So, I really, really don't like Chipper Jones.
I've been a die-hard Braves fan since I can remember, but I hate him. Maybe it's the illegitimate child via a Hooters girl, maybe it's the stupid smug look he always has on his face, or maybe it's just because he seems like such a, to be politically correct and family-friendly, jerk.
But I just don't like him (and don't even start talking about the other Jones, who, praise Allah, is now a former Brave).
That said, he's really, really good at this whole baseball thing.
As he approaches what should be at least the twilight of his career, ol' Chip is starting to push me toward his side. After quietly coming within a few points of being the National League's batting champ last season, Chipper has hit a pair of homers in each of the Braves' last two games, hitting around .450, leading the league in home runs, RBI, and batting, and making it look really, really easy.
Obviously, it's very early in the season, but I'm willing to put my neck (or anything else) under the guillotine and make a prediction: If the Braves (God willing) make the playoffs this year, Chipper Jones will be the NL MVP. Chip Caray said on today's broadcast that Chipper looks like a man on a mission.
My response: Well, yeah.
The dude is not happy about missing the playoffs the past two years, almost getting the batting title last year, and about David Wright getting the Golden Glove in 2007 (despite having 21 errors on a team that completely, and to much my delight, folded at the end of the season; Chipper had nine in arguably his best Major League season defensively).
In all honesty, judging by the pitching staff's current state of disrepair, it's a bit of a long shot for the Braves to win the East again, much less make the playoffs.
But, like I said, if they do, one of my least favorite athletes (not just Braves, not just ballplayers) of all-time will be his league's MVP.