The 2013 season of the Atlanta Braves ended Monday night with a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS. We'll remember the 2013 Braves for a number of things, and their NL East title and 96-66 record might actually be second on the list.
We'll mostly remember these Braves as the fun police, a sometimes-ornery bunch that believed in playing the game the right way (whatever that actually means). We'll remember Brian McCann's home plate stand-off with Carlos Gomez and Atlanta's conflict with rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez after he admired a homer too long.
And now, tacked on for good measure, we'll remember these Braves as the team that wouldn't catch a first pitch at NLDS Game 1 from one of their own legends. Why? Because Chipper Jones picked the Dodgers to win the series between the two teams.
Such is the report coming out of the New York Post, which says:
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.
Former manager Bobby Cox threw out the ceremonial Game 2 first pitch to Tim Hudson. The Braves won that game, 4-3. The Braves were trying Monday night to force a Game 5 on Tuesday back in Atlanta.
Unwritten rule: Retired players must become complete and total homers to their ex-teams. But the funny thing is Chipper nailed his prediction. Dodgers in four.
He sent a couple of tweets after his first pitch, which make more sense now that we have this context:
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
Nor will it EVER happen again! — Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) October 4, 2013
Could it be? A Chipper Jones feud with the Braves? Say it ain't so, Larry. We have a feeling the two sides will work it out before this turns into one of those Brett Favre vs. the Green Bay Packers cold wars. But you never know. It's definitely going to be a cold winter for the Braves.