- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
On how he, a born righty, became one of the best switch-hitters of all time, with 330 homers and a .303 average
My dad, Larry Jones, was a serious baseball man [and a coach at Stetson University]. His idol was Mickey Mantle. We'd go out in the backyard--I was a Dodgers fan, and he was an Orioles fan--and we'd simulate the lineups. When Reggie Smith or Mike Scioscia or Kenny Landreaux came up to bat, I had to hit lefthanded. When Eddie Murray or Al Bumbry came up, he hit lefthanded.
On never missing the playoffs in 10 (soon to be 11) seasons
It's a tremendous honor. People say we haven't lived up to expectations because we've won only one World Series--but that's one more than a lot of other teams have won. We're of the mind-set that if we keep giving ourselves opportunities in the postseason, one of these days it'll bounce our way again.
It is a very special place for me. I hit my first big league home run at Shea, a game-winner. It seemed appropriate. [ Jones's fourth son was born on Sept. 20 and is named Tristan, after Hall of Fame outfielder Tris Speaker.]
On his relationship with Bobby Cox, the only big league manager he has ever had
It's outstanding. He drafted me Number 1 overall in 1990 when he was the general manager. People second-guessed him when the Braves took me, and my goal is that by the end of my career no one will second-guess him. Sure, we've clashed, but with Bobby, if he doesn't agree with something I do or if I have a problem, we sit down and talk about it. It's not done publicly.
On whether he'll retire as a Brave
I hope so. I grew up in this organization, and hopefully I'll die in this organization. I've got four little boys. I'm itching to hang out with them and be as big a part of their lives as my father was in mine. That's impossible right now with my lifestyle, but I don't think I'm going to play too much longer.