KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Judging from some of the talk coming out of the New York and Philadelphia camps, the National League East must be a two-team race.
But not according to Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. He shrugs off the back-and-forth banter between the last two division champions.
Jones says the Phillies and the Mets know Atlanta will be competitive.
The Braves have finished third each of the last two years after winning 14 straight division titles.
Philadelphia claimed the East championship last season, backing up Jimmy Rollins' preseason prediction that the Phillies would be the team to beat. Of course, it helped when the Mets endured a historic collapse in the final weeks.
New York then acquired ace Johan Santana from Minnesota, prompting normally soft-spoken Carlos Beltran to proclaim the Mets are the undisputed favorite.
No one seems to be mentioning the Braves, though they have one of the best-hitting teams in the league and took steps to upgrade their starting rotation by signing Tom Glavine and acquiring top prospect Jair Jurrjens.