Zen and the Art of Hating Chipper Jones

chipper2.jpgI cannot possibly express to you the depths of my hatred for Chipper Jones. I’m not even going to try. The English language doesn’t have the right words. Not even the German language does.

But I can provide some reasons for why he should go eat several bags of dicks. Like him bitching about the umpires in last night’s game:

Let’s just say the baseball gods owe us one… The game came down to one play, and the umpire got it wrong.  Why he got it wrong, I don’t know… I never had a guy slide into my glove and be safe… That’s the whole game… We played a perfect game and got it taken away from us… It was a well-played game on both sides… That was top-notch baseball, and it was decided by a blown call.

Odd that Chipper would invoke the baseball gods, since I also mentioned them in a pair of tweets last night. I mentioned them because the Mets got a bad call to their detriment in the bottom of the 8th, when Jose Reyes tried to stretch his 1-out 2-RBI double into a triple. The throw beat Reyes, but a replay showed that Chipper didn’t apply a tag in time.

It was the kind of bang-bang play that only instant replay could definitively resolve. But since baseball thinks easily fixable human error is charming, the incorrect ruling stood.

Chipper didn’t say anything about that play, even though he was the man who fielded the ball. The play Chipper chose to whine about, though it was a stolen base attempt instead of an extra base hit, involved an essentially identical set of circumstances: a very close play on a runner who represented the tying run trying to reach third with less than two out.

I don’t think it was the umps’ intent to give the Mets a break after screwing them earlier. In the absence of available replay, I doubt the umps knew they blew either call. But in essence, that’s what they did. I even said at the time, “That’s totally a make-up call for the last inning.” (The Wife will bear witness that I actually said this out loud in full Baseball Nerd mode.)

This year and last, the Mets seem to get an enormous amount of blown calls in their games–most of which go against them. I know that sounds like Total Homer-ism, but my totally unscientific mental survey will bear me out.

It’s hard to prove, since neither MLB nor Retrosheet keep Blown Calls as a stat. But I recall at least four homers hit by Mets that were ruled ground-rule doubles or fouls last year, and at least two balls hit against the Mets that should have been ruled doubles/fouls that were called home runs. My point is, I think the baseball gods owe the Mets some good karma. (I’m not referring to the collapses of the two previous seasons, which are almost entirely bad karma of their own design.)

Not to mention that historically, when the Mets play the Braves, they never get any kind of break whatsoever. Granted, that’s because for many years the Braves were just flat-out better. But there were plenty of games that turned on worse blown calls than the ones Chipper was involved in.

Chipper said the game was “decided by a blown call,” but it was actually decided by two blown calls. One took a runner that should have been on third and called him out. The other took a runner that should have been called out and put him on third. Both men represented the tying run. One was erased, another took his place. The run scored, even after a delay in his arrival

You wanted a balancing of accounts from the baseball gods, Chipper? You got it. Yin and yang. Go in peace, my son.

And as you go in peace, please fall into an open manhole.