LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Chipper Jones is back in his No. 10 Braves jersey.
But you won't see the future Hall of Famer hitting long balls any time soon.
"I might need a couple days of [batting practice] before I do that. I think if I took a swing right now, my back might sound like an accordion," Jones said on Wednesday. "It's like riding a bike, you never truly lose it."
Jones recently arrived at Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports to fulfill his obligatory duties as a special assistant to the team. He also acts as a scout, helping the team find young talent and helps with the draft process, something Jones said is always one of his favorite times of the year.
On Wednesday, it was like old times seeing No. 10 by third base, except he was standing outside the foul line while Adonis Garcia and Rio Ruiz fielded ground balls and threw them to first.
While the players soak in the knowledge of an MVP and eight-time All-Star, it's just a fun little side project for Jones.
"I come down here, I stick my toe in the water just to see how it is," Jones said, adding he likes his life right now and isn't ready for anything full time, yet.
"I'll never say never."
Instead, it's Ron Washington who is in his first season with the Braves as the third base coach. Washington is known to be a players' coach.
"I think he's good for these young guys. I get here at 8 o'clock every morning, and he's out here out at the backfields with young guys, working with their footwork, working on their confidence. He's good for them because he makes them work," Jones said.
Washington and Jones' paths have crossed several times, but never while they were wearing the same jersey. Jones said he would have loved to play for Washington, but he may have been tough on a young No. 10.
"I needed to have a foot in my rear end every once in a while, and Ron Washington is certainly a guy who will do that. He's certainly quick to give you a pat on the back when you do things well. But he's the kind of coach we need around here to be able to keep the young kids on point," he said.
It's too early to draw any conclusions about the team after just a couple weeks at spring training. But Jones believes the momentum the team built at the end of last year will help the team find success early.
"When you're talking about as young of a club as they are, that last taste in their mouth is big," he said. "For them to have that kind of success late in the season and to compete with teams that were going on to make playoff runs, staying toe-to-toe with them. That's huge for them."
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