Posted October 14, 2013

Report: Braves players boycotted Chipper Jones’ ceremonial first pitch

MLB
Chipper Jones threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the NLDS. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Chipper Jones threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Game 1 in the NLDS. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

In June, Chipper Jones enjoyed a send-off worthy of his status as a Braves legend. The 1999 National League Most Valuable Player and eight-time All-Star felt adored when the team retired his jersey after he played his entire 19-season career in Atlanta.

Three months later, Jones threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the NLDS in Atlanta to a dubious target — the Braves’ mascot.

After the Braves’ 6-1 loss to the Dodgers that night, Jones sarcastically posted a mention of the perceived slight by the Braves on Twitter:

“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!”

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A followup tweet left no doubt as to Jones’ disappointment:

“Nor will it EVER happen again!”

The New York Post reported Monday that Braves players were not happy with Jones’ pregame prediction that the team would lose the NLDS. Jones told the team’s flagship station, 680 The Fan, that the Dodgers would win in four games. When word got to the Braves’ clubhouse, no player volunteered to catch Jones’ first pitch.

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As it turns out, Jones’ prediction was correct. The Dodgers eliminated the Braves in Game 4 on Monday night.


97 comments
MarkHolley
MarkHolley

Why can't anybody handle the truth anymore?

chiggy515
chiggy515

Geez, hard to believe that Chipper, the wife cheating, child-of-wedlock, twice divorced megalomaniac could EVER offend anyone...

mgsc
mgsc

This team does not deserve to carry Chipper's jock.  What a bunch of children.

charliehustle1234
charliehustle1234

uhg, what a bunch of whiners.  all that team needs is joe maddon as manager and they'd be the whining champions of pro sports

adw25
adw25

He's the recently retired face of the franchise.  There hasn't been enough time passed and he hasn't done anything else yet to distance himself from the franchise.  I know there are alot of non braves fans commenting and using this opportunity to add salt(you have the right to express yourselves btw) try to look at it from this standpoint: 

In 144 years of MLB only 24 players have played as long as chipper or longer for only one team.


23 seasons:

1) Brooks Robinson - Baltimore Orioles

2) Carl Yastrzemski - Boston Red Sox

22 seasons:

1) Al Kaline - Detroit Tigers

2) Stan Musial - St. Louis Cardinals

3) Mel Ott - New York Giants

21 seasons:

1) George Brett - Kansas City Royals

2) Cal Ripken Jr. - Baltimore Orioles

3) Walter Johnson - Washington Senators

4) Ted Lyons - Chicago White Sox

5) Willie Stargell - Pittsburgh Pirates

20 seasons:

1) Luke Appling - Chicago White Sox

2) Craig Biggio - Houston Astros

3) Red Faber - Chicago White Sox

4) Tony Gwynn - San Diego Padres

5) Mel Harder - Cleveland Indians

6) Alan Trammell - Detroit Tigers

7) Robin Yount - Milwaukee Brewers

19 seasons:

1) Ernie Banks - Chicago Cubs

2) Dave Concepcion - Cincinnati Reds

3) Charlie Gehringer - Detroit Tigers

4) Barry Larkin - Cincinnati Reds

5) Jim Palmer - Baltimore Orioles

6) Lou Whitaker - Detroit Tigers

7) Ted Williams - Boston Red Sox

 The thing is that it gets alot easier to be objective further down the line when your franchise have a completely new generation of players that you don't have ties to.  Chipper played with many of those guys just last year and his ties to the franchise are extreme because he is recently retired.  He is the guy that many of his ex-teammates probably would have gone to for advice or motivation during the series because he of all people should understand how they feel and his influence and support would be invaluable. 

 Chipper has the right to give his opinion and that's fine, but you have to realize how that will effect your relationship with the franchise you helped carry all those years.  Basically, he broke an unwritten-unwritten rule.  I just don't see any off those players on this list doing that so soon after they leave the game.  Ask yourselves how you would feel as a current player if your newly retired ex-teammate/former face-of-the-franchise/future HOF openly picked against your team that he lead all those years?  Or ask yourself as a loyal fan of your respective teams how you'd feel with the same question?  You may respect his honesty, but that doesn't mean that you have to agree  with it.

Tony41
Tony41

The Braves acted like sensitive little girls all year.  Glad their year is finished.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

What a joke, Braves - you give the 1st ballot HOF player his due, even if he didn't pick your tanking azz  when he was asked about his genuine opinion.  

Chipper gave a realistic view (as a retired player) about what would happen in his opinion when asked the question.... which turned out pretty accurate


instead of using it as motivation - the Braves went out and played like the Squaws they are

CoryDowns
CoryDowns

I think it was pretty DAMN funny.

HanryPark
HanryPark

Looks like he knows something others don't know.  But still it's not a good way to encourage his old team before big games.

BravesFan
BravesFan

It's unfortunate that they're both (the team's decision and Chipper's reaction) acting like little kids, but let's face it most players never went to college, and continue to play a game (for millions of dollars) they did throughout childhood.  Therefore they' have never grown out of their childhood.  We're suppose to be shocked by this behavior?  I'm more shocked and (happily) surprised by players that handle themselves with class and dignity.  

MickHayes
MickHayes

Unfortunate ending to a great career but Jones brought it on himself.  How did he expect his teammates to react to his prediction?  Accurate but not appropriate.

chuckswole
chuckswole

The Braves are the Buffalo Bills of MLB.

gunghomarine
gunghomarine

Too bad Chipper forgot that it was his WILD throw pass the second baseman in chipper's last playoff that

cost us the game to St. Louis.  Of course if only the mascot had been playing 3rd that night!

weir6
weir6

Listen, he picked the Dodgers against the team he played his whole career for.  Come on, you just don't do that.  That's not really a big snub, but you just retired, so you need to be trying to motivate your team, not shooting them down like that. 


Come on Chip!

joeshine730
joeshine730

Wow what an embarrassment to Chipper and a disgrace in front of all America.

pyjujiop
pyjujiop

So they refused to associate with Chipper Jones for being right? OK...

reger
reger

I don't blame them..

EdEsposito1
EdEsposito1

Atlanta, the new Cleveland..... Chipper was right....

BobStockton
BobStockton

They always have been a whiny, self involved bunch. Instead of rubbing his nose in it on the field of play they chose to sit in the clubhouse and sulk. where is the manager in all this?

BTW, Jones was right. the Braves folded in the clutch once again.


MrArlington
MrArlington

This years Braves team is a fu​cking disgrace to the game. This is just the latest example from this season on classless behavior. 

eddie767
eddie767

Chipper,predicts a sweep by Dodgers and the Braves are miffed. Why didn't they prove him wrong,b/c they knew he was right. He was the consumate Brave,so he could tell them the truth and try to ignite some kind of fire,which the blew out.

JackKennedy
JackKennedy

ahhh, atlanta..........the new detroit

DSM
DSM

I never rooted for the Braves, but always respected Chipper. Now I will root for them even less--how can you treat a 19 year HOF player like that? 

trobbins88
trobbins88

Chipper was a class act...I am not a fan of the braves, but that is not the way to treat a future HOF'er...glad they lost to LA

x72
x72

lol bravos

hgphillies
hgphillies

Where was the coach? Where was management? It is a disgrace that they allowed this to happen. Chipper is a future Hall of Famer. Totally disrespectful...you know how many times, Mike Schmidt criticized the Phillies or a particular ballplayer, yet, Schmidt goes to every spring training and comes back to the ball park on a regular basis and chats it up with the guys. The Bravos are a disgrace. No wonder their park is half empty.

Rich
Rich

This incident says a lot about the mentality of the Brave organization. In spite of having great players and great baseball minds over the last 25+ years, there is a suicidal tendency that has brought the team down when they appeared well-placed to seriously contend for the series. Chipper Jones and the boycotters are cut from the same cloth.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@adw25 ANd if the Braves had asked Smoltz, Glavine or even Pendleton to throw out the first pitch, it would have been far more appropriate, for the reasons that you describe above.  For that matter, we can go back just a bit further, and same the same bout Dale Murphy.  And Hank Aaron was somewhere in the stadium - I'm certain he would have been please to do it, and the only people who would have objected might have been those few idiots who like to spend time wearing white sheets.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@HanryPark  It looks like he was being realistic, something that can get anyone run out of town at any time.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@BravesFan It's not necessary to have even part of a post-secondary education in order to grow up.  In fact, some people are grown up very, very early, and some never do grow up.  

Baseball organizations include personality testing as a part of their standing scouting operating procedures.  In the book "Dollar Sign on the Muscle" (about scouting), the results of that part of the report on a young George Brett showed that at 17, he was already an adult in all but chronology.

The players sulked.  Big whoop.  Adults sulk form time to time, too, and yes, you that includes yourself, as seen in your post.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@MickHayes Jones problem was that his timing was bad.  It's a comment that should have been made in writing, date and time stamped, in given, in confidence, to one person to hold,before the game, for release to the public after the game.

redav.usa
redav.usa

He's retired. They aren't his teammates.

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

@MickHayes  I agree. Being right isn't always the only thing that matters. Still, the whole thing is incredibly juvenile all the way around. 

rwidger
rwidger

@MickHayes Umm....but he was right.  I guess he could have lied to make sure he didn't hurt the poor Braves feelings.  Once again the Braves being the Braves.  Boo hoo.  How dare anyone hurt our feelings!!

Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

@chuckswole Please don't insult the Buffalo Bills. They are having a tough season as it is.

BravesFan
BravesFan

@chuckswole As a Braves fan, I'd definitely agree with you if you had posted this comment anytime before 1995.  

rpearlston
rpearlston

@weir6 That only means that he has something in common with Bill Buckner - neither should have still been in the game at that point.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@trobbins88 You do mean on the field, don't you?  Off the field, his (home) life has been pretty much of a mess.

mjhellund
mjhellund

@trobbins88 Except for that sex addiction thing and his serial adultery, you mean. At least he wasn't a wife beater like his manager Bobby Cox. Braves: guaranteed classless from top to bottom.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@Rich why because someone asked him for a prediction and he, uhhhh.... told the truth?  God forbid!

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@mjhellund @trobbins88 yeah lets just judge everyone by  their personal life and not by their exploits on the field.... that will make the world a better place for sure