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Chipper Jones sadly goes out with a whimper

Oct 5, 2012, 8:52 PM EDT

Chipper Jones Getty Images

Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones just wrapped up one of the better final seasons in major league history, hitting .287/.377/.455 with 14 homers and 62 RBI at age 40.

Unfortunately, the all-too-brief postseason wasn’t nearly as kind. Jones botched a double-play ball, contributing to a three-run fourth inning, and went 1-for-5 at the plate as the Braves lost 6-3 to the Cardinals on Friday.

For Chipper, it has to be a painful way to end his career. He was up as the tying run in the bottom of the seventh, yet he grounded out on the first pitch he saw from Marc Rzepczynski. He did get one more chance in the ninth, and he was able to reach on an infield single after fighting off some quality fastballs from closer Jason Motte. He was stranded from there and then walked off the field as Braves fans started hurling trash again.

Of course, this was hardly all on Chipper. Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons also made key errors. Outside of catcher David Ross and maybe Freddie Freeman, no Brave had an outstanding game.

Still, as great as Chipper Jones’ career was — and he ranks as one of the game’s three best switch-hitters of all-time — he bares some responsibility for the Braves’ playoff struggles over the last decade. If tonight’s one-gamer counts as a “series,” then Chipper was on the losing side of the last six postseason series in which he played. His last great postseason series was the 2001 NLDS against the Astros, when he hit two homers in a three-game sweep. In 25  postseason games since, he hit .219 with three homers and 12 RBI in 96 at-bats.

Jones shouldn’t head into retirement with many regrets, but there can be no doubt that he’d love to have that one throw and the seventh-inning at-bat back tonight.

  1. kkolchak - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Regardless of his recent playoff failures, Chipper deserved a better fan base. Trash throwing trash. Disgraceful.

    • dgrowe213 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      Honestly, as a life long braves fan, i expected the choke.

      However, I am ecstatic that braves fans trashed the field in protest of another bad call by another bad professional ref. Ref calls have been stealing games for too long. On top of that, these bad calls are increasing in frequency.

      We can all bitch about it tomorrow from the comfort of our office and computer desk. But until the fans who paid $100 a head start revolting, then nothing will change.

      I’m tired of officials dictating the outcome of a game. From boxing, to NFL, to MLB, etc etc etc etc.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:13 AM

        dgrowe, I doubt you’ll understand this, but while loudly booing an ump is your right as a fan (I’ve sure done it), throwing projectiles of any kind that can possibly injure other fans or players is simply stupid. I really doubt that all of those bottles and cans hurled from the upper decks made it all the way to the field, putting fellow fans in danger. Simply stupid.

      • rarson - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        Yeah, nothing makes me prouder of my city than throwing trash everywhere. On national TV.

        Pretty sure that “infield fly” would have been caught had it not been called. In that case, you’re looking at the same out, but without advancing the runners, so if anything, the ump helped you guys out, moron.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      No, no…WHITE trash throwing trash.

      I think they’re just mad over today’s jobs numbers.

      Remember…when America wins, the GOP loses, and they HATE that.

      • Marty - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:15 AM

        Aces, your wife masturbates to Bush speeches. So does your daughter, when she’s not fingering herself
        while imagining Paul Ryan from behind.

      • stercuilus65 - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:25 AM

        Try getting off welfare Aces and try paying taxes once in your parasitic life before speaking for America

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Come on folks–after 4 years of kissing Republicans’ asses, did anyone really think that Obama would grow a spine for the debates?

      • mlb4life - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        Why would anyone want to bring politics into a baseball discussion? Come on guys.

    • ezthinking - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      At least he could have run out his final at bat. Pathetic.

    • phinphan85 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Trashing the field was ridiculous. A pretty classless thing to do by all of those fans. Chipper shouldn’t have even walked back on the field to ackowledge those people.

      I’m sure all of the Braves “faithful” would have loved to jump at the chance to trash other team fan bases by calling them dirt bags (i.e. the Phillies) if this had happened there, but if it happens in Atlanta it was deserved to the umps. I guess that makes sense.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Chipper shouldn’t have acknowledged the Braves “faithful”

        Poor choice in words using Chipper and Faithful together.

        Reading all these people lick Chipper’s balls while ignoring what a rotten person he was make me laugh.

        You people would be doing the same and Cobb 90 years ago too no doubt.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Chipper was a scumbag and a great hitter

      Loud mouth cheater with loose morals who can hit a ball like nobody business

      He deserved nothing

    • mrdry14 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      If Chipper had retired one game sooner, the Braves would still be playing.

  2. kvanhorn87 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    What happened to medlin?

    • kkolchak - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Law of averages caught up with him.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        Dead on kkolchak. He (and the Braves when he starts) were long overdue.
        Glad Chipper went out with a hit though.

    • albertmn - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      Bad defense happened to Medlen.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        It did….but so did good defense, Heyward took an XBH and possible HR away with a nice play in the 2nd.

    • pensfan603 - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      he had 2er over like what 6
      and i respect the trash throwing im sorry but if your an opposing team and the fans are throwing trash at you during the game it gets into your head and that can be an advantage. This about the old browns fans who use to throw bones at there opponents. It just adds to the legacy.
      but i could be wrong on that.

  3. thejjtrain - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Bud probly will take his time with this so he can get away with saying there isnt enough time for a re-do.
    Thats what happens when A) You come up with a bogus system, and B) schedule it in the worst way possible

  4. vincentbojackson - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Chipper goes out by jogging to first base on a broken bat grounder.

    Luckily he was called safe on a poor throw, but the lack of effort on his last major league at bat was a disappointing way to go out.

    • philliesfan1 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Chipper = OVER RATED..just look at his horrible post seasons

      • raysfan1 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        A school on Saturday comment.

        Nonsensical too.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      Guys running on knees with no cartilage, eh? Give him a break. He ran as hard as he could. Made it close enough to get the make up call.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        Yep. Hell…it looks like I am pulling a freaking plow when I run but I am giving you everything I have.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      A poor throw and a bad call; the first baseman did get his toe back there in time. A parting gift from the ump.

  5. otis52gsh - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Best wishes Chipper. You are a class act.

    • stercuilus65 - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:26 AM

      Tell his wife what a class act he is. LOL

  6. phillyphannn83 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I disagree with calling him overrated. I will, however, say he may just be a choke artist. True legends play their best in the postseason, not their worst.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      Here are 2 players’ career postseason BA/OBP/SLG splits, both played 3B:

      Player A: .287/.412/.456
      Player B: .236/.304/.386

      Player A is Chipper Jones. Player B is Mike Schmidt.

      Neither deserve to be called either overrated nor a choke artist. However, if you insist on labeling someone with either tag, it would have to be the Phillies Hall of Famer.

    • thejjtrain - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      Yeah 6th all time postseason hits, 5th runs scored, 5th in doubles, 7th in RBis, 1st in walks is definitely terrible

      • phillyphannn83 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:02 AM

        You cant look at quantity numbers, that tells you nothing except that hes been in the playoffs alot. You, and everyone else who thumbs-downed me, clearly and conveniently ignored Matt’s second to last paragraph. He put the important stats out there and proved my point before I even stated it. Over the last 10 years, 25 postseason games(hardly an insignificant sample size), .219 average(absolutely horrendous), 3 HRs, 12 RBI in 96 ABs.

        Comparitively speaking, that is rougly 1/4 of the plate appearances he made this season. Extrapolated out, his stat line for te season would look like this:

        .219, 12 HRs, 48 RBI, 384 ABs
        His real line this season:

      • phillyphannn83 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        You cant look at quantity numbers, that tells you nothing except that hes been in the playoffs alot. You, and everyone else who thumbs-downed me, clearly and conveniently ignored Matt’s second to last paragraph. He put the important stats out there and proved my point before I even stated it. Over the last 10 years, 25 postseason games(hardly an insignificant sample size), .219 average(absolutely horrendous), 3 HRs, 12 RBI in 96 ABs.

        Besides, I said he just MAY BE a choke artist. I didnt say he was, nor did I say he was terrible. I think you’d have to be a fool to think Chipper wasnt going to Cooperstown. But numbers dont lie, and for someone who is supposed to be the face of a franchise, he’s a big reason why they only got one ring during that 14 year division leading run.(I know that run ended 4 years into the 10 year sample)

        You know what, rethinking it all now, maybe Chipper was simply exposed(or maybe isolated) the last 10 years and was a product of having a better lineup around him in the 90s. Thoughts Braves fans??

      • phillyphannn83 - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:07 AM

        You cant use quantity stats, all they tell you is a guy was in the playoffs alot. Go back and look at the stats over the last decade. He’s been terrible. Maybe its his age, maybe its the team around him. Whatever it is, hes’s not the same player he was in his 20s.

  7. ducksk - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    So long chipper. I played the game it was meant to be played. Any critic, don’t know or never played the bigs

  8. ninjasports - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Chipper Jones tribute ->

  9. bag217 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:07 PM


  10. maegreen18 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Chipper was the face of the Braves. He had a bad game. His career was stellar. Tough loss for the Bravos tonight. Cooperstown isn’t far off for him.

  11. randygnyc - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Aceshigh- pull your pants up, your ass (and racism) is showing.

  12. pantherpro - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    You suck Chipper you phony tea party loser!

    Giants fan

  13. bbk1000 - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Whimper Jones….I like it….

  14. phairlever - Oct 7, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Chipper “bares” some responsibility…? Are these writers supposed to be professionals? That’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen on here, never mind the call and the trash thrown.

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