(Larry explains to a young fan that he doesn’t care what Mike Lowell told the Make A Wish Foundation — he’s not taking a kid to the Gold Club).

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Dave O’Brien.

Chipper Jones put his money where his mouth was.

The Braves third baseman has agreed to a contract restructuring that would reduce his salary from $17 million to $11 million in 2006 and could save the Braves about $15 million over the next three seasons.

The deal, which can’t be finalized until Jones passes a physical exam for insurance purposes, would presumably enable the club to free up salary so it could address other needs this winter, including its attempt to re-sign free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal and possibly pursue a top closer.

Jones’ agent, B.B. Abbott, said the new contract would turn a pair of $15 million vesting-option years in 2007 and 2008 into guaranteed years at $11 million per season.

It also includes a $4 million signing bonus due in January, and adds a vesting option for 2009 worth between $8 million and $11 million, the salary to be set according to performance incentives in the previous year.

Given Atlanta’s bullpen troubles last season, I’m surprised we’ve heard relatively little about their interest in Trevor Hoffman or Billy “Don’t Make Me Move To New York” Wagner.

The Japan Times is reporting that free agent C Kenji Jojima has cancelled his scheduled meeting with the New York Mets and is already on his way back to Japan. This could mean that Jojima has already decided to sign with another club, or perhaps the Mets have told him they plan to go in another direction. A third possibility could be that word is out about Mrs. Jeff Wilpon’s cooking. I’m not saying she’s clueless in the kitchen, but her microwave display says “TILT”.

Note to all of my close friends who work in television. Feel free to use that joke anytime you want. Particularly if you’re not working on a comedy.

Mets prospect Lastings Milledge hit a solo HR earlier today in Team USA’s 7-4 win over Nicaragua. Milledge’s skipper, Davey Johnson is a probable candidate for manager of the US’ World Baseball Classic squad, along with Lou Piniella, Tommy Lasorda, Mike Krzyzewski and William Devane.