s article) want to give them. That we, as a society of baseball fans, need to step back and realize that we should appreciate these players for what they’ve done to make themselves major league players and appreciate their talents but that says nothing about their character as human beings.

    In all honesty most of us really have little idea how respectable or not baseball players are as people. And it’s quite disturbing for fans to admire a baseball player for anything other than what he’s done on the field or what he does to make himself successful on the field or for specific things he’s done for charities that he makes known to the public.

    That’s not meant to say we should judge baseball players or assume they are bad people. We should just take a realistic view of their humanity. Hey, we’re all human and we’re all flawed, and talents and professions don’t change that for most of us. We just need to be careful, as a society, what kind of praise we give baseball players and other types of entertainers or other types of public figures (politicians, etc.). Many deserve praise in many aspects of their lives, perhaps even those who have done some horrendous things in their personal lives. But let’s not paint with too broad a brush and act as if they are better people and that they have fewer flaws than the rest of us.

    Someone called Chipper a class act and someone said kids should look up to him. Well, maybe that’s the case. But maybe it isn’t. Sure, look up to him purely in a baseball sense. But let’s hold off on whether we want our children to look up to him as a man.

  6. Raul Says:

    The only person you should look up to is the taller man.

    I bet I could twist that comment into a haiku.

  7. Raul Says:

    Born today:

    Harry Caray. During his 53 years in MLB, he worked for the Athletics, Cardinals, White Sox and Cubs. Will Ferrell is well known for his parodies of Caray, but my favorite line might be from a stand-up by Artie Lange:

    “Harry Caray…it’s like someone put an ex-Klansman in a radio booth. Harry would get on in the beginning of the season and go ‘If this guy wins 20 games, I’m a Chinaman!’ You gotta give it up to anyone who still says ‘chinaman’ after like 1930.”

  8. Bob Says:

    A.J Burnett has a fractured orbital bone.

  9. Raul Says:

    Scary stuff. Hopefully he recovers well.

  10. Cameron Says:

    fractured orbital bone? Only way I know a pitcher can get that injury is someone lining a heater back at him in BP. So this is actually good news. Someone in Pittsburgh learned how to hit.

  11. Bob Says:

    Actually Cam, Burnett was in the batters box when it happenend. He was batting…or should I say bunting.
    And their center fielder can hit.

  12. Raul Says:

    5 years, 75 million for Yadier Molina.


  13. Cameron Says:

    15 per for Yadi?

  14. John Says:

    I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

    Pitchers love throwing to him. He’s a fantastic backstop, sound in all important aspects of playing the position (great arm, calls a good game, blocks pitches well, good instincts on bunts, etc).

    And offensively, he’s made great strides, hitting .300 this past season with career bests in HR and 2B.

  15. Raul Says:

    I wish athletes would retire without a goddamn press conference.

  16. John Says:

    You get pissed off at the oddest things.

  17. Cameron Says:

    Rule of thumb for me is if you don’t have an outside shot at Cooperstown, don’t call a conference.

  18. Raul Says:

    It’s meaningless and stupid.

    There’s nothing of interest or value said at a retirement press conference.

    The reporters ask stupid questions (like they always do) and then they go to their offices, look up, recall past stories of the athlete, and then write about whether or not the player has a shot at the Hall of Fame.

    It’s the same stupid bullshit every god damn time.

    Wake me up when someone goes all Kenny Powers in front of a microphone.

  19. John Says:

    All while you’re forced to watch.

  20. Raul Says:

    Oh right. I forgot.
    I’m not allowed to express when I think something is fucking stupid.

    Duly noted.

  21. Mike Felber Says:

    Um, why is my B-ball/Wilt stories “awaiting moderation”? Due to putting in 2 links?

  22. Chuck Says:

    Today is the 50th anniversary of (arguably?) the single greatest individual performance in sports history..Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 pt. game.

    At the time, the NBA was in “promotion” mode and would routinely play regular season games in cities that didn’t have a team, this game was played in Hershey PA at HersheyPark Arena.

    I had been to Hershey a couple of times on vacation as a kid but had no opportunity to go inside the arena, so the first time came in 1978 or ‘79 when I was working for the AHL. The Flyers’ farm team (Hershey Bears) played their home games at the arena.

    When you walk through the main entrance there is (was?) a display about the game, a glass case with a ball, uniform, I think a pair of his shoes, and a few pictures and newspaper clippings. When you first see it, you don’t really think about it because there was also a display showing the history of Hershey and the chocolate factory, you almost stumble upon it by accident.

    But when you stop and read it and realize what you’re seeing, you can feel the goosebumps moving up and down your body.

    Very cool.

    The most amazing thing to me about that game was Wilt, a notoriously bad free throw shooter, was 28-32 for the game. The 28 made is still an NBA record, his 32 attempts was broken this past January by Dwight Howard.

  23. Raul Says:

    Evan Longoria was hit in the hand by Matt Bush.

    Matt Bush? I thought he was a shortstop.
    Now he’s a 25-year old minor league reliever.

  24. Chuck Says: came out with their top 120 prospect list the other day.

    Dellin Betances #103

    There’s no way anyone can convince me they watch baseball and could justify Betances being 103rd.

  25. Bob Says:

    David Ortiz is hoping to play a “couple more seasons” after this year.

  26. Chuck Says:

    He hasn’t “played” for the last seven.

  27. Bob Says:

    Fair enough. Wonder what type of offers he will receive next off-season.

  28. Bob Says:

    Eric Wedge said he has ” Considerable concern” about Franklin Gutierrez. Is this the opening Damon needed?

  29. John Says:

    Damon should definitely take a deal to play in Seattle, although it’s not like he’d directly replace Guetierrez. Still, terrible offense, terrible team, it’s not like anyone’s going to take at-bats from him. He can rack up 150-180 hits no problem en route to 3000.

    MLB is officially expanding to 5 playoff teams, with a play-in game. Now winning your division really means something.

  30. Cameron Says:

    Really Eric? I know you’re worried about offense on that team but Death To Flying Things’ glove is worth his paycheck alone.

  31. Bob Says:

    The point being “Death to Flying Things” is injured.

  32. John Says:

    Right. So I guess move Trayvon Robinson from LF to CF, shift whoever was DHing at the end of last year into LF, DH Damon would be the idea, with Damon getting occasional time in LF. Not sure if Ichiro can still play CF in a pinch.

    Obviously, if healthy, Gutierrez can still hit .240/.310/.360 and be a fairly valuable player because of his glove…unlike the rest of that joke lineup.

    The Mariners don’t really have anything to lose for this year anyway. They’re probably going to lose over 162 games, Damon instantly becomes one of their best hitters, and if they still aren’t looking good next season, they can bring him back for another year for a major attendance draw as he goes after that marquee hit.

    I like the idea on both ends. As long as Damon isn’t still holding out for 5 freaking million bucks.

  33. Chuck Says:

    Seattle will have a better record than Oakland.

  34. John Says:

    They might, both teams are looking at 100 losses.

    Reason I don’t mention Damon for Oakland is that the A’s went ahead and got Manny for the DH spot. Although, who really cares if Damon bumbles around in the OF.

  35. John Says:

    “They’re probably going to lose over 162 games”


    My bad, they probably won’t do that bad.

  36. Bob Says:

    I think Manny and Damon in the same outfield again would be awesome. Manny would of course also be the cutoff man.


  37. John Says:

    LOL @ 36

  38. Raul Says:

    It would be awesome if Seattle was this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates…and stunned the League by staying in the race for half a season.

  39. John Says:

    …only to regress when the law of averages caught up to them.

  40. Raul Says:

    Maybe the law of averages will step up for the Brewers.
    They’ve sucked for several decades now.

  41. John Says:

    That’d be nice.

    But that’s also not how the law of averages works.

  42. Raul Says:

    So it’s a season by season thing. I getcha.

    A team does really good for 3 months, they’re bound to suck for another 3.
    But a team sucks ass for 30 years, they aren’t bound to get good for the next 30.

    I’m fully aware of the law of averages.
    But you have much to learn about the law of trolling.

  43. Chuck Says: come out for ST let me know..I can leave you some tickets.

    Same for you, John.

    Rumor has it Aaron Rodgers has been hanging around camp the last couple of days.

    My wife told me the other day if she doesn’t get a chance to meet Bob Uecker, whatever they’re paying me isn’t worth the effort.


  44. Cameron Says:

    You ever hear Artie Lange’s bit about the time he was calling a bit of a game with Bob Uecker? Bob’s a wizard with that cough button and the shit he says off the air… He’s a dirty old man.

  45. Chuck Says:

    I was in a room once with Uecker, Robin Yount, Phil Niekro, Fergie Jenkins, 1960 Cy Young winner Vern Law, 1978 NL ROY Bob Horner, 1972 AL HR champ Bill Melton, 1969 Miracle Mets players Jim McAndrew and Duffy Dyer, 1967 AL ERA champ and no hit pitcher Joel Horlen, and who do you think signed the most autographs?

    Yount told me he loves going to MLB events with Uecker because people leave him alone.


  46. Chuck Says:


    The Mariners played Oakland today in the first official ST game of the season.

    Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson shared left field.

    Michael Saunders played center.

    Alex Liddi played first, Nick Franklin played second.

    Jesus Montero homered. He also had a passed ball (should have had four), allowed a SB, and made an error, and left the game due to two foul balls off the mask because he’s stiffer than a cigar store Indian and can’t anticipate pitches.

    All the blogosphere cares about is the homer, I already ripped some dumbass a new one on Twitter because he said Cashman got “fleeced” in the deal.

    Shouldn’t there be a moratorium on morons during spring training?

  47. Raul Says:

    I’m going to try, Chuck.
    Might be a fast weekend, or maybe just 1 day, but we’ll see.

    Major League 2 (ok, not a great movie)

    *Leadoff hitter Willie Mays Hayes cracks a home run in a Spring Training game*

    Rube Baker, Catcher: Wow, Willie’s really got some power.
    Lou Brown, Manager: …Off a guy who will be bagging groceries in a couple of weeks!

  48. John Says:

    LOL @ 46, because its not like the Yankees got one of the best young pitchers in the game or anything.

  49. Raul Says:

    The Yankees should be a little wary about CC Sabathia.

    He’s a big, strong man but a big man nonetheless…with some miles on that arm and body.

    As best I can tell, Sabathia has pitched the 4th-most innings during the last three years with 705.

    The good part is that Sabathia has been everything the Yankees could have hoped for: 59-23, 3.18 ERA and helped them win the 2009 World Series.

    But he also faltered a bit as the year went on in 2011. And after showing up to Spring Training last year having dropped 20-30 pounds during that offseason, he was noticeably heavier in October. Batters against him OPSed .605 in the first half of 2011 and .763 in the second.

    No one is saying Sabathia will fall off overnight, but they gave this man 122 million dollars in a new contract this past winter. They need him on the field and in condition.

    I’ve stated, and some agree, that pitch counts and innings counts really vary from player to player. I don’t want to see the Yankees ace heading to the dugout after 100 pitches or on a season innings limit. But I don’t want to see him on the disabled list because poor conditioning led to fatigue that altered mechanics and caused injury either.

  50. John Says:

    Indeed, he did do worse in the second half (especially August, .331/.350/.568 against) but I also noticed that he stepped up his K totals, striking out 10.2/9 in the second half.

    Not sure what to derive from that, but I thought it was interesting.

  51. John Says:

    “Same for you, John.

    Rumor has it Aaron Rodgers has been hanging around camp the last couple of days.”

    I appreciate the offer, Chuck – should’ve taken you up on it a couple years ago. I was down there in 2009 with my dad and brother for a week; mostly followed the Brewers, of course, but followed them around; we hit Maryvale, Scottsdale (Giants park was right by the hotel we stayed at), Goodyear (met Bob Feller) and saw a Mariners-Rangers game at the Rangers/Royals complex (they share? How does that work?)

  52. Jim Says:

    “The Yankees should be a little wary about CC Sabathia.”

    The CC will break down meme has gone on since he left the Brewers for FA, but he goes out and pitches 200+ innings every year and is consistently one of the best pitchers in the game. Might he break down, sure as might King Felix, Lester or Halladay. If I were a Yankees’ fan, I’d be more worried about Phil Hughes missing a long stretch (which is likely) than CC missing a start.

  53. Bob Says:

    The point being ( I think) is Sabathia is under contract for a lot longer and alot more money than Hughes. They can replace Hughes ( Oswalt, trade, prospect du jour) Cannot replace a Sabathia-type talent.

  54. Bob Says:

    Cameron Maybin and the Padres agreed to a 5-year extension.
    Chris Carter will play in Japan.

  55. Raul Says:

    The Yankees, if the offense keeps up, can survive without Hughes for 6 weeks.

    If Sabathia goes down, you can forget it.

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