Rope necklace and goatee? When does his Bronson Arroyo cover album come out?
Yesterday was Chipper Jones's last game at Wrigley, barring a playoff series so unlikely I'll bet any of you $5 it won't happen. Your intrepid editor, laid low on the couch away from work, was able to take in a rare day game with all the pomp and circumstance that daytime TV broadcasts featuring retiring players have to offer.
Over the course of 109 games against the Cubs, he hit a respectable .281/.356/.522., with 26 HR and 84 RBI. I'll actually take that, given the amount of killing some classic Cubs Killers have been able to do through the 90s and 2000s. And I can't help that for some reason, Chipper Jones is the favorite player of all douchebags. That's just science. Go ahead and take a minute to think back about the Chipper Jones fans in your own life. They're not all douchebags, but all the douchebags are Chipper fans.
And you know what else I like about the guy? This quote:
"I thought I had great swings all night (Tuesday), and I can't get a ball to drop" Jones said. "I mean, (Alfonso) Soriano's making plays on me in left field. What's going on with that?"
I like that someone other than fans and bloggers is taking a crack at Sori's fielding prowess. It's just amusing, in a non-mean spirited way. So Chipper Jones exits Wrigley with an 0-4 day and a gifted Braves flag from Ryan Dempster. Beware Canadians bearing flags. That sounds like a wise saying, right? Anyway, happy retirement to Larry Wayne Jones. May your days be full of Hooters waitresses and Kodiak dip.
On the Cubs side, how about that Paul Maholm cat? Do you think Ryan Dempster's started spitting in his water bottle yet? The man who started the year looking like a latter-day (insert horribly failed Cubs pitching prospect here - Rocky Cherry, maybe?) has now won four starts in a row. He gave up six runs in four innings both of his first two starts. And yet now his WHIP stands at 1.08 and he's beaten Philly, the Dodgers, and the Braves in successive starts. All for $50,000 less than we paid John Grabow to bring shame to the bullpen last year.
The Marmoless/Woodless back end of the bullpen looked stellar, considering the existential terror we've come to expect from those 8th and 9th inning slots early on. The Braves are a team that's ranked in the top 5 in batting average and runs, and in the top ten in slugging. And yet Russell and Dolis (especially Dolis) looked excellent holding down a one-run lead. I say we let this go wherever its heading - although given the fickle nature of the bullpen and impatient fandom, this can only end in tears and regretted shirt-jersey purchases.
The Cubs just managed to take out two division leaders in consecutive series, and have already bested St. Louis once. I'm knocking on all the wooden objects within reach when I say this, but it's getting pretty fun to watch the Cubs again.