Hall of Famer Chipper Jones is tired of hearing complaints about shift defenses, specifically citing recent comments from powerful agent Scott Boras, who called shifts “discriminatory” because they make things tougher for left-handed hitters than for right-handers.
Jones, who’ll be inducted July 29 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., broached the subject of shifts Wednesday when asked whether he would be inclined to use all the sabermetric statistics and information available to players today if he were still active.
“I would listen. I mean, I’m open. I want all the information that I can have,” the iconic former Braves switch-hitter said. “But I can guarantee you this, if they’re going to play three infielders on the right side of the infield against me, I’m gonna get them out of it. I’m gonna get them out of it because I can take a ball on the inside corner and still hit a ball up the middle or to left field left-handed. I have that kind of confidence.”
He continued, “I hear people complaining about the shift, I even heard Scott Boras in all his wisdom say it was discriminatory. I think that’s lazy. It can be done. It takes a conscious effort. Everybody wants to hit the ball in the gap and out of the ballpark now instead of taking the measly single. I think you’ve seen over the last week or two with this ballclub here in Atlanta, heck, a well-timed ground ball could’ve helped them win a ballgame that they didn’t. So a little more attention to the fundamentals would go a long way for a lot of people around the game.”
Jones played his entire 19-year career with the Braves and finished with a .303 average, 468 home runs, a .401 on-base percentage and .529 slugging percentage, including a .303 average and .947 OPS batting left-handed and a .304 average and .889 OPS batting right-handed.