Baker: 'I hate to have Chipper go'

Baker: 'I hate to have Chipper go'

Baker: 'I hate to have Chipper go'
ATLANTA -- Reds manager Dusty Baker was once considered the heir apparent to Hank Aaron and, like Chipper Jones about 25 years later, a future building block with the Braves.

But Baker went on to play for the Dodgers, Giants and A's, while Jones has spent his entire career in Atlanta.

Jones is retiring after this season, and the Reds, like other teams, will pay tribute to the future Hall of Famer when the Braves come to Cincinnati for a four-game series beginning Monday.

"I hate to have Chipper go," Baker said. "It's hard to imagine Chipper is 40 years old. ... He's still young at heart."

Jones' rookie year with the Braves was 1995, and Baker has managed against him with either the Giants, Cubs or Reds every season except one.

"I've enjoyed competing against him," Baker said. "He's a competitor, big time."

Asked to reflect on Jones' career, the manager said, "The dude's done about everything. He's hit doubles, homers -- he's been clutch, man. Gone from third [base] to left [field], back to third. He's one of the premier switch-hitters of all time."