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Marlins killer Chipper Jones calling it a career

   KISSIMMEE -- Chipper Jones, who has done some serious damage to the Marlins during his long and illustrious career with the Braves, says this year will be his last. Jones announced his decision in a press conference preceding today's game between the Marlins and Braves.

   "When you talk about Chipper Jones, you talk about the Atlanta Braves and baseball in general," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. "So many years in the game. Did it clean. Went through a lot physically."

    Guillen, at a time when he was nearing the end of his playing career, was Jones' teammate on the Braves in 1998 and '99. Guillen said Jones is the reason why he was able to experience his only World Series as a player when the Braves reached the Fall Classic in 1999, losing out to the Yankees.

    "That year, the reason I went to the playoffs one more time, was because of him," Guillen said. "I never see anybody perform in the clutch the way he did that year."

    Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes called Jones "a future Hall of Famer."

    "He's one of the best third basemen ever to play the game," Reyes said.

    Marlins second baseman Omar Infante, who played in Atlanta with Jones, credited Jones with helping him as a hitter.

    "He was a good teammate," Infante said. "He is a real smart player, very smart. He showed me some little tips (that helped me as a hitter)."

     For the record, no player has had more at bats and home runs against the Marlins than Jones, who appeared in his first major league games in 1993, the Marlins' first season.

     In his 236 games against the Marlins, Jones has a .299 average and 40 home runs in 834 at bats. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has 782 career at bats against the Marlins, placing him second on the list. The Phillies' Ryan Howard has hit 34 home runs against the Marlins, second only to Jones.

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     With Opening Day fast approaching, Guillen said he told outfielders Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton that time is of the essence as they try to heal from knee injuries.

      "I told them, 'You want to make this ballclub, you better hurry,'" Guillen said. "We have to be prepared with how we're going to make the lineup the last couple of weeks of spring training, and I want to know if they're going to be available or not. I'm not saying this to push those guys out on the field. I just want to have a better idea. Somebody will play left field. Somebody will play right field. Hopefully it will be them."

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     Today's lineups:

     Marlins: 1. Jose Reyes, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, 3b; 4. John Buck, c; 5. Bryan Petersen, lf; 6. Aaron Rowand, cf; 7. Scott Cousins, rf; 8. Terry Tiffee, 1b; 9. Ricky Nolasco, p.

     Braves: 1. Michael Bourn, cf; 2. Martin Prado, 3b; 3. Freddie Freeman, 1b; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b; 5. Eric Hinske, lf; 6. Jason Heyward, rf; 7. David Ross, c; 8. Tyler Pastornicky, ss; 9. Brandon Beachy, p.

 

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