I wish he had fallen and broken his hip here. I hate this guy so much I can't even think of something funny to say. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The Chipper Jones" memorial goodwill lets give this douche-bag a gift because he's a future Hall of Famer" tour rolls into Citizens Bank Park tonight. Prior to the game, there will be some sort of celebration where the Phillies will present Larry with something. Likely something sentimental, like a base, or something to do with the city. If they had any sense, they'd just give him a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops, and if they had any irony, they'd give him a zip lock bag full of d*^%s, and Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Mike Schmidt would hold him down while Jimmy Rollins force fed them to him.
And if they had any balls, as The Professor has already mentioned earlier, they wouldn't give him anything.
But lets not dwell on the stupidity of all this nonsense. Instead, lets talk about WHY WE HATE CHIPPER JONES.
The Professor had an excellent piece earlier this season highlighting this.
For everyone it's different. Some of you have been fans for a much longer time than me, some for less, but I guarantee none of you have hated this douche-bag for longer than I have.19 years ago next monday was the first time Chipper played against the Philles. Most of you don't even remember it. But I do.
The date was September 24th, 1993. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in my college dorm room with Rick Faigin (A lifelong Braves fan) watching the NL East leading Phillies play the National league West leading Braves. We held a 6 game lead on the Montreal Expos with 9 to play. The Braves were 1/2 game back of the Giants in the West. Tommy Greene was on the mound, and he pitched a 3 hit shut out. (He also walked 8 while striking out 6. The Braves were 0-10 with RISP that day. and it was a joyous, joyous experience for me, watching my Phillies beat the team that represented the NL in the WS the last two years so handily. Joyous with one exception.
In the 9th inning, With one out, Greene gave up a single to Braves Catcher Damon Berryhill, and a September call up by the name of Larry "Chipper" Jones came in to pinch run. It was the first time he would play in a game against the Phillies. Very few, if any fans had any idea who he was.
But I knew.
I knew he was the first overall pick from the 1990 draft. I knew that he had been tearing up AA and AAA pitching for two years. I knew he was the games top prospect. I knew that Atlanta selected him 1st in the 1990 Draft only because Todd Van Poppel, who was the player they coveted with that selection, told them he would not sign if they took him.( Had that happened, Tony Clark would have still went second to the TIGERS (thx TP), and The Phillies would have taken Jones instead of Mike Leiberthal, likely forcing me to root for the Marlins). I also knew. Well before many, that this guy was a class A jerk. I'd know that since 1988. That was the first time I got to play against him.
For those of you who don't know, I played against Chipper in High school. Twice a year for three years. He was a better pitcher than hitter in those days, but it was obvious that he was special. Everyone knew it.
Especially Larry. he made it his business to make everyone know too. Whether it was asking someones girlfriend if they wanted to be able to tell their grand kids they did it with a future Hall of Famer, revving the engine of his piece of crap truck, booming "Stevie B' from his makeshift speakers, or just walking around with an air of arrogance he flaunted it. The joke was that he named himself "Chipper" because of the gigantic chip on his shoulder that he carried around for the world to see. he was just a mean, nasty kid.
the last time I played against him was in 1989. Scouts were everywhere. It was his junior season. And he was shitting the bed that day. And he was pissed. The kid we had pitching that day had a big looping curve-ball, and Larry just couldn't time it. After he struck out for the second time, and argued a called strike three, I told him to take a seat and play. He expressed to me that if Shawn could throw a real pitch, he'd park it "Downtown Chipper Style". When he came to the plate in his next AB. Naturally, when he came to the plate the next time, Shawn threw at him. He doubled on the next pitch, and when the next batter hit a bloop single between 1st and 2nd, Chipper came at me. The throw beat him by three feet, and I would find out later that he was held up by his coach at 3B. He didn't slide. He just barreled. When I woke up 10 minutes later, I still had the ball, Chipper was out, and all I heard was "Don't mess with the Chipper" coming from the visitors dugout.
It was the first time I muttered the words "douche-bag" in relation to Larry. The second was when I heard he was taken first overall by the Braves, through a friend. We were both convinced that he would end up getting arrested, or turn into one of those guys who wasted his talent by Getting into a barfight in the off season and subsequently lost everything. We took solace in the fact that we were certain that by the time we were both married and successful, Larry would be retreading tires and hooked on Meth back in Jacksonville. At worst, he'd be playing for the Braves, a team that at the time had flirted with 100 loss seasons since 1985.
When I heard he tore his ACL and was going to miss the 1994 season, I was happy. I thought for sure that God was giving him what he deserved, and his career would be over.
Instead, He finished 2nd in the rookie of the year voting in 1995, the Braves made the post season 14 out of 15 of the next years, and he put together a hall of fame career. And to add insult to injury, the Braves moved from the NL west to the NL East in 1994. And as a Phillies fan living in Florida, before the internet, the only games I got to see were on TBS or WGN.God was punishing me instead, maybe? Who knows.
I was a decent player, but I never had a chance to play pro ball, and knew it. And before you Braves fans play the jealous guy who didn't make it card let me tell you something. Chipper wasn't the only guy I knew to make it. There are 30 or 40 guys I played with who made it toat least AA in one form or another. A few of them (Alex Fernandez, Charles Johnson) had really great careers. One of them (Alex Rodriguez) is a probable Hall of famer too. I root for every one of those guys to succeed. All of them were decent kids, all of them were humble. All of them played fair.
Every one of them would say the same thing about Larry. Guaranteed.
Everyone has an arch nemesis. For me, its Chipper. This is a guy who WANTS to be called Chipper. A guy who refers to himself as "The Chipper". A guy who John Rocker described as "White trash" and Two Faced". (Everyone gave Rocker crap for saying that, but the reality is he was spot on.) A guy who, in the minor leagues got into a brawl with Jim Thome.
Jim Thome.The guy who was voted the second friendliest player in baseball behind Mike "hug it out" Sweeney.
My first brawl in professional ball was against Charlotte," Jones recalled. "He and Manny [Ramirez] and those guys were in Charlotte. And we cleared the benches, and he and I came across each other in the melee, and the next thing I know I was pinned up against the backstop, with my face up against the screen. And I looked over, and my mom and dad are like three rows away from me, and they had the look of horror. It was one of those moments when you just kind of cry for help, because once he got his big paws on me I was done. … He was like, 'Don't move, Chip. I will squash the life out of you.'"
If Only big Jim had squashed the life out of him, like the bug that he was, I would not have had to experience 19 years of douche-baggery of epic proportions.
The fact that he played for the Braves is so perfect, so fitting, and so ironic that sometimes I laugh. I hate his stupid face, his arrogant attitude, and most of all I hate the fact that his public persona is that of such an ambassador of the game when in private, the due is a douche-bag primadonna asswipe.
So I ask you Phillies fans, why do YOU HATE LARRY?
Be creative, be honest, and be as crass as you like.
In 4 days, 19 years of Villainy will come to an abrupt end. Unless, by the grace of God, Utley steps on his face sliding into second tonight. That would be the best gift we could give.