By Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports | 4:26 a.m. CDT, July 11, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The last Superstation superstar walked toward the batter’s box, and “Crazy Train” seared through the speakers at Kauffman Stadium. Everyone here wanted to make sure Chipper Jones’ night was faultless down to the finest detail, including the walkup music he uses with the Atlanta Braves. Perfection wasn’t too much to ask for his final All-Star game.
Chipper Jones is 40. This remains difficult to believe for his peers, the majority of whom grew up watching him on TBS before televisions and computers could beam in every baseball game being played. The Superstation was one of baseball’s greatest inventions, late and lamented, because it turned ballplayers like Jones into generational icons. His game was so pure, his name so perfect – Chipper Jones, he of the gorgeous left-handed swing and almost mirror image from the right, of the yo-yoing between third base and the outfield, of one World Series won and too many more lost, of a career now in its twilight and a pair of eyes suddenly welling up at that thought.
By Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune reporter | 8:05 p.m. CDT, June 11, 2012
He leads the American League in earned-run average (2.05), WHIP (0.92), opponents’ batting average against (.188) and is tied for the lead in victories (8), but White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is barely known outside of Chicago.
Sale, the 13th pick overall, is one of only four players from the first and supplemental rounds of the 2010 draft to have made it onto a major league roster.
He is lucky to have been drafted by perhaps the only organization in baseball that isn’t afraid to promote inexperienced players with talent — and maturity.
By Daryl Van Schouwen/ suntimes.com | 05/28/12 8:44 PM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Left-hander Chris Sale made a memory on a historic Memorial Day at a place where his other great memory was attending his first major-league game.
Sale struck out a Tropicana Field-record 15 Rays in 71/3 innings Monday, falling one short of Jack Harshman’s franchise record set in 1954, as the White Sox edged the Rays 2-1 for their sixth consecutive victory and 10th in their last 11.
“It’s a special day, especially growing up, kind of being a Tampa Bay Rays fan,” said Sale, a Lakeland native who had a sizable and vocal cheering section of family and friends among the 22,227 in attendance. “My uncle took me to my first game here a day after my birthday. It was fun coming to Florida.”
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com | 05/10/12 5:00 PM ET
ATLANTA — As Chipper Jones was announcing this will be his final season, he channeled fictional character Rod Tidwell and evoked memories from one of the final scenes of the hit film “Jerry Maguire.”
Well, unlike the Tidwell character, he did not necessarily refer to his agent as his “Ambassador of Kwan.” But genuine sincerity was displayed when Jones attempted to hold back tears as he thanks his agent, B.B. Abbott, for being with him through a journey that dates back to their childhood days.
“Probably my best friend in the world, B.B.; I can’t tell you how many times B.B. and I would sit out in the backyard and rehearse everything that has happened in the past 20-something years out here on this field,” Jones said as he announced his retirement last month. “We’ve come a long way. We’ve both lived out our dreams, and little did we know we’d be hand and hand in doing so.”
By David O’Brien – April 21, 2012
PHOENIX — When the Braves lost their first four games this season in rather dispiriting fashion, Brian McCann knows there were a great many skeptics who wrote them off as the same team that lost 20 of its final 30 games last season and blew a huge wild-card lead in September.
But in the clubhouse, that was not the feeling, he said. The Braves returned virtually intact from 2011, and they viewed themselves as the team that had the majors’ fourth-best record in late August — not the team that produced one of the worst September collapses in baseball history.
McCann hit a two-run homer Friday night, and Freeman had two more run-scoring doubles to give him 12 RBIs in the Braves’ four-game winning streak.
By Robert Knapel – Bleacher Report – April 12, 2012
Throughout his career, Chipper Jones has absolutely owned the New York Mets. He has been a pain in the Mets’ side for a number of years, and his production against the team has been outstanding. It is hard to think of a player more respected and hated by Mets fans.
So, it was certainly a bit curious that the Mets announced that they will be honoring Jones this year. Andy Martino of the Daily News has noted that the celebration will not be an on-the-field ceremony. However, it is not the Mets that should be doing something to celebrate Jones.
Jones has had a career that deserves to be celebrated, but the team that should have a ceremony for him is the Atlanta Braves and not the New York Mets. It is fine if Mets fans want to do something, but the team should not be the one to set this up.
By Chicago Sun-Times – April 10, 2012
CLEVELAND — These White Sox are a thoughtful and generous lot.
For manager Robin Ventura’s first victory Saturday, Adam Dunn came through with a bottle of Dom Perignon. For 23-year-old left-hander Chris Sale’s first major-league start Monday, Alejandro De Aza and A.J. Pierzynski handed him a three-run lead before he even took the mound.
“Any time you jump right out of the gate with three runs, it brings energy,” said Sale, who allowed one runs and three hits, struck out five and walked two in 62/3 innings. “Those first three runs set the tone for the rest of the game.”