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Chipper's final season: 'I have fulfilled everything'

Kissimmee — With his 40th birthday approaching and a string of injuries slowing him, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones announced he will retire after one more season.

"I have fulfilled everything," Jones said Thursday. "There's nothing left for me to do."

Jones, who has spent his entire 18-year career with Atlanta, planned to retire after the 2010 season only to change his mind. As he battled leg issues this spring, he openly wondered if he would be able to make it through the season.

So he'll give it one more year.

"My dad told me one day I'd wake up and realize it's just time," Jones said as he fought back tears and shared a few laughs. "I'm 100 percent behind this decision. There's no hedging whatsoever."

He was drafted first overall by Atlanta in 1990 out of Jacksonville Bolles High School. "I think we've had a pretty good marriage over the years, don't you think?" Jones laughed, adding, "I never wanted to play anywhere else."

Jones has made seven All-Star Games and won the MVP award in 1999 and a batting title in 2008. He has an average of .304 and is fourth among active players in homers (454) and RBIs (1,561).

The Braves said Jones hopes to remain with the organization in another capacity. He prefers being a hitting instructor over managing. But it won't happen next year.

First, he plans to spend some overdue time with his family: "I just want to be a full-time dad."

More Braves: Righty Adam Russell, who appeared in 36 games out of the bullpen for the Rays last season, was assigned to minor-league camp.

Angels slugger returns

TEMPE, Ariz. — Angels first baseman and DH Kendrys Morales made his first appearance since May 2010. Morales, who had 34 home runs and 108 RBIs in 2009, broke his left ankle jumping onto home plate after a walkoff homer. He singled twice in three at-bats Thursday against the Royals. "Everything felt good," Morales said through an interpreter.

Cardinals: Outfielder Allen Craig took fielding practice for the first time since offseason surgery for a broken kneecap.

Mets: Third baseman David Wright, out with a torn rib cage muscle, took batting practice for the first time since March 2. The team hopes he can make his spring debut early next week.

Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang, vying to be the No. 5 starter but out with a strained left hamstring, played catch. Manager Davey Johnson said he isn't sure if he'll be ready for opening day.

Orioles: Third baseman Mark Reynolds and reliever Kevin Gregg are being shopped around, reported.

Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia sustained a right forearm contusion when he was hit by a pitch while swinging. He is day to day.

Dominican league: Major League Baseball said it is creating a league for amateur players in the Dominican Republic. It is designed to showcase players who will become eligible to sign with teams after July 2 and players already eligible to sign.

Chipper's final season: 'I have fulfilled everything' 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:54pm]
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