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Honoring Chipper, What Do You Think?

By Mike Silva ~ April 13th, 2012. Filed under: New York Mets.

Rumors spread yesterday that the Mets are planning on honoring Chipper Jones this season before a game at Citi Field. This immediately spurned outrage (some of it in the fake format, specifically the radio airwaves) by individuals exasperated the team would recognize a player that has tortured them on the field.

When it was first announced that Jones was retiring at the end of this season, I opined about how he and the Braves were the type of rivalry that you grow to appreciate after the fact. You hate them in the moment, but you do recognize that it adds juice to watching the sport. If you are a Knicks fan, then think Reggie Miller and the Pacers or Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

Honoring opposing players is not something the Mets are inventing. In 1988, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was honored in the final visit of every city the Lakers played a game. Kareem broke plenty of those same cities hearts throughout his career. It’s ok to be fierce rivals on the field, but respect each other off it. Look at the relationship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. They became friends because of the rivalry on the basketball court.  Some see Jones and the Mets on a different level. One comparison given to me on Twitter was that honoring Jones is the equivalent of the Rangers honoring Denis Potvin. Fair point, but I don’t know if the hatred for him extends that far.

I guess the best and most balanced way to look at this is how will the team execute the ceremony. Will it be a quick tip of the hat and plaque during the pre-game? Will they do a 20-minute montage and set up a dais with his family? A scoreboard tribute in the bottom of the fifth inning?

I think a quick recognition of a long career will suffice. The Mets are a big part of Jones’ legacy. He was in their division and faced them 18-times a year. The 1999 NLCS might be one of the best short series in the sports’ history. With that said, giving Chipper the recognition that, let’s say, a Mets Hall of Famer would receive certainly would justify scorn from the team.

In the end I doubt this will be anything more than a tip of the cap. That is what I would call sportsmanship and a classy act by the organization. I also wonder if this were the Yankees would the reaction have been the same. There is a clear bias and double standard in this town. Mostly due to the fact that narratives need to be perpetuated so the media has something to sell.

I also caution you to wait before you judge since this story originated from WFAN’s Morning Show, Boomer & Carton, which we all know is very loose with facts, and quick to create fake controversy in order to muscle through a four-hour program.

Let’s hear what you think.

Vote on the possibility of Chipper Jones being honored by the Mets below.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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6 Responses to Honoring Chipper, What Do You Think?

  1. Eagle

    I wonder … Did the Red Sox honor Joe D? I don’t know, but I doubt it. Will they honor Derek Jeter? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

    Although the Met fans’ hatred of the Braves may not match the life-long, generations-long loathing the Red Sox fans have for the Yankees, for that period during the 90s/early00s it was pretty intense. Chipper was the main focus of that hate. Honoring him now is dishonest, disingenuous & defeatist.

    Polite applause ten years after he’s retired. Nothing more, nothing before.

  2. Nik

    I don’t think they need to… the fans will “honor” him on their own and in their own way. I doubt his final game here will be of the silent variety.

  3. Stu B

    It would be a classy thing to do, similar to what they did for Ozzie Smith in 1996.

  4. Tommy2cat

    Not into drawing comparisons, but Chipper & the Mets fans have had a special relationship over the years. Over the years of @ss-whooping he’s delivered on the Amazins, he’s always been respectful to our fans and our city. He’s honored the relationship by naming his son after our stadium. He’s participated in many epic battles, won most of them, lost some of them, but handled everything with class & dignity.

    He’s been a special player for many special Met moments - the Fireworks game, the 9-11 game, the grandslam single game - and he’s never begrudged the Mets or uttered one snide remark to my knowledge. He’s been supportive of our players, even when they struggle (see - David Wright).

    I have no special affection toward the Braves - I dislike Brian Jordan as much as any player I ever have. Feel the exact opposite about Chipper. He was at his best in the clutch when the Mets were a formidable opponent, when games between the Mets & Braves mattered. And when the Mets declined, he continued his dominance as if it was a disagreeable duty. He always wanted a challenge & New York seemed to bring out his very best.

    Something about Chipper Jones relationship with Mets fans (Larrrry…Larrrry…) that carries a special quality separate & apart from any other quasi-adversarial relationship between a player and an opposing fan base. Has something to do with the nature of our nation’s love for Baseball, which transcends the game itself. He loves New York & New York loves him.

    This is our opportunity to admit it & to express gratitude for all of the special moments we’ve shared, win or lose.

  5. Chuck Johnson

    It’s a class act to honor a future HOFer for what he’s contributed to the game.

    Of course, if the Mets had any of their own HOFers to honor…….

  6. Stu B

    “Amid radio and Internet chatter Thursday that the Mets plan to honor Atlanta’s retiring Chipper Jones at some point this season, team officials downplayed the idea. While the Mets do plan to acknowledge Jones’ distinguished career in some small way, they will not hold an on-field ceremony, present Jones with a gift or stage anything elaborate. Any tribute to Jones will be extremely low-key, an official said.”

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