When Chipper Jones retired he did it the right way. He made his decision prior to his last season, had the press conference to let everyone know his intentions, then he played his last season and accepted the accolades and answered all the questions.
The Braves organization benefited by Jones’ early decision. They were able to sell quite a few extra tickets, by marketing 2012 as Chipper’s farewell season. They were also able to start making plans as to who would be Jones’ successor at third base.
The fans benefited by having the opportunity to see their hero one last time, and by letting him know how much they loved and appreciated hm and his career.
At times you could tell that Jones was worn down and annoyed by all the additional attention that his farewell season created. But he knew it was important to end his career with style and class. Thanks to Chipper’s early and definitive decision, his farewell season was a win/win for everyone. Chipper Jones went out with style and class.
Contrast how Chipper Jones ended his career, with how the Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez is going about his business. Where Jones made a definitive decision before his last season to retire, Gonzalez has been hemming and hawing on whether he wants to play, or hang it up, for nearly a year now.
Gonzalez is a class act and a good guy, so you hate to see him unable to step up and make an executive decision. But hopefully he’ll figure out a way to exit as gracefully, and with the class that Chipper Jones did. Maybe Tony should give Chipper a call, or perhaps his secretary should call Chipper’s and arrange lunch.