The Atlanta Braves baseball season is over. In the Wild-Card playoff last night, the Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The final score was 6-3 and possibly could have been closer. In the 8th inning with two on base, Andrelton Simmons hit what should have been an easy pop-up, instead the ball fell between the shortstop and the left fielder, which should have been ruled an error, in my opinion. Instead, it was ruled an infield-fly and the batter was out. The Braves manager, Freddie Gonzalez, came out to argue the call and later, he filed that the game was now being played under protest, which was denied. The really bad thing about it: just after the call, SOME fans started throwing things upon the baseball field, cans, bottles, cups, and most likely, anything these people could get their hands on. There was a delay of game for 19 minutes while the ground crew picked it all up. Such an awful thing, and Joe Simpson, who is one of the Atlanta announcers was appalled and let us know that not only was this debris on the field, but it was also hitting the people sitting on the first few rows of the stadium. A true fan of baseball would never do this. You always want your team to win and you hate it when a bad call might possibly affect the outcome of the game but one should never use violence and I call throwing things onto the field a violent act. Someone could have been seriously hurt. I would like to point out that I remember games at Shea Stadium when the Braves would play the Mets, that debris would sometimes be thrown on the field but other than that, I have never seen anything like this. (And the Mets fans would chant "Larry, Larry" in a very jeering and mocking way when Chipper Jones would come up to bat, Larry being Chipper's real name, and what did Chipper do? He named one of his sons "Shea"!
That's Chipper for you!)
It was sad to end the baseball season this way in Atlanta. It was the last season for Chipper Jones, who has been with the Braves for his entire career which is most unusual in the major leagues. Typically, Chipper Jones did not blame the loss of the game on the infield fly rule call. "That one play didn't cost us the game. Three errors cost us the game". Exactly so. I will miss not only his excellent playing but also his straight talk and knowledge of baseball.
It has been a wonderful season and the Braves have had some amazing come-from-behind victories. Last night, it was not meant to be. You win some, you lose some...and some get rained out! Until next Spring when I can hear that wonderful sound of the bat hitting the ball and you know in your heart it is a home run, until I can cheer the manager while he is arguing a call with "Freddy, Freddy, Freddy", until I can chop along with the crowd, until I can call my Dad and we can watch the game together on TV, until then I will be waiting with great anticipation for a new baseball season with the Atlanta Braves! GO BRAVES!