Prior to their NLDS Game 1 loss to the Dodgers, the Braves had franchise icon and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Rather than throw the ball to long-time teammate Brian McCann or team MVP Freddie Freeman, Chipper had to make the toss to the team mascot. Why? Kevin Kernan of the New York Post explains:
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.
Some are saying the Braves were being petty, that they should’ve proven him wrong instead of pouting. And one of the things we appreciate about Chipper is his candor, so it’s hard to criticize him for it when we don’t like what he says. And he was right.
But still …
I can’t bring myself to pick against the Braves. I think most of us felt deep down that they weren’t going to beat the Dodgers, but we kept it to ourselves. As, I imagine, Knucksie, Murph and Bobby would have if asked. I wish, in this case, Chipper had chosen diplomacy over candor.