Braves quotes after season-finale win vs. Pirates

**CHIPPER JONES

On getting standing ovation when he came to bat in sixth

“It’s nice to be appreciated. Smart fans, knowing that this is it. I was just glad to get in there. I’ve been working on some stuff the last couple of days, and it’s nice to get a nice result out of it. I think A.J. for coming right at me [laughter]. I’m proud of A.J. He’s a good guy and he’s done it right for a long time. Well-deserved for him coming off the field, as well.”

On winning 94 games

“That’s a lot of games. You win 94 games, a lot of teams win the division with that. I certainly think we played well enough to win the division this year, but Washington just played a little bit better. We’ve got to get over this one-game playoff thing to give ourselves a legitimate shot at what we were all shooting for out of spring training.”

On this September compared to last

“Like I said last year at the end of the year, I think we’ll look back on that September as a learning experience more than anything else. And you saw no better example than the way we played this September.”

On getting a pinch-hit single in his last plate appearance, after getting a pinch single for his first career hit

“Good to go out the same way I came in. Obviously the storybook would be to hit the ball in the river. I don’t try to do that as much as I used to. I’m happy with the slap singles to right…. Yeah, you only have one first at-bat and one last at-bat.”

Does it make it any tougher to retire after the success team and you’ve had?

“No. My body’s done. I’m shot. I’m happy that I get to go out on my own terms. I’m happy that I didn’t have to hear I should have retired two or three years ago. That all makes me proud, makes me glad that I came back. But being with this group of guys is the main reason why I did come back. I’m happy for them and happy we have an opportunity to play some more baseball.”

On Sheets’ final inning

“I thought that was awesome. He came off the field and he was like, ‘I’m done. I blew it out for one inning.’ He can say he made it back. That right there was the Ben Sheets that we all hated facing back in the day. All the young guys were saying, is that how he was for nine innings? And we were like, yep, that was it. You could see, when he’s throwing 94-95 and he’s got the yacker [curveball], he’s basically untouchable.”

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On the eight-pitcher, four-hit shutout

“Yeah, maybe the Rockies do have something.” [Rockies began limiting starters to 4-5 innings this season.] But you’d need a 35-man roster to do that kind of stuff.

“We got some things accomplished today and we got the win, so that’s good. We got some at-bats from guys. Sheetsy coming in and blowing 95, 96 [mph]. Maybe we should put him in the bullpen instead of starting him. But that’s good. Good for him and good for the team to get the win. Like I said, we got some at-bats, got some bench guys in there, got our bullpen the work we wanted them to get. It’s nice to see O’Flaherty go out there and give you one inning. He felt great coming out. That was good. A lot of good stuff.”

On Chipper getting a hit in his last regular-season plate appearance

“Do even doubt that was going to happen? That’s what he’s been doing. It was nice for Pittsburgh fans to give him a hell of an ovation. But he’s so appreciated around the league that nothing like that surprises you anymore.”

On Sheets, did he just go in and kind of blow it all out in the first inning?

“That’s what he did. Roger said it took him like two minutes to warm up. He said, let’s go, I’m ready go to. And he comes in [after first inning] and he goes, ‘Ok, that’s all I’ve got, boys. That’s all I’ve got. No more.’

“It was a nice ending to a successful season. Now we’ve got another season ahead of us. Let’s keep playing.”

It was almost as if Sheets knew how many bullets he had left and wasn’t going to waste them…

“He wasn’t going to waste them warming up, yeah. He said let’s go, that’s all I’ve got. It’s been a pleasure and a great experience having him around for 3-1/2, four months, since the All-Star break. Great teammate, and guys love him.”

On Delgado striking out side in his one inning

“Yeah, it was nice to see him pitch there, and also Teheran. It’s been such a long season, I saw Teheran come in and I saw he’s got a 7 ERA. I turned to Roger and said, ‘Roger, why does he have a 7 ERA, he hasn’t pitched for us in the big leagues?’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah, he pitched back against the Phillies.’ I didn’t even know he had pitched here one time before. I couldn’t even remember.

“It was nice to see those two guys pitch and to get some bullpen guys some work, get ‘em lined up.”

Any chance Sheets, if he feels good after this, could pitch in the postseason out of the ‘pen?

“You know what, if the World Series goes [the distance], and the last game is Nov. 2, he could go like every 30 days…. No, I’m just kidding. No, no. Our bullpen is pretty much set, and we wouldn’t want to do that to him.”

If someone told you in spring training that you’d get 94 wins this season and go to postseason, would you have taken that?

“Absolutely. Ninety-four wins you’ll take anytime. Again, I’m so proud of the club. Our goal is always to win the division. That didn’t happen because Washington had a heckuva year and they have a hell of a ballclub. But we’re in the postseason. That’s what we want. We want to get in and see how far we can play.”

On Uggla

“He drove in a run. I think he’s driven in runs in four out of five or five out of seven games. It was nice to see that.”

**BEN SHEETS

On hitting 94-96 mph on the radar gun

“Yeah, I just threw my ball like I have my whole career.”

Feel good to have one last chance to let it fly?

“It felt great.”

On one of his former coaches being here

“One of my Legion-ball guys who gave me a true opportunity to pitch in the summer league, when I sent out the text last night he made sure to get here. So that was kind of cool.”

Come full circle, Braves gave you opportunity to pitch for a contender

“Half a summer. They gave me an opportunity to pitch for a great team that’s going to go to the playoffs, and hopefully do something special. And to be a part of it in any capacity, it was fun.”

On reaction of teammates in the dugout after he came off field in first

“I guess it was good. I had a good time, and they were very respectful and seemed to be happy. That was nice.”

Did you let it fly for an inning, almost like you knew how much you had left in your arm?

“I’ve got a lot left in my arm. That wasn’t the question for me. I knew I was going to do well. I knew my velocity was going to be up. I’ve been feeling really good. I’ve gotten a lot stronger over the last month. To say I was shocked by the stuff – no, I wasn’t, to tell you the truth. One inning’s a lot different than six.”

Fredi said it only took couple of innings for you to get warmed up

“When you’re healthy, it’s not that hard to get loose. Like I said, I’ve felt strong. I thank those guys for giving me a last start. I went out with a good one. I wish I had gotten an opportunity to come out of the bullpen in this last month. In my mind, I thought that one inning would look like that, you know, and I thought that could be good and I thought maybe somebody would like that. It’s Oct. 3 and I come out for an inning and it looked pretty good.”

Does it make you think maybe you should try to pitch again for someone in that role?

“I’m good, dude. You don’t get to pick when you walk away sometimes. And to have an opportunity to go away with that one? For me, that’s pretty good, man. It’s nice to to know that I can still do this.”

Did you think you could still get it up to 96 like you did on that last pitch?

“I’m not going to lie to you – yeah, I did. I mean, it wasn’t a shock. I know when the ball’s coming out of my hand good. I had gotten stronger and been feeling good. I know the ball was going to come out [well]. I didn’t know what the results were going to be; it’s been quite a while. Just repeat my delivery. To answer your question, yeah, I knew I was going to throw the crap out of the ball.”

Maybe a bullpen role instead of retirement?

“Man, I’ve never thrown an inning out of the bullpen in my life. I think if I had been in their plans, it wouldn’t have been Oct. 3. I’m fine with the decision. I’m just glad they gave me an opportunity to be a part of it throughout the regular season. I had a blast. To end it like this is icing on the cake.”

41 comments Add your comment

Trey

October 3rd, 2012
5:36 pm

Thanks O’Brien.

Brime Lee

October 3rd, 2012
5:45 pm

Thanks DOB,
Thanks Chipper,
Thanks and Congrats to Ben Sheets!

Let’s Go Bravos!!!!

Awesome Ben!

October 3rd, 2012
5:50 pm

I know this is unlikely but I think that Ben Sheets should get the come back players of the year award. For his outstanding performance when desperately needed by the Braves!

hit a single

October 3rd, 2012
5:53 pm

Ben helped save the season when the Braves needed a shot in the arm.

Jimmy

October 3rd, 2012
5:57 pm

What a great way to end a career on his terms. I do hope that he will keep around for the playoffs to see if we may need him for one role or the other…

JHarber

October 3rd, 2012
6:03 pm

A very short conversation with Mike Minor also helped tremendously, per Mike Minor. Good Luck in what ever you do Ben.

He still has it

October 3rd, 2012
6:06 pm

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but Ben sounds pissed that they didn’t use him in the past 6 weeks. Honestly, I don’t blame him. He’s a classy guy though – and you got to respect that!

mike from the coast

October 3rd, 2012
6:08 pm

I wish we had got to see more of Delgado in the last month. I think he would have made a great addition to the bullpen for the playoffs (assuming we go on). Struck out the side. Wow.

John in Wichita

October 3rd, 2012
6:21 pm

Let me get this straight… Chipper can tell you what count he hit an RBI single to win a game in 1996, but Fredi didn’t know Teheran made a spot start in June?

I have probably only seen 120 games this year, and was actually on my way home from watching the two games before that in Atlanta, but I knew that. Wow.

jim

October 3rd, 2012
6:21 pm

Agree with He Still Has it

Ben sems to have an entirely different assessment of what he has left going forward this year than Fredi’s quip about being good for once in 30 days. I am not a Fredi basher, but his lack of memory about Teheran coming up to pitch once this season (or that his 7 ERA was substantially Livan aided) was also a bit disconcerting. He seems to have put Delgado out of mind as well despite the promise he shows. The Braves bullpen looks strong going into the playoffs, but Sheets and Delgado might add more value than Martinez and Moylan/Gearrin if they had been used a bit more down the stretch.

Kenny Power

October 3rd, 2012
6:26 pm

Thank you, Mr Sheets. The coolest Brave of the season. I loved watching him pitch for us. It’s a real shame he wasn’t used more with the stuff he’s got.

We Will Get Fooled Again

October 3rd, 2012
6:34 pm

Good year, Braves. I honestly am a little surprised we won 94 games. I knew this was a talented club, but I thought there’d be some collateral damage from last September. I couldn’t be more pleased with how this regular season turned out.

There’s nothing to lose in the playoffs, so there’s no reason to play scared. Just cut it loose and see what happens.

ChipperisGod

October 3rd, 2012
6:41 pm

I don’t know why Fredi didn’t go back to Sheets after he said his arm was fine. I’ve been saying it for weeks, Sheets can’t be as bad as Hanson, and he sounded (heard on the radio during lunch), dominant. I guess he gave it all he had for that last inning, I just think he could definitely be an asset out of the bullpen. Our bullpen is fantastic, but Sheets would be a great addition to it for the playoffs.

Glad the rest of the guys got some hits today. Nice by Uggla driving that ball in, Bourn stealing bases, Chipper with a rip. Burnett is no push over either. Hopefully this gives a little momentum into Friday. Great bullpen effort as well.

Horrible memory by Fredi. That was a classic face palm moment.

Go Braves!

DonofAcworth

October 3rd, 2012
6:45 pm

Really nice that Ben got to “do it his way.” And Chipper hits in his last regular season at bat and the Braves win and well we all did a good job and now bring on the defending World Series Champions the St. Louis Cardinals and let’s wax them good… they are out and we are “in.” Go Braves!

JC Boscan III

October 3rd, 2012
6:46 pm

Wow — looks like Oakland’s going to complete its shocking late-season comeback to beat out the Rangers for the AL West! One inning to go. Even today, they were down 5-1. I believe they have the lowest payroll in the majors, too……. More importantly, GO BRAVES! Great job by Sheets today, to end on a high note.

Brave New World

October 3rd, 2012
7:09 pm

Thank you Chipper, Ben and the Braves for a great season. Now, let’s do some damage in the playoffs! GO BRAVES!

Quack Quack

October 3rd, 2012
7:10 pm

Happy trails Ben Sheets. Great comeback, and nice way to go out. The Braves have been blessed by your performance. Best of everything in your future.

Great practice round today. If we can keep the “slap singles” going, and score some runs, we will not be beaten.

GO BRAVES!!! Lets go deep……

Quack Quack

October 3rd, 2012
7:12 pm

Thanks DOB for the coverage of our Braves this season. I hope we can put you in overtime until November. ;-)

J J

October 3rd, 2012
7:19 pm

I more game for thr Braves losers. No bats no runs LOSE LOSE LOSE. BYE BYE BRAVES SO SAD

Nerdville

October 3rd, 2012
7:39 pm

can not get excited about finishing second and qualifying for a stupid play in game. but better than last year’s choke job.

Ken Stallings

October 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

Man! Check out the box score for this game for the Braves! It looks like a box score for a Little League game where mom (coach) promised everyone he’d play! LOL!!!

Ken Stallings

October 3rd, 2012
7:57 pm

Really kind of confused by Ben Sheets’ decision. I figured with pitching only one inning and everyone else saying his tank was empty that it made the choice reasonable. Then, in the post-game interview, he seems to say he could return but he does not want to return. In a way, I understand the ideal of the choice. But, seems a bit surprising frankly.

I wish him all the best. The man was a lynchpin in the Braves earning a postseason slot. Without him when he pitched and won those games, momentum wise I don’t know if the Braves would have won the Wild Card.

reckingball

October 3rd, 2012
8:06 pm

It may sound like I am armchair managing, but I said it before the Brewers series started.
It might have been a good idea to move Maholm’s start back in the final game, and used a combination of Sheets, Delgado, some others, because Maholm’s stats were not very good against Milwaukee.
But, that is in the past.
go braves

J J

October 3rd, 2012
8:15 pm

Stick a fork in the Braves. They are DONE

Ralph

October 3rd, 2012
8:31 pm

If we have Medlen in the rotation from day 1 we win the division championship easily, thank you Frank and Fruti.

J J

October 3rd, 2012
8:36 pm

You need bats Ralph. There isn’t any bats Braves lose lose lose.

Quack Quack

October 3rd, 2012
8:40 pm

@Ralph….Kris would have been in the same position as Strasburg. Then Frank and Fruti would have looked bad. After Friday, they will look like Saints.Keep the Faith…..

GO BRAVES!!!

Ralph

October 3rd, 2012
8:53 pm

Quack Quack

I don’t agree with you nor do I agree that the Nats should have shut down Strasburg. Un- heard of before.

bitman

October 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

@Ralph – Maybe the Nats read the fine print on the insurance policy they carry on Strasburg – willful disregard of possible injury from overuse clause?
And maybe Wren and Fredi learned something from burning out Venters arm last year, and were smart to be more careful bringing Medlen along.

Abnerish

October 3rd, 2012
10:21 pm

There were three players that played their last regular season game today: Chipper, Ben, and Hinske. I just can’t see Hinske playing beyond this year. I love the guy, but the game has passed him by.

kreedham

October 4th, 2012
1:59 am

It looked like the Pirates pitcher laid it right in there for Chipper. Good for him if he did!

Rowsdower

October 4th, 2012
2:33 am

@Ralph – If Medlen is in the rotation from day 1, he’s done by mid-August. I prefer the way Frank and Fruiti handled it. Now we have our ace for the playoffs.

Why so much hate for a team that is in the playoffs? Nothing but negative from some of you idiots.

BTW, Medlen is Comeback Player of the Year…and it’s not close.

jim

October 4th, 2012
3:06 am

Speculating on the playoff roster if/after the playin game:
4 starters — Medlen, Hudson, Minor, Maholm (1 – 4 not how they will actually start)
2 catchers — Ross, McCann
7 other regulars
7 relievers — Kimbrel, EOF, Venters, Avilan, Durbin (2 TBA)
5 bench players — Johnson, Overbay, (3 TBA)
2 additional relievers in order of likelihood — Gearrin, Martinez, Moylan, Sheets, Delgado –
My preference would be 2 of these 3 — Sheets, Delgado, Gearrin in that order
3 additional bench players in order of likelihood — Baker, Constanza, Pastornicky, Francisco, Hinske

Jasons Shrinking Waist

October 4th, 2012
7:33 am

If there is a GOD in heaven, I will never see Tommy Hanson throw another pitch in a Braves uniform.

bustersonly

October 4th, 2012
8:10 am

Rowsdower

October 4th, 2012
2:33 am

@Ralph – If Medlen is in the rotation from day 1, he’s done by mid-August. I

How do you know that, there are no stats to back up that theory?

eddie57

October 4th, 2012
8:50 am

Thanks for the memories Chipper. Glad I got to see his last hit and run in the regular season.

Dan Uggla's Swing

October 4th, 2012
9:30 am

Over 162 games and countless different players on your roster and starting games, I don’t fault Fredi for not remembering a pitcher making one start. He has plenty of other things to deal with. But with some of you, he never has and never will do anything right. He isn’t perfect, and not a good public speaker, so what, he is doing a good job this year, and if Nats dont have an incredible year, or the Braves don’t have a couple extended losing streaks, things might be different. But that still wouldn’t matter would it. You miss Bobby, you got Bobby 2.0, and your still not happy. I bet fans of all other teams think their manager sucks too. There isn’t another manager out there I would want instead right now.

J J

October 4th, 2012
9:39 am

Let your Hooters hero manage. You would lose then. Guaranteed

Rick C

October 4th, 2012
10:56 am

bustersonly, Medlen would have been on an innings limit had he been starting the whole year.

Quack Quack

October 4th, 2012
11:22 am

@Ralph….Who cares what you think? The reality of it is that Medlen will pitch in playoffs, and Strsburg won’t!!

Where does all the hate come from? How many teams won over 90 games this season?
Oh yeah, imagine that!!

GO BRAVES!!!

[...] Braves estimates following season-finale win vs. Pirates I believe A.J. for coming proper at me [laughter]. I&#39m proud of A.J. He&#39s a excellent man and he&#39s carried out it proper for a long time. Properly-deserved for him coming off the field, as nicely.” On winning 94 games. “That&#39s a great deal of video games. You win 94 video games, a good deal of … Read much more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (website) [...]

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