Chipper Jones (above) is blaming the New York media for their coverage of his recent remarks concerning Alex Rodriguez. Fortunately for Larry, there’s at least one member of the Fourth Estate watching his back, in this case, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Jeff Schultz.
If the Braves could just figure out a way to fly insult-hurling New York fans and mutant tabloid headline writers to other cities, they would rarely lose a road game.
œWell, if you had to listen to what I listen to going back to the dugout, Jones said, œyou™d be pretty motivated to make left turns [on the basepaths].
For some reason, he has thrived in this toilet of a stadium and the appropriately named surroundings of Flushing. As pitcher Tim Hudson joked, œThey hate him here for a reason. It™s like an ongoing joke for us when we come to New York. You know their fans are going to be crazy, and Chipper™s going to drive in six or eight in a series.
œI™m sure he™s probably going to tear up when they blow this place up.
In amusing pre- and post-game scenes, Jones refused to talk to New York media members, actually shooing packs away from his locker, saying, œBeat it! It was like watching a human flyswatter.Then he held private media sessions with Atlanta writers. (I have to admit, it was a nice change, being so loved.)
Jones referred to the New York media as œthe pot-stirrers. He said he was bothered when one œweasel asked him after Wednesday™s game to clarify comments about Rodriguez.
œBut what more do you expect from people who follow high-profile guys around with camera phones so they can get them in trouble, Jones said.
He said he plans to phone Rodriguez, whom he has known since high school days, to make certain their friendship wasn™t damaged. But he added: œI think he™s pretty familiar with how sensationalistic this journalism is up here.
Nothing threw Jones off his game ” not the fans, not the headlines, not the team bus that took 90 minutes to make the usual half-hour drive from Manhattan. Most Braves took the early bus. Jones and Hudson opted for the later one. Problem: The driver got caught in city traffic after mistakenly circling the hotel and didn™t reach Shea until an hour before the game.
Despite playing in a toilet, the Mets are averaging 12,000 more paying customers per game than the Braves this season. That’s a remarkable figure considering all that lousy New York traffic (and Turner Field being a relatively new stadium). But I don’t doubt that Schultz and his readers have all sorts of other hot cultural events competing for their entertainment dollar.
Likewise, the Journal-Constitution should be credited for eschewing such dubious journalistic tactics as quoting Chipper Jones at length. Cynics would say that with no other major daily newspaper competition in the market, the AJC can afford to refrain from screaming headlines, but I prefer to look at it this way —what could be braver than bashing NYC to an Atlanta readership?
Finally, just to show I’m above all this partisan crap, I would like some recognition from our half dozen readers in Georgia that I’ve shown tremendous maturity in making no statements about Larry and a Hooters waitress. Or about all the fun Tim Hudson manages to have in New York, despite it being such a negative playing environment.