Posts Tagged ‘Chipper Jones’

Fan revolts out of control, one wanted to fight UGA player

Braves fans littered the field with beer bottles and garbage, endangering others. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Braves fans littered Turner Field with beer bottles after bad call. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines fan as: 1) an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator; 2): an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit).

As with anything, definitions can often be broadened. The boundaries of this definition just seemingly shouldn’t stretch to home fans cheering when their quarterback crumbles to the ground with a concussion. Or throwing bottles and garbage on a baseball field, endangering other fans and players, in protest of an umpire’s call. Or egging and toilet-papering a home known to be rented by five college players out of disgust, merely because the team lost a football game. Or effectively challenging one student-athlete to a fight on Twitter.

Yes. One “fan” actually did that last week to Georgia’s Christian Robinson.

“There were all these people saying stuff about me on Twitter, it …

Continue reading Fan revolts out of control, one wanted to fight UGA player »

Braves’ Frank Wren needs to fix good, but not great, team

Michael Bourn may have played his last game for the Braves, who have some big decisions to make this offseason. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Center fielder Michael Bourn may have played his last game for the Braves, who have some big decisions to make this offseason. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Once you get past the fact that the Braves waited until game No. 163 to resemble baseball’s all-thumbs team, and that a major league umpiring crew just made the NFL’s replacement referees look fit to be air traffic controllers, this is what the 2012 season really comes down to: The Braves’ margin for error this season was just too narrow.

They won 94 games. That’s impressive. They went 20-9 down the stretch after it looked again like they were circling the drain. That’s really impressive. But what really pushed this team into the postseason were two unexpected occurrences: 1) A 40-year-old (Chipper Jones) unexpectedly hit .300 for most of this season, had two walk-off homers against Philadelphia (the second when the club looked comatose on Sept. 2), and finished second in game-winning RBIs (12) and third in go-ahead RBIs (18) …

Continue reading Braves’ Frank Wren needs to fix good, but not great, team »

Chipper Jones on loss in his finale: ‘Ultimately I’m to blame’

Chipper Jones. (AP photo)

Chipper Jones never imagined an error in his final game would cost his team a playoff game. (AP photo)

Bunting hanging from the rafters. Red tomahawks. An actual sellout for a postseason game (but then, it’s new again).

Ted Turner. Jimmy Carter. Bobby Cox (except in the stands, not in cleats).

Also, there was Chipper Jones. He was a 23-year-old rookie in 1995 when the Braves won the World Series. He was a 40-year-old, 19-year veteran when he was making his way from his home to Turner Field Friday for a playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Perfect weather. Perfect backdrop. Perfect emotions.

“I told my dad, ‘This is why I know I’m ready to go. I’m not even nervous,” Jones said earlier Friday.

It wasn’t the perfect ending. No walk-off homer. No catching the final out. No fairly tale.

More like Stephen King.

Of all the endings Larry “Chipper” Jones envisioned for the final game of his career . . .

“This wasn’t one of them,” he said, completing a …

Continue reading Chipper Jones on loss in his finale: ‘Ultimately I’m to blame’ »

Braves are hoping to change the postseason script

Chipper Jones is the only remaining Brave from the last team to win a playoff round. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Chipper Jones is lone remaining Brave from the last team to win a playoff round. (Brant Sanderlin)

As much as there will be grand proclamations Friday night — because that’s just the way things function in this 24/7, hyperventilating, turbo-Tweeting sports world — let’s start with a little perspective:

If the Braves defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card game — a best-of-one? — it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that they’re absolutely destined to win 11 more postseason games and the World Series and will make people forget the ’27 Yankees, and if they lose to the Cardinals it won’t wouldn’t affirm that the Kenshin Kawakami signing has forever cursed the franchise (although that one might be worth studying for a while).

It’s just one game.

But isn’t it about time for a new script?

We’re all familiar with the mixed-emotions math of the Braves in the 1990s and 2000s: 14 divisions, 5 pennants, 1 World Series. Too small a number at the end for such a big number …

Continue reading Braves are hoping to change the postseason script »

Video: It’s Winnersville! We talk Braves, Falcons, UGA

Are the 4-0 Falcons for real? Are the Georgia Bulldogs SEC title contenders? What can we expect from the Braves in the playoffs? CineSport’s Tara Petrolino and I discuss them all in this week’s video blog.

Somehow, Georgia Tech did not make it into the conversation.

– Jeff Schultz

Some recent typings and videos

Medlen becomes an unlikely key to Braves’ postseason

Georgia has uncomfortable mix of highlights, slapstick

After celebration, Chipper Jones admits he was an emotional wreck

Chipper Jones: Braves lose a legend, fans lose a hero, I lose reason to open laptop

Weekend Predictions: No ‘bagels’ but Dogs and Falcons win

Video blog: Are Falcons NFL’s best team (after 3 weeks)? We debate

Falcons are looking special, and it starts with Matt Ryan

Falcons’ defenders preferring Mike Nolan to Brian VanGorder

Predictions: Dogs win cage match; Falcons upset Chargers

Goodell is in ‘fantasy’ world if he doesn’t believe product being …

Continue reading Video: It’s Winnersville! We talk Braves, Falcons, UGA »

Medlen becomes an unlikely key to Braves’ postseason

Kris Medlen is 9-0 with a 0.97 in 12 starts this season and owns the major league record for the Braves winning 23 straight when he starts. (AP photo)

Kris Medlen is 9-0 with a 0.97 in 12 starts this season and he owns major league record for Braves winning 23 straight in his starts.

The Braves are going back to the playoffs, and as anybody could have predicted back in spring training their two most important players when the postseason opens will be Chipper Jones and . . . Kris Medlen.

OK. Maybe not so predictable.

It’s sort of like if the guys at NASA had a running bet and one predicted that the first two astronauts to walk on the moon would be Neil Armstrong and the kid who brought him coffee every day.

“This has been the ride of my life,” Medlen said Sunday. “I mean, you go through some adversity and you come back with the kind of success that I’ve had, it’s awesome. It’s crazy.”

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez put it another way: “It’s Nintendo-like stuff.”

Medlen did it again Sunday. He started and he won. He started and the Braves won. Like, “Good morning: Oh look, there’s the sun.”

The …

Continue reading Medlen becomes an unlikely key to Braves’ postseason »

After celebration, Chipper Jones admits he was ‘emotional wreck’

Chipper Jones acknowledges fans as he walks to plate for his first-inning at-bat. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Chipper Jones acknowledges fans as he walks to plate for his first-inning at-bat. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

(Updated: 11 p.m.)

The celebration Friday night wasn’t merely for a player and his career. It was for a player who in his final season had managed to will his team to one more postseason.

Imagine if the backdrop was similar to a year ago. Imagine if the Braves found themselves handing out gifts to a retiring legend before a game Friday night, mugging for cameras with forced smiles, knowing that when the ceremonies ended they would have to return to the reality of the standings, their fingers digging into the side of a cliff.

Imagine if Chipper Jones hadn’t ignited a city and a team on Sept. 2. He hit that walk-off, three-run homer against Philadelphia. It punctuating a five-run ninth inning that gave the Braves a miracle 8-7 win over the Phillies. It was like plugging a team into a light socket. The Braves had lost 10 of 14. They were on the verge of being swept at home …

Continue reading After celebration, Chipper Jones admits he was ‘emotional wreck’ »

Chipper Jones: Treasure on field, wealth of material off of it

When Chipper Jones retires, the Braves will lose a legend and we'll lose the rarely scene honest and open athlete. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

When Chipper Jones retires, the Braves will lose a legend and we'll lose the rarely scene honest and open athlete. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

(This is just one of several articles that will run in Sunday’s AJC special section on Chipper Jones. The section will be a collectors’ item so be sure to pick one up.)

Economics preclude me from following Chipper Jones into retirement. But there’s a side of me that wonders, “Now what?”

This column isn’t about Chipper Jones’ greatness as a baseball player (obvious). Or that he will end his Hall of Fame career with the same franchise that drafted him (reducing Todd Van Poppel to an amusing trivia question). Or that what we are witnessing in his final season seems pure fantasy: A 40-year-old athlete with creaky limbs manufacturing enough highlights to push his team into the playoffs.

Rather, this is about what really has set Chipper Jones apart: genuine, unfiltered, cold-slap honesty.

In the media, we tend to be drawn to the talkers. …

Continue reading Chipper Jones: Treasure on field, wealth of material off of it »

This Braves’ September isn’t anything like the last one

Jason Heyward scored in a two-run third when Braves jumped ahead 2-0, and they never looked back. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Jason Heyward scored in a two-run third when Braves jumped ahead 2-0, and they never looked back. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

(UPDATED: 2 p.m., Monday)

Something became apparent about the Braves after they won their first two games against the Washington Nationals, and it wasn’t just the revelation: “Wait, they just won back-to-back games over the best team in baseball on a throwing error and a hit batter? Is this the baseball gods making up for Kenshin Kawakami?”

If you walked through the clubhouse, in the dugout or on the field for batting practice Sunday, a feeling of relative serenity for a stretch drive in September was obvious.

Nobody was stressed. Nobody seemed to be obsessing over first place  — or, more importantly, not first place. Nobody was thinking about injuries or losing streaks or .200 batting averages or the recent ugliness of a wrong-way series in Milwaukee.

“Somebody said yesterday we have a magic number or something,” Eric Hinske said Sunday. …

Continue reading This Braves’ September isn’t anything like the last one »

Chipper Jones provides Braves with a needed miracle

Chipper Jones is greeted by teammates after his walkoff, three-run homer won it for Braves. (AP photo)

Chipper Jones is greeted by teammates after three-run homer won it for Braves. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 9:45 p.m.)

They have given away bobbleheads of the old man. They have given away posters. I’m not sure what else the Braves can do to commemorate what Chipper Jones has meant to this franchise, except maybe provide a DVD of his ninth inning at-bat to the thousands of fans who weren’t around for the finish Sunday night.

What is it about these situations? Ninth inning. Men on base. Two outs. Not many athletes thrive when given an opportunity to turn desperation into miracle, but Jones is one and he proved it again. As he said earlier Sunday, “That’s just the mentality that I’ve always had. And that’s never going to stop. I don’t care if I’m 40 or 60.”

Staying with the age theme, Jones made 40 look like 20, just when the Braves were looking 60. He slammed a two-out, three-run homer off Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon to cap a five-run ninth inning, giving the …

Continue reading Chipper Jones provides Braves with a needed miracle »