David O’Brien from the Atlanta Journal Constitution had an interesting report and quote from the Braves Clubhouse yesterday. He has this to report:
Jason Heyward recently said that he wouldn’t return before his shoulder was completely recovered, that he learned his lesson from trying to play through injury as a rookie in 2010…
Larry “Chipper” Jones had a response: “I think where Jason might have erred was the comment that he made, ‘I’m not coming back until it doesn’t hurt anymore.’ That has a tendency to rub people the wrong way,” Jones said. “And we understand where he’s coming from – he wants to be healthy when he plays, so he can go out and give himself the best opportunity to be successful. I get that.
“What Jason needs to realize is that Jason at 80 percent is a force, and Jason at 80 percent is better than a lot of people in this league. And that there are a bunch of his teammates that are out there playing with discomfort and not healthy, and still going at it.”
Chipper knows a thing or two about injuries, hell, he’s playing with a tweaked groin and a meniscus tear in his right knee. He also has missed 339 games over his career, only two full seasons worth of games. He, of all players, has the right to call someone out for not playing. You have to understand that injuries vary and everyone is bound to get hurt at some point, but Jones wins out here. Heyward has All-Star potential and should be capable of over 30 HR per season for the next decade, and he is better than Joe Mather with a blind fold on. Chipper Jones doesn’t really have anything besides seniority to make this rant about Heyward, and you may need to question the fact that he didn’t just go to Heyward rather than the Atlanta Journal Constitution; however, it had to be said. He was eligible to come back on Tuesday night. He can’t sit until he is 100%. The season is too long, you can’t expect to play every game at 100%. If that was the case, maybe everyone would have missed over 300 games in a career.