Mark DeRosa

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Posted by pompos 04/22/2009 @ 18:11

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News headlines
Big sixth not enough for Rays in defeat -
James Shields started for the Rays and pitched three scoreless frames before Cleveland scored twice in the fourth on RBI singles by Jhonny Peralta and Mark DeRosa to take a two-run lead. Akinori Iwamura made a critical error in the fifth inning when he...
Tribe notes: GM Mark Shapiro says team's energy shortage is over - Chronicle-Telegram
Jamey Carroll played Wednesday for the first time in more than a month, starting in place of Mark DeRosa at third base. He went 0-for-3. DeRosa went 3-for-18 during the six-game homestand. The Indians begin a 10-game road trip that opens with a...
Cleveland 11, Tampa Bay 7 - USA Today
None on with one out and Mark DeRosa due up. Out: Mark DeRosa struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Ben Francisco due up. Out: Ben Francisco struck out swinging to end the inning. Out: Willy Aybar grounded out second to first....
Cleveland Indians lead Chicago White Sox, 2-0, after three - The Plain Dealer -
Mark DeRosa dug out a low pitch from Floyd and lined it toward Jermaine Dye in right. Dye took one step in, then broke back but failed to catch a ball that landed before the track. Credit DeRosa with an RBI double. Dye, still dangerous with the bat,...
Play by play - USA Today
None on with one out and Mark DeRosa due up. Single: Mark DeRosa singled to right. Runner on first with one out and David Dellucci due up. Out: David Dellucci grounded into a double play, second to short to first to end the inning....
DeRosa says he feels pressure at the plate - Akron Beacon Journal
CLEVELAND: You can tell that Mark DeRosa is new to the Indians. The Tribe third baseman didn't see much of the darker side of baseball in his years with the Braves and Cubs. ''I haven't gone through a record like this,'' he said after the Tribe's 5-3...
Mark DeRosa believes his batting slump is finished - Akron Beacon Journal
By Sheldon Ocker DETROIT: The siege appears to be over for Mark DeRosa, whose batting average fell to .195 in the middle of last week before his bat began to spit out a few hits. The slump cost DeRosa the No. 2 spot in the batting order,...
DeRosa with four hits in win -
Mark DeRosa was 4-for-5 with a homer and four runs scored in a 9-8 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night. DeRosa really struggled batting behind Grady Sizemore in the No. 2 hole, but he raked out of the No. 8 spot tonight. His home run in the seventh...
Marquis the one who got away - Chicago Sun-Times
Second baseman -- and utility safety net -- Mark DeRosa was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Fifth starter Jason Marquis was shipped to the Colorado Rockies. On the flip side, Hendry acquired closer Kevin Gregg, signed infielder Aaron Miles and made...
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Mark DeRosa struck out swinging to end the inning. Triple: Julio Lugo tripled to center. Runner on third with none out and Dustin Pedroia due up. Single: Dustin Pedroia single to left scored Julio Lugo. Runner on first with none out and Jason Bay...

Mark DeRosa

Mark DeRosa warms up before a game on July 9, 2008.

Mark Thomas DeRosa (born February 26, 1975, in Carlstadt, New Jersey) is a Major League Baseball infielder for the Cleveland Indians. DeRosa is a utility player who has been primarily a second baseman, but can play other positions; he played six different positions for the Chicago Cubs during his time with the team. He bats right-handed.

DeRosa was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 7th round of the June 1996 free agent draft. In his 2,409 career at bats through 2008, he had a .279 batting average, 69 home runs, 740 hits, 406 runs, and 352 RBIs.

DeRosa attended Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey, with Jim Finn of the New York Giants, where he earned all-state honors in baseball and football.

He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the starting quarterback in the 1993-95 seasons, as well as playing varsity baseball from 1994 to 1996. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. DeRosa was also one of six Ivy Leaguers on major league rosters at the beginnning of the 2009 season.

DeRosa made his MLB debut on September 2, 1998 as a shortstop for the Atlanta Braves. From '98-'01, DeRosa spent much of his time as a backup utility player, playing both infield and outfield. In 2002, though still playing as a backup, DeRosa was starting to play more and more, and enjoyed a sucessful batting average of .297.

DeRosa started the 2004 season as the starting third baseman for the Braves. He had been strictly a backup the previous bunch of years, but the departure of Vinny Castilla opened the spot for him. His performance as a starter was widely considered unacceptable. DeRosa himself spoke openly of his poor performance, declaring in one interview that even his mother couldn't tell him she thought he was playing well. After about a month, DeRosa was demoted back to a backup. Chipper Jones moved from left field to third base, where he had played his whole career until 2002. Jones was replaced in left field by a platoon of Charles Thomas, an unknown rookie, and Eli Marrero, a fairly obscure catcher/outfielder who was considered the much less important half of the trade in which the Braves acquired him and J. D. Drew for pitchers Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. At the end of 2004, the Braves declined to offer DeRosa a contract for the 2005 season.

After the Braves declined to offer DeRosa a contract, he signed with the Texas Rangers. He logged little playing time due to injuries in 2005 which delayed him from playing in the starting lineup. Finally healthy in May of 2006, he received the opportunity to start. DeRosa responded to this by hitting well over .300 for the first half of the season. At season's end, he topped his career high in RBI with 74, eclipsing his previous career high of 31. DeRosa also set a career high in home runs, with 13, and batted a respectable .296. He set a career high with getting 40 doubles.

On November 14, 2006 he signed to a three-year, $13 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. DeRosa's signing was one of several off-season acquisitions by the Cubs in their spending spree. He was a pleasant surprise at the plate in 2007, his first year with the Cubs. He appeared in 149 games for the Cubs, with the majority of his time at second base, but filling in at times all over the field. DeRosa batted .293 with 10 home runs and 74 RBIs. DeRosa on February 23, 2008, was taken to a hospital after having trouble breathing and having a rapid heart beat.

On February 28, 2008 DeRosa had a successful heart procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to correct an irregular heartbeat. His heart procedure earned him the nickname of "the Pulse", which is also the name of his blog on

DeRosa had a very successful 2008 season, where he helped the Cubs to the best record in the National League. He had career highs in home runs with 21 and RBIs with 87.

On December 31, 2008, DeRosa was traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitchers Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub. DeRosa is expected to play third base for the Indians for the 2009 season. He had his first hit with the Tribe on April 10 and his first Home Run on April 12. He starts at 3rd base, but manager Eric Wedge has said that he could see some time at 1st base and in the outfield.

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Keith Lockhart (baseball)

Keith Virgil Lockhart (born November 10, 1964 in Whittier, California) is a retired second baseman and third baseman who played for 10 seasons in the major leagues from 1994-2003.

Lockhart, a left-handed batter, played college baseball at Oral Roberts University and was originally drafted by Cincinnati Reds in the 11th round of the 1986 Amateur Draft. He spent 8 full seasons in the minor league systems of three different organizations before earning a spot on the San Diego Padres' opening day roster in 1994. He played in 27 games with the Padres in his first year before leaving as a free agent and signing with the Kansas City Royals during the 1994 season.

Lockhart played for the Royals in both 1995 and 1996. In his first season, he batted a career best .321, earning him a role as a platoon player in 1996. Sharing time at second base with Bip Roberts and at third base with Joe Randa and Craig Paquette, Lockhart hit .273 and drove in 55 runs.

Shortly before the start of the 1997 season, Lockhart and outfielder Michael Tucker were traded to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Jermaine Dye, and Rule V selection Jamie Walker.

Lockhart stayed in Atlanta for 6 seasons, from 1997 to 2002. He primarily served as a reserve second baseman and also served as a pinch hitter, contributing 59 pinch hits as a Brave. He served as a platoon player on two occasions with the Braves; in 1998 (a year which saw the Braves win a team-record 106 games), Lockhart platooned with Tony Graffanino, while in 2002, he platooned with Mark DeRosa following an injury to Marcus Giles.

He came close to being the hero of the Braves' epic struggle with the New York Mets in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS. Lockhart, who came into the game as a replacement after Bret Boone was pinch-run for, hit an RBI triple in the 15th inning to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. The lead was squandered in the bottom of the inning, however, after a bases loaded walk tied the game; Robin Ventura's famed Grand Slam Single would later win it for the Mets.

In 2003, he returned to San Diego for what would be his last major league season and served as the backup to Mark Loretta. He retired at season's end with a .261 career batting average, 44 career home runs, and 268 runs batted in.

Lockhart was the final out of the 1999 World Series. He flew out to left field.

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Tommy Hunter (baseball)

Raymond Thomas Hunter (born July 3, 1986 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a Major League baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers. Hunter was drafted by the Rangers in the Supplemental First Round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, out of the University of Alabama, a compensatory pick awarded to the Rangers when Mark DeRosa was lost to the Chicago Cubs in free agency.

Hunter made his major league debut on August 1, 2008, taking on the Toronto Blue Jays. In 5 innings, he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits, walking two, and striking out four batters.

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Jim Hendry

Cubs GM Jim Hendry

Jim Hendry (born July 27, 1955, Dunedin, Florida) is the Vice President/General Manager of the Chicago Cubs. Hendry was promoted to GM on July 5, 2002 by former Cubs President/CEO Andy MacPhail. He has worked for the Cubs since 1995. Prior to his promotion to GM, he was named Assistant GM/Player Personnel Director on October 12, 2001, and previously the Director of Player Development, in charge of both Scouting and Minor League Operations.

Hendry graduated from Spring Hill College, where he had majored in communications and journalism. He could not find a job in broadcasting, and took a job as a high school teacher and baseball coach in Miami. This led to a job at Creighton University in 1983, and he was promoted to head coach in the middle of the 1984 season. Following Creighton's NCAA College World Series appearance (1991), Hendry was named National Coach of the Year. He left Creighton later that year to become special assistant to then Florida Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski, and also coached minor league teams in 1993 and '94. Jim has two kids, Lauren and John.

Hendry's tenure as general manager has produced mixed results. In 2003, the Cubs made their first playoff appearance in the Hendry era, but just three years later, Hendry's Cubs had the worst record in the National League. One of his first moves provided fodder for critics and boosters alike: late in spring training 2002, he dealt Julian Tavarez and Dontrelle Willis to the Florida Marlins for pitchers Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca. The deal produced mixed results; Clement was the Cubs' most consistent pitcher in 2002 and continued to be valuable in 2003, while Tavarez's volatile behavior was a distraction to the Cubs in 2001. On the downside, Alfonseca struggled while a Cub, and the minor league pitcher traded to the Marlins was Dontrelle Willis, the 2003 Rookie of the Year.

The Cubs did not contend in 2002, and Hendry fired manager Don Baylor in July, replacing him with Iowa Cubs manager Bruce Kimm on an interim basis. The Cubs staggered to the end of the season in 2002, and Hendry purged several veterans from the roster. One veteran with whom the Cubs appeared to be stuck was Todd Hundley, a free agent acquisition before the 2001 season who struggled on the field, feuded with fans, and had even begun to tarnish the image of his father Randy Hundley, a member of the storied Cubs teams of the 1960s and 1970s. Hundley's large contract would have made trading him difficult, so the only way that he could leave the team would be if Hendry released him. Nevertheless, Hendry found a taker, former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Dan Evans, who offered second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and first baseman Eric Karros. Grudzielanek and Karros were also high-priced veterans on the downsides of their careers. But the two players managed productive seasons in 2003, also providing veteran leadership.

Hendry made his biggest splash in the 2002-2003 offseason when he hired former San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker to manage the club just days after Baker's Giants lost in seven games to the Anaheim Angels in the World Series.

The Cubs started 2003 well, but stumbled after center fielder Corey Patterson injured his knee in June. A little more than two weeks after his injury, Hendry sent prospect Bobby Hill and veteran Jose Hernandez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a center fielder who could replace Patterson for the remainder of the season, Kenny Lofton. The Cubs also received third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the trade ending the revolving door that had been at 3B ever since Ron Santo was traded to the White Sox. Ramirez blossomed into a star with the Cubs, and Lofton provided the spark at the top of the lineup that the Cubs needed.

The Cubs won the National League Central Division title in 2003, and beat Atlanta in the National League Division Series, their first postseason series victory since 1908. They then came within five outs from their first World Series appearance since 1945. They were up three games to one on the Florida Marlins in the NLCS and ended up losing the last three games, including the infamous Game 6 involving fan Steve Bartman.

After failing to close out the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins, Hendry made several acquisitions, picking up first baseman Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi in a trade with the Marlins, acquiring catcher Michael Barrett in a three-way trade with the Oakland Athletics, giving up Damian Miller in the process and Montreal Expos, signing free agents LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Walker and Greg Maddux. On March 25, 2004, he sent prospect pitchers Juan Cruz and Steve Smyth to the Atlanta Braves for two minor leaguers, pitcher Andy Pratt and infielder Richard Lewis .

The Cubs were Sports Illustrated's preseason choice to win the World Series in 2004. Injuries to key players like Mark Prior, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, Joe Borowski, and Alex Gonzalez hindered the Cubs during the early part of the season. On July 31, Hendry made a four-team deal with the Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, sending Gonzalez and prospects Brendan Harris and Francis Beltran to the Expos and prospect Justin Jones to the Minnesota Twins. In return, the Cubs received All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra from Boston, along with prospect Matt Murton.

Garciaparra missed several games down the stretch because of this injury, forcing Hendry to sign Neifi Perez off of waivers. Meanwhile, the Cubs' bullpen became a bigger and bigger source of concern. With Borowski out for the season, the Cubs made Hawkins the closer, and Hawkins struggled down the stretch, blowing two key games the last week of the season. The Cubs led the Wild Card race by 1 1/2 games with nine to go before fading to three games behind the eventual Wild Card winner, the Houston Astros.

As the Cubs saw their lead in the Wild Card race distintegrate, the Cubs became mired in controversy regarding the treatment of the team by television announcers Chip Caray and Steve Stone. After the 2004 season, Chip Caray signed a deal to broadcast Atlanta Braves games (with his father, Skip Caray) while Stone eventually decided not to return as Cubs' color commentator. Meanwhile, slugger Sammy Sosa walked out on his team twice at the end of the season. The first time came during an extra-inning loss to the Montreal Expos at Wrigley Field when Sosa, who did not start because of back spasms, decided to leave the ballpark in the seventh inning to beat traffic on Lake Shore Drive back to his condominium at Lake Point Towers. With Sosa not on the bench available to pinch-hit, Baker called on Ramon Martinez to pinch-hit with the tying run on base in the 12th inning of a 7–6 loss. The second time came the last game of the season, when Sosa left the park moments after learning he wasn't in the starting lineup. When Sosa claimed he stayed until the seventh inning of the game, Hendry released a surveillance tape showing Sosa leaving the park shortly after the 1:20 first pitch.

As a result, the first priority of the 2004-2005 offseason was unloading Sosa. After in-depth talks with the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, the Cubs sent Sosa to the Baltimore Orioles, getting infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. and two minor-leaguers in return. Hendry then signed veteran Jeromy Burnitz to replace Sosa in right field. He signed middle reliever Chad Fox and traded Kyle Farnsworth to the Detroit Tigers for Roberto Novoa and minor-leaguers Scott Moore and Bo Flowers.

After a sub-.500 season marred by injuries in 2005, the Cubs made few major moves going into the 2006 season.

Before the 2006 season, Hendry received a two-year contract extension from the Tribune Company. That gives Hendry financial security the next two seasons, but it doesn't guarantee he will remain with the club. The biggest move was trading three young pitchers, Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto to the Marlins for center fielder Juan Pierre. In November, 2005, Hendry attempted to shore up his bullpen with relievers Scott Eyre and Bob Howry. The Cubs also signed free agent Jacque Jones to play right field. He signed injured free agent starter Wade Miller to a one-year, $1 million contract with $1 million in incentives. Hendry also re-signed journeymen players like Glendon Rusch and Neifi Perez to multi-year deals. Again, injuries marred the 2006 season with Lee going down with a broken wrist just 14 games into the season. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood again went down with frequent injuries. Another factor in the Cubs' poor performance in 2006 was their finishing last in the major leagues in walks.

As the Cubs struggled into July, Hendry announced that he was going to evaluate the coaching staff's performance at the All-Star Break, causing many pundits to speculate that Baker, as well as coaches Gene Clines, Gary Matthews, Larry Rothschild and Dick Pole, were in jeopardy of losing their jobs. Hendry responded that he was not necessarily firing anyone, and that he would not necessarily finish his evaluation over the four-day break. On July 26, Hendry announced manager Dusty Baker would stay on for the rest of the season. At the end of July Hendry traded Maddux to the Los Angeles Dodgers for shortstop Cesar Izturis, and Walker to the San Diego Padres for pitching prospect Jose Ceda, both of which were announced after the deadline had actually passed, but were completed before the deadline. Wade Miller made his first start of the season on September 9, 2006, making five starts total and finishing the season 0–2 with a 4.57 ERA. He filed for free agency after the season and has subsequently re-signed with a contract extension.

On October 2, 2006, Hendry announced that the Cubs would not offer manager Dusty Baker a contract extension . The Cubs finished the 2006 season with 66 wins and 96 losses, finishing 17 1/2 games behind division winner and eventual 2006 World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals and last place in the National League Central Division. It's the first time the Cubs have finished in last place during Hendry's tenure as General Manager and first time as a team since 2000.

Hendry began a huge offseason spending spree starting on October 17, 2006 when Hendry hired veteran manager Lou Piniella to replace Dusty Baker as the Cubs manager for at least the next three seasons with a club option for a fourth season . On November 19, Hendry signed former Washington Nationals superstar Alfonso Soriano to an 8 year, $136 million contract to play outfield for the Cubs. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez opted out of his current contract and filed for free agency, but subsequently signed a new contract with the Cubs, a five year $73 million deal .

In other moves, Hendry inked Wade Miller to an incentive laden, one-year $1.5 million extension to stay with the Cubs . He also signed free agent second baseman and utility player Mark DeRosa (previously of the Texas Rangers) to a three-year, $13 million deal on November 14, 2006 . On November 16, 2006. he completed a trade sending relievers David Aardsma and prospect Carlos Vasquez to the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox for left-handed setup man Neal Cotts . On December 6, 2006, the Cubs agreed to a four-year, $40 million deal with free agent pitcher Ted Lilly, who played the previous season for the Toronto Blue Jays, beating out the New York Yankees , while Hendry was hooked up to an EKG machine. On December 9, it was reported that Hendry signed free agent Jason Marquis to a three-year, $20 million contract. Marquis had last pitched for St. Louis . On December 15, the Cubs also announced their signing of backup first baseman and outfielder Daryle Ward . Hendry also signed outfielder/1B veteran Cliff Floyd, a Chicago native, to a one-year, $3 million deal on January 24, 2007 . Hendry inked Mark Prior to a one-year, $3.575 million contract for 2007 as well.

The Cubs sent utility outfielder prospect Freddie Bynum to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later (right-handed pitcher Kevin Hart). They selected former number-one Rule 5 draft pick Josh Hamilton from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and immediately traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. In the draft, the Cubs also selected right-handed pitcher James Henderson from Washington, and lost: left-handed pitcher Edward Campusano to the Milwaukee Brewers, right-handed pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom to the Houston Astros, infielder Richard Lewis to the Kansas City Royals, and shortsop Jason Smith to Toronto .

While at the Winter Meetings, Hendry felt chest pains and was taken to the hospital where he had an angioplasty; he finalized the Lilly deal from his hospital bed. By the start of Spring Training, Hendry spent $300 million dollars in new contracts.

With new ownership coming at the end of the 2007 season and with the Cubs falling in the standings in May and June, Hendry's chances of staying as the General Manger remained an open question at mid season.

On May 28, 2007, Jim Hendry stated that his team was underachieving. At the time, the Cub had a 22–26 record and were five games behind division-leading Milwaukee.

After June 2, the Chicago Cubs went on to put up the best record in baseball as they chased after a playoff spot. Help arrived when Jim Hendry made it clear that the team was a buyer and not a seller with the acquisitions of Jason Kendall, Craig Monroe and Steve Trachsel. On September 28, 2007, the Cubs clinched the National League Central for the first time since 2003 with an 84–76 record.

The Cubs were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the 2007 NLDS. In October 2008, the Cubs extended Hendry's contract for an additional four years. In October 2008 the Cubs were once again swept in the NLDS, this time by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Chipper Jones


Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones, Jr. (born April 24, 1972 in DeLand, Florida) is an American Major League baseball player. Although initially a shortstop, he has spent most of his career as the starting third baseman for the Atlanta Braves. In 2002 and 2003, Jones primarily played left field before returning to third base in 2004.

Jones debuted in 1993 and has played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. Chipper won the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the 1999 and 2000 National League Silver Slugger Award for third basemen. He currently holds the Braves team record for career On base percentage (.406), and on May 31, 2006, he passed Hank Aaron for second place on the Atlanta Braves all-time career home run list. On July 5, 2007, he passed Dale Murphy for the Atlanta club record of 372 home runs.

In his career, through the 2008 season, Jones is a .310/.408/.548 hitter with 409 home runs, 1,243 walks and 1,374 RBI in 2,023 games. He is behind only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray on the all-time switch hitters career home run list. He is considered one of the game's best all-around hitters, and one of the best switch hitters in the history of the game. He is the only switch hitter in Major League Baseball history to have a .300+ career (.310 at the end of the 2008 season) batting average and 400 home runs.

After he completed his high school career at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, Jones was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the 1st pick overall in the 1990 amateur draft. Jones was not the Braves original choice in the draft. General Manager Bobby Cox had been looking at Todd Van Poppel, but Van Poppel said he would not sign if he was drafted by Atlanta. Scouting Director Paul Snyder wanted Jones anyway. Jones then played three years in the Braves Minor League system before making his major league debut.

Jones debuted on September 11, 1993, as the youngest player in the league. In 1994, Jones suffered an ACL tear in his left knee, after he had been expected to compete for the starting left field job after veteran Ron Gant broke his leg during an offseason dirt bike accident. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 1994 season.

In 1995, Jones led all major league rookies in RBI (86), games played (145), games started (123), plate appearances (602), at bats (524), and runs scored (87). That year, he finished second in the Baseball Writers' Rookie of the Year balloting behind Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo. In addition to achieving a level of personal success, Jones participated in the 1995 World Series. The Braves won the series in six games over the Cleveland Indians. He also participated in the 1996 World Series, in which the New York Yankees defeated the Braves in 6 games.

In 1998, Jones came in 9th in the voting for NL MVP, as he scored 123 runs and had 96 walks (both 4th best in the league).

In 1999, Jones won the National League MVP award after becoming the first player to ever hit over .300 (.319) while slugging 40 or more home runs (45; 3rd in the NL) and doubles (41), drawing 100 or more walks (126; 3rd in the league), notching 100 or more RBI (110) and Runs scored (116), and stealing 20 or more bases (25). He was also walked intentionally 18 times; 2nd in the league, and his .633 slugging percentage was 4th best in the NL. Jones led the Braves to the World Series against the New York Yankees that year, in which the Braves were swept. He did, however, hit their only home run in the series, against Yankees' starter Orlando Hernández.

Jones signed a six-year, $90 million deal in 2000. Jones batted .330 in 2001, 5th best in the league, and led the league with a .349 road batting average. On his birthday, he hit two home runs. On defense, however, his range factor of 2.14 placed him last among the regular major league third basemen who qualified for the fielding ranking.

In 2001, a season of flux for the Braves who had won consecutive division titles since their 1995 World Series victory without winning again, Jones was involved in a public "lingering feud" with former teammate John Rocker. Rocker referred to Jones on the radio by saying "Chip's white trash" and "as two-faced as they came." By late June the two claimed the feud had been put to bed.

Before the start of the 2002 season, Jones announced his willingness to move from third base to left field, to make room for the incoming Vinny Castilla. Jones proved adequate in left field, but following two more early playoff exits in 2002 and 2003, a hamstring pull in the early 2004 season and (then) 3rd baseman Mark DeRosa's struggles, he moved back to his regular position of third base.

In 2002, he batted .327, again 5th best in the NL. Jones was 3rd in the league with a .435 on base percentage. On August 16, 2004, he hit the 300th home run of his career in a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Following the 2005 season, Jones reworked his contract with the Braves -- freeing up money for the Braves to pursue elite free agents, while virtually assuring he will end his career in Atlanta. The revamped deal gave the Braves $15 million over the course of the next three years, as well as $6 million to use in 2006. The new deal also converted two final team option years to guaranteed contracts.

Jones was selected to play in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic (along with Braves teammate Jeff Francoeur). He hit a home run in his first at bat of the Classic against Mexico off of former Atlanta Braves teammate Oscar Villarreal, who was with the team from 2006-2007. Chipper went 6-17 with a double and two homers in the tournament.

The 2006 season was one of numerous milestones for Jones. On June 10, he became the Atlanta Braves' all-time RBI leader when he drove in his 1,144th run against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, passing former outfielder Dale Murphy and placing Jones third on the franchise's all-time list (including Braves teams based in Boston and Milwaukee), behind Hank Aaron (2,202) and Eddie Mathews (1,388).

On July 15, 2006, Jones recorded his 1,902nd career hit, to become the Atlanta Braves' all-time hits leader, passing Hank Aaron. The next day he hit a home run to extend his extra-base hitting streak to 14 games, matching the Major League record set by Pittsburgh's Paul Waner in 1927. A month later, on August 14, Jones had his first career three-home run game. Jones homered in his final three at bats in the Braves' 10-4 win over the Washington Nationals, finishing the night 4-for-5 with 5 RBI.

Despite successes at the plate, injuries dogged Jones throughout the season and for the first time in his career, the Braves failed to qualify for postseason play.

2007 was another year of impressive feats by Jones. On June 17, he hit a single in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians for his 2,000th career hit. On July 5, Jones tied and passed Braves legend Dale Murphy for first on the all-time Atlanta Braves home run list when he belted his 371st and 372nd home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. This game was also the first time he hit homers from both sides of the plate since 2000. The next day, he had his 400th career double in the ninth inning against San Diego Padres pitcher Kevin Cameron, who had previously only allowed one extra-base hit all year. On July 29, Jones matched a career-high with 5 RBIs as the Braves shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-0. He accomplished the feat again on August 23 against the Cincinnati Reds. In the fifth inning of an August 9 game at Shea Stadium, Jones hit a towering three-run homer to right field off Mets starter John Maine. It would later be measured at 470 feet.

Jones finished the season 2nd in NL batting average (.337), 3rd in NL OBP (.425), 3rd in NL SLG (.604), and 1st in NL OPS (1.029). He was also sixth in MVP voting, his highest finish since winning the award in 1999.

While the Braves enjoyed some early successes, injuries to the pitching staff spoiled the ample contributions from Atlanta's potent offense. While the Braves posted a winning record, they finished third in the National League East, and sat out the postseason.

He opened the Chipper Jones' 10th Inning Baseball Academy in Suwanee, Georgia in late 2007.

Jones began the 2008 season where he left off in 2007, hitting over .400 in April while slugging 7 home runs. He also had back-to-back games in which he hit two home runs. Despite these accomplishments, he ultimately lost the NL Player of the Month award in April to Chase Utley. On June 13, Jones was hitting .414 with 15 home runs, but his average dropped to .393 by June 22.

He hit his 400th home run on June 5 off Ricky Nolasco of the Florida Marlins, and he was named NL Player of the Week for the week of June 2nd - 8th. He was picked to start in the All-Star game, receiving the most votes by fans, managers, and other players of any NL third basemen. Jones won his first batting title at age 36, the oldest switch-hitter ever to win a batting title. Jones hit .364 during 2008, one point off the all-time switch-hitter high for a season of .365, set by Mickey Mantle.

In December 2008, Jones accepted an invitation to play for the USA team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He will play alongside teammate Brian McCann. Jones was scratched from an elimination game in the 2009 World Baseball Classic after straining his right oblique muscle, while playing for team USA. The announcement came an hour before the game was to be played against team Netherlands. As reported by the CBC on March 13, 2009, Chipper criticized Toronto and the play schedule of the World Baseball Classic.

On March 31, 2009 Jones agreed to a three-year $42 million contract extension with the Braves; the deal includes an option that could become worth up to $61 million over four seasons.

The nickname "Chipper" came from family members who felt he was a "chip-off-the-old-block" of his father.

Chipper met his first wife, Karin Fulford while he was playing with the Braves class A affiliate in Macon, Georgia. The couple divorced after it was revealed that Jones had had an 18-month affair with a Hooters waitress which produced a son out of wedlock, Matthew, born in 1997. He married Sharon Logonov in March 2000 in Pierson, FL. They have three sons: Larry Wayne III (Trey), Tristen, and Shea (named after Shea Stadium).

In 2008, Chipper Jones released a charity wine called "Chipper Chardonnay" with 100% of his proceeds supporting the Miracle League, an organization serving children with disabilities.

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2003 National League Division Series

The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage (Games 1, 2 and 5 at home), which was determined by playing record. Although the team with the best record was normally intended to play the wild card team, the Braves played the Cubs, rather than the wild card Marlins, because the Braves and Marlins are in the same division.

The Cubs and Marlins went on to meet in the NL Championship Series, for the right to advance to the 2003 World Series against the American League champion New York Yankees.

In Game 1, Kerry Wood faced Russ Ortiz. Both pitchers were on their game and in the bottom of the 3rd the Braves struck first when Marcus Giles homered to make it 1-0 Braves. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the 6th. The Cubs would load the bases with three consecutive hits to lead off the inning. But Ortiz got the next two outs, with the last of the two being an RBI groundout by Paul Bako. But Wood would add insult to injury by doubling in two runs and then scoring on Kenny Lofton's single. That made it 4-1 Cubs. A forceout gave the Braves a run in the 8th but Joe Borowski closed the door in the 9th. Combined the Cubs bullpen allowed only three hits.

In Game 2, Carlos Zambrano faced Mike Hampton. Hampton immediately ran into trouble in the 1st when two leadoff walks put two men on for Sammy Sosa. Sosa would double in the first run of the game, then Moisés Alou would bring in a run on a fielder's choice. After Aramis Ramirez singled to load the bases, Hampton managed to save the inning and the game by striking out three consecutive batters to end the inning. The Braves would cut the lead in half when Chipper Jones forced Mark DeRosa, allowing Rafael Furcal to score in the bottom half of the 1st. Then Andruw Jones's RBI single tied the game in the 4th. In the bottom of the 6th, Marcus Giles would give the Braves the lead with an RBI hit to left field. A sacrifice fly by Tom Goodwin tied the game in the 8th. But Mark DeRosa's two run double put the Braves ahead 5-3 and John Smoltz would close the door in the 9th.

In Game 3, Greg Maddux faced Mark Prior. In the bottom of the 1st, the Cubs put two runs on the board thanks to Randall Simon's two run single. But no one would be able to score off Maddux or Prior again until the 8th inning. A sacrifice fly by Marcus Giles cut the lead in half after Mark DeRosa doubled and moved to third on a ground out. But Aramis Ramirez would give Prior insurance with an RBI double in the bottom of the 8th. Prior would pitch go on to pitch a complete game two hit masterpiece. Game 3 would Maddux's last postseason start with the Braves.

In Game 4, Russ Ortiz faced Matt Clement, hoping to end the series. Both pitchers held off the opposition until the Cubs broke through in the bottom of the 3rd. Moisés Alou would double in Sammy Sosa to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. But Darren Bragg's forceout allowed Julio Franco to score to tie the game in the top of the 4th. Then Chipper Jones's two run homer gave the Braves a 3-1 lead in the 5th. Then Vinny Castilla would add another run later in the inning with an RBI single to make it 4-1. The Cubs would scratch out a run in the 6th, but Chipper Jones's second two run home run made it 6-2 Braves in the 8th. Eric Karros would give the Cubs a run in the bottom half with a solo homer and then in the 9th the Cubs would score again but John Smoltz would get the save and send the series back to Atlanta.

In Game 5, Kerry Wood this time faced Mike Hampton. Hampton would once again give up early runs when the Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the 1st with a Moisés Alou RBI single. Then Álex González's leadoff homer gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Then Aramis Ramirez's two run homer silenced the crowd in the 6th. That made it 4-0 Chicago. An RBI forceout by Gary Sheffield gave the Braves their only run of the night in the 6th. But the Cubs would add a run in the 9th thanks to an error by Vinny Castilla to take a commanding 5-1 lead. The Braves would be sent down 1-2-3 in the 9th and the Cubs' win in Game 5 gave the Cubs their first postseason series win since the 1908 World Series.

The Florida Marlins completed their second winning season in franchise history. The San Francisco Giants were the defending NL Champions and making their second straight postseason appearance.

In Game 1, Josh Beckett faced Jason Schmidt and a classic pitcher's duel began. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 4th. Two walks to start the inning spelled doom for Beckett, as an error by Miguel Cabrera allowed a run to score to make it 1-0 Giants. Both pitchers kept the game close and Beckett would allow only two hits. Schmidt allowed only three hits. Then Edgardo Alfonzo's RBI double in the 8th insured Schmidt's complete game victory.

In Game 2, Brad Penny faced Sidney Ponson. The game would feature six pitching changes for each team as both starters would last less than half the game. An RBI groundout in the top of the first gave the Marlins their first lead in the series. But Barry Bonds would tie the game with a double in the bottom half. The game remained quiet until the bottom of the 4th when Edgardo Alfonzo doubled in two runs and then would score on Marquis Grissom's groundout. The Giants now had a 4-1 lead. But the Marlins would tie the game in the next inning, a rally capped by Pudge's RBI single that scored Juan Pierre. But the Giants would recapture the lead with an RBI hit by J.T. Snow in the bottom of the 5th. But Juan Encarnacion would homer with one out to tie the game in the 6th. Then Pierre's go-ahead two run double later in the inning made it 7-5 Marlins. Two more errors allowed two more runs to score and the Marlins would go on to win Game 2 9-5.

In Game 3, Kirk Rueter faced Mark Redman. Eventual NLCS MVP Iván Rodríguez got the scoring started with a two run homer in the bottom of the 1st. The game remained quiet with Redman and Rueter dueling until the 6th. The Giants would tie the game thanks to a forceout and a pinch hit RBI single by Pedro Feliz. The game would move to extra innings and the Giants would take the lead in the 11th thanks to an error by Álex González. But the Marlins would strike back in the bottom half. An error and a walk put two men on with nobody out. Then a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over. Luis Castillo would forceout a runner at the plate but Pudge would respond with a game winning hit to right field that scored two runs.

In Game 4, Jerome Williams faced Dontrelle Willis. In the top of the 2nd, a sacrifice fly put the Giants out in front 1-0. But Rich Aurilia's error allowed Miguel Cabrera to score to tie the game in the bottom half. A double by Iván Rodríguez gave the Marlins the lead in the 3rd. Then Derrek Lee would single home Rodriguez to make it 3-1. That marked the end of the day for Williams. In the 4th, the Marlins took a commanding 5-1 lead on Cabrera's two run single. But Willis would run into trouble in the top of the 6th. Three straight hits to begin the inning made it 5-2. Then Barry Bonds's sac fly made it 5-3. Then Edgardo Alfonzo would double in a run to make it a one run game. Willis was finished as well and Brad Penny came on in relief. He would get the second out but would relinquish the lead when J.T. Snow singled home Alfonzo to tie the game. Both bullpens would keep the game quiet until the bottom of the 8th. Félix Rodríguez came on in relief for the Giants and immediately ran into trouble after he got two quick outs. He allowed a base hit and hit a batter to put two men on for Cabrera. Cabrera would then single in two runs, thanks to an error by the Giants. They now had a 7-5 lead going into the ninth. With Ugueth Urbina coming on to close, the Giants put together a quick rally. A leadoff double and a base hit by Snow made it 7-6. Then Urbina got the next two outs. But Urbina hit a batter to put Snow in scoring position. Then, Snow tried to score on a single to left. Jeff Conine's throw was on target, and Rodriguez tagged Snow at the plate as Snow barrelled into him. Rodriguez fell backwards and, as he rose, showed that he held on to the ball preserving the Marlins win. The Marlins won the series 3 games to 1. For the first time in postseason history, a series ended with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

You have waited 95 years Chicago, it's time to celebrate, The Chicago Cubs advance to the NLCS.

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Source : Wikipedia