Chipper/Braves quotes after emotional tribute night

**CHIPPER JONES

On the night:

“I was an emotional wreck all night. It was overwhelming. It was tough to play effectively. I was a little too emotional to be able to go out there and play.”

On trying to prepare himself for what it’d be like:

“There’s no real way to prepare for that. It’s so overwhelming and the support and the love in the ballpark tonight was just something that it’s hard to prepare yourself for… I appreciate everything that was said and done and the innings and the games they’re whittling away and it’s starting to sink in so. I try to play this game on an even-keel but the emotion got the best of me….

On the first ball hit to him to open the game:

“I was talking to Huddy before the game. I said, ‘I’m an emotional wreck.’ I said, ‘Keep the ball away from me the first couple innings until I can settle down.’ The first pitch of the game is hit right to me so we got a good chuckle out of that. I can’t believe I got the throw over. I think that was probably the most nervous I’ve been on a baseball field in a long time.”

On how nervous he was:

“As nervous as my first major league at-bat. I couldn’t feel my arms, couldn’t feel my legs. I got up there for my first at-bat, I was looking down to first base thinking, first base is really far away up here. It was a great game tonight, both sides played really well. Both pitchers made one mistake and our mistake cost them three runs and our mistake only cost us one.”

On his emotions during his speech:

“It’s hard not to get emotional when you talk about your parents and your kids and all the friends that came up from Florida, and some of my best friends on the planet that live here in Atlanta were here. And obviously your teammates, coaches, people who have helped me along the way. My teammates. It’s hard to put into words and I’ve got to do it in four or five minutes. I know there were some people I left out. I certainly didn’t do it on purpose. I just kind of had to wing it and throw everybody out to mention that I could. It’s hard to feel bad about the loss when everybody showed me such a great day. I wish we had played better. I wish I had played better. But that’s baseball. A lot of Jonathan Niese and one big swing by Lucas Duda, but we’ll come back and get them tomorrow.”

On difficulty of making transition from ceremony to game:

“Yeah, I try to stay as even-keeled as possible all the time. That’s how I play the game the best. And tonight I was just too overwhelmed and too emotional to be able to go out there and play effectively. Every pitch that they threw up there I wanted to hit 10 rows deep and you can’t do that and hopefully it’ll settle down in the next couple days and I’ll be able to do my job a little better.”

On the ground ball:

“Yeah, I was so amped up I was in between going and getting it and laying back on it. Like I said, I wasn’t really thinking all that clearly.”

On if good to get this out of the way a week before wild card:

“I’m glad it’s over. I’ve been pointing to this day and nervous about this day and with all the friends and family in town coming here to watch, it’s been …I just want to concentrate on baseball. It’s been all the attention needs to take a backseat so we can focus on the job at hand. I’m certainly, I was telling some friends, I’ll be glad when tonight is over, so I can start concentrating on doing my job a little better.”

On what struck you about tonight:

“Do you have an hour? It’s all overwhelming. I’m sitting up there on the stage, my family and my best friend on the planet and Bobby Cox and Hank Aaron and all the people who have helped get me to this point. There’s standing room only in the stands. I just remember thinking when Bobby went through it, golly, there’s a lot of love in this ballpark. And look at how much adoration they have for Bobby. And I was thinking to myself ‘Wow,’ I see all those 10s flashing up. I even said to Josh Thole when I stepped into the box one time, I was like ‘how the heck am I supposed to hit with all this going on.’ It got to me.”

On between-innings video board tributes too:

“I want to hear all that stuff. I want to be able to appreciate it. I don’t want to miss any of it. But a walk down into the tunnel probably would have done me some good, just to be able to regroup and kind of refocus.”

DeRosa and others talking in scoreboard tributes, you’re hearing every word, even when you’re throwing over to first?

“Yeah, I think I had a tear planted in the corner of my eye basically all night. It’s pretty tough to hit when you’re misty like that. It doesn’t bode well for picking up rotation real well.”

On seventh largest crowd in Turner Field history:

“There were a lot of people there and I appreciate each and every one of them. As I said when I was up on the podium, I know it’s not just the 40 some odd thousand people that were here (more like 51,910) but it’s everybody sitting on their sofa watching TV, everybody listening to the game on the radio. Braves country extends far beyond the 40,000 people that come to the games. It’s an entire region of the United States and I could feel them, I could feel them pulling for me tonight.”

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Duda’s 3-run homer off Hudson

“He fouled off some pitches. Huddy made some pitches on him that were good pitches. I think maybe the last one there was a little bit over the plate.”

“We only scored one run. It’s a little different story if we give him much support. There’s no room for error, really. In the grand scheme of things, seven innings of giving up three runs is not a bad outing. It just so happened that we only got one.”

You guys really didn’t have a threat against Niese…

“Other than Freeman. Other than Freeman’s home run. We didn’t get anybody on base. I know we got his pitch count a little bit up, but he made some pitches when he had to. We didn’t keep the line moving.”

Shame with the way the sold-out crowd was buzzing most of the night….

“It was a great crowd. I think we got 50,000? It was a great, electric crowd for Chipper. Obviously we want to win those ballgames, especially when it’s a special night like it was tonight. It just didn’t happen.”

On Freeman’s last two homers coming off lefties, improving against lefties

“He’s pretty good [against lefties]. Our left-handers are OK against left-handers. They’re a threat. Both of those guys, Freeman and Heyward, have pretty good history against Niese. Heyward got a base hit in the second at-bat and Freeman hit a solo home run. The at-bats are getting better.”

More on lack of offense

“It’s a slim margin for error. When Huddy gives you a performance like he gave tonight, you feel like you’ve got a good chance to win it. But we didn’t score runs. Bottom line, we didn’t score runs.”

On missing out in chance to gain game on Washington

“Yeah, you’re watching the scoreboard and see St. Louis, I think the last time I checked, up 9-2 or 9-1. There are still games left. They lose, we lose. We’ve still got five games left. We’re four down. It’s a slim margin. You just hate to lose an opportunity with a  pretty good pitched ballgame from Huddy.”

Feel good about where Hudson is as playoffs approach?

“Oh, absolutely. He’s going in the right direction. You feel good about that. He had one bat pitch, really, and it was a pitch that he could have popped up, also. But he didn’t.”

**TIM HUDSON

On the Duda homer

“It’s just frustrating that one pitch put pretty much a damper on the night. I didn’t make a very good pitch right there.  One pitch cost us the game. It’s probably the one pitch the whole at-bat that I didn’t feel like I made. You’ve got to tip your hat to him. It sucks on my part, but he done his job. Sucks it was a homer. If it’s a single, we might still be playing.”

Allowed only seven hits in 14 innings of past 2 starts, feel good where you’re at?

“Yeah, I definitely feel good where I’m at. I feel like I threw the ball really well, really just one pitch cost us the game. Very rarely do you feel like just one pitch cost you the game, but tonight it was one pitch. Leading off that inning, I feel like Murphy hit a pretty good change-up to left field, barely fair. I tried to pitch  Ike pretty tough and end up walking him. One pitch from getting out of the inning, [Duda] got a pitch to hit and he didn’t miss it.”

On being ahead in count 1-2 against Duda, then him going to full count and homering on 9th pitch

“It’s frustrating, obviously. We lost the ballgame on that one pitch. If I throw that same pitch, he might pop it up. He just got the barrel to it and hit it over the fence.”

On the huge crowd and buzz in air on Chipper Night

“It was fun. It was a playoff-type atmosphere. It was exciting. I enjoyed it. Fans were into it. Lot of stuff going on. Chipper smiled more than I think he has in a month. So … it was a cool day.”

Compiled by David O’Brien and Carroll Rogers

36 comments Add your comment

lee maye

September 28th, 2012
11:41 pm

We are done. Now, hope for a couple of runs and Medlin to make it work in the one game playin.

lee maye

September 28th, 2012
11:44 pm

Let’s admit it. Washington is #1. And, we are going to have to hit and score some runs to beat the Cards. A full house doesn’t seem to matter to these guys. They simply can’t hit and swing for the fences much too much. Don’t know how to hit and run and move baserunners. Simply, not a very good team.

John in Wichita

September 28th, 2012
11:54 pm

Has anyone found the Chipper tribute videos on the internet anywhere? I’d love to check them out.

Michael

September 28th, 2012
11:55 pm

Mr. Lee Maye, a “not very good team” has won more than 90 games already. They cannot win 162. I am still proud of them.

Jerry Willard

September 29th, 2012
12:10 am

Lee Maye…You aren’t very good. The less you say the better.
Go Braves!

Mitchell

September 29th, 2012
12:57 am

Good to know the pressure of a regular season game against the Mets was too much for Chipper and the Braves to handle with the playoffs only a week away.

Extremely reassuring.

Confidence, sky high.

Lobosolo

September 29th, 2012
4:01 am

Mitchell, why don’t you and the illustriously and equally pea-headed lee mayebenot just slink off into the sunset, wrapped in each other’s effluvial fart wash, and kiss and suck and tickle each other’s gullets of prickdom… You both seem to be perched (on top of a spiked personal vibration device), revelling in all that’s meant to assuage your sore behinds from your constant stream of disparagy…

You both give pause to one to remind them that, indeed, the Good Ole US of A is rampantley populated with whiney-assed putos who live and breath to cry like a rain storm..

Get it together with the rest of your acrid, Braves-hating, petulantes, and give each other a nice massage or something… You all haven’t the fortitude to watch your own selves devolve, much less an exciting pennant race… What a couple of homemade asswipes…

teddyterp

September 29th, 2012
5:26 am

What he said

Nerdville

September 29th, 2012
6:13 am

beat the mets on chipper’s night. hrumpf, hrumpf.

john poppadoppogoppoulas

September 29th, 2012
7:16 am

Lobo you really should come out of your shell and learn to say whats on your mind.

john poppadoppogoppoulas

September 29th, 2012
7:26 am

One of the best things about this year (so far) has been the recovery from last year’s September dumpster fire. We are back in the playoffs while the folks who over reacted will be looking for another new manager while Fenway sits dark in October.

Fly OnThe Wall

September 29th, 2012
7:26 am

Some of you guys would whine if we took the WS in 5 games vs 4 games….good grief!

Go get em tonight guys and hurry up and get healthy for the big game….that means some rest for everyone between now and then…including Prado…he looks like he can use some.

Quack Quack

September 29th, 2012
8:42 am

People sure do say some really stupid things!! At the hour posted, must write it off to too much alcohol.

Today is a brand new chance to do something good….

GO BRAVES!!!

Same Ole, negative dumbazz comments

September 29th, 2012
8:46 am

Mitchell………Are you the same Mitchell that told us about a year ago, you were out trolling the bad streets of Atlanta(late at night) “taking pictures”, and was ‘mugged’(i.e. strong armed) by a bum on the street and you gave him all of your money?

lee maye

September 29th, 2012
9:00 am

Most could tell that Duda was centering the ball. He fouled off about 4 pitches and all were belt high. Again, Hudson was leaving a lot of pitches high. And, Ross and Hudson continued to throw the fastball. It would have been nice to throw a cure or changeup or walk the guy and get a lefty in there. But, alas, Fredi didn’t have a lefty warming up.

Why Fredi? Why no Avilan? Why did you pitch Venters the night before for 2 innings? Why no O’Flaherty? If this had been Minor or Medlin, the leash would have been short. But, let’s let the veteran pitch through it.

JT

September 29th, 2012
9:02 am

Thank goodness Hudson is not pitching that playoff game. Mr. Home Run giver here lately!

JT

September 29th, 2012
9:06 am

Hate to say it but I agree with “lee maye” Fredi has the worst managing skills in the world, he is always managing from behind. Hudson was out of gas and it showed. Should have walked the guy and brought in one of our best closers, not Martinez or Gearrin. But then again this is Fredi, can’t wait to see how he screws up the playoff game.

JT

September 29th, 2012
9:12 am

When pitching coach came out to talk to Hudson, you could read Hudson’s lips, he said “I’m alright, I want to stay in” Well guess what, never listen to a player, as they will always say that, got to be good enough manager to say you have had it. As much as I hate to admit it, Cox would have pulled him.

Same Ole, negative dumbazz comments

September 29th, 2012
9:25 am

JT….Why do you hate to agree with lee maye, you’all sound like the same person.
You would both make excellent MLB managers, judging from you knowledgeable input.

Iowa Braves

September 29th, 2012
9:29 am

Hey Chipper–on the exceedingly low chance you read this–you’ve got some pretty major fans well beyond the South, too. :) We can’t afford $100 MLB authentic jerseys, so my 9-year-old got one made from scratch with “C. Jones” on the back and a big #10.

David O'Brien

September 29th, 2012
10:22 am

Some of you guys would whine if we took the WS in 5 games vs 4 games….good grief! — Fly On The Wall

Yes, but by now it’s humorous, don’t you think? I mean, you can’t take seriously the group of folks here who never, ever comment on anything the Braves do well during a five-game winning streak that improved their record to one game better than the $200 million Yankees, but then jump in like there’s free money being shot in the air so they can bitch and whine — and I do mean whine — when the Braves lose 3-1 to a team and a pitcher (Niese) who’ve been doing quite well lately.

The Braves had won 10 of their last 11 games against the Mets before Friday. The Mets had won six of their past seven games before Friday. Niese, a lefty, had a 2.51 ERA in his past seven starts before Friday. Nevertheless this — how shall we say it, less than savvy? — segment of our blog readership would have you believe none of that matters and that the Braves should just sweep another team just like they did the Marlins. Damn the recent records, the odds, the opposing pitcher and anything else.

Blindog

September 29th, 2012
11:12 am

Thanks DOB,what is wrong with these people,only three teams in all of baseball has more wins than the Braves and they still bitch. It does hurt more when we lose while the Nats also,

Good Grief Charlie Brown

September 29th, 2012
11:18 am

DOB…well said!!

sure, i’m frustrated by a loss too. but with that, as in life, you live to fight another day.

going to the game tonight, GO BRAVES!!!

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
11:32 am

DOB@10:22am…….Yeah. What he said.
It looks like a lot, or probably most, of these belly-aching malcontents, are a couple of bubbles off, psychologically-wise.

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
11:41 am

I’m not a psychologist, but I probably know more about psychology(which is almost nothing = .001 about it), than these wannabe managers(aka crybabies) know about managing a baseball team at any level(T-ball on up).
go braves

John in Wichita

September 29th, 2012
12:54 pm

I’m just glad they decided to go ahead and finish the season after losing to Houston Game 4 in April.

Thanks for the good work, Carroll and David.

J J

September 29th, 2012
1:22 pm

They came all this way to lose the very game they can’t win. Shame Shame. They learn how to score runs and quit relying on pitching. Poor babies. They think Medlin will pitch shut out. Won’t happen. Cardinals will win 8 to 2. Bye Braves nice try.

Largo

September 29th, 2012
1:30 pm

It’s pretty certain that St Louis will score some runs against us. Sure hope OUR offense shows up as well. Good Luck, guys!

J J

September 29th, 2012
1:36 pm

Whatever your smoking,give it to the rest of the dreamers.

lee maye

September 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

Yes, DOB, the Mets have been hot. However, not having to face Dickey made a lot of us think we could take the Mets, maybe even sweep them. Chipper and the Braves had been complaining about the low attendance. Well, a full house shows up and the Braves lay an egg on offense.
So much for the Braves feed off the crowd. This team just cannot hit in the clutch. Stats prove it. Lefties just kill this team. Young pitchers they have never seen, absolutely devour them. It doesn’t look good unless Medlin can throw a shutout. Wouldn’t be surprising to see the Nats clinch tonight or tomorrow.

extremus

September 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

I think the frustration some folks may be showing (outside of the aforementioned issues) comes from a combination of still clinging to the rapidly evaporating hope of catching the Nationals and the notion that anybody would spoil a special night like last night’s tribute to Chipper. I admit that it was disappointing on both fronts; I’d have loved to see the Braves pick up another game in the NL East and the Braves win big on any given night, let alone one dedicated to one of the greatest Braves ever.

Hopefully there’s an even bigger and better consolation prize to be enjoyed in the coming days (like perhaps a World Series championship). Yeah, I could live with that, and I’ll wager that Chipper Jones and the Braves could as well.

extremus

September 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

For what it’s worth, I had a bad feeling from the get-go in that Duda at-bat. The guy may have a strange name but historically he’s been a Braves killer.

bostonbravo

September 29th, 2012
6:36 pm

Dammit!! IT’s MEDLEN…with an E! medlEn!!!

74bravesjersey

September 29th, 2012
7:22 pm

You said it bostonbravo, dadgummit, IT’s MEDLEN, MED…..LEN, not lin.

Batter up

September 29th, 2012
8:25 pm

Chipper gets his big send off, Congrats! But he goes 0-4 as he has MANY TIMES in playoff appearances. I’ve seen every year he’s been here and he is NOT known as Mr. clutch come crunch time.

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September 25th, 2013
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Chipper/Braves quotes after emotional tribute night | Atlanta Braves
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