Chipper Jones: Braves Star's Last Game Was a Nightmare

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IOctober 6, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 5: A fan of Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves holds up a sign of support during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals during the National League Wild Card Game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Chipper Jones has played his last game for the Atlanta Braves, but there's no doubt his career finale went about as badly as possible.

A stand-up player like Jones deserved the perfect send-off, but as we all know, that doesn't always happen.

On the brighter side, Jones is leaving the game not having hit a wall at the age of 40. Jones hit .287 with 14 homers and 62 RBI, making it clear that he could still contribute in a big way if he chose to continue his career.

But despite all that, Jones' last game was a nightmare and here's why.


Infield Fly Rule-Gate

The 2012 National League Wild Card game won't be remembered as Jones' last game, but rather the game the umpires got it wrong with a controversial call.

Andrelton Simmons' pop up to short left field looked like a routine play, but instead the ball found its way to the grass between St. Louis Cardinals shortstop, Pete Kozma, and left fielder, Matt Holliday.

The left field umpire gave a late signal for an infield fly, effectively crushing the Braves' eighth inning rally. The call should have never been made, since the umpire was late to make his judgement and Kozma didn't go after the ball with ordinary effort.

A botched call and the madness that ensued was the biggest story of the game and completely overshadowed Jones' last game, which is a result he didn't deserve.


Idiot Fans

You would think that all Braves fans would have the utmost respect for Jones and all he's done during his career in Atlanta. However, that thought process was proven wrong after some fans began throwing bottles, and anything else they could find, on the field.

Let me be clear: The idiots are the ones who threw things on the field.  That doesn't mean all Braves fans are idiots, nor does it mean that all Braves fans don't respect Jones.

When the controversial infield fly call was made, fans began throwing things onto the field, which is unacceptable in any instance. But it didn't stop there, as fans threw even more things onto the field once the game was over.

This forced both teams off the field in a hurry and made it dangerous for even Jones to be honored on the field after the game.

It was no doubt one of the ugliest moments in the history of the Braves' franchise, and to make matters worse, it happened during Jones' last game.

The behavior of the fans who threw things on the field was the second biggest story of this game, which is an unfortunate fact that pushed Jones' story even further back behind the garbage.


Bad Game

Jones didn't have such a great game against the Cards, as the Braves were eliminated from the playoffs.

The third baseman went 1-for-5, with a lowly infield single that should have been the last out of the game and ended Jones' career right then and there.

On top of that, Jones committed a huge error in the fourth inning that should have been a double play, but instead opened the door for a three-run inning for St. Louis that eradicated the Braves early lead.

Per staff, Jones placed the blame on himself for the loss.

"Ultimately, I feel I'm the one to blame," Jones said. "That should have been a tailor-made double play."

It's bad enough that Jones had a poor game at the plate, but it makes it even worse that his great career ended with Jones placing the blame on himself for the team's season-ending loss. That's a fact that Jones will have to live with for the rest of his life, whether we all agree with him or not.


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