Chipper focused entering Wild Card playoff

Chipper Jones allowed himself to be emotional as he was overwhelmed by the love and support fans showed during the final regular season games of his career.

But as the Braves prepared to play Friday’s one-game playoff against the Cardinals at Turner Field, an unnerved Jones did not seem the least bit fazed by the fact that he could be preparing for the final game of his storied career.

“I was riding in with my mom and dad today and I turned around and told my dad, I was like this is why I know I’m ready to go,” Jones said. “I’m not even nervous. I don’t know whether that is being prepared , you know and being confident.  But usually first game of the playoffs, I’m nervous before the workout the day before.

As Jones prepared for the 93rd postseason game of his career, he appeared focused on experiencing a new challenge, one that he does not support from a competitive standpoint.

This matchup between the Braves and Cardinals will serve as the first one-game playoff created by Majo League Baseball’s decision to add an additional Wild Card team this year. This would have benefited the Braves last year when the Cardinals leapfrogged them on the regular season’s final to gain the only available Wild Card entry.

This new arrangement could produce a sour an abrupt end to Jones’ career.  After collecting 94 wins in the regular season, the Braves have been presented with this winner-take-all matchup against the 88-win Cardinals.  The winner advances to the National Division Series and the loser begin the offseason.

“I think if we’re going to continue to left teams in year after year, we might as well just say screw it,” Jones said. “Let’s have everybody in.  Let’s play 162 games to see yourselves and then we’ll let the Astros have a shot at it and whoever else wants a shot at it.

“We’ll just have a (30)-team single-elimination March Madness tournament.  That’s the way I think we ought to do it.”

Coincidently, Jones’ first postseason memories take him back to his 1995 rookie season when baseball was introduced to the Wild Card era.  As the Braves played that year’s Division Series against Rockies, the NL’s Wild Card entrant, Jones hit a pair of Game 1 home runs.    His only other two-homer performance in a playoff game came in Game 4 of the 2003 Division Series against the Cubs.

But as Jones prepared for Friday’s matchup against Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse, he was not interested in thinking about what he had experienced in Octobers past.

“I think reflection is more for when it is all over,” Jones said. “I’m one of those guys who likes to look out the front windshield, not the rear view mirror.  I’m not going to get overly mushy and sentimental here. I’m going to stay focused on the task at hand.  We’re in a Game 7.  It’s crunch time.  Nobody cares about what I did in 1995 or 1999.  It’s all about what you do Oct. 5, 2012.”

17 Comments

Right frame of mind! Good luck Chipper. GO BRAVES!

Wow. Way to choke it up, guys. I am calling this the Brooks Conrad curse.

I mean, I wanted the guys to take Chipper off the hook for his error. But not like that.

Check that – It is now the Skip Caray curse.

Once again – the Cardinals – a class act. As with the final out with Bobby Cox – Cardinals applauding the great Chipper Jones.

Ahhhhh yes… I almost forgot what it’s like to be a Braves fan… make the playoffs and choke :-/ I’m not going to say that “the call” wasn’t bullshit, because it was, no matter how hard MLB and former umps will try to force it upon us… but the Braves put themselves in that situation… 12 hits to 6 with Medlen on the field should net a victory.

See ya’ll next year.

worst umpire call in the history of professional sports. Doesn’t matter what happened in the rest of the game. MLB and that dumbass Bud Selig should be flogged.

The call was correct. An infielder had a reasonable expectation of making the catch. Doesn’t matter how deep the ball was hit. We played like crap and lost. End of story. Nothing to see here move on.

What game were you watching? He had to travel to the position of another player! He traveled 70 feet just to miss the ball, how did he ever have a reasonable chance of making that out? It was 50/50 at best. Holliday had a better chance of making that play, he was just playing deep.

It does not matter how far he goes. He should have made that catch. You may not like the rule, but please don’t show your ignorance of the rule by bitching about it. That call did not lose the game. The three errors did.

kat, on a judgement call like that, you can’t call it there… and you can’t call it that late. That situation occurs many times throughout the course of a season and I’ve never seen that call made. Ever. The rule book allows for a gigantic amount of interpretation, so saying “the book says it’s the right call” is meaningless. That call should not have been made, plain and simple.

As for the errors, I agree with you there. The call didn’t cost us the game, but it sure as hell made things harder.

Gotta go with Weak and Brandie on this one. Kat you are the one who is ignorant of the rule. This call is NEVER made after it’s obvious no one is gonna catch it, NEVER!!!! He is supposed to be in position to make a routine play in the “infield”. This was neither. The fact that MLB doesn’t have the stones to rule on this is ridiculous. What do you have to do to win a game protest, park an aircraft carrier in left field???? Joe Torre is no longer a Brave, of any ilk, in my opinion. Just another Yankee carpetbagger. Bud Selig needs to be run out of the game. His is like a cancerous boil on the rear end of baseball.

“Doesn’t matter how deep the ball was hit”. So if it was off the left field wall it would trigger the IFR???? How ignorant is that?

To be honest Bill, the rule is so vague that technically the infielder could technically could be on the warning track and a infield fly could be called in the same way. But, does anyone with brains think that an infielder trying to make a play in the outfield is an ordinary play, one of the ramifications of calling an infield fly? I rest my case, Katjam.

“It does not matter how far he goes.” It kinda does, when the rule states that the infielder must have a legitimate chance of making the routine catch. When you run into the position of another player, over 70 feet away, while backpedaling through the outfield, the infielder no longer has a routine play on his hands. “He should have made that catch.” But the point isn’t that he DIDN’T, it’s that it was going to be a tough play for him to make, no matter what way you slice it. “You may not like the rule, but please don’t show your ignorance of the rule by bitching about it.” Wow, I’ll save that hypocrisy for another day. “That call did not lose the game. The three errors did.” At the point where a delayed call on a ruling that is being misused by an umpire who is not in position to make that call, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the integrity of the game. The rule was designed to protect the runners from being forced into cheap double plays by infielders who could easily set up those situations. Do you honestly think that the shortstop had time to orchestrate any play like that at all when he is backpedaling through the outfield to try and make a tough catch because he’s OUT OF POSITION? It was a “judgment” call by an umpire who was bored with being down the left field line. He was not the crew chief, his job was to help call foul/fair balls down the left field line. He’s not even needed for homers, we have replay for that. The point is the infielder was never under the ball, he never stopped moving until he thought Holliday had it(and even then, he was a good 4-5 feet from where the ball landed). Not a routine play, never was under the ball, it was a bloop hit, end of story.

its called an infield fly not a pop up to the OUTFIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!! worst call ever and the whole crew of should be fired

We need to put up an Umpire Hall of Shame at Turner Field. We seem to be making quite a list of umpires who have screwed the Braves. Eric Gregg (who’s strike zone was a joke to say the least during Livan Hernandez’s perfect game), Bill Hohn who fist bumped the Marlins catcher, John Baker back in 09, Holbrook now…and I’m sure you guys can help fill up the rest that I am not remembering at the moment. At this rate however, im sure that wall might end up needing to be 10 feet high from how many names need to be on it.

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