Braves' Smoltz, Chipper Jones shake hands after meeting with Cox

Chipper Jones


John Smoltz


ATLANTA -- Braves manager Bobby Cox arranged and attended a
meeting between John Smoltz and Chipper Jones on Sunday, one day
after Jones accused the pitcher of questioning his integrity.

Jones said hitting coach Terry Pendleton also attended the
meeting, and Jones said he apologized to Smoltz.

"Obviously there was a misunderstanding," Jones told The Associated Press on Sunday. "I apologized to him for my comments in yesterday's interviews. He
assured me he wasn't singling me out. That was it."

Jones did not play in Friday's loss to Detroit due to a groin
injury. He did play in Sunday's game against Detroit, going 1-for-4 at the plate in the Braves' 5-0 loss.

After taking the loss in Friday's game, Smoltz said, "You can't
worry about who's in the lineup and who isn't. You can't worry
about that stuff anymore."

Added Smoltz: "I certainly appreciate the effort of the guys
who are on the field busting it."

Smoltz didn't mention Jones, but Jones said Saturday he felt he
was the target of the comments.

"I'd be stupid if I didn't take it the same way," Jones said

On Sunday, Smoltz called the incident a "total

"It's over with and there won't be a problem the rest of the
time we're teammates," Smoltz said. He did not answer any

After Sunday's meeting, Cox struck a characteristically positive

"Everything is as good as it can be," Cox said.

"Chipper thought he was singled out or something and John had
no intention of doing that at all. It fact it was just the
opposite. He was trying to tell the fans how important it is we
have Chipper out there because Chipper plays when he's hurt."

Our friendship will be fine. We've had disagreements before. We've been through riffs before. He and I have not seen eye to eye on things before. We get over it. If I hit a home run to win one of his games, he will love me.

Chipper Jones

Said general manager John Schuerholz: "It's done. It's finished
and onward we go."

Smoltz's comments, and Jones' response Saturday, were notable in
an Atlanta clubhouse that under Cox's watch has consistently kept
such problems out of the public eye.

"I think we're both a little embarrassed that it got outside
this clubhouse," Jones said. "It shouldn't have. I should have
squashed it yesterday.

"Even if I did think it was directed at me, which yesterday
obviously I did, I still shouldn't have discussed that with you
guys. It wasn't a good example to set forth by either one of us."

Jones said he should have approached Smoltz on Saturday.

"I'm apologizing for my actions, regardless of how many people
misinterpreted what he said or what he insinuated," Jones said.
"I should have squashed it right there by going to him and saying
'Look are you talking about me? If you were, let's handle this
now.' Instead of assuming what he was saying and firing back
through the media."

Jones acknowledged Smoltz touched a tender nerve because of his
numerous injuries in recent years.

"If you question whether somebody is hurt, you're questioning
their heart, their integrity, their dignity," Jones said.

"I can assure you that at no time in my career have I missed a
game when I felt I could go out there and do a better job than
anybody else on the team. It's hard for me to sit out of games.
It's not an easy process. I fight like crazy to be in there and
Bobby has to sit me down and say 'Look we're in this for the longer
haul.' "

Jones said Smoltz did not apologize in the meeting but said the
two shook hands.

"Our friendship will be fine," Jones said. "We've had
disagreements before. We've been through riffs before. He and I
have not seen eye to eye on things before. We get over it. If I hit
a home run to win one of his games, he will love me."

Jones, who hit a home run in Saturday's loss to Detroit, was
back in the lineup on Sunday night as the Braves' cleanup hitter.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.