Last week, the Braves asked Chipper Jones to throw the ceremonial first pitch before their first Division Series game against the Dodgers. Generally, you would expect his "catcher" to be an active Brave, and perhaps one of Chipper's longer-term teammates. It's a young team, but maybe Brian McCann, or the disabled Tim Hudson.
Not this time. From Chipper's long-dormant Twitter account that evening ...
Wanna thank the Braves organization for having me throw out the first pitch to the mascot tonite. Quite sure that's never been done before!— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) October 4, 2013
Hey, that sounds like fun! Everybody loves a mascot, right? Okay, maybe not that one. Seems overly derivative. Still, it must have been a great hono--
Nor will it EVER happen again!— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) October 4, 2013
So why no Brian McCann, or Tim Hudson? Or Joey Terdoslavich?
According to The New York Post, Chipper's erstwhile teammates were a little, uh, miffed:
Evidently, Braves players were not happy Jones had gone on the radio earlier in the day with the team’s flagship station, 680 The Fan, and predicted the Dodgers would win the NLDS in four games. So no player volunteered to catch the pitch.
I appreciate honesty, and I'll defend to my last breath -- metaphorically speaking, of course! -- Chipper's right to say what ever he likes. Plus, he nailed the prediction! Still, was this really the smartest move in the world? Chipper's reputation will always be tied up with his career-long association with the Atlanta Braves, and not his frank opinionating. He had absolutely nothing to gain by picking the Dodgers, which leaves me to question his judgment, just a wee bit.
Of course, maybe he just doesn't give a damn. That's cool, too.
p.s. You ever notice that Chipper looks an awful lot like this guy?