Report: ESPN hires Chipper Jones for 20 games, as an analyst

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ESPN has hired Chipper Jones for their Wednesday Night Baseball platform. He has been hired for 20 games.

Jones — the legendary Atlanta Braves third baseman and outfielder — replaces David Ross. In the off-season, Ross departed ESPN.

MLB Hall of Famer Chipper Jones throws the a ceremonial pitch ahead of Game 1 of a Best-of-five National League Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals at SunTrust Park
Chipper Jones throws the a ceremonial pitch ahead of Game 1 of a Best-of-five National League Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals at SunTrust Park (Photo by Associated Press/John Bazemore)

He became the manager of the Chicago Cubs after the team parted ways with manager Joe Madden. The veteran manager landed on his feet again with the Los Angeles Angels.

 “A lot of people don’t know this, but if I hadn’t played baseball, if I had gone to college, I would have majored in communications,” Jones, who was the No. 1 overall pick of the draft by the Braves in 1990, said. “I wanted to be a broadcaster. I really have fun talking the game. I feel like I have something to impart upon the people tuning in, and I have fun doing it. I get the chance to do it on probably the biggest stage you can, maybe next to ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ (on ESPN).” 

Jones dabbled in broadcasting since his retirement eight years ago. He has previously worked a game for ESPN and previously worked for the Braves regional network through Fox Sports.

“If I had to sit in the ESPN booth and talk about religion or politics or astrophysics, obviously I would be out of my element,” Jones said. “But this is something that I’ve lived my whole life. I’ve stood 60 feet, 6 inches from the best in the world, and I’ve played third base for two decades, and I have a lot of input and a lot of knowledge on the subject. I know it takes a little something to be able to get your point across, but that doesn’t intimidate me. … 

“I’m not going to sit here and say that my way is the way, but I feel like I can do a lot like Smoltzy (John Smoltz) and Glav (Tom Glavine) and Frenchy (Jeff Francoeur) and those guys, who have become pretty good at their craft in trying to get across what it’s like to be in the game.” 

He is expected to work with play-by-play broadcaster Jon Sciambi. Jones is familiar with him, as he previously worked with him and Ross last season on Wednesday Night Baseball.

Sciambi also previously was the Braves play-by-play broadcaster from 2007-09 for SportSouth and FSN South. He left the Braves to join ESPN full-time doing Major League Baseball and college basketball.

Jones is a Baseball Hall of Famer. He retired at the end of the 2012 season.

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